Finally, my first published book is back in print–digital print. A Compromising Situation came very much from a dream of the opening scene. But the theme of compromises–what’s too much or too little–is a reflection of my experiences then and now.
I still have to ask that question. Back before I made my first sale, I tried a lot of things. That’s not a bad thing, but I could see compromises starting to slip in. Now a little of that is kind of needed if you’re writing for a market or a publishing house with guidelines: it’s not just yourself you have to please. Too much, however, and you end with both a hot mess on you hands and the loss of what makes your work unique. Voice is a tricky thing–no one can really define it, but we all know when it’s there. It’s part style, part personality, part experience, part technique, and part something extra. If the voice is gone, the work’s going to be ordinary.
And if you can see ordinary creeping into your work, time to freak out.
Which is why this book was written. This book’s all about when do you have to plant your feet down and say, “This is what I am, this is who I am.” It’s about taking a clear-eyed look at compromises, so you can know which ones you need to make to keep a relationship (or a career) alive, and which ones push too far and take too much away.
The book went on to win the Golden Heart.
(Which I didn’t expect to win–I’d been a finalist before and hadn’t won–and my friend Kathi and I went out for a beer, instead of getting all dolled up for the awards, and I didn’t know beers in Chicago could come in yard glasses. I arrived happily buzzed, in a borrowed dress, and somehow managed not to fall on my face getting up the stairs. I think I was reasonable coherent. I was more than delighted to receive the award from Jo Beverley one of my heroes.
Better yet, the book went on to win me a publishing contract.
And I’m delighted it’s back in print.
Winning the RWA Golden Heart in Chicago