Invariably, the first question people ask me when they hear I’ve written a novel is “What’s it titled?” I answer Shabby Chic at Heart and some folks, especially men, fall into a stunned stupor. Their faces go blank and their eyes glaze over. Some people politely say, “Excuse me?” as if they didn’t hear what I said, and others blatantly ask “What is that?”
But once in a while, someone asks me about my books, and when I say Shabby Chic at Heart, they say “—like the furniture?” or “Really? I thought you said it was a novel.”
Either way, whether you love shabby chic or not, writing a novel about it is… well, a novel idea. Haha. No seriously, when I was trying to decide what to write about, I considered what I love; the everyday things that capture my passion and make each day more fun. I wondered what I could write that was both wonderful and difficult, and something that other women might enjoy reading.
My own passion for collecting cast offs has morphed into multiple parts of my life, but when I considered writing about it, the fuse was lit! I quickly realized that I could do anything I wanted to do with old furniture, vintage building parts, fabric, and flowers in a book! I could saw items in half without tangled extension cords and paint without waiting for it to dry. I could own a huge and fabulously successful shop or travel to the ends of the earth in search of magnificent vintage items. The things I could do were endless! Instead of opening my purse, I could write about it, fulfilling my wildest decorating dreams!
As I organized my thoughts of story lines and characters, I had to line up the people in my mind with the type of Shabby Chic they would embrace. The options were endless, the number of settings incalculable. I ultimately decided to start close to home in South West PA, so I could write about the places that inspire me.
Yes, writing a novel about women who love Shabby Chic and the men who think they’re crazy, is something new and different. My novels don’t fit neatly into a romance category, like cowboys or vacation love, but most of us who love to find cast off items and make them into something different don’t fit the norm either.
If you love to wander through flea markets and imagine how you’d remodel all the lovely items you can never actually buy, join me in the wonderful world of a novel, where the furniture turns out beautifully, the settings are romantic, and the men shrug and carry things and love you all the more for it. Shabby fiction fabulousness!