What a hoot! My book is stirring emotions in people more than I expected. I've made readers laugh, cry, angry, touched, frustrated, excited, and sleepless. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer on the book to read at your own risk! I must confess it gives me great joy to know that what I write can prick, poke, and make people think. It assures me that I'm penning a worthwhile read.
I am surprised at the emotions this story elicits. Some readers are going into it with pre-conceived ideas, but I've thrown them for a loop. The first in the series is not a typical romance - it is historical fiction, with romantic elements. However, when I birthed the story in my mind, it went far beyond the 81,000 words I wrote. There is much more to come that will no doubt stir more emotions until my two lovers finally come together.
In addition, when I wrote it, I pulled no punches on reality. This is how it was in 1878 Paris, France. The rich - the poor - the struggles - the privileges. Marriage was for convenience and children. Prostitutes and mistresses were for love and passion. It was a way of life, so if you're looking for a moral book, look elsewhere. It was a day when the church turned a blind eye to the practices of men, though protestants preached repentance to the street walkers. Immorality was a social norm, and so was the high rate of sexually transmitted diseases. At one time there were over 30,000 registered prostitutes in Paris, and a large portion of the population had syphilis.
The story is fiction, but the lifestyle is fact. Men did not marry below their status without a price to pay. Had I written anything beyond that, it would have been a fairy tale and that was not my goal.
Life has it struggles, its up and downs, and highs and lows. I know that many read to escape reality and therefore gravitate toward books that have more uplifting stories for their imaginations with satisfying happy endings. It's becoming apparent to me that this will be my biggest challenge in marketing this first work, because my story will leave you hanging and perhaps unfulfilled.
I'm off to pen the sequel now, bringing together the two main characters, which I've been yelled at for keeping apart at the end of my book. Patience my dears. Sometimes even reality has a happy ending. I will try my best to satisfy all your longings for Robert and Suzette, but not without a bit of pain first!