The making of a Novel
I have written 16 books that vary from Civil War stories to Suspense, Crime fiction, and Westerns. Even though they vary widely in subject matter, they have one characteristic in common. All of them contain romance as a subplot because love is a part of life as I know it. Until I started writing Blindsided, I had never written a story that could be classified as Romance. I saw the opportunity as a challenge. I wanted to write a realistic young adult romance, so the reader would say; “I’ve been there and done that.” Here is how I went about preparing myself to write Blindsided.
High school is an emotional, often traumatic time in the life of most young people. There can be many negative experiences such as bullying, fierce competition, anger, and other raw feelings that leave us emotionally crushed. Important decisions that shape the rest of our lives have to be made, and many of them aren’t made easily. To write this type of story effectively, you have to get in the mood emotionally. The best way is for the author to reacquaint himself with the sights, sounds and the smells of a typical high school. I read sections of high school textbooks to bring back the feeling of what it is like to cram for a test. I did a lot of research on the things taught, not because I wanted to include all of those details in my novel, but because I wanted to return to the years when I was a teenager. I dug a football out of our utility room and bounced it in my hand. And then I thought of music. No one knows when music was invented, but it is thought to be a representation of our body’s natural rhythms. Play a rock song that has 150 beats per minute and you will feel your heart speed up. As I wrote and rewrote sections of Blindsided, I found music that represented the things that were happening in the story. I found a couple of love songs, the kind they played at the senior prom and listened to them over and over again. Another important scene in the story happened during football practice. I found several fight songs and played them over and again. I watched videos made at football games where the excitement was building, and coaches and players had furious expressions as they glanced at the clock on the scoreboard. In the videos, cheerleaders danced along the sidelines with emotions that varied from ecstasy to agony, and I remembered what it was like. You experience a lot of emotions during your high school years, some of them so raw that your mind veers quickly away to something more pleasant. Occasionally, an event can slip up on you, and you find yourself, well . . . blindsided. It is what this novel is all about. I hope you will get a copy when it becomes available and read it. I also hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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