1/29/15

Amanda Marie Day 3

                                               

                                                           The story behind the story

They say that every story has another story behind it. For Scandalous Endeavors that is certainly true. In fact it has two stories behind it, and one of those stories also has a story behind it.

It all started twelve years ago when I was touched by the loss of someone very close to me. I grieved and withdrew for a bit but did not start writing. The experience touched me in a way that changed me forever. Still I had no desire to write about it or to share it. Like Amelia says in Scandalous Endeavors, “Her grief belonged to her, not the ton.” Nine years passed before writing about my experience ever came to light.

I was working on my master’s degree and enrolled in a creative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a short story. I had no idea what to write and spent a considerable amount of time trying to dream up a plot and characters. At my wits end someone told me to write what I know. I took that advice and crafted a story about my experience years before.

In the end I had a goodish new adult short story that earned me an A in the course. I liked what I had and thought about turning it into a full book. Two more years passed while the story grew crusty on my hard drive before I opened the document again. During that time I had decided that I wanted to write historical romance not new adult. It meant that 98% of my short story had to be scrapped. Maybe I would never write a book, I would just be content with teaching and editing.

With my mind made up, I quit thinking about writing until that day when I started writing Scandalous Endeavors. So what happened to get me writing you ask? Looking back on that day it is humorous but at the time I was none too pleased.

It started like any other day. I took my kids to school and went to work. After work I picked up my kids, went home, and started in on my after school tasks. Helped my kids with their home work, checked my email, cleaned up. All of my normal things I do most days. Then my husband came home from work in foul mood. After a bit we began bickering about something so stupid that I no longer remember what caused the dispute. 

After a while I was so angry that I did not want to be available to talk or be talked to. I needed to make myself busy but had nothing to do. Before I had time to think about it my laptop was resting on my legs and I was typing like mad. I opened up that old short story and deleted everything except the opening scene. By the time I felt sociable again two chapters were written and Scandalous Endeavors had been born.

The first chapter was shaped from that long ago written short stories first scene though the only element that remained was the raw emotion I had shared. You see that short story was based closely on my real life experience with loss. The first scene in Scandalous Endeavors is purely fictional. The heroine, Amelia, has lost her father and the book opens with her at the funeral. My father is alive, but I have experienced life shattering loss and drew on those emotions.

Scandalous Endeavors is the story that emerged when I stopped thinking about writing and just wrote. It was born of a life experience, a class assignment, and a marital dispute. Now it is a source of great pleasure. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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