Coming Full Circle

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When I was sixteen, I wrote a novel that took place on the Titanic. It was a fun, melodramatic drama-romance in the vein of the Christian fiction I was reading at the time, but eventually went on the shelf as I focused on other projects. Now and again, I thought, “I should go back and do something with those characters,” one, in particular – my first love hero. But as more and more Titanic novels flooded the market, I wondered what could set mine apart and left it on the proverbial shelf. (Okay, a dusty computer file stuck in a folder somewhere…)

The Titanic has countless espionage novels, spy novels, romance novels, mystery novels, and even a few werewolf novels – I ought to know, I’ve read them all. So I waited for an idea. Last year I started writing historical speculative fiction and finally got one. This story would be different. It would begin years before the ship sets sail, on a dark and stormy night (yes, really) in Belfast and then take its reader on a magic-infused, peril-laced, ghost-infested (in more ways than one) journey that explores the nature of good and evil.

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It’s a novel that has brought me full circle. At last, I’ve put all my knowledge about the ship, Harland & Wolff, Thomas Andrews, Lord Pirrie, and Margaret Brown to use. I can move on without having the specter (the original title for this draft) of untapped potential hanging over me. I’m no longer haunted by a need to return to that particular time period and ship. I’m not like most writers: I’ll stick with a genre but move around in it. I rarely go back and revisit paths I’ve already taken – just as in life, I rarely return to previous relationships, hobbies, or habits.

Writing is an excuse to do research and learn, and an outlet for that knowledge. If I fall in love with a time period or historical figure, I feel compelled to write a novel because I know there will come a day when I know everything about that obsession and no longer need to think about it. Writing a novel reminds me of where I’ve been, what I learned, and what came of it.

Leaving behind something makes me feel a little sad, but because I have something to show for it, I can move past obsession into fond remembrance without much grief.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Footnote: The Secret in Belfast will be out March 1st.

14 Replies to “Coming Full Circle”

  1. Oh come on, we all know that the stories that begin on a dark and stormy night are among the best! 😉 I mean, why else would Snoopy use it as the opening for all his masterpieces?

    Yaaaay! I can’t wait–I seriously think you’re getting better with every book! And this reminds me that I must write a review, as soon as I get things fixed with my Amazon account! Do you prefer reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or both? 🙂

    1. It’s a cliche — which is why it’s fun to use it. 😉

      Why thank you — I hope so! (I’d hate to get worse!) Reviews are lovely — they’re usually more helpful on Amazon, but if you’re a Goodreads member, it’s nice having them there too.

  2. That’s actually a good way to fulfill an interest, writing a book about it. And I’m loving your Titanic novel so far, I really am! I should be finished with it and have all my notes sent to you before I see you on Friday! 🙂

    1. That will be lovely! =)

      Sometimes, I don’t actually feel “fulfilled” until I DO write a book on a person or time period I love. I keep thinking “… I should write a book about…” so when I actually do it, that allows me to shuffle that thought off my mind. 🙂

      1. Noooo! You mean the only way to get rid of those nagging little “that’d make a great book” ideas is by WRITING a full-blown novel? Then we’re all doomed 😉

  3. And will you have a drawing for this one, too? I hope so! Honestly, though, I’m glad you can finally write this book after so many years of having it there, ready to be written.

    1. I don’t know. I might. So far I don’t think I’ve actually gotten any reviews off the books I’ve given away!

      This book… well, it’s close to my heart. 🙂

        1. Most of the reviews come from people who actually BUY the books (and even then the ratio is pretty bad!). I’ve given away two dozen books in the last year and gotten zero reviews in return for any of them — even from the Goodreads giveaways where reviews are promised.

          I’m very grateful to my friends and faithful readers, who do read and review. So I’ll appreciate any review you choose to leave. (I don’t actually read them much — it’s just good for sales if you have some reviews up, you know?)

          1. I don’t know that I’d read reviews, either. People can be so harsh, or just idiots. I’d rather leave it alone.

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