Barbara Monajem here.
We’re all familiar with “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I have always disliked this saying. I understand what it means – that good intentions are useless if you don’t act on them – but it always seemed to me as if it was dissing the good intentions themselves, which is unfair. Sure, you have to act on your good intentions, but you won’t act on them if you don’t have them in the first place.
And lots of people don’t. Just read the tabloids while waiting in line at the supermarket, and you’ll be bombarded with bad intentions. A is cheating on B. C is plotting revenge on D. E and F hate one another, and Y bullied and tormented Z.
Yucky, isn’t it? So anyways, I was thinking about author branding the other day (not because I wanted to, but because promo is necessary), and trying to figure what my promise is to the reader (besides happy endings in a romance, a solution to the crime in a mystery, etc.., because those are given).
What do I want to promise? That my characters have good intentions. That even when they screw up (which everyone does sometimes), they turn themselves around, they do their best to mean well, and they continue to mean well. (Not the bad buys, of course. They are allowed to be as bad as is necessary to make a good story.)
I want to promise that good intentions are the means to a successful relationship. That with good intentions on both sides, along with a willingness to learn and believe that the other means well, characters can overcome the conflicts and misunderstandings that divide them and come out stronger in the end. Of course, this doesn’t apply only to characters, but to real people, too. I’d sure like to see more heartwarming headlines in the supermarket line.
Since I like to do a giveaway, I’m offering a lucky commenter one of my books, ebook or paperback (when available), winner’s choice. Comment on anything you like — good intentions, whether I should put a recipe page on my website, where you would go if you could travel back in time, or just that you’d like a chance to win a book.
(BTW, this set of novellas was just released! 9 novellas by 9 authors, both Regency and Medieval, only 99 cents. My contribution to the set is my magical Regency novella, Lord Quickthorn’s Bargain.)