People often ask me, “How could you—a guy—write such a great Romance novel?”
My answer, “Don’t ever underestimate a male ego after a few glasses of wine!” In all seriousness, “Pink Slips and Glass Slippers” began as a dare. Sitting around a table of friends, sipping wine—okay gulping wine—I posed the question, “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one book, which one would you choose?”
A female friend jumped on the question, answering with the title to a hugely popular Romance novel (one that I had little or no respect for. I won’t name it because it’s bad karma—and the table was nodding agreement). I knew my opinion was in the minority, but… I retorted, “Seriously? I could write so much better than that!”
After a pause that seemed to lap eternity, someone blurted, “Okay Mr. Bliss List, then do it!” Brief background time: my first book was “The Bliss List,” an inspirational career guide where the mystical meets the practical. In addition to opening the door to some incredible media exposure: live interviews on FoxNews, Daytime TV, The L.A. Times, CNN, Fortune, etc., the book landed on several bestseller lists and garnered four awards including “International Book of the Year.” (Reader’s Digest is publishing the second edition, release date: May 16. www.blisslist.com).
Back to the dare. The next day—without wine—I wrote a stepsheet with an intriguing plot and interesting characters. Three months later, 118,000 words magically appeared in a file named “Boardroom Trysts—Pink Slips and Glass Slippers.” I say magically because time stood still while I wrote it (including the middle of many nights). Ironically, my bliss became writing this story. My day jobs include Life Coach, Professional Inspirational Speaker, and CEO of an Executive Search Firm. But this story was so fun to write, it almost wrote itself.
Then, the tough part—editing it. I was able to clip 5,000 words after several grueling rewrites. After I couldn’t see straight, I did the smartest thing I’ve ever done— I turned it over to four separate female friends including Manuscript Consultant Sophie Powell. In addition to teaching English at Boston College (my Alma Mater), she’s also a successful author. Sophie provided brilliant insight (especially into my protagonist, Brooke Hart), but Sophie also provided great encouragement to stick with the story. Her original notes made the back cover: “I enjoyed every minute of Pink Slips and Glass Slippers and literally could not put it down—I gobbled it up with the compulsion and ease of one of my favorite beach reads, except I did not feel empty when I finished reading this novel—I felt warm inside, and inspired.”
My mission statement as an author is: “To provide inspiration to millions of people.” With three books published, I’m currently juggling six different book projects (Four fiction, two non-fiction), in addition to my other three day jobs. As long as it’s fun—and people continue to read—I will write until I draw my last breath.
My greatest challenge as an author? Writing steamy love scenes without using dirty words. No doubt about it. One astute reviewer wrote: “Steam yet Substance.” Let me know if you agree?
by J.P. Hansen
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