About the author:
Harper Jayne has been writing professionally for years, but in 2009 he made the switch to long form fiction. Harper's debut novel (expected in the first half of 2012) is entitled Knave, and it is the first of a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy. Currently based in sunny Vista, California, Harper, and his wife and daughter, plan to relocate back "home" to Washington state "one of these days" because they miss being rained on constantly.
Where to find Harper Jayne:
Expected publication date: first half of 2012
A troubled youth struggles with growing powers while striving to save his land from invasion.
Imris Calewyn has been nothing but trouble since he was orphaned three years ago. A thief, a cheat, and a poacher, he's a boy nobody can rely upon. In the middle of the night Imris awakens to disaster and is propelled down a path which will test his limits, and uncover his ancient heritage . . .
Love and the Authorby Harper Jayne
When Evie asked for writers who were willing to volunteer to come up with some ideas for Valentine's Day posts I jumped at the chance. After all, you try and help out those kindred spirits who inhabit the Pacific Northwest. Us "evergreen" folks need to have each others' backs.
But the problem with this eagerness became apparent when I had to consider what I was going to write about. After all, isn't every writer just going to go off about how they infuse romance into their novels? What am I going to have to add to that? I'm writing a YA Fantasy from a 16 year old male's perspective. Do you have any idea what a teenage boy's notion of romance is? It's not flowers and chocolate.
So I had to think. Outside the box of chocolates. What could I write about . . . what's relevant to being a writer, but doesn't rely on the whims of my hormonal man-child main character?
The answer, as it turns out, isn't in the writing. It's in being a writer.
To make a long, sad, painful story a bit shorter, I've not been incredibly fortunate in love. To say that "love is a battlefield" is a gross understatement in my case. I'm on my third marriage. The first two both ended with me being cheated on and left. (And yes, for the record, I did make mistakes. Relationships always have two people who are accountable.)
In addition to the sad endings, throughout these marriages my aspirations were not overly respected by my first two wives. Something writers need in their lives is support for their dreams. I'm sad to say that my dreams were not really what was important to my first two wives. My ability to go get a high-paying tech industry job (which I did, multiple times) was.
So I was really used to not having my dreams supported, and being constantly reminded that it was my duty as a man to bring in a paycheck. (I should also note that both of these women were capable professionals who earned good wages already.)
By the time I'd hit my mid-30's I was used to thinking of myself as someone who wasn't a good partner because I could not stay happy while working a 9-5 desk job, even though I was very good at it. I'd had a decade of that being hammered into me by two different people who told me they loved me. I believed it. It was the truth.
Then something in my life changed. On an overcast day in early 2010 (not too long after the double tragedy of having my second wife leave me, and my two-year old son die suddenly) I stood on a "wishing stone" facing the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California and my girlfriend asked me to be her husband. Ever the eternal optimist, I accepted her proposal, and we were wed in August.
Bridgette proved pretty quickly that she didn't believe in my truth. She felt I was a great partner. A man who had great nurturing instincts and would make a wonderful caretaker for our future children. In fact, she was thrilled when we found out just after we were wed that we were expecting our first child (a honeymoon baby), and that I'd be there every day to raise our daughter-to-be.
Not only that, but she loved my writing. She didn't think that being a writer was a stupid profession at all. Bridgette didn't believe that having a 9-5 job made her a better person than me. No, instead, she thought I should combine staying at home with our children with writing "full time" . . . which amounts to as much time as the kids will give you, basically.
She also believed in me and encouraged me when I got down on myself. When I could barely write a few thousand words then bury myself for months in misery, she stood right beside me and didn't doubt me for a second. She encouraged me to follow through with the plan I'd made for myself just before my second wife left me.
Then when November of 2011 rolled around and I told her I was going to write 50,000 words in a month, oh and I needed a bunch of money to take a train to San Fransisco for the weekend for this weird thing called the Night of Writing Dangerously? She took one look at me and asked if she and our daughter could come along and support me. She even gave me the idea for the novel I worked on during the month.
Those events were pivotal in me being able to finally realize that while I am still damaged from the things which have happened to me I am not beholden to those old beliefs any more. I have a new truthier (thank you Steven Colbert) set of truths.
I am a writer and a professional. And on top of that, I am a good partner.
I know this because as I wrote this piece Bridgette sat next to me designing the covers for Knave and the other two novels in the series. She's completely in this endeavor with me, and she has been since before I even realized this was where we were headed.
So what's the most important thing about Valentine's Day for me as a writer? Knowing that the woman I love shows her affection for me by letting her actions speak loud and clear. I will never again have to find myself in a place where I am made to feel that my creative gift is something I should feel ashamed of, and put aside for a "real job" . . .
Because I have a real job. Writing stories for the world to read.
I love you, baby. Thanks for everything. Happy Valentine's Day.