I Broke Two Cardinal Writing Rules and I’m Glad
N. N. Light
I admit it, guilty as charged. My name is Mrs. N, one-half of the bestselling N. N. Light, and I broke the first rule in writing: never write about yourself or real life in a novel. The truth is I am happy I did both and here's why. I was inspired to write Princess of the Light through a chance encounter with a homeless man.
I first got the idea for our debut novel one chilly morning back in 2012. It was a cold wintry morning and I was walking to the grocery store. I happened to look across the street and what I saw made me stop in my tracks. A homeless man was sitting on a curb next to the gas station. He wasn't holding a sign or asking for money. His eyes were closed and his head was uplifted to the sky. There was such a contented and happy look in his weathered face. It took my breath away.
I wondered how he became homeless and if there was some way I could help him. I continued on with my day but my thoughts were filled with him and his plight. Who is he? Could I help him?
As the days and months passed, I saw him every day. He kept to himself and never begged for money. Instead, he walked the length of our town. Yes, he walked the length of the town. Every time I saw him, I nodded and said good morning. The simple act of kindness didn't seem like a big deal to me but to him, it was as if I had given him the sun. I started leaving food and clothing for him. The more kindness I showed, the happier he appeared.
Rule #1: Never write about real life in fiction
I knew in my heart it was my calling to tell his story. He isn't some nameless face; he's someone's son, brother, grandson, uncle, father, husband, and/or friend. If I had the power, I would be his protector and free him from the darkness keeping him prisoner. He would no longer be the forgotten man.
I made a promise to myself to donate part of the proceeds to food banks if our book got published. I am keeping my promise and through our marketing, people are donating to food banks on their own.
My motto for our book and for my life is spread the Light. It doesn't matter to me what your spiritual beliefs are for everyone has the Light inside them. Spreading the Light comes in many forms but it starts with being kind.
Rule #2: Never write about yourself, especially when it comes to love and romance.
I wrote about my own love story with Mr. N. Gasp! I know you’re in shock and hoping I brought smelling salts. Stick with me for a moment and let me explain. The romantic story between Mary and Joe is simply based on my own love story.
I met Mr. N back in 2001. We actually met online in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer yahoo group and hit it off right away. We both adore Buffy and it was one of many things we had in common. We started out as friends but soon it blossomed into love. Through some uphill battles and insecurities on my part, I broke his heart not once but twice. It pains me to admit it but the second time around, I was truly cruel.
I thought it was over and I had moved on. I joined another Buffy yahoo group in 2003 and as fate would have it, Mr. N was there. Is the Universe trying to tell me something? He and I got to talking one night off-list. I asked for forgiveness and he granted it. We took it turtle-slow and before I knew what happened, I was in love with him. I mean, true love (the hills are alive with the sound of music) and my walls came tumbling down.
Long story short, I moved up north and married him in 2004. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Every day, I thank my lucky stars he forgave me and loves me unconditionally. This is my love story and every time I tell it (or Mr. N tells it), people swoon and say how utterly romantic it is. So I incorporated our love story into Princess of the Light.
Giving the rules a heave-ho allows writers the freedom to create irresistible stories.
Sometimes breaking the rules is needed to tell a really great story. I hope you will see how weaving real life with fantasy makes for an irresistible book. More writers should rebel like me and add dashes of real life into their stories.
Title: Princess of the Light
Author: N. N. Light
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance
Tagline: Mary's the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.
Blurb: Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth--Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer's army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It's getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer's second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help. Joe Deacons is everything she's ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he's the Warrior of Light--the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness. Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself. When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her. But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?
Marie furrowed her brow and softly interrupted, "André is the Walking Man?" I looked at Marie and asked, "You've heard of him?"
Marie nodded. "Of course. He is a staple of the Downtown area. There are a few groups I'm affiliated with that hand out food and clothing to those in need. He never comes to these events so I leave them by the area where he sleeps." She paused, thoughtfully. "I just can't believe that it is André."
