It is my pleasure to have a guest post from author Olivia Fields today. Congrats to her on her first published novel!
ELF: What was the most difficult thing to overcome on your path to becoming a published author and how did you conquer it?
OF: “You can’t do that.” This statement, spoken by the little internal pessimist we all have riding along in our psyches, keeps too many people from being their best and achieving their goals. Sometimes it’s you speaking to yourself. Sometimes it’s the voice of others speaking to you, either in your memories or in your present. Either way, the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a writer is to ignore that little voice and keep chasing the dream.
I saw research once proving negative self-talk is at least six times more powerful than positive self-talk. That means every time you say “I can’t” to yourself, you need to say “I can!” at least seven times before you begin to believe it. It can feel pretty awkward and silly sitting there telling yourself “I can!” But if you don’t, who will? Success requires a leap of faith, a step into blind darkness and doubt. The scariest thing is, a lot more than one leap has to happen.
Some days the leap is especially hard. You can feel empty air hanging under your feet, like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner off a cliff. On those days, I try to sit down and bite the bullet and write that scene I’ve been struggling with. It may turn out downright terrible, but at least after that I have something to work on. I can edit and revise as many times as it takes to make it shine.
The important thing is always keep trying to do what you love. If you don’t have any ground to stand on, fetch a shovel and start piling it up right where you want it. “If you build it, they will come.”
Just like me, my characters often have to learn to believe in themselves and work to achieve their goals. At first in Her Heart’s Liege, Alexandra doesn’t truly believe in her value to Prince Holden, and she can’t let herself trust in his love. She eventually learns it isn’t just his past and personality that frightens her: it’s her own self-doubt getting in the way of their relationship. She realizes she has to make a leap of faith and believe in herself if she is to claim the love and respect she wants.
I hope you’ll enjoy watching Alexandra make that journey, just as all of us do every day—even if the love and respect we have to earn is our own.
by Olivia Fields
Tomboy Alex Bonham has fought her male peers tooth and nail to prove herself worthy to become captain of the king’s guard. When her country is invaded by Danes, she is ordered to take the king’s younger son, a charming but irresponsible rake, away from the front lines for safekeeping.
Alex walks a difficult line, trying to balance her growing attraction to Prince Holden with her dedication to duty and her responsibility to keep him safe from robbers, Danes...and even himself. But when they are drawn into the struggle to defend East Anglia from occupation, both the prince and his captain must grow. Can spoiled Prince Holden evolve into a good man who could lead the kingdom--one Alex can trust with her heart?
"Attack me," Alexandra told the prince.
"I couldn't," he demurred, and she put her hands on her hips, exasperated.
"Stop being a fool." She stood up and shook out her arms, ready. "Come at me like you mean to knock me down."
"It wouldn't be fair. You know what we agreed about contests of strength."
She rolled her eyes. "You weren't listening. This isn't a contest of strength, though what you've learned from Carl is mostly strength-based. What I have in mind is a contest of skill, wits, and know-how, none of which you have. Are you going to attack me, or are you going to give up on your training?"
The taunt sufficed to goad him forward. He lunged, a little half-hearted. She caught his thumb and turned it just so. In half a second, she'd pushed him up onto his tiptoes and jerked his arm up behind his shoulders. His skin was smooth and hot, slick with sweat. He smelled salty and musky, very male in her nostrils.
"What the hell did you do?" He gasped, shocked.
"That is how a woman becomes captain of the king's guards," she told him coolly.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
For years, college professor Olivia Fields has been writing romantic tales to pacify her muse and entertain her friends. She believes in making her characters work for their happy endings.
When not at her keyboard, Olivia enjoys nature hikes, photography, and the constant companionship of several rather irregularly trimmed Shih Tzu dogs. Olivia’s first published novel, Her Heart’s Liege, will be released in March 2015 by Rogue Phoenix Press.
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