When new books release, there’s a bit of pressure to describe the Big Themes of the novel. As You, Jane hits the e-shelves today, I thought I’d share the Big Theme that I think inspired this story – in hindsight.
I started writing You, Jane during my first wonderful, terrifying, dizzyingly satisfying experience with National Novel Writing Month way back in 2010. Writing fifty thousand words in thirty days created a profound sense of liberation. But I needed a gimmick, I thought, to accomplish the task I’d put in front of me. Around the same time, the idea of a “super power” that involved writing stories that come true tickled the edge of my imagination.
“That’s perfect,” I thought as I stared down November 1 of that first NaNo year. “If I get stuck on the main plot, I’ll just sideline into another short story. And the beauty part is, the little fables won’t even have to make any sense! They’re fables, after all!”
Three and a half years and more editing rounds than I can count later, that “beauty part” sure came back to haunt me. There are at least half a dozen short stories on the cutting room floor, tales that were part of one version or another of You, Jane, but ultimately didn’t make sense in the final story.
Something else emerged from those many, many editing rounds. It showed up in the tag line and blurb before I realized how deeply embedded it is in the whole novel.
You, Jane is about the power of storytelling, true. It’s about finding romance, most definitely. It’s about growing up, and it’s about making peace with the Self-Doubting Angels and Wicked Spirits inside us all. And of course, it’s about the wisdom of laughter.
Most of all, though, at least to me, it’s about the mystical and magical way in which we are continually writing our own stories, moment by moment, day by day. As Jane learns, and as writing this story helped me discover, if you want a happy ending, you’d better start writing it now.
That’s no gimmick. The good news is, your stories don’t have to make sense to anyone but you. And you don’t have only a month to finish, you have your whole life.
So start writing.
P.S. I’m also celebrating the release of You, Jane on Coffee Time Romance & More’s Book Brew today. Find excerpts and read about other nifty urban fantasy books, too.