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by D L Richardson
As you can imagine, I was writing a teen paranormal romance, Little Red Gem, and I found myself at a crossroads when it came to the ending. Do I give them both a happy ever after? Do I give her a happy ever after and not worry about him? And then I remembered that we are all individuals when it comes to dealing with love.
We wail, we kick, we scream, we beg, we fight, we cry, we don’t eat, we overeat, we hide form the world, we embrace life. The point is, there is no one formula when it comes to dealing with affairs of the heart. We all feel love our own way.
So I gave the ending that suited my feisty and independent 17 year old character, Ruby Parker.
Love is always in the air.
Maybe love is floating by on the gently breeze of autumn leaves. Maybe it’s blowing like a hot breeze across our cheeks on a summer night. Maybe love is whipping at us like a stinging winter frost. Or maybe love comes like flowers blooming and birds singing. We all experience love. Sooner or later. One way or another. It gets us all in the end.
And that’s why we devour the bodice tearing, Mills and Boon romance. Some of these books are designed to be read in a day – as in after the kids leave for school and before they come home. And some are sweeping sagas that explore the highs and lows of a love affair. When I was in my late teens, I was addicted to reading the bodice tearing sagas. I couldn’t even tell you a name of one of the books I read, but it featured a pirate, a ship, an island, a rogue who really had a warm heart, a hoity woman...sound familiar? Of course it does. Romantics love these books for their predictability.
Teen love is a huge hit with the readers, young and old. And teens experience love in the most unique way. Teen love lives in our memories our entire lives. Our first crush says a lot about the romance books we read. Was our first crush someone we knew? A new neighbour? A sibling’s friend? Someone we met on a holiday? All my crushes were on the new boy in the street. I never went anywhere exciting to meet anyone exciting, so it’s no wonder I find holiday romances are on my reading list. And the more exotic the location the better.
Most teen romance novels deal exclusively with first love and crushes. It’s not typical that a teen has a constant stream of boy/girlfriends. And if they do, the boy/girlfriends are no-one they really care about so the effects of a breakup are rarely bad enough to cause the apocalyptic tantrums we come to expect from that first broken heart.
True love is different to first love. I believe that true love comes in our late twenties. I’m sure others would disagree, but we barely even know ourselves in our teens/early twenties, so how are we to know what we want in a partner. Chick-lit is popular in this age group for the very reason that a lot of chick-lit deals with true love, and the consequence of true love - divorce. As readers, we want to know that we’re not alone in discovering that the man we once loved with all our hearts is now on the list of the people we most want killed.
You haven’t met The One.
There’s true love, and then there is true true love. The lasting kind that sees us into old age. It’s the love our grandparents display when they peck each other on the cheeks and hold hands on the porch. It comes from lots of hard work, and everyone tells you it’s worth it.
Cameron Diaz was a staunch denier of love. I once read an article that she had no intention of ever getting married. She liked to date and move on. A real commitment phobe. Sounded like a lot of guys I used to know. And here’s something interesting that my husband once said about people who say they’re “never getting married”. He said, “They just haven’t me The One”. I thought this was such a romantic thing to say, considering that he himself was a staunch denier of marriage and yet he was, marrying me. Goes to prove that what tickles our heart isn’t always flowers and candy.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is a beautiful example of first love, true love and The One love. He tapped into a story that fulfils all the romantics in the world. No wonder he was offered one million dollars for this book. But Little Red Gem isn’t The Notebook. I wish it was. It’s a lovely story about a teenage girl who does crazy things for love and haven’t we all done that. I hope you enjoy reading Little Red Gem and it wakens memories within of your first love.
Enjoy an excerpt:
…“I’d know if I was dead.”
While I watched my two best friends walk with arms around each other for emotional support, I wrestled with accepting Audrey’s version of the story. To do so meant I was dead. And dead meant I would never again speak with Leo. And there were so many words left unsaid, so much business left unfinished.
The final nail in my coffin came when a customer walked out and Audrey pushed me directly in front of the customer’s path. Instead of bumping into him, I fell through him, landing on my hands and knees. My skin tingled with pins and needles from where the body had passed through me. A loud noise filled my ears, similar to water flowing from a dam. For a split second my vision blurred. Then I watched in absolute horror as my hands and legs split into millions of tiny fragments.
Audrey might have been capable of delving into her mother’s magic bag to produce this neat trick, but I wasn’t.
I crawled into the gutter because it seemed the most suitable place for a reluctant spirit to bawl her eyes out. Audrey was kind enough to sit beside me with her hand resting on my shoulder; although we were both apparitions the contact still registered. I forgot about being angry with her and welcomed her company.
“Okay, I’ll admit this has been a rather extraordinary morning so you may be right.” I sniffed back the tears and turned to face her. “How did I die?”
“Your car slid down an embankment. You weren’t wearing a seat belt. Leo dragged you out of the car but it was too late.”
I jumped up. “Leo!”
About the Author:
Little Red Gem is a tribute to her former life as a musician and contains some of the author’s actual experiences, though she has never entered a national singing competition to capture the attention of the boy she loves. It is also a tribute to those brave young women who charge forward in pursuit of their dreams.
She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she's not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking her dog.
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