Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sister Wife

It's done. I sent the proof pages for Sister Wife back to the publisher today. Next week it will go to the printer. There's no turning back now. It's going to get published and my name will be on the cover. I've written a story about polygamy. Am I out of my mind?

This is the 8th time I've been through this process. You'd think it would get easier with each book. It doesn't. Looking back at the issues in my books I have to wonder at myself. I've written about teen pregnancy, peer pressure, the dangers of the internet, self-inflicted injuries, dysfunctional families, abduction, adoption, abuse, divorce, cancer, ... I could go on. In fact I've probably tackled an issue for every letter of the alphabet. Why do I choose these topics? I have no answer, except that I always know that by writing these stories I will find myself pondering ideas in ways that I never would have if I hadn't tackled the subject matter.

Writing this book, as always, was a journey of discovery. I don't like to tell new writers this, but I was 3/4's of the way through the first draft, maybe more, before I knew how it was going to end. Actually, I knew exactly how it had to end, I just didn't know how to get my protagonist there.

I remember the exact moment it came to me. I was on a retreat with my writing group. We'd been brainstorming ideas. None of them felt right. Then we took a break from brainstorming to actually write.

That's when it came to me, fully formed. The protagonist could only reach that final destination one way. It was so obvious, but I hadn't seen it until I was almost there. She couldn't make the final leap for herself, but she could do it for someone else. It's a lesson I've learned in my own life, and I was able to apply that lesson to my character. It was a most satisfying writing experience.

That's all I can say without ruining the ending for prospective readers.

I think that I've treated the subject of polygamy fairly. By using three voices I've tried to show the various perspectives of a controversial religious principle. Nothing is ever black and white. I hope I've shown the grey.