I get amazing emails about The Frog Prince. Nearly five months after it came out, I’m still getting several emails a week from readers who just loved the book, and loved how normal and accessible Holly was as a character. Some of the readers say they feel exactly like Holly and that Holly could have been them at one point in life. Others say that they loved reading about a woman who isn’t into clothes and fashion and is struggling to define herself. And others, usually fellow authors, write to say they admire me for writing about someone who is so unheroic.
I really appeciate the emails and feedback from readers and writers. I just wish I was as clever and insightful as some of you think I am. The truth is, I wrote Holly–and my next character, Jackie from Flirting with Forty–the way I know women…which is flawed. I honestly don’t know anyone, man or woman, who is heroic. We’re just people after all and that’s what I find so interesting. How do regular old people get through life? How do people like you and me survive the ups and downs, endure hearthbreak, accept loss, face change? How do we risk and love and lose and risk some more? I think some of us have had more heartbreak than others. I think some of us had a bumpier path earlier in life than others. And I think some of us just think a lot more than others. And thinking, especially over thinking, isn’t always good. Too much thinking, too much introspection, undermines the call to action. And action, not thought, is what actually makes people feel loved and cherished. Showing someone how we feel is what makes that person feel good. It’s not just thinking a loving thought, its acting it.
I’m beginning to mull over ideas for my next book for Warner and it’s going to be a book about women….mothers–and their school age kids and today’s PTA and the pressure women are under to be perfect in everything they do. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe women today don’t feel that kind of pressure, maybe they’re not overly invested in their children and their childrens’ schools. Maybe I’m just being neurotic again and projecting my own fears and insecurities onto other women. Maybe most women feel wonderful and relaxed and happy and satisifed.
And maybe not.
So tell me what you feel. Tell me if life’s giving you what you need or if you’re making life what you want or if you feel like our new hamster, Mango, on her wheel, just going around and around and around…