As a writer I’m always pushing myself to learn and grow, but certain subjects in the fictional field scare the daisies out of me. A year and a half ago I found myself in a situation that if handled one way (the same old way) could have been the difference between being offered another contract or politely being told by the editor that she wasn’t interested in seeing any more projects from me. Fortunately, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years in this business, and I showed up at the meeting prepared.
I mentioned the heroine was biracial and I felt the door open. Of course it wasn’t just that, it was also the entire backstory I’d written and the fictional town I’d created as well as the group of characters to support a three to four book series that grabbed her attention.
She then made a suggestion—give the town a secret. I took the tip and ran with it, creating a quirky secret that rocked the serene fictitious Scandinavian enclave of Heartlandia, Oregon.
So how could I possibly think I could write a biracial heroine when, in my assumption, those stories had been reserved for writers of color? Remember the old adage when we assume things? (It makes an ass out of u and me). By instinct I asked, aren’t the universal emotions what really matter most in life? Or, to put it more significantly, it’s not about “the color of our skin, but the content of our character.” Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I had a sincere desire to tell Desdemona Rask’s story. That’s what mattered most.
Still completely out of my comfort zone, I earnestly went ahead and wrote the proposal and grew tremendously through the process. I must have done something right, because a few months later I got offered a three book contract to write the series.
A DOCTOR FOR KEEPS July 2014 Special Edition is the first book in the Heartlandia based series:
Her lifelong search for home…might be closer than she thinks!
Desdemona Rask never knew much about her family. Now she is finally getting a chance to learn about her roots in the town of Heartlandia. For the first time, Desi feels as if there’s somewhere she belongs…but there’s more to her welcome home than she expected! Her grandmother’s next-door neighbor looks like a Viking warrior, and he’s giving Desi all sorts of unwelcome feelings….
Caring for his son, Steven, is single dad Dr. Kent Larson’s first priority. But the boy’s stunning new piano teacher makes him take a second look at his to-do list. Still, he’s lost at love before—how could he risk another heart-battering? Does the doctor dare to go all in?
Romantic Times Reviews: 4 stars.
“Marshall’s sweet romance stars an extra-tall, tentative, handsome Scandinavian and a free-spirited, beautiful nomad who seem an unlikely match, but who yearn for the same things. The author’s eclectic town, terminologies and residents add authenticity, and the little boy is a delight.”
Have you done something lately that was completely out of your comfort zone? How’d it turn out?