Monday, July 31, 2017

What's Your Core Story?


So, this happened.

At the RWA National Convention in Orlando, I actually won a RITA® for Paranormal Romance. Our subgenre is a broad category ranging from J.R. Ward’s urban fantasies to Ann Aguirre’s and Susan Grant’s science fiction—along with Harlequin Nocturnes and Molly Harper’s Paranormal Romances. Winning was an amazing experience. Hearing my book’s title called out—THE PAGES OF THE MIND—gave me a rush of pure joy like no other.

Here’s a video clip of my win and speech, recorded by the fabulous Tawna Fenske, also a RITA finalist.

video
It had been heavy on my mind, that story I told, of being in Orlando at this same convention in 2010, and how low I’d felt. A long way for me to come.

I made time this year, as I try to do every year, to  attend Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ and Jayne Ann Krentz’s discussion of their careers and friendship over the many years. One thing they discuss is that every writer has a core story, which comes from the conflicts and beliefs that drive us. The core story is independent of the fictional landscape—meaning that it’s not confined to genre. It can take place in any genre and subgenre.

So it’s apropos that this week’s topic is “What is your recurring theme and how does it manifest?”

Mine is always about power and transformation. In THE PAGESOF THE MIND, my librarian bookworm heroine survived the rampages of a tyrant. She discovers her own power through fortitude, through surviving and arming herself with knowledge. To serve her high queen, she goes on a quest to discover hidden knowledge. She is kickass at understanding words and language—but to find true happiness and balance in herself, she has to learn to trust in the wordless, in the language of the body and passion.

This story comes out in my contemporary and erotic romances, too, and even in my nonfiction essays. For me, finding the personal power in ourselves to become more than who we’ve been is the great journey of our lives.

And that’s a journey I’ve undertaken these last seven years—from crying in the bar because someone said my work fell in the cracks between genres, to standing up on that stage with a RITA® in my hand.

Felt pretty damn wonderful, too. 


10 comments:

  1. Congratulations again! Loved your speech, thanks for sharing the clip.

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  2. This core story is what draws me to your work. I am fascinated by the diverse ways you approach it (although Dafne's story is a personal fave).

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    1. Also, I love that you... do you. Your work is lovely. Thank you and congratulations.

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    2. Thanks for all of your support, Hope!! "You do you" is also part of my core story ;-)

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  3. I still get all giddy when I remember hearing 'The Pages of the Mind' called out. :) I consider myself lucky to have been able to celebrate with you! Congrats again!

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    1. It was a giddy moment! And it means so much that people like you were excited for me. :-) Thanks for all the drinks, too! :D

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  4. Congrats! I just saw that you one right after my second read of "Pages of the Mind". It was the first of your books I read and in the last month I've read at least four others. I love your work and you deserve this win!

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    1. wow, Mary - thank you so much! I'm delighted that you like the books :-) ~happy dancing~

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  5. Congratulations Jeffe. And thanks for the insightful thoughts in "core story". Will have to mull that over for a while, but am intrigued by your core story . Will be watching for it in your books, now.

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