Monday, June 24, 2013

I Giggle in the Face of Fear by Carlene Love Flores

I recently came across this question: As an author, what scares you the most?
I didn’t know right away what my answer would be but a few days ago, I received a phone call from my grandma.  When we hung up, I had it.  I knew she had been gifted a Kindle this past Christmas and had proudly downloaded my book, Sidewalk Flower, with the intentions of reading it.  To which I was a jumble of contradictory feelings.  Pride notched itself everywhere.  I loved my book and its message.  I loved the fact I’d become published with Evernight.  I loved that I had such excited and supportive family.  But I won’t lie, the thought of my sweet, conservative, 78-year-old grandma reading Trista and Lucky’s extremely intimate, often dark and detailed love story had me in a twist.  I decided the only thing to do was be completely honest with her.  So we talked at that time and I said, “Grandma, I’m not sure you’ll be comfortable with the steamier parts of the book.”  To which she replied, “Oh, that’s fine dear.  I’ll just skip that one scene.”
Oy.  I immediately lost my nerve and kept the rest to myself… “Grandma, it’s more than just one scene.”
Alas, Grandma is a very busy lady and she would check in with me from time to time over the next few months to let me know she hadn’t had a chance to read the book yet.
I would let out a nice long breath.
Until this past week when I received the call to say she had.
There was a definite moment of silence when she let me know because I had to morph from the girl whose heart had just hightailed it out her chest to the confident woman who was proud of her story, her beloved characters and their very sexy, intimate journey. 
I couldn’t have been afforded a more gracious woman to call grandma if I’d tried.  She filled our silence by letting me know she had skipped over the steamy parts and enjoyed the story very much.  Of course she felt those scenes weren’t necessary but she was very proud of me nonetheless.  
On the one hand, I was thrilled and knew this was the best outcome for the tummy turbulence I’d been dealing with as I wondered what she would think.  She’d been very fair to me, sharing her likes but also not bending to the parts she was uncomfortable with.  But on the other, I wanted my story to be loved for everything it is.  Every ounce of struggle, redemption, and yes, every time two people who love each other fight to come together and share themselves with each other.
This experience has taught me that being honest is scary, but I have a hunch Grandma would expect nothing less.  I don’t want to live or write without this freedom.  I respect my characters, myself, my readers and yes, my grandma who I am also very proud of for stepping out of her comfort zone.  At the end of a nerve-wracking experience, I can now giggle.   I’m willing to bet Grandma has something to giggle about too.

Carlene Love Flores is the author of Sidewalk Flower, book one of the Sin Pointe novels.  Be on the lookout for the next in the series due out this summer.  


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