August 19, 2011

The Power of An Intelligent Love Story . . .

I've been writing all my life but began pursuing fiction publication few years ago, about the time my kids discovered duct tape can control a fair amount of bleeding, and frozen lasagne is actually not from the devil. I believe in the power of story - after all, Jesus used parables to teach timeless, life-changing, eternally significant truths.

And since God is Love, I find love-stories can be just as timeless and life changing. An intelligent, faith-inspiring romance can offer hope, gently touch a hurting soul, uplift a heavy heart. What an honor and a privilege to be able to use words in such a way!

Though I love the deep-throated grumble of a Harley, muscle cars, and old school rock, I am also a hopeless romantic. If only Jane Austen were around to endorse my books! As a fan of all things Jane, I have a deep appreciation for a romance that goes beyond boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy sweeps girl off her feet to live happily ever after. And those stories are wonderful! But what I love about Jane Austen, in addition to many fine contemporary authors, is the ability to tell a story that highlights things like character, honor, self-sacrifice. The beauty of one noble soul finding another. A meeting that goes beyond attraction to the spirit and the heart.

I suppose Anne Elliot will always be one of my favorite literary characters. (If you aren't into reading classics, I want you to drop whatever you're doing and immediately watch the Hinds/Root version of Persuasion) She was totally dissed by her snobby, shallow family, and yet her quiet character and inner strength were what Captain Wentworth fell in love with all those years ago - and still loved years later, long after hope of winning her was gone.

Oh. Just so you know, I write contemporary faith-inspiring love stories. Historical stories are cool too. I just happen to find plenty to dream up in today's world.

And why not? In our high-tech, uber-enlightened society, don't we still quietly crave honor and nobility? Just because those qualities don't (usually) come galloping up on a horse and whisk away their objects in a flourish of lace and petticoats doesn't mean we don't want them now. We may live in a world full of stessors and pressures, but we can still dream of happily-ever-afters, stories of faithful devotion in a world of heartbreaking insecurities and shallow relationships, stories of love touching souls amidst the complexites of twenty-first century life.

Okay, I confess. Though my stories are contemporary, I did set them in the quiet, slower-paced setting of Central Oregon and added a touch of rolling green Scottish hills, so maybe I cheated just a little. My point is that we can "escape" reality either in the past or the present. But are we really escaping? Or are we simply giving ourselves a break from life's routines and sparking our imaginations, allowing our hearts a few moments to nestle between the pages and feel the pains and joys and fears and victories of someone who could easily be you or me?

Your turn: What value do you place on fiction, and on uplifting, faith-inspiring love stories?

(note: this post's content borrowed from the homepage of my new website)
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I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.

Camille's Books

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Like There's No Tomorrow, Like a Love Song, and The Memoir of Johnny Devine are available in print & eBook at Amazon.