Please welcome my guest, Jessi Gage, to Muse Monday.
I’m so excited to be on Discover Yourself today! Thank you for having me, Brenda.
Let’s talk inspiration and fear, two things you don’t usually think about putting together.
Inspiration comes from many places. Happy places, curious places, surprising place, dark places… Can inspiration comes from fear? Should an author ever use her writing to explore her own limitations and issues?
I did when I wrote my new contemporary romance, Reckless. But I hope I did it in a way that entertains and inspires.
The best writing digs deep into character. We authors go about that in a variety of ways. We interview people, we read biographies, we spend time putting ourselves in the heads of our characters. Sometimes, the best writing happens when a writer injects a bit of herself.
I did this with my heroine, Cami. My own fear of merging on the freeways is manageable, but when I wrote Cami, I gave her that particular fear in spades. Then I let the worst possible thing happen to her, a traffic accident. Through forcing my character to face her worst nightmare and letting her overcome it (and even find love in the process), I was able to place my own fears in perspective. It was therapeutic, in a way.
Through writing Cami, I learned some new things about myself, like maybe that the root of my fears regarding driving are related to my fears of letting people down. I worry that as a driver, I’m slower than I should be. I put others out by taking too long to make a decision. I slow others down. I get in their way. It was liberating to examine these fears in detail through the eyes and emotions of someone else. I actually see myself thinking more rationally in tense situations on the road.
More importantly though, I hope I’ve written a character that touches the hearts of my readers. Cami is a sweetheart who has something bad happen to her because someone else (my hero, Derek), acted aggressively behind the wheel. Not only does she have her own issues to deal with, but she has to grapple with whether or not she will forgive the man who hurt her.
Here’s the blurb for Reckless:
Sometimes it takes a miracle to find forgiveness.
Divorced construction worker Derek has anger management issues. Acting rashly on the freeway, he causes an accident. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Visions of the wreck haunt his dreams, but they’re always followed by the sweet caresses and soothing words of a beautiful woman who calls to everything male in him.
Cami assumes she is dead. With no memory of her past, all she knows is endless fog and the occasional visit to a darkened bedroom where she comforts a man battling nightmares. When she wakes in a hospital bed and regains her memory, she assumes the ruggedly handsome Derek was no more than a figment of her concussed mind.
As Cami recovers, she learns that Derek is not only real but also the driver charged with causing her accident. She should be furious with him, but their inexplicable nights together showed her a tender side beneath his rough exterior. Will she let one reckless mistake drive them apart, or will forgiveness have the right of way?
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Thanks for reading! And thanks again, Brenda, for having me. Anyone who wants can stop by my website for a chance to win another of my new releases THE WOLF AND THE HIGHLANDER and an Amazon gift card. For an extra point in the giveaway, leave a comment letting me know what fear or issue you have that you would like to read about through a character’s perspective.
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries...you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she's sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.