I’m lucky – that is what I keep telling myself because I’ve been able to promote Naturally, Charlie from the day it landed in my inbox. I love this story so when S.L. and I hashed out what topics she should write about I rambled off… Tell me how the Charlie’s were born and she loved the idea.
All I want to say is: Thank you, Suzie for Naturally, Charlie. I am so happy to be part of this journey with you!
How Naturally, Charlie was Born!
Sometimes stories hit you like lightning and sometimes there is something that leads you to a story idea. Naturally, Charlie was the latter, but it’s the story I’m about to tell that makes me love Naturally, Charlie even more.
I had a story idea hit me like lightning. It hit me hard, and insisted I tell it. It all came together – the beginning, middle, and end within a 24 hours period. POOF! It was all worked out. Now all I had to do was write it. The easy part, right? Pfft! But this story actually was easy to write and the words just flowed. One month later, I had written my first full-length novel manuscript at a whopping 170,000 words. Then I spent the next month doing a difficult self-edit, pulling out words by the thousands and I got it down to 105,000 words. Every remaining word felt necessary.
I couldn’t cut anymore, not the part about when the characters meet, or that date, or even that certain part that led me to write an entirely other book based on it. Yes, that’s right. Naturally, Charlie came about as part of another novel I had written.
That first book I wrote was about a couple of actors and their trials and tribulations in Hollywood. The main heroine of the story lands a role in a movie called Naturally, Charlie.
The scene I wrote in the other novel is now in the book Naturally, Charlie. I won’t give major spoilers, but it’s where they run into each other at a park. They recognize each other, but they don’t really know each other. But something intrigues them enough about the other that in this vulnerable time in their lives, they manage to open their heart to this stranger and let them in. The connection between them is there from the beginning.
That part is pretty much identical to how I originally wrote it in the first novel. The entire idea for Naturally, Charlie, the book, developed from there.
Since I was into writing the other story and those characters, I wrote that scene and moved on, but it remained with me, on my mind and in my heart.
About three months later, I still couldn’t get the Charlies out of my head. It seemed almost frivolous to write a story that was just a small part in another story, but the characters and the emotions that I felt between them wouldn’t leave me alone. The question that I kept wondering with this new story was: Can two people who meet in unhappy circumstances turn that around and find love? I had to know. so one day I decided, okay, I’m gonna try this. If there’s a full story here fantastic, if not, it will live in the first novel as a snippet forever.
When I gave myself permission to explore this concept, I wrote the first original eight chapters and then took a breather, finding relief that I had written the basis to establish the characters, the tone of the book, and their storyline to be able to let it lie. I returned to my busy schedule of Mommyhood and got involved with a great writing community. Fast forward through time, and I decided it was time to finish that story that called to me.
It was like the Charlies had stayed with me, strong and steady, needing the rest of their story told. That’s what this book is. It’s their story and their journey, all told through my words. Naturally, Charlie didn’t hit me like lightning. It simmered for years inside of me, and I’m thrilled that I finally get to share the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates and creating their own destiny.
Thank you for having me here.