With about six weeks to write 15,000 words, I jumped right in. (Or, rather, I sat right down at my computer and typed like my fingers were on fire.)
Of course, before I could start all that typing, I had to figure out what my romance was going to be. Sweet? Sexy? Intergalactic?
I came up with a list of romantic premises based on my own experiences, fantasies, and stories friends have told me over the years. Many of these are sure to become future publications--two are already in the works for this summer and fall. But the one idea that kept tugging at my imagination actually came to me in a dream.
I am taking care of a friend's house--someone I haven't seen for a long, long time. Though it's been years and he is far away, I feel connected to him as I live in his space, with his things. I walk though his kitchen and see his shoes by the door. I sit down at his computer and see notes jotted and photos tacked on the wall. I curl up in his twin bed with soft navy blue sheets, and, little by little, find myself falling in love.
As I thought about writing the dream into a story, the ache of these questions arose:
How can I tell him I love him when I don't know when--or if--he will return?
How can I tell him I love him when we haven't seen each other face-to-face for so long, only communicating over email and phone?
How can I tell him I've fallen in love with the intimate details of his life, when he knows next to nothing about me?
And, finally, what if the person I think I've fallen in love with bears little to no resemblance to the person he actually is?
These questions were far too enticing to ignore, and the answers became the story line for While He's Away. I hope you love the story--and the story behind the story.
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