When we meet Josie, the main character of my debut novel, In the Dark, she is doing her best to live under the radar. She has given up the things most of us spend our whole lives working for, and taken a dead-end job, and a tiny, luxury-free apartment. She’s sleeping with a guy she doesn’t expect to be there for her, and who she is sure will never make a commitment to her. What in the world would prompt anyone to do all of these things? In Josie’s case, the trigger was simple and extreme. She suffered a major trauma, both physically and mentally and, in the process, found out the hard way that the Mr. Right she had been engaged to couldn’t be counted on to put her first, even when her life was on the line. She felt betrayed. She felt wounded. She felt as though she would never trust anyone, ever again. Everything about the life she had been living up until that point reminded her of what she had been through, and she needed desperately to escape. Her way of doing that may have involved throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and it probably wasn’t the healthiest way to cope with the post-traumatic stress she was dealing with, but it got the job done quickly. It left her free, with no need to depend on anyone, which meant no risk of being let down again anytime soon.
When I wrote In the Dark, the idea of picking up and moving, culling my belongings, giving up my home, generally downsizing my life and getting the heck out of Dodge, was just a daydream to me—something I could visualize for the purpose of writing a story about it, but not something I could imagine choosing in my own life. But then, just a few days after I signed my contract with Random House, I got some interesting news. My husband was offered an amazing new job. The catch? It was four thousand miles away.
We talked about how we might handle it. There were a lot of unknowns, and a lot of challenges. But as much of a homebody and a nester as I am, I never really considered the idea that we might not go. It was just too good and too rare an opportunity to pass up. In writing craft terms, it was a call to adventure, and in spite of the incredible array of hurdles we were going to have to clear to make it happen, I couldn’t ignore it. The crucial difference between my situation and Josie’s is that I did this with a man I know I can count on. He is the main thing that will be a constant between the old life and the new one, and the reason I knew I’d survive the change. He is the one thing I can’t do without.
What about you? What would it take to make you cash in the life you’re living now for a completely different one? What is the one thing you can’t do without?
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About the Author:
Sally Eggert first began writing romance as an escape from law school. She is a two-time finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest and a member of RWA, Washington Romance Writers, the Golden Network, and the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. Eggert lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and spends her free time playing the violin, knitting, and daydreaming every single day.
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