After giving it some thought and after talking with the editor about my book, I realized I must publish French Martini. In fact, I posted an excerpt earlier today. After all, the critique was romance-based and I should have known better than to submit my novel to a romance publisher. It has romance and it is a suspense but it is not a “romantic suspense” – a term the romance world has confiscated.
The readers didn’t understand Nikki’s motivation. I gave that some thought about how to improve that. But then I realized what the readers did not understand is that Nikki’s problems stem from growing up without her father. But the world refuses to understand that – it’s too inconvenient to understand it. It doesn’t suit people’s personal choices they want to make to understand it. And that’s why romance readers who do not understand the consequences will not understand my characters.
One of my favorite TV shows is Nashville and the reason why is the storyline of Deacon being the father of Maddie and the reactions of the daughter, of the father, of the mother, of the step father – are all so authentic. Maddie is claiming her identity and her name and her mother and step father are furious with her. I get that!
I wouldn’t even know my step dad was not my dad if my cousin, aunt, and grandmother hadn’t told me. And when they gave me a picture of my father and a letter from my father, I had to give them back – my mother refused to let me have them (more of this in Myths of the Fatherless.)
When my grandmother asked, “Kathy, do you want to find your father?” when I was a teen-ager, my mother stood right there making it very clear I’d better say no and so I lied. I said, “No.” When I was divorced, I desperately wanted to use my maiden name but afraid of family fallout, I stuck with my step dad’s name.
I was in my 40s by the time I had the courage to find my father and to use his last name, Holmes, and why my web site is so important to me. Here Kathy Holmes writes and publishes stories the way her creative mind sees them. Here Kathy Holmes gets to voice her opinions. Here Kathy Holmes gets to experiment with writing music, singing, and playing the keys. Here Kathy Holmes exists!
So if it sometimes seem like I take the daughter’s side over the mother’s, well, you’d better believe it. In our world, the daughter needs an advocate. This isn’t to risk her life or rebel in an unhealthy or unsafe way. This is to claim her identity.
Because, you see, I’ve experienced the rewards of personally claiming my identity. I’ve seen an adopted daughter completely turn her life around from rebellion to happy wife and mother-to-be once she met her biological mother and family.
There are several strong, sexy women on Nashville and it’s their attitude and ability to speak their minds that makes them sexy and so in that spirit, I’d like to think of myself as a “writer with a Nashville attitude.”