The Call of the Wild: Rejected

To celebrate the release of Ready to Fall, I wrote a few blog posts about my inspirations for the story and what I love about it. Novels Alive featured this post, in which I discuss my heroine’s hostility toward nature and why I sympathize with her. (Hint: I WANT INDOOR PLUMBING.)

Portrait of young reflective woman

I wanted to find a picture of a woman glaring at trees. This was as close as I could get. (I like to imagine there’s an infuriating oak just out of frame.)

I adore many things about the heroine of my fourth Lovestruck Librarians book, Ready to Fall. I love that Sarah’s loud and dramatic. I love that she’s outspoken and hilarious. I love that she’s loyal and generous.

But I’ll be honest. What I may love most of all? The fact that she regularly delivers screeds against Mother Nature, whom Sarah seems to consider a real, personal enemy of hers. A nemesis, even.

“I think Mother Nature is a malicious, merciless bitch who purposefully inconveniences and injures me,” Sarah explains toward the beginning of the book. And she doesn’t change her mind during the course of the story, either.

She’s not a big fan of heat:

“It’s hot enough out there to cook us like rotisserie chickens.” Sarah tapped a finger on the flyer. “I’ll be surprised if more than a dozen teachers survive the day. But at least our meat will be juicy and flavorful.”

And she definitely doesn’t enjoy perspiration:

She wrinkled her nose even harder. “Sweating? Do I have to? My body loses vital nutrients that way, you know. Like . . . I don’t know. Electrolytes?”

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that she’s not a big fan of exercise either. Which will make my hero’s job especially hard as he attempts to teach her how to ride her bike in the heat of a July summer.

Sarah is not entirely unlike me. Although I don’t take my ambivalence toward the outdoors to quite her extreme, you will never find me pitching a tent out in the woods. For me, staying a cheap motel is close enough.

I want a mattress. I want indoor plumbing. I want climate control. I want reassurance that bugs can’t crawl into my thin, inadequate sleeping bag and do terrible things to me.

Believe it or not, I was actually a Girl Scout for a few years. I did go camping once. ONCE. For the most part, though, my troop was more about the girliness than the actual scouting. We held a fashion show. We had a beauty expert come by and tell us our “season” and most flattering colors (I’m a winter, in case you ever want to buy me accessories). When we gathered trash at a park, we wore gloves and were issued long pincers to pick up the debris and deposit it into garbage bags. We never actually had to touch the trash, heaven forbid.

You’ll be happy to hear that we did sell a hell of a lot of cookies. Sadly, however, our troop broke up after a few years. Almost as if, I don’t know, we weren’t really committed to the organization’s mission?

Anyway, let’s just say that I can relate to my heroine’s love for the indoors. But even if you’re a committed camper, I think you’ll enjoy reading Sarah’s story. She’s a hoot, whether she has her full complement of electrolytes or not.

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