Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Making my day . . .

I love to hear from my readers about my books. It makes my day when I get a quick note from someone who has enjoyed a novel I've written enough to take the time and trouble to write and say so.

Sometimes there are others who write and say the exact opposite, but well that's part of being a writer. You can't please everyone and I don't expect to do so.

But every once in a while I get a really special letter that really makes me proud to have written a particular novel. A letter that touches my heart and lets me know that I've touched someone else through the medium of my book.

I got one of those the other day in a message from someone who had read Kept for Her Baby. I'll admit that this message made me feel a little tearful when I read it.

Ms. Walker

I just finished your novel, Kept For Her Baby. It was the very first romantic novel I've ever read that addressed the issues of postpartum depression/psychosis, for the "heroine" and not a vengeful ex-whatever for the "hero". I shed many tears while reading this novel,but yet was happy that I had the chance to do so. I have met many people throughout my adult life that think it's a load of bull all because they have never experienced it. I had actually been told by my previous therapist that I could turn it on and off--on for inside her office when in a session, and off as I leave her office to go home. I never saw her again. I really think some men, like my ex-husband, should also read this novel--maybe it'll get through to them that maybe this is why their women have seemed very different after child birth and they should show some compassion and take them to see a doctor.

Thank you for writing this novel.

Your new reader

And this got me thinking.

Romance writing isn't 'great literature' - it's fantasy and fairly frothy. When I - and other writers - deal with the problems we give our characters to face, we do so in a very brief story really and with the guarantee of a happy ever after ending - something that can't be given to anyone dealing with those situations in real life.

But sometimes we can touch of real problems that speak to people and - hopefully - help them to know that other people have been through what they're experiencing. But we can't do it lightly. I know that I thought long and hard about writing Kept for Her Baby. I didn't want to write it if I couldn't do it well, and give the subject the right respect and care. Thankfully, from the responses I've had it seems I managed to do this.

What do you think? Do you like to read about real problems - real issues in your roamnces or do you prefer to keep the books on the fantasy side of life?

How deep and dark do you think an author can go and still write a romance?

Enquiring minds (OK - nosey minds) want to know


Donna Alward said...

You know how I feel about PPD...as one who has been there. I like it when characters have these sorts of issues...it makes them REAL. And at the end of the day, your readers still need to be able to relate to your characters and that happens by making them real, and flawed.

I think the best books are the ones that take ordinary, believable people (characters) and put them in extraordinary situations (Fantasy). That is what really makes escapism work...because when you become invested in a character and root for him or her you take that journey along with them.

Personally I love hot buttons, as long as they're not cumbersome. For those going through it, it is important to read about positive outcomes and to get some hope. I know you feel as I do - if I can touch someone and make them feel like they're not so alone or give them a little bit of hope and optimism...it's a job well done.

Caroline Storer said...

The emotional quotient of a book is what makes it for me! So dig deep and keep digging Kate - I love these types of books. Caroline x

Rachael said...

I agree with Donna, characters need issues that are real. This is a book I wished I could have read when I was in depths of depression after my first child, it would have given me so much hope.


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