Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Romantic Reads: Avoiding Marriage

The Story Behind the Story Avoiding Marriage by Karin Beery:

Boyne Heights, MI: population 1,482. Cherry trees out number people by a 10:1 ratio. Kids graduate high school with the same 100 other kids they went to kindergarten with. Home of the Russell family, first introduced in Practically Married and revisited in Avoiding Marriage, my latest romantic women’s fiction novella.

This story wasn’t planned. It started as a way to keep me writing. I don’t have another publishing contract yet, so I don’t know how long it will take before I see another book published. I wanted to keep writing, though, and I wanted to give my fans something suitable for and fun to read on a day at the beach.

Enter Jess—the ex-girlfriend in Practically Married. Also, one of my best friends. My Jess wasn’t thrilled about being the crazy ex in the story. I assured her she wasn’t the inspiration for the character (aside from the long blonde hair), but her point made me think:

If Jess was crazy, why would Russ have dated her? If she wasn’t crazy, why would he have broken up with her? What could have made Jess crazy for a short period of time without permanently derailing her life?

I love rabbit trails, and the more questions I asked, the more trails I found. I didn’t take the easy-to-find trails though. I like to make my characters work for their happy endings. Let’s face it: If a situation drove Jess crazy, it has to be bad, right? 

As one of my endorsers said: Karin Beery must be a bit of a fiend to toss her characters into the messes they find themselves in, but it’s always a blast to watch them battle their way out.

Two of the inspirations for how to tell Jess’s story were two of my favorite TV shows. The first is Mom. The situations on that show are more adult-focused than I usually write (it’s not appropriate for everyone and definitely not a Christian show), but what I love about the series is the humor: a group of recovering alcoholics in AA with criminal records and less-than-reputable pasts who still manage to find the fun and humor in life. I’ve cried while watching that show, but I also laugh. A lot.

My other inspiration is Gilmore Girls. A single mom who got pregnant at sixteen and struggles to maintain healthy relationships. That could easily have been a drama with lots of angst and tears. Instead, every episode is a race to the finish with humor, heartache, and lots junk food. Sure, there are episodes when characters make mistakes and everyone’s upset or mad. But there’s also love and laughter and a reminder that you don’t have to focus on the bad things.

Those were the influencers in my head while writing Avoiding Marriage. They inspired me to create awkward situations (like having Jess work for her ex-boyfriend) and make them more awkward (like having her ex-boyfriend’s new wife offer her the job). Then they inspired me to look for the humor and hope amidst the heartache.

Did I succeed?

You tell me!

Author Bio:
Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town, where she wrote her first novel in high school. 

Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. 

When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it.

In her free time, she enjoys watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies with her husband and fur babies.

Blurb for Karin’s book, Avoiding Marriage:

Two years ago, Jessica Miller made a mess of her already confusing life. 

Now, she’s back in Boyne Heights, and she’s determined to fix her reputation. 

She can’t seem to avoid the past that haunts her, but that’s the joy of small-town life—word spreads and people remember. 

Intent on her mission, however, she faces her past head-on, taking a job with her ex-boyfriend while avoiding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a new one.

Buy Karin’s book on Amazon 

Connect with Karin:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorkarinbeery/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/karinbeery/
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/karin-beery
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2666258-karin

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