Stepping Away From the Ledge


I’m generally a cautious person; carefully measuring my steps to make sure I don’t stumble and fall but if you have been paying any attention to my blog posts over the last couple of years, you would know that when it comes to writing, I’m a different animal. Much more impulsive, definitely not confined by rules and standards. I teeter on what’s appropriate and what is edgy. This is in my thinking, mind you. My behaviors are pretty much the same. Ah shoot, who am I fooling, certainly not you. The truth is, I’m an enigma. I have a hard enough time figuring myself out; so you can forget about it.

Anyway . . . I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. I become a bad-ass. At least that’s how it seems.

I’m working on a new novel. In a way, it’s a follow up to I Am Yours that featured Amara Harper and Noah Farrington, two former lovers destined to love each other through all space and time. They had an interesting set of support characters that readers inquired about and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I had a story for any of them. I knew I wanted to see some of them again. And I knew there were a couple that were much more damaged than I had originally thought when I started to write the book.

Cami, Amara’s best friend and surrogate sister, is one of those characters. In truth, Cami represents every woman as much as Amara did. Their emotional paths are very different but both are responsible, hard-working women. But their hearts are different. As I developed Amara, Cami’s story kept screaming at me because in it, I could see myself had I made different choices. If I let my impulsive self, rule my actions throughout my younger youth. If I gave way to caution. If you read I Am Yours, you can see how these two women, Amara and Cami, are like opposites, but in fact there is a part of them that is exactly the same. Both are worn out by heartache. One chooses to hide, the other chooses to make self-sabotaging decisions. And of course, I would see that as an opportunity to help guide her along. So I bit in. A big HUNK too. Bad ass.

Then add to that, Logan. Logan’s story didn’t unfold much in I Am Yours but you get the hint of there being something behind his humor and something in those hours he puts into being an emergency medical technician. He has a story that is almost as deep as it is painful. It took some time to get to know it but once I did, I realized Cami was for him and that it would not be easy leading them into their collective story, nor would it be easy to heal them individually. So I took another bite without chewing and swallowing the first one.

I’m saying all of this to say, at some point, I realized how big of a bite I took and I panicked. How do I write myself out of this? Why do I choose to write stories that aren’t easy to tell? Amara was not easy to love. She wasn’t easy to write or understand either. She was frustrating but she was her. I couldn’t change that about her. All I could do was write and then hope for the best. She was criticized for being so difficult (which I understood) because she was a woman. How many men have taken a woman back and forth through the paces and in the end, they live happily ever after and no one questions it because he’s a man? We are harder on our female leads I think and so I know Cami will be taken through the fire for her decisions. The ones we know already and the ones we’ll learn about in time.

But in the end, I was talked away from the ledge. I was encouraged to continue to write the stories as they come to me because believe it or not, the women we hate, are sometimes who we are. They make the decisions we sometimes wish we hadn’t. They are sometimes as difficult and hard to understand as we are. And our story is still meant to be told. Not just the fairytale version we wish had been our life.

Love will be what’s needed for both Cami and Logan. I’m going to have to love them through their story and hopefully my reader will learn to love them despite their past and their present demons.

Love’s Required will be released sometime this fall or as soon as I can finish chewing and get to really writing.

Have you ever bit off more than you can chew? How did you write your way out of it?



11 thoughts on “Stepping Away From the Ledge

  1. Well if I use your terminology and meaning, I’m attempting to turn badassery into a long term professional career! So yes I definitely hear what you’re saying Aja. I’m always talking myself into writing things that are off the beaten track but call to me (or a reader) and then I spend an inordinate amount of time beating them back on the track. Whatevs. If this were easy everybody would do it. Good luck my dear. I have complete faith that you’ll pull it off with love and enough of a fairy tale for everyone to look forward to.

  2. stephaniebartley1 says:

    Hi Aja,

    Sadly but true, I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew. Sometimes I let time work for me and others I rush through a decision I wish I hadn’t made. All and all, it does serve as a learning experience. Now, if I could just learn from it. I seem to keep biting off more than I can chew over and over again….

Leave Aja a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s