With Thanksgiving fast approaching, a lot of people are taking time to reflect on their many blessings and making lists of all the things they are thankful for. This is not something I usually do. I feel like I live my life in a perpetual state of gratitude, so listing everything that I am thankful for feels a little unnecessary and totally impossible.
My first impulse is to write to you about the history of Thanksgiving, or to give you a partial list of some of the funnier (but totally understandable) things that I’m thankful for, like soy Chai lattes and Francois Arnaud’s leather pants in The Borgias (God Bless Netflix). Because I naturally go to a fairly deflective place, I’m thinking that maybe I shouldn’t this time. Opening up is harder than telling stories, and isn’t sincerity the whole point of Thanksgiving?
So let’s talk about that perpetual gratitude. I am a huge optimist; although everything might not be ideal 100% of the time, I am always thankful that things aren’t worse. There’s nothing like a healthy sense of perspective to make you thankful for what you have.
I am thankful for the seven years that I lived in Britain. I am thankful for my education, for the friends I made, the places I’ve been, and the big, angry Londoner I married and brought home with me. I am thankful that the grocery store across the way sells my favorite British tea (PG Tips, obviously). Not every moment was period-drama perfection; I had my fair share of terrible jobs, dodgy flats, and mysterious infestations, but I’m thankful for all of it (and everything that came before) because it brought me here.
While I’m not thankful for the bedbugs, I am thankful that I was able to turn that whole nightmare into an incredibly cringey scene in my new WIP.
That’s the thing about bad experiences: you can use them to your advantage. Any embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, or sadness can be channeled into something positive. I’m a writer, so mine goes into my stories along with all the good stuff. Writing (or other art) can help to you to process things that are otherwise painful to think about, and it’s very satisfying to make your experiences work for you by turning them into something beautiful.
This month, I’m particularly thankful to Liquid Silver for publishing my first romance. It took me seven years to write Tyburn, and I am thankful to everyone who helped me along the way. My husband, my family, my best friends, and the entire staff of the History and Creative Writing Departments at Swansea University.
I am also thankful that you're reading this, and I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.
Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1) is out December 8th from Liquid Silver Books
Pre-order and get 20% off: http://www.lsbooks.com/pre-order-coming-soon-romance-books-c322.php
Sally Green is about to die.
She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.
Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.
As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.
Unless the gallows take her first.