Desperate Romance Author goes after Book Cover Model ???
Of course, the way things turned out for me since writing "86 Special" are far more far-fetched than I ever imagined way back when. Back when I envisioned that there was only one type of romance author: a frumpy lonely mature woman spinning illicit tales in the wee hours of the night with a friendly cat on her lap to keep her company and an empty bottle of cheap white wine by her old typewriter.
Since writing "86 Special" I have second-guessed myself quite a bit. Perhaps I'm a bad author because I crossed a line that was never put in the sand? Or maybe there was a line and I just didn't know about it? Are authors supposed to get into a passionate "hawt" affairs with their cover models? Was I becoming "that" pathetic romance author I envisioned years ago? Or, looking at it from another perspective, maybe I was the best author out there, getting fully "emerged" in/with my subject matter?
These are but some of the questions that have swirled in my mind and perhaps in yours too. As I'm sure that if you follow me here on web/social media and have seen the cover of my last published novel "86 Special", you have probably put one and one together and concluded that the pretty face on my book cover is also the face of the father of my miracle child, my blessing and the love of my life. I'm sure all kind of conclusions can be drawn about how he ended there and how I ended here. This especially if you read the book and realized that the main characters have some very distinguishable commonalities with myself and my now relationship.
So first let me come clean; the story is PURE FICTION and I had it written and composed before I got involved with the cover model of "Clay Wilder". But what brought us together and made my story cross from fiction to reality were a number of very strange coincidences that my fictional story had with that of the true life of my model and friend. (Though at that point 'acquaintance' would be more appropriate than friend as I hardly knew him.) The main coincidences were 1) My friend, like Clay Wilder, was a top soccer player in high school and Just like Clay, he too dreamt of going professional. 2) My friend like Clay actually did play soccer in England a couple of times. 3) My friend was involved with a woman older than him who had children from different fathers. 4) Like Clay Wilder, he prefers dating women who are older than him and for the same reason and...the coincidence continues like this on and on to the point of absolute bizarreness! Names, incidences, you name it. As I told my friend more and more about the story the more he was convinced that I somehow knew all these things about him and put them in my book; I did not. We hardly knew each other before hand.
It was the book and the weirdness about all the similarities that brought us close together.
Once we got involved it was very difficult for me to finish writing the book. I put it down many times because suddenly my own life had similarities with that of Mary, Clay's lover. I didn't know how to write her separate from me and if I forced other characteristics on her they didn't feel natural. So I gave up. For weeks I wouldn't touch the manuscript and even shed tears over how I screwed it all up with my own life. I questioned my drive, my sanity, and my morality. What if I got involved with my friend just to do book research? What kind of cold hearted calculating "B" am I, if that is the case? Or what if the story was my own fantasy that I didn't even know I had and now it was coming to fruition?
There were other problems too. The sex scenes! No, the book isn't erotica, but there are plenty of hot sexy scenes because it is after all a coming of age story of a young man. Writing a sex scene without squirming was in fact one of the challenges I wanted to conquer with this novel, that, and writing the entire book from the point of view of the "guy" and in present tense. But going back to the sex scenes, I didn't want them to reflect any of my reality, and yet, the more I became involved with my friend, the more I worried that people would imagine that I was simply writing what we were doing-not! Or they would imagine him and me in place of Clay and Mary-blush heck no! I was also concerned that he'd read them thinking they were my fantasies - no.
It was he who convinced me to finish writing the book. I remember one night crying on the phone telling him that I couldn't do it. My fiction had become a reality. I didn't want a friggin autobiography! I remember him telling me that perhaps that's what would make the book even better; That it would make it more real, more raw, more of everything.
No, I don't have an abusive, no-good-cheatin' soon to be ex-husband like Mary does, but the rest can fit in reasonably well. The other thing my friend told me was to not worry about what other people thought about me personally, because in the end only he and I knew the truth...And what is the truth?
To be cont.