And just how is Speak Now like a fungus, you ask? Well, c’mon. I already answered up there. It grew on me. Not quite literally, but you know. It happened. That growing thing.
Anyone who follows me on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest has probably noticed quite an influx of Speak Now quote images. Yeah. I’ve been rereading it.
First: a history of the blasted book. You see, I started writing Speak Now as an exercise in being less dialogue driven. I tend to do that–use a lot of dialogue in my books. I wanted to practice showing a story (rather than the verboten “telling”) through action and events rather than so many “words.” (Yes, I do note the unintentional irony there. Snort.)
It was originally titled, Gently, and frankly, horrible. I think that’s part of what clouded it all this time. But my dear friend, Michele, loved it. And so I kept writing–and rewriting. I wanted it awesome–for her. It didn’t happen. I thought it was stupid, frankly, and I never intended to publish it.
But Michele kept pestering me. And Ashley insisted. Of course, once Ashley threw her .02 in there, I was doomed.
Then, for the past three years or so, I have regretted it. The book mocked me–taunted me. I hated it. Every time it came up on sale, I told people about it like a good little soldier (Ashley insists) and then assured them they didn’t want to read it.
But as I was going over my Pinterest Boards, I noticed that there were very few quotes from it. This did not surprise me. After all, I don’t like the book, right? But this book does have one of my favorite scenes. I thought I’d see if I could find one in that scene. But, I started at the beginning.
Of course, my first discovery was the realization that I actually do like the characters. I kind of felt guilty for putting them in this book. Jonathan is such an interesting mix of gentle masculinity and firmness of mind and purpose. Cara manages to be a “people pleaser” without losing herself in the mix like so many do. Becca Jacobs-Roth could learn something from Cara in that department.
But the story caught me, too–two people attracted to one another and fighting, desperately, to handle it in a godly manner. I remember finding it difficult to show that attraction in an appropriate way.
And that’s when it hit me.
Speak Now did exactly what I wanted it to do–just not in the way I expected. This book stretched me as a writer and forced me out of my comfort zone. Honestly, I still wonder what I was thinking when I let myself be talked into publishing it, but after reading it this week, I’m kind of looking forward to bringing out those characters again.
And besides, there was a hint at another book in this one. Maybe it’s time for that one to surface. I can see the opening of it now.
A telephone rings. Trenna answers and once again says, “Look, mister. I don’t know who you’re trying to find, but this ‘agency’ is a wedding planning business, and if you–”
But the voice will break through and say something like, “Just find Mark Cho and tell him Arley needs him.” A loud noise, a cry… and the line goes dead! mmmmwaaahaha. Or something like that. Maybe it’ll start at a wedding. After all, that’s where the first call came in.
So, I recant. While it’s not my FAVORITE book, I do like it now. I’ll forget that. I dare you to remind me that I reread it and liked it.