Isn’t it time we read more romance with real girls? I want to initiate a new romance category, and I would call it, “Real Girl Romance.” Here’s what I mean: I’ve always loved romance novels, but tired of the typical romance plot line where the innocent assistant gets taken by the rich CEO.
I want to shine more of a light on the real girls—and the real guilt we feel for making bad decisions, the insecurities we feel for not having it all figured out, and the shame we carry for just being ourselves. In Sweet Muse, I really wanted to incorporate this—showing the full spectrum of the agony of figuring yourself out in your 20s. I like stories about women coming of age—and owning their experience. Maybe in some way I can inspire women to own their own journey and be themselves, whoever that may be.
I want women to read it and feel like they can own their own journey to adulthood no matter what bumps or mistakes they make along the way. In college, in addition to being a journalism major, I majored in women’s studies. I even wanted to work at Ms magazine for years! I’m all about female empowerment, and I want readers to walk away knowing that my protagonist Anna found herself, her direction, and her love on her own terms—and that you can, too.
I think women created the words: shame, guilt and insecurity. And we spend so much time agonizing over decisions we make, our looks, how we don’t live up. I know I did—and still do. I feel like I spend too much of my time beating up on myself for not being perfect. I really wanted to take those feelings and own them. Writing the book was cathartic for me, and I hope reading it can be for you, too.
Let me know what you think!