Joe cleared his throat and looked at his father. "What happened to André?"
Alfred sighed and after a moment said, "It really was the fault of that witch he was married to. She and her family treated him horribly. She was a gold digger and all she cared about was money and the prestige."
Marie interrupted Alfred by saying, "I remember her. She was so mean to André and all she cared about was looking rich. Wealth is a gift—she just wanted it for a toy. She treated André so badly... and his mother-in-law was the worst. She would put him down all the time. In front of other people, no less."
Alfred continued, "André was a good man and worked hard. He was working on a big project for the city. He worked night and day on the project and told me it was going to put Golden Lake on the map. "He absolutely adored his daughter, too. I remember that clearly. She was his everything."
Alfred paused, apparently lost in his thoughts. With a sigh he said, "There was a scandal with the project, though, and André got fired. Soon after, Dara left him, took Katherine with her and André fell apart. He started drinking heavily and, without his daughter, his life fell apart."
Joe looked at me and I fought to keep from throwing my hand over my mouth. There was purple fire in his eyes and I felt his anger. I already knew the story of André and I tried to smile at him. I smelled burning flesh. Joe flashed in full armor fighting demons with a golden sword. I gasped at the vision and brought my hand to my chest in shock feeling the key necklace, before I could stop the physical reaction. The necklace weighed heavily as did my heart. He would be fighting at my side soon.
Marie asked, "Are you okay, dear?"
Joe turned to look at his mother. He nodded and only said, "I never knew any of this."
Alfred continued, "I am sorry, son, but you asked for the truth. This is what I know. André was sleeping at the office and drinking all the time. He was supposed to give a presentation to a client and was drunk. He got into a scuffle with his boss and rumor has it, André punched him."
I feigned shock and said, "Oh my!" Than is to blame. I don't know how I know or what happened but I vow to the Lord that I will make Than pay, thought Joe. I choked and almost spit out my drink. I just heard Joe's thoughts! I had to set him straight and right away. I cleared my throat and said awkwardly, "Joe, I think I left something in the car."
Joe looked at me with eyebrows raised. "Excuse me, we'll be right back," I said with a smile.
I walked outside and knew that Joe was right behind me. When I reached the car, I whirled and said in a stern tone, "Are you trying to get yourself killed?"
Joe stopped mid-step and said, "What are you talking about, Mary?"
I ran into his arms and whispered, "You cannot take on Than by yourself! I heard your thoughts in there. Now, I don't know how you know that it was Than who drove André to punching his boss but please promise me that you will not get revenge." I paused to catch my breath and remembered what Gabriel told me. "Joe, in order to defeat the darkness and not become dark ourselves, we need to have a pure heart. We are filled with the Light and our motives must always be to speak the Truth and spread the Light."
Joe took several deep breaths while he held me. He stroked my hair and whispered, "I'm sorry, my angel. I didn't mean to frighten you and you are right. It was just a momentary thought."
I lifted my head and locked eyes with Joe. Tears filled my eyes but I was determined. I bit at my top lip and then whispered, "Promise me you won't put yourself in harm's way."
Hot tears spilled down my cheeks. Joe wiped at them and said in a deep, reassuring tone, "I promise, Mary. I promise I won't be a hothead and I won't be rash." Then, he laid his forehead on mine and whispered, "Please don't cry, darling. Please."
I nodded and whispered, "I would die if I lost you. Than will use you to try to get to me. You are my love, my everything." My voice cracked. "I would die if I lost you," I repeated.
Joe shook my shoulders a little and looked deep into my eyes. "Listen to me, Mary, you will never lose me! Do you hear me? I am by your side now and forever." Overcome with emotion, Joe kissed me.
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Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO
Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller. They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light. Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network. Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.
Website: http://princessofthelight.com Blog: http://princessofthelight.wordpress.com Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902 Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294
Footnote: All photos (with the exception of Princess of the Light cover and N. N. Light author picture) are from Pixaby.