This one is personal.
My newest book, Take a Chance on Me, started out as a way to cope with losing someone I knew to suicide. When I started writing this story, I was thousands of miles away and was never able to grieve. The need to write about it took over. I never stopped until Kate and Brody's story was done.
Suicide is a tough topic to talk about. Often, it is spoke in whispers or low tones out of fear of upsetting someone. In the story, the two main characters are still dealing with the suicide of someone they loved five years later. They are both strong, stubborn, and desperate to do anything to help. We see them struggle through their shared past and work together to really make a difference when it comes to mental health. If I could pick a couple of phrases that my main characters would define as the 'motivating' quote to begin a charity, it would be these:
You don't tell someone with a broken arm to “change their mindset”
You don't tell someone with food poisoning to “make an effort”
You don't go around the hospital and tell people to “try and not be sick”
So why would you tell such things to someone with a mental illness?
Take a Chance on Me is a heart-wrenching journey between two best friends who have to fight to find joy. There is laughter, tears, and some steamy scenes and I can't wait to share it with you all!
Remember those people who use "like" in sentences to the point their speech is distracting? It happens to me frequently working with teenagers. Here is an example sentence:
"Like, did you see what he was wearing? It was like, too skater-y. He's like so not a skater."
"Yeah, but like, he looked good."
The 'likes' are unnecessary (and cringe-y if I'm honest) but I found that while writing, I have the same problem.
And I hate it.
I use the word "that" so many damn times, I have to go through each manuscript and search to remove them one by one. It is beyond frustrating because the word is used so naturally. But if I focus on not using it when writing the first draft, it affects the story.
The best advice I got about writing though was to not write and edit at the same time. Complete the first draft without re-reading it or going over it. Then, after the story is told, go back and begin the edits.
I live by this quote to help when the editing part becomes difficult.... because a glass of wine never hurt anyone.