page proofs

I just sent off page proofs to New York. This means that not another word of the book I’ve finished will be changed. I did something I didn’t expect. I took what I thought was some worldly wisdom out of the book, deleted it. When I wrote the worldly, warning words, I was adamant about keeping them in. I don’t like sticky sweet romances. I feel like they’re a lie. But in rereading the story again, I decided that I wasn’t being fair to the character, who couldn’t know what he would do in the years ahead, and that I was killing hope, that we begin everything with hope. Time or circumstances may change that, but hope is one of the most beautiful things in our lives. We’ve never dare to anything without it. So I dropped lines that were foreboding, showing what the future would hold. I decided they reflected my own cynicism. I don’t want to be a cynic. I want to keep  aspects of a child, but not deny the wisdom of my years.

What are you looking for when you read? An escape? Realism? Adventure? Why do we read fiction?


10 responses to “page proofs

  1. Nancy Dunn Mercer

    I appreciate fiction that contains many nuggets of well researched facts surrounding the characters. I enjoy learning actual facts about the places, the jobs, or the hobbies of the characters-I feel enriched by the extraneous information and that makes the characters feel more real to me.

  2. I read fiction to escape… doesn’t everyone? The vivid world you describe in your books grab me by my imagination and plop me down in a time long ago where I can devour pices of history blended with your magnificent fabrication of what might have happerned behond closed doors–the love, the intrigue, the emotionally satisfying denouement. Amazing, always.

  3. I read fiction to experience another reality. Also, it is fun 🙂

  4. K:
    Fiction most often represents fluff and fun. Sometimes excitement and suspense. I read more non-fiction these days. Political and instructional mostly.

  5. K: PS:
    Love the snowflakes!

  6. I do love the escape but can’t have it without realism. I agree with you on the dislike of sticky sweet romances. It eliminates that reality in turn giving the story a childhood fairytale feel to it. I could not read that style over and over. The well researched history of the period in which your books (and that of another author I enjoy) take place illuminates the story in giving the reader an educated insight to the times. I love that! I think on the adventure aspect, Karleen, growing up with four brothers has intensified my love of adventure. Without adventure in a fictional romance it seems to me that the story might be rather bland. Don’t know though as I don’t think I’ve ever read one without it. We may ‘do’ your new book for bookclub when it’s available. I’ll let you know. Love and respect to you, Bonnie

  7. Truth. As long as it rings true. . .

  8. For me personally and probably most people, reading fiction is escapism…a journey away from the norm…..a break!

  9. Hi Karleen,

    Visiting your blog is a little bit like visiting you. I realize this is one-sided, that you don’t have any idea that I visit you every few months at least.

    I often ask myself why I read fiction. There’s something about searching for answers or truth or solutions… As if a solution I find in a good story can morph into a solution in my everyday life.

    Your dancemeditation sister,


  10. To hear the voice of the character, above the insistent sound of our own voice–very difficult, but essential listening.

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