Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, and we really OTTER think about love!
One of the wonders of writing a novel is finding out what readers see in it. When the reviews started coming in for Wild Mountain, I was surprised when more than one person said that the book was about love. Wow, I had never thought of it that way. There is a love story, and there is reconciliation across the aisles of the gay marriage conflict, but a book about love? I was thrilled to see a new way of understanding the story I had written.
In Wild Mountain two middle-aged people fall in love (and then things get rocky,) but when my publisher suggested that I look into the Romance Writers Association, I was doubly surprised. I’ve always thought of romance novels as simplistic, overdrawn, and superficial, and I’d shudder if anyone thought of my book that way. But that is no doubt an old prejudice of mine about badly-written bodice-rippers and melodramas, so I looked up the definition of “romance novel” on the Romance Writers website: “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” Well, I suppose Wild Mountain does fit that definition. But, as reviewers pointed out, it’s not just about romantic love.
Here’s one of the reviews that I love:
“This book is at its heart, all about love. The good kind of love that develops between a man and a woman. Then there is the kind of emotion that simmers in a man who has mental health issues. A location can engender very strong feelings of love. Our friends and family fall under the umbrella of love and we will collectively fight for and support a cause we strongly believe in – this is yet another type of love. This book pulls all of these types of love into a delightful tale of small-town Vermont.” (P. Woodland on the Broken Teepee blog.)
It may be cold and icy in Vermont right now, but it’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air!