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Starving Writers, Struggling Heroines

A popular discussion has spurred among authors, regarding how difficult it is to make sales nowadays. I've spoken with other writers in ongoing conversation over the last decade, talking about ways that we can improve our marketing skills but never have I known so many authors to have the same concerns, nor have those concerns ever seemed so critical. Everywhere I look, I see Facebook posts, or read articles circling the same issue, that being that it is becoming increasingly difficult for authors to make money doing what they love. No one ever said this was an easy business. But much like a recent college graduate heading out into the workforce for the first time, many of us were not expecting life after publication to be such a struggle, seeming at times to be next-to-impossible. I sympathize with you, my fellow authors. And, I feel your pain.

One of the most interesting facets of being a writer involves possessing an imagination capable of creating characters, conflict and a unique world in which those two things can thrive in a suspenseful and exciting way. Watching soap operas as I was growing up, I often found it comforting to know that when it came to the larger than life scenarios I observed on the screen, at least one of the characters was having a rougher go of it than I was.  No matter what I might be facing at school or work at least I could say that I hadn't had the paternity results of my baby switched, wasn't being carted off to prison or presumed dead while I was secretly being held captive on a secluded island--well, you get the picture. These stories provided me with a much-needed escape from real life, so it is no wonder that I grew up to write my own stories, stories that both encouraged and inspired me, particularly those of a struggling heroine.

Reading Love Among the Lilacs by Jenna Victoria, I noticed a distinct similarity between heroine Mollie Wright, and Victoria Morrow, heroine in my recent release, A Sultry Performance. Mollie grew up on the streets. And though the demons she's left behind are never far away, she believes she's gained a new lease on life when she purchases Lilac Cottage. Victoria, too, has a checkered past. Though she doesn't know the details of how she came into the world, she is abandoned by her adoptive mother and forced to become an exotic dancer. A new opportunity is presented to her years later when Rabourn Theater's handsome stage manager makes her a lucrative offer. But Victoria's life is hardly sunshine and roses from there--her overbearing fiance is determined to keep her under his thumb and a dangerous secret threatens her very existence, one Victoria isn't even aware of. 

The life of a struggling heroine is far from easy. Every book character faces conflict, but I'm speaking particularly of the heroine who has struggled her entire life to get where she is, whose internal conflict defines who she is at the core, namely, because it is the greatest determining factor in making her who she has become. Overcoming challenges is what defines us as people, what makes us strong. Characters are no exception to this rule, and in fact, they demonstrate how this happens for us in black and white. We all enjoy reading the story of a strong heroine. The greater the challenges she faces and overcomes, past and present, the stronger she will turn out in the end.

Reading the story of a strong heroine, who has overcome enormous challenges to become who she is today, can be greatly inspiring. I for one plan on taking a page out of the strong heroines' book this New Year, as I gear up for another year of this thing I call a writer's journey. Marketing and sales don't seem so overwhelming when I consider some of the alternative challenges I might have on my plate. We get where we're supposed to, when we're supposed to. I plan on having a lot of fun along the way!   

My Review of Love Among the Lilacs 
by Jenna Victoria:

Love Among the Lilacs is the first Jenna Victoria title I've read. Mollie Wright has had a tough life. Growing up was a survival test for her, but she believes her luck has changed. After a lot of hard work and saving, she's purchased a beautiful home for herself, Lilac Cottage. Enter Sean Grady, an attorney whose great-aunt sold Lilac Cottage, much to his dismay. But as he attempts to take the property back, Sean realizes he is attracted to its lovely tenant. The tension between him and Mollie builds to an explosive climax, and after a bit of chaos, a happily ever after that brought me to tears. There are a few places where things are told, which I would have liked to see played out. But, I'm okay with that. This is a fun story, perhaps a bit shorter than I'm used to, but the pacing is done well. I loved the setting. Lilac Cottage sounds like the perfect place to live - the neighbors are warm and welcoming, the flowers are in bloom and there is love in the air. "I'll never look back again. Only to the future with you!" 

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