It’s Not Just Romance…

Happy 2017 everyone!! I’m starting the year with a personal post ( a day late–sorry!!!). Because I want to start the year off the way I want the rest of the year to go. With kindness, love and positive energy!

Many of us read to connect, right? We want to feel all the emotions. We want to be one of the characters. Or we want to be kissing one of the characters. 🙂

When I started writing, I didn’t just think about character arcs, the love story, the plot and the big black moment. I wanted my book to TOUCH someone–maybe even CHANGE someone–or HELP someone. Is that weird? I don’t know. I just know that I wanted readers to walk away with all the warm fuzzies and a moral–if you will.

One of the biggest compliments I received on DELAYED PENALTY, the first book in my Pilots Hockey series, came from an editor during the query stages. The editor told me that he loved the book– and he didn’t like sports romances at all. (I’m paraphrasing).

DELAYED PENALTY is a story about an interpreter who falls for her client – who just happens to be a Hot Russian Hockey God. But the story isn’t all about hockey. In fact, hockey is not even the majority of the story.

The story is about Auden, a teenager on the verge of adulthood, still dealing with the constant cycle of grief and loss stemming from her father’s early exit from her life and her mother’s death. And trying to accept love when all she’s ever known is abandonment.

As many of you know, the grief from the loss of a parent (or anyone) doesn’t just stop. Not after a month. Or a year. Or 30 years. You don’t “get over it.” You learn to live with it. Auden’s backstory was  somewhat based off my own background. I, too, lost my mom very young. Every time something big happens in my life, I go through the stages again. The Denial, the Anger, the Bargaining, the Depression and the Acceptance. (5 Stages from: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book “On Death and Dying“). After thirty years, the grief cycle is on a lesser scale, but I still go through it.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to share my books with my mom? Wouldn’t it be awesome to hear her say she’s proud of me? No matter how many years pass, those thoughts are always going to pop into my head. I’m always going to pine for that approval, that unconditional love that only a mom can give.

I dedicated DELAYED PENALTY to all the Motherless Daughters out there. (SPOILER, sorry).
Though I’ve highlighted DELAYED PENALTY in this post, but I tried to do this with all of my books  If a fictional, Contemporary Sports Romance can help someone through the stages of grief, help them understand their feelings and realize they aren’t alone in those feelings, I’ve done my job as an author–and as a human being.

Have you read a book that you thought would be a “fluffy” fun read, but ended up being affected by it?
Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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