Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Life of a Romance Writer by Aziza Eden Walker

Yes, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. And yes, I LOVE my job.

Ankara Press recently asked me to reflect on how This Crazy Paradise came about. I think they’re a bit suspicious because  a) Onele is a psychologist turned romance writer, just like me and b) because I live in paradise (a writer’s paradise, you see.) Hence the title of my latest book. They think I might have written an autobiography in disguise.

Wait, there’s more: I met my partner, and the father of my child, at an Erotica party. And yes, he was dressed as a flasher (to Onele’s disgust). And yes, I wanted to write love stories rather than do therapy. And yes, he had insomnia. You’ll have to read the book to see how it all pans out.

Let me explain. There’s a whole bunch of truth in every book I write. It’s all true. I’ve twisted it and turned it on its head and used it in new ways and the characters (who are and are not us) have run away with it and made it their own. But there’s stuff in there that he said to me (yay) and that I did (eek) and it’s all wonderful. I write in celebration of this crazy paradise we live in.

None of it is perfect, but boy, what a ride.

I’m unable to write about a place I haven’t been to. The West Coast of South Africa is one of my favourite spots – windswept, pristine beaches - very romantic. Even so, my research involves looking up all those finer details on the internet! Club Ithaca doesn’t exist, but if you ask Google you may come up with its real name…  And there is a windmill, I just turned it into a tavern!

The thing I like most about the writing process is the beginning. Not the plotting so much (of which I do some, but could probably do more – my editor will agree!!) The best part is when you’ve opened the story, so to speak, and it gets its own life. The way it surprises you. The way my heart beats faster when they fight, or finally get it together. The way it all unfolds. 

Oh, and I love seeing the cover. The cover rocks!

Ankara asked me how I plan my writing day, which made me smile. There is no plan. Right now I am typing this while my son is paddling up a river in front of me with a buddy (I told you, paradise.) I wrote large parts of This Crazy Paradise in a tent, which I love doing. Sometimes with a torch. I write whenever I can and however I can, because I miss it if I don’t.  My heart is in it.

At the end of last year my son had minor surgery. One of those moments where you sit anxiously outside the theatre for an hour. I decided to plot my next book for Ankara in that time. Because I think life is about choosing love above fear. That’s how I became a romance writer.

(By the way, I was an actress once – and knew a rather hunky actor like Andile too … check out The Seeing Place to get the full story on that one!)

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