I’m a sucker for a good sappy romance. You know, the true, pure, “love conquers all” story that makes you cry no matter how many times you read the book or see the movie. I’ve been bawling my eyeballs out for 20 years watching The Blue Lagoon (They ate the “never wake up berries”…waaah…). I read Love Story, by Erich Segal, on a plane when I was sixteen and wailed so loud that they considered emergency landing the plane because I was freaking out the other passengers. And The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks…don’t get me started! At the end, I whimpered and heaved so violently that I created inhuman sounds only my dogs could hear…and it scared the crap out of them. And Brokeback Mountain…oh God…the bloody shirt…Remember that, Jay and Robin? I thought y’all were going to have to carry me out of the theater on a stretcher after that one! Waaah…I need a tissue.
Oh… and Out Of Africa. And The English Patient! I could go on and on. But I won’t. The funny thing is that I’ve never read a great true love story for teens. I don’t mean a “like” story or a “crush” story. I mean a real live, mind-blowing, earth-shattering, can’t eat- can’t breathe- can’t sleep, true love story. Truth be told, there’s nothing like a first love. Nothing. And when you fall in love for the first time as a teen, it’s even more magnificent because emotions are so potent when you’ve got psycho hormones pulsing through your vessels.
I had an epiphany last week. I’m going to write the Great American Teen Romance. Yep. When I started it four days ago, something magical happened. The computer keys clacked away. All kinds of insane ideas spilled out. I obsessed over my two main characters and their plight when I slept, when I ate, and when I ran. It’s a joy to write because there’s nothing more intoxicating than true love. It’s a complete departure from my first novel about tough kids from the ‘hood struggling to survive. But, it won’t be easy for these two lovers. Oh, no. There’s a twist. Don’t you worry. There’s a twist that will keep you guessing.
After spending 3 1/2 years immersed in my first teen novel, I kind of worried that I wouldn’t have the same passion for another one. I lived, ate, and breathed that book for 1277 days. But surprisingly, just days after finishing that first baby (and sending it off to an editor who requested it after reading a few chapters… Yay, me!), this idea took on a life of it’s own, and I’ve already gotten the entire story down in my head.
I’m so completely fixated on this concept that I believe I’ll crank out the first draft in no time. So, I’ve either developed a form of obsessive-compulsive-psychotic-mania, or I’m actually getting the hang of this writing thing. Either way, I’m officially writing my second book. Which is pretty huge for me, considering I hardly have the attention span to finish READING a whole book.
Unless, of course, it’s Love Story…or The Notebook… they…really…loved…each…other…waaahhhh!!