- by Patricia Rosemoor
A funny thing happened once I got my new knee. After spending nine years doing water exercise-the only kind of exercise I thought I could do with a knee in such bad condition-I didn’t really want to get back into the water again unless it was a leisure activity. For me, joint effort, then water aerobics, then deep pool conditioning had gone from being hard work…to being fun…to being unchallenging. I was doing the same thing over and over and over. I was bored.
After surgery and four months of physical therapy, my quads still needed work, but now I could exercise on land. I had a difficult time keeping up on my own, so finally I got a personal trainer. The next thing I knew, I was building muscle and not only in my quads. Before I knew it, I was bench pressing, using free weights and medicine balls and Russian kettlebells-things that I never thought of doing before. I now enjoy exercising and look forward to it, because my trainer constantly challenges me to do something more or something different. Raising the stakes keeps me thoroughly engaged. No more boredom.
Which brings me to writing.
Writing the same thing over and over for years is no more fun than being confined to water exercise. My first book was a YA romance. Then I wrote romantic comedy with a partner. And was published solo in romantic suspense by Harlequin Intrigue. My then partner and I went from romantic comedy to paranormal romance to historical paranormal romantic suspense. Continually expanding my writing goals kept me fresh and eager to write.
Eventually my first writing partner quit to pursue another career. For several years I wrote straight romantic suspense for Intrigues, but again, I needed a challenge, so I started pushing the envelope both in story and by adding paranormal elements.
During Silhouette Bombshell’s short life, I wrote two urban fantasies with romantic subplots and thought I’d found a fun niche in addition to my Intrigues. Unfortunately, the line died before the second book saw print. So I was back to writing Intrigues alone and figuring out how to push the envelope further to keep myself entertained.
Two years ago, a friend and I decided to write together, to try something very different from what was already on the market-urban fantasy romantic thrillers in which I wrote the heroine’s and villainess’s scenes and he wrote the hero’s and villain’s scenes. Writing absolutely what we wanted was stimulating and a lot of fun, and taking a chance paid off in a two book contract with Del Rey.
Creative people often have more than one creative interest-music, dancing, theater, art. In my old life, I was in theater; I was a photographer, developing my own black and white photographs back before there was such a thing as digital; I produced and directed radio, television, film, animation. So when book trailers took off, I was drawn back to something I’d left behind twenty years ago. The learning curve has given me many hours of pleasure. So far I’ve produced two book trailers, the first of which was a very simple piece for a Harlequin Intrigue series called A Holiday Mystery at Jenkins Cove
As writers, we need to exercise our creative muscles in every way we can. Every so often, we need to up the stakes. Only then can we keep our writing fresh and ourselves engaged. Only then can we look forward to a long, rewarding career.