Message From The Author

Shelly Thacker

Genre: Georgian Period, England, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

Hearts Run Wild

When I chose that poem to open my new Avon Treasure, HEARTS RUN WILD, I had no idea that Blake's words were about to come true. Not only in my book, but in my life.

I was halfway through the manuscript when some medical problems took me by surprise late in 1994. It took several weeks before we received an accurate diagnosis and my recovery could begin-a recovery almost as painful and difficult as the original problem. By the time I finished healing, months later, I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

Then I sat down to finish HEARTS RUN WILD. My editor and agent had granted me two deadline extensions and generous support, but now it was time to get down to business.

My publisher and readers had waited a long time for this book. I wanted it to be special. But how could I create love and faith, optimism and redemption when I felt so empty, so bleak?

Sometimes I sat at the keyboard and cried, afraid that I had lost my ability to write. The story seemed flat, the characters wooden. After the traumatic, frightening experience I had been through, I felt like I had nothing left to give to these people and their story. For the first time, I couldn't feel what my characters were feeling. I simply felt numb.

I had experienced dry spells before, but nothing like this. Desperate, I tried reading my previous books to reassure myself of my ability-but that only emphasized how well-crafted they seemed in comparison to my current manuscript.

A friend on the GEnie RomEx network posted a piece of advice that I taped to my computer: Keep going. Your muse will return and settle on your shoulder when you least expect her.

Praying that my muse would return, I kept writing. I had no choice. I had six months' worth of work ahead of me-and I had to finish it in a matter of weeks.

Then, when I had almost given up hope, my heroine made me laugh. Right out loud. I almost didn't recognize the sound.

A few days later, I found myself falling in love with my hero, Nicholas Brogan, a dark and dangerous rogue who thinks himself utterly beyond redemption. Slowly, as I breathed life into my characters, they breathed life into me. As Nicholas and Samantha experienced the healing power of love, their love built a Heaven in my despair. They brought me hope and joy, and reminded me that I firmly believe in happily-ever-after.

I'd love to hear from you. For a bookmark and the latest issue of my newsletter, T-Time, send an SASE to: P.O. Box 1022, Novi, MI 48376.

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