This blog was written for Gaby’s Starting Fresh website and was in response to her questioning what inspired me to write my Saga. Reposting this now, days before Thanksgiving, is especially apropos as I dwell upon what I am most thankful for in my life. Read, enjoy, and then share what you are most thankful for.
On my website I write that nothing disappoints me more than watching or reading a romance story where I am not convinced that the lovers will live blissfully together forever. The oft considered elusive “happily ever after” is the expectation of a good romance. If for some reason I reach the final page or see the credits roll and am left empty or disillusioned, then the creator has not done the intended job. Do we not all feel that way? The payoff isn’t just the kiss, but the envisioned belief of happiness throughout the untold years to follow.
Gaby requested I talk about what has inspired me to write a saga that centers on the happily ever after life of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” In my saga begun with “Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One” and now continued in “Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley” I have simply done what most of us females are imagining when we close the book: I tell of the married life. So I guess you could say that my primary inspiration is the same that impels every writer of romance. We love to be in love.
Before I ever became a writer myself, or even an avid romance reader, I figured that the driving force behind why we women devour romantic stories – and thus why people write them – was that deeply seeded, divinely gifted desire to find our soul mate. We women are simply hardwired for it. Men are too, although it materializes a bit differently! But the point of my blog is not to discuss the differences in the sexes, as fun as that would be!
I suppose one of the reasons so few after-the-wedding-bell stories are written is because we fear the illusion will be shattered. It is all well and good to dream of endless felicity, but we live in the real world, right? Well, yes, the real world can be heartbreaking and downright ugly. Yet we continue to hope not because a fairy tale says we should but because we can find numerous examples of true love in this cruel world.
Enter my real life inspiration. I have been married for 23 years to a man who even with his flaws is the love of my life. I have taken to teasingly calling him my Mr. Darcy, not because his personality is like my written creation, but because he daily and hourly showers me with a love that is amazing, romantic, eternal, and utterly for me. I truly could go on and on about this remarkable man I am blessed to spend my life with, but to sum up I’ll share with you this one thing: When we were dating he wrote a poem for me; the first of many titled, “Your Smile Stops the Minutes.” A week rarely passes without him reciting that poem to me. And he means every word of it still to this day! With his permission I included his poem in my fourth book, with Mr. Darcy writing and speaking it to Lizzy. Fantasy? I think not!
Finally and most importantly, I have faith. I know we live in a world of grief and decay, but I also know that is not how it was intended to be. Perfection may not be wholly obtainable this side of heaven, but I do believe we can strive for it. And this includes in our relationships. Do I give Darcy and Lizzy an almost too perfect marriage? Yeah, probably. My excuse? Why not! Immerse yourself in a light, entertaining, hopeful story. How can that be a bad thing? And maybe, just maybe, you too will begin to believe that it can be.