“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison
I wasn’t aware of the quote above when I first started writing fiction again, but the sentiment of Toni Morrison’s eloquent quote is what prompted me to write about complicated, emotional, funny, and sexy everyday women. At the time I was reading lots of chick lit, a genre I still love. However, I had a few pet peeves with the genre.
Nearly all the heroines worked in publishing, fashion, or some other glamorous industry. They often wore designer labels that most average women couldn’t afford. Nearly all the stories were set in New York, London, or L.A.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the publishing industry, or designer labels. And New York City is one of my favorite places in the world. But I wanted to read stories about everyday women who had exciting, interesting jobs that weren’t necessarily glamorous. Women who appreciated designer labels, but had to bargain shop to wear them. Women who lived in the Midwest or the Southeast. Women whose experiences were relatable to the average woman.
So that’s what I write.
The heroine of my upcoming debut novel, Making the First Move, is Melanie Gordon—a corporate recruiter. She loves fashion as much as the next woman, but finds hers on the racks at TJ Maxx or on e-Bay. She loves shoes, but is sensible enough not to blow an entire mortgage payment on a single pair.
I write fiction that celebrates everyday, amazing women—like the ones I know and love. Most of my stories are also love letters to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio that are as passionate and complex as the relationships between my characters. Thankfully, there seems to be a move toward fiction that takes place in the Midwest, and real and fictionalized cities all over the country. I’m excited that Making the First Move is part of that movement.
The Inspiration for Making the First Move
There is no shortage of interesting ideas, people, or concepts to write about. Even within established tropes like friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers, or mistaken identity there are so many possible variations that make each story unique.
The seed for my upcoming novel, Making the First Move, was sown when a friend mentioned that a mutual friend was finally settling down. In that moment my often wicked inner voice noted that in this particular case she was settling down quite literally. (Seriously, the guy was a jerk.) From that point the idea “settling down” as a double entendre stuck with me. Two questions kept spinning in my head:
- Does a person have to settle down (or settle for less) in order to enter into a marriage or a long-term, committed relationship?
- Are we really settling for less, or do we have unrealistic expectations to begin with?
Often it’s both, and that was the story I wanted to tell. Making the First Move follows my heroine, Melanie Gordon, as she struggles with these questions and discovers the role that her own faults and unrealistic expectations have played in her life and relationships.
After the death of her father, and an ugly, painful breakup, Melanie became a career-focused corporate climber. Her job is to find candidates who fit very specific job qualifications. She’s taken the same approach with her love life, and is resolved not to give her heart to anyone who doesn’t check off all the neat little boxes on her list. When sexy, mysterious philanthropist Raine Mason breaks down those barriers she’s almost ready to fall for him, until she learns the secrets of his past. Melanie must decide whether she can adjust her expectations and overcome his past so that they can have a future together.
As a reader, is there a particular story you’d like to read, but haven’t discovered yet? As a writer, have you ever written a story to fill that need?
Photo of the Cleveland skyline at night courtesy of pianowow. Some rights reserved.