First, I would like to thank all of the people who so graciously offered to be Beta Readers for me, you are appreciated more than you can ever know. Writing is so all consuming, and you can find yourself so close to the project that objective minds are needed to get some real perspective.
Now, I wanted to talk about the story a bit, because Against the Grain isn't your typical Women's Fiction or Chick Lit book. Many books in those genres tend to focus on 'finding the right guy'. And although those books have merit, and I read them too, they aren't the sort of stories I tell, and certainly nothing like this particular story. I mean 'awkward misfit girl finds awesome handsome guy and miraculously her life changes as his love shapes and fulfills her' has been done to death.
We see it in movies and books all the time. High powered corporate exec quits her job and opens a daycare thus becoming more soft and womanly and attracts the village Doctor, finding love because she changes everything she is. Or Bad Girl rebel falls for good guy surgeon, changes all the things that define her and his love saves her from herself.
You see where I am going. It always seems to me that these women don't love themselves for who they are, they feel they have to change, fit in to some very subjective mould to please the world and the man of their dreams.
But I don't think that is really love. I think love is more about acceptance, accepting and loving people for who they are, not who you envision they could be. And I don't think finding the right guy saves us; I think finding ourselves does.
This book is for the quirky girls, the misfits, the girls that struggle with the 'nice girl' mould. The girls who make mistakes, who get emotionally confused, and drink too much wine. The girls beat down by our double standard world, the girls who just aren't everyone's cup of tea.
They will tell you that you have to change everything you are and conform to societies questionable norms to have value. I am here to tell you that you already have value. Don't change a thing.
I will leave you with the last line I wrote for this book.
"Life is a series of beats. Each beat building on the one immediately preceding it. These beats tell the story of our journey, and this is mine. And although none of this is earth shattering or will change the world, it will change mine."