Albert Einstein once said, ‘If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.’ I took his advice to heart last year – big time! Mostly I set aside more time to do what I loved.
I fell back in love with fiction. After spending much of my adult life in business roles and writing about careers—how to survive them, change them and thrive in them—I’ve become a ravenous reader of all things escapism. I love immersing myself in new worlds…especially if there is an element of opulence, sensuality, history and the books are art-related in some way, like one of the books I read in 2016 – Jessie Burton’s, The Muse.
Inspired by my love of love, passion, exotic settings and escapism last year I finished two art-related romance novels under my pen name Mollie Mathews (www.molliemathews.com) and indie published them in my printing press, Blue Orchid Publishing. It has been heartening to receive wonderful feedback from readers, like one Amazon reviewer who posted a five-star review and said, “Beautiful. Resonated in my soul, gives me hope that I will meet my Prince one day and he will love me for who I am.”
The two books I wrote last year:
The awesome feedback I’ve received is particularly encouraging as, like many successful authors, I had to ensure rejection – and worse the silent treatment from a New York agent who asked me to send her my books and then never got back to me.
But I did receive some lovely feedback in a ‘rejection’ letter from Harlequin and I’m heartened by all the successful authors ahead of my who have been rejected many, many times. “Mollie Mathews has created an instantly gripping dynamic between Issy and Massimilliano that beautifully blends their animosity and their undeniable attraction, making the tension soar.”
And I have received lovely feedback from readers who have purchased and loved my books.
On the upside this experience lead me to create a new business and new brand – something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I read a book about New Zealand romance writers over ten years ago, The Passionate Pen.
2016 wasn’t the year I began writing romance. I’ve been reading and writing romance novels for over 10 years—it’s just taken me this long to finally believe enough in my stories to finish them!
This year I’m looking forward to finishing a true book of my heart, “Flight of Passion.”
I love writing fun, sexy, passion filled contemporary romance. I discovered my first love story on a trip to Paris when I was thirteen, and I’ve continued to read them ever since. I love the positivity, and the ways romantic heroines are strong and every bit as powerful as the men who love them.
As a child I always had a pen in my hand and dreamed of being a writer. I wrote my first story at the age of six. It was published in the children’s section of the Sunday paper. Seeing my story in print became addictive and I continued writing short stories and poems while getting a ‘real’ job.
After trying out a few fascinating careers I am so thankful that I now live my dream job as a writer, combining business with wild pleasure.
I passionately believe in the power of romance to transform people’s lives. My stories are unashamedly positive, optimistic, full of fun and sizzling passion.
I once read a quote by Mother Theresa about how we are all pens in the hands of a writing god. That resonnated strongly with me, I’ve always believed authors are pens in the hand of writing goddesses sending love letters to the world. I feel validated when readers write to me saying that my books gave them hope and courage during tough times.
Besides writing and reading, I enjoys anything creative. I’m an award-winning artist, and I love photography, sculpture and gardening. After living in Wellington, New Zealand for half my life, I now live in the gorgeous Bay of Islands with my vher very own romantic hero, Lorenzo—tall, dark, terribly handsome and fluent in Spanish!
Why I write romance
Romance novels are one of the bestselling genres in fiction, loved by millions of women (and men), around the world. Yet, surprisingly, they are dismissed as insignificant. This is very sad. Romance, intimacy, and love are vital aspects of our lives. By its very nature, romance tends to bring out our awkwardness, insecurities, hopes, dreams, desires—all aspects of what is to be human. A good romance is at the heart of many of my favorite stories and movies. Who doesn’t love a good love story.
in 2017 I was excited to meet MICHAEL HAUGE. Michael is a top Hollywood story expert, author and lecturer who consults with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys and public speakers throughout the world. He is the best-selling author of Writing Screenplays That Sell and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read.
Michael lives in Los Angeles with his wife and has worked in the film and television industries for more than 35 years. He loves movies! And he loves figuring out what makes them work. And he loves helping people tell their best stories too – people like actors Will Smith and Morgan Freeman, or Devon Franklin, Vice President of Production, Columbia Pictures (to name-drop just a few)
We’ve become great friends after I had the great fortune to attend his seminars when he was in Auckland speaking at The Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in August 2016.
One of the many sage things that Michael said to me at the conference was, “ As romance writers, you explore desire and passion and falling in love, and that’s all fine. But on a deeper level, you’re writing about CONNECTION. The biggest problem facing humanity today is loneliness. Your gift is to touch your readers and give them experience of connection, and the courage to transfer that experience into their own lives.”
This really resonated with me, personally and professionally. I know it takes courage to love, especially when you’ve been hurt. I takes courage to trust, especially when you’ve been betrayed. I know and how wonderful it is, and challenging at times, to fall in love again and find the person who finally gets you and loves you for you—quirks, flaws, and all!
So many people I admire read romances. Not all of them admit to it, but many do. Leonardo da Vinci, Coco Chanel, and other incredibly successfully people read romances.
James Patterson, currently the bestselling author in the world, is best known for this thrillers, but he also write romance novels. And is proud to do so. First Love, Sunday at Tiffanies, and The Christmas Wedding, are just a few of his popular romances.
I love the way he shared his personal story in a class I took with him. His father never met his dad and was raised in a poor house. He was competitive with James (which ‘was less than ideal”) and only hugged him on his deathbed) “I brought that across to my son. I give my son a hug and a kiss every night he’s home.”
The truth is that we all have wounds that can prevent us from loving others. Romance novels reveal the inside story and share with us the power of transformational change, when the right person has keys that fit our locks, and locks that fit our keys – to paraphrase Richard Bach in his wonderful book, The Bridge Across For Ever.
Coco Chanel, whose story I also share in my non-fiction book, “The Art of Success,” had many wounds. She had to overcome obstacles to love just like you and I. She suffered extreme poverty, self-doubt, low self-esteem and craved ever-lasting love.
In the movie, ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness,’ Will Smith, who plays the role of a homeless man, says to his son, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it.
As a child Coco dreamed big. The flames of her desires were in part fueled by reading romance novels full of dashing heroes and heroines living absurdly, audaciously opulent and liberated lives.
“A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life,” Coco Chanel once said.
Isn’t that what many of us dream of?
The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride
“The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage”
You can learn more about Michael here: www.StoryMastery.com
P.S. Here’s a sneak peek into, Flight of Passion
Past love and the obsessions that bind them.
Devastatingly handsome Oliver Hart is used to getting what he wants. Single, thirty-five and a committed bachelor, he plays by his own rules. On a personal quest to catch a rare, elusive and very valuable butterfly, he’s unwittingly distracted by former flame, Ruby Lilly—a woman who callously abandoned him eight years earlier.
Deciding he wants to reclaim the beauty as his own, in his mind it’s as good as done.
But Ruby is not his for the taking. Promised to the son of a wealthy landowner, she refuses to succumb to his charms. On a quest to save her family’s land, Ruby knows she must put duty first, and silence the passionate stirrings of her heart. But Oliver doesn’t make things easy for her. He’s not taking no for an answer.
Risking everything to help the woman he loves gain her freedom, Oliver entangles himself in an emotional net that alters his life forever. Sacrificing his own selfish pursuit to help Ruby, he realizes that you may be able to own something, but you can never own someone—especially the women you love.
Have you ever wanted to be with someone who sent your heart soaring but threatens your sense of security? Someone who lifts you clear out of the water, but you’re not sure will be around to catch you when you fall head over heels in love? Flight of Passion is a rapturous tale of beauty, obsession and the transformational power of unconditional love.