Published: April 7th, 2014
Her father is gone. Her mother is in jail. And Rowan Slone has left her dysfunctional, violent past behind. With college looming on the horizon, she has a new job that she loves, and a safe place to call home. She is close to achieving everything she ever wanted-a sense of family, a sense of purpose, and a sense of self.
But there are cracks in Rowan’s life that threaten to send her future crumbling to the ground. When her relationship begins to suffer, her father returns and her long-held secret is discovered, Rowan must find the courage to fight for the most important thing yet-herself.
How the serious issues became a great story
Surprisingly, this topic has been very difficult to write about. I’ve sat at the computer five times trying to wrap my mind around how a story becomes…well..a story. It shouldn’t be a difficult question to answer. I’ve written two novels in the Rowan Slone Series-A Life, Redefined and A Life, Forward-both weighed down with realistic, gut-wrenching topics like cutting, infanticide, drug use, and teen pregnancy. But for some reason, describing how these stories came to light has not been easy.
As an author, my mind has a steady stream of story ideas rolling through it. I am also constantly studying-people I encounter, characters on tv or the movie screen...in the many books I’ve read. I watch , I read, and I absorb. I project feelings into the lives I witness.
But it doesn’t stop there. Why the tough issues? For one reason, how people cope with their lives is endlessly fascinating and how they/we cope with the most devastating aspects of life gives the most inspiration. We’ve all experienced something bad. Even if our mothers weren’t obese deadbeats, our fathers weren’t domineering, violent men and our way of coping wasn’t cutting, a great character can make you feel her pain, tapping into our own personal source of distress.
That still doesn’t explain, though, how the tough issues become a great story.
I wish there was a formula, like:
heart-breaking topic+great female character=phenomenal blockbuster
but it just doesn’t work that way, does it?
My advice is, if you’re going to tackle a tough issue, make it real, raw, devastating. If you can’t write it like it’s true-to-life, don’t write it. The reader will know. And if you have written it, what makes it a good, or great, story?
The reader will tell you. A Life, Forward , Book #2 in the Rowan Slone Series, just released, and is slowly gaining reviews. But A Life, Redefined, Book #1, has garnered positive reviews and from what I can take from those reviews, the readers were stripped raw emotionally.
So maybe the formula is:
Maybe there is no formula. Readers, and I count myself as an avid one, want to be told truths about life, want to be taken on a journey that is provocative yet believable, want a story that will make us feel something.
That is what I tried to do in writing the Rowan Slone Series. Did I succeed? You tell me.
Thank you, Mythical Books, for having me today.
About the author:
Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-a love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a goldendoodle, and a bearded dragon.
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