Laura Haley-McNeil

10/8/17, Perfection

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend of rest and relaxation or have something fun planned for the rest of the day! Weekends fly by. Even long weekends go fast because it seems we plan so much to take advantage of the extra free time.

Now that I’m editing two books, my mind slips into a different way of thinking. Editing seems so much easier than writing because I’m not trying to create a story out of nothing. I at least have some information to work with, unless the editor tells me what I’ve written doesn’t work and then I feel like banging my head against the pavement, but my mind switches into problem solving mode and I try to find a solution that works. As I’m editing, my mind wanders to the next book I want to write. This will be Book 7 of the Crystal Creek series. The hero for the book came to me fully formed. He is the hero I’ve always wanted to write. The heroine did also, but not in the way I had expected. She’s not perfect. That shocked me. Since I’ve been reading romance novels or any novel for that matter, the heroine is always perfect. She’s beautiful, smart, highly educated, has red hair and lots of it, flawless skin, no weight problem, has the best sex ever, is thin and in perfect shape though I’ve never read once that she works out, or else she’s a runner, all heroines are runners, and on and on and on. I once read a very popular novel about a woman who’d had 5 children. At one point in the novel, she stood naked in front of the mirror and admired her svelte figure and flat stomach, which she credited to her lack of fondness for sweets. I was so angry, I almost threw the book across the room. In another popular novel, the heroine had multiple jobs – housecleaning, yoga teaching, house painting – and she lived in an adorable house on the beach. I’m no real estate expert, but I have to think that a housecleaner’s salary wouldn’t quite cover the beach house rent. Someone once told me that heroines are written as perfect to aspire the reader to try harder not just with her physical appearance but intellectually also.

But what about those of us who will never be perfect? I’ll never be perfect. I’d like to read about someone who isn’t perfect. I’m too old to change, I’ll never have a ton of hair and it isn’t red. Rather than tall and lean, I’m short and, you know. In school, I was far from a straight A student. Professionally, I’m far from being a star in the corporate world, which was never my goal. Where are those heroines? When I read about these perfect women, I don’t always relate to them. I’m flawed. I’d like to read about someone who is flawed. To my surprise, lately I have read about women who aren’t perfect. That made me relax a little. Someone can be the main character and still have imperfections. And that made me think, it’s acceptable to write about someone who isn’t perfect. And I can write about this imperfect person in my next book. That is how she came to me. She isn’t perfect, but she has a great personality and is very nice. And the hero? He’s someone who can look past imperfections and see her inner beauty. That’s the heroine I want to read about. Like most authors, when I can’t find the book I want to read, I write it myself and I hope there’s someone else out there in reader land who is like me and needs to know that imperfect women exist and it’s okay to have a flaw or two or a hundred. That is how this heroine for my next book came to me. She tries hard. She’s successful in some areas. She has to have some positive traits so she’ll be interesting and some flaws to make her fun so I can write about her. She’s still sitting in my mind and forming, but I can’t wait to see what she’s like on the page and I can’t wait to get to know her better and I can’t wait for you to meet her. I have my work cut out for me and I’m looking forward to the task.

Have a safe and wonderful and happy week and remember, with this cool weather comes the perfect time to curl up with a good book! Happy reading!