Author Guest Post
Between the time I start outlining a novel and the time I’ve finished, many of my characters have changed, sometimes becoming completely unrecognizable from the person I originally intended them to be.
Oftentimes it’s the plot that necessitates them changing. Other times it feels like they change and grow of their own accord, leaving me powerless to stop them. Emily Donovan, the main character of my novel In Search of a Love Story, is a character that changed quite a bit from the original outline. I’m sorry to say that the earliest version of Emily was somewhat one-dimensional. Outline-Emily was intended to be a quiet, bookish girl who couldn’t care less about finding love because she would rather disappear in a book. But once I started to expand on the character, she started to move in a very different direction. I asked myself to think about her background; where did she grow up? Who was she close to? What events influenced her beliefs, her likes and dislikes, her behavior? As I looked at these issues in depth, a clearer, more complicated picture of Emily Donovan began to take shape.
I decided early on that Emily would be from northern Michigan, a region I had spent a lot of time in while growing up. Being from a small town in the north woods would definitely help to shape the character. Emily probably spent a lot of time outdoors. Fishing, hiking, and camping would have certainly been part of her life. I had always intended for Emily to have been raised primarily by her father. As I fleshed out the events surrounding that scenario, another layer was added to the character. Now I was seeing Emily as someone who used interest in and participation in sports to try to get closer to her dad. Would Emily be satisfied with that relationship? How would missing her mom affect her? Before too long, I was thinking of Emily as someone who was desperately yearning for the love and comfort of family.
Emily was now a very different girl from the one I had intended to write about, and a much stronger character for it. The Emily I ended up writing about is more tomboy than bookish, more jock than quiet. She loves her father but finds it difficult to talk to him. She left her hometown and avoids visiting, but continues to feel drawn to and connected to the place. She thinks she couldn’t care less about the silly romantic stuff her friends swoon over, yet she very much wants to find true love. Most importantly, Emily is a girl who is struggling to find her own voice.
Going through this process of examination and change was really great for me as a writer. I feel like I know this character so much better than I did before. Emily Donovan is definitely a girl I would want to hang out with. I can only hope that readers will feel the same way!
About The Author
Rachel Schurig ~ In Search of a Love Story ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
Contest Dates: Jan 21 - Feb 11, 2013
In Search of a Love Story by Rachel Schurig
Book 1: Love Story series
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback - 280 pages / Kindle - 388 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Ficition
BUY THE BOOK: In Search of a Love Story
BARNES & NOBLE
BUY THE SERIES: Love Story
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Emily Donovan doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body.
At least, that’s what her friends Ryan and Ashley keep telling her. They’re convinced her bad luck with men is directly related to her life-long lack of interest in all things romantic. When Emily’s latest relationship crashes and burns, she decides to go along with her friends’ plans for a romance research project. Sure, the idea that she’ll have better luck if she learns about the great romances of literature and film seems a little silly, but Emily figures it can’t hurt.
In no time at all, Emily finds herself buried under a mountain of romance novels, chick flicks, and sappy love songs, hopeful that her hard work will pay off with true love. When she meets Greg, Ashley and Ryan are convinced she’s found prince charming—after all, he’s rich, handsome, and totally into Emily. What more could she want? And why does it seem that her friend Elliot isn’t exactly happy for her?
Faced with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a seemingly endless string of missteps, she is nevertheless determined to give true love a try. In doing so, Emily will eventually find that true romance, the kind that lasts, has little to do with stereotypes or clichés, and everything to do with finding out what’s in her own heart.
In Search of a Love Story is book #1 of the Love Story series.
My Book Review:
After her latest relationship ends because of a cheating boyfriend, twenty-five year old physical therapist Emily Donovan is done with men and dating. But her friends Ashley, Ryan and Chris think she has bad luck with men because she is clueless about romance and what type of guy she should be looking for. Emily isn't your typical girly girl who's into romance books and chick flicks, she's always been more into comedies, action and thriller movies and books. So what's a girl to do when she really wants romance in her life with the right type of guy? Take a crash course in Romance 101! Ashley and Ryan set Emily up with a research project that consists of reading romance novels like Pride and Prejudice and watching chick flicks like When Harry Met Sally to learn the ways of romance and dating. Is Emily sabotaging her love life because she is clueless about the ways of romance? Will the crash course in Romance 101 lead Emily to discover what she needs to know to find romance and the right guy in her life?
In Search of a Love Story is an entertaining chick lit story about finding love, self-discovery, friendships and relationships. Author Rachel Schurig weaves a fun tale written in the first person narrative told by sassy Emily Donovan, who takes the reader along for the ride as she embarks on a research project to learn everything she needs to know about romance and finding Mr. Right. This story has humor, quirky characters, and a fun but predictable romance storyline with a happy ending that fans of Chick Lit adore. Set in Michigan, the story is so much more than one woman seeking romance, because the author mixes in subplots like dealing with friendships, father-daughter relationships, finding the right Mr. Right, and a journey of self-discovery and learning what is really important in life. The best part of the story is the message that Emily eventually learns: that sometimes people look too hard for love in all the wrong places, instead of really seeing what has been in front of them all along.
Emily is a sassy girl with a heart of gold, she has her flaws but she is likable and the reader can relate to her dating issues. Emily's friends Ashley, Ryan, Chris and Brooke are an entertaining bunch who are true friends, they look out for their friend and I loved the camaraderie that they shared. I loved Elliot, Emily's friend and overlooked admirer, while I wasn't a fan of Greg, Emily's conquest after she takes the romance crash course. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the quirky set of secondary characters: Mrs. Z., Frank Carter and Philip Jackson, Emily's funny and flirty geriatric patients.
In Search of a Love Story is a lighthearted and entertaining story that has humorous antics, memorable characters, romance and relationship issues that readers can relate to, and a happy ending that in true chick lit fashion will leave a smile on your face.
In Search of a Love Story is the first book in the Love Story series.
RATING: 4 STARS ****