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Romantic and gentle moments are something that makes our life more beautiful and sweet. We live for such moments full of love, and when they happen we want to share them with those who are close to us and who mean everything on the world to us. When those moments are absent due to the burden of everyday commitments, we try to compensate them by reading books that have a happy ending. Those stories relieve us for a moment and they enable us to forget about everyday worries and problems for a moment. They allow us to enjoy ourselves in a different and better world, where everything is possible.
The famous American writer Penelope Ward writes that kind of stories. She grew up in Boston and she worked as a TV speaker before she dedicated herself to writing. She has 5 older brothers, and she currently lives on Rhode Island with her husband and two children.
This remarkably talented lady spoke to Telegraf.rs about her work, inspiration, readers, and love. We found out what is her creative process like and what is the craziest thing she has done for love.
- When did you decide to become a writer and how does your writing process look like?
I was a bored housewife and started reading romance in my mid-thirties and became addicted to the angst and adventure in those modern new adult and contemporary romance books that came out after Fifty Shades of Grey. I impulsively started writing a novel one day and that led to an amazing career as a writer.
I try to write every day at least 500-1000 words. I usually start around noon and end before my kids come home at 3:30 in the afternoon. My process is that I have to eat and have coffee first in order to be able to concentrate. And I do outline all of my books first before I start one.
- Where do you find inspiration for your novels? Are some of them based on true events?
They are purely based on thoughts that pop into my imagination. I can’t even explain where they come from myself. There is very little inspiration from real life in my stories and it’s always difficult for me to explain where my ideas come from as they seem to come from something outside of myself.
- What kind of message do you want to send to your readers?
I just want my readers to get lost in every story I write. Even if they don’t love every story I write equally, I hope that they are able to forget about their troubles for a day when they read them.
- Your books are mostly about love. What does love mean to you? How would you describe it?
Love can come in many forms…the love one feels for their children, the love one feels for their spouse etc. but the one common thing is an overall feeling of not being able to live without that person. Love is
- Are people still romantic today or it slowly fades away?
I don’t believe that romance is all flowers and candy. Sometimes romance can be hidden in other things that are even more meaningful. For example, my husband takes on a lot of the responsibilities of the house so that I can write and handle my publishing business. To me, that is also romance!
- What is the craziest thing you've ever done for love?
When I was in my twenties, my husband (who was then my boyfriend) lived four hours away. We would each take turns driving to see each other every other weekend.
It was a lot of driving for over a year and very exhausting! It was something I probably wouldn’t have the energy for today at my age now.
- You write about love, romance, family, friends... People fight to achieve their goal in life and to beat ghosts from the past. Your heroes learn to compromise and to forgive if they want to be happy. How hard is that, and do we have to make a few sacrifices in life if we want to be happy?
Happiness is in the eye of the beholder. What makes one person happy won’t make another happy. Sometimes you do have to sacrifice things in life in order to be happy, things like career goals or living close to family.
We can’t have everything all of the time, but we can be happy if we are surrounded by people we love and doing something with our lives every day that we can find joy in.
- Do we all have to learn lessons from our own mistakes, and do you think that people, in the end, could achieve everything or is it just a myth?
Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. We don’t have to achieve everything we set out to achieve. Sometimes the things we think we want are not what will ultimately be best for us. It’s okay to change your mind about goals, too, and to veer onto different paths in life as long as you are happy wherever you are in the moment. The present moment is all there is. Past and future are an illusion.
- Readers love your books. They think that you are unique. How do you feel about that and do you see yourself in another genre perhaps?
Thank you! I don’t see myself writing anything other than romance. I always say that if I tried to write a non-romance book, my characters would still somehow end up kissing before the end and it would turn into a romance book.
You have to write what makes you excited and for me that is romance. I’m so thankful that my readers in Serbia have enjoyed my stories!
- What is the most important for you when you build your main heroes? How do they need to look like and behave?
- Have you always believed in yourself or there was a time that you were thinking of giving up your writing?
I began writing very late in life. I never imagined that writing would become my career, but I am so thankful for the path that my life took. I try not to take it too seriously or to get upset if I am having a slow writing streak or having problems getting my ideas down onto paper.
The process is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and if you start to overthink everything, then it becomes very difficult. I try to write things down and worry about fixing it later.
Something on paper even if it isn’t perfect is better than nothing at all. I never had a moment where I considered giving up writing. I couldn’t imagine that.
- You are very popular in Serbia. Do you plan to come to our country and to hang out with your readers?
A major problem that I have is that I am afraid to fly and avoid airplanes at all costs. It’s not something I am proud of, but nevertheless, it’s something that limits where I travel and how I travel.
No one is perfect and my fear of flying is definitely something that impacts my life negatively. I would love to come to Serbia, though! Thank you to all of my readers for your love and support! I hope to bring you many more books in the years to come.
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(Telegraf.co.uk / A. Taskovic - email@example.com)