Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inspiration for Left (Still Standing, #1) by T. R. Graves

The inspiration behind Left (Still Standing, #1) came after suspecting that several young, beautiful, and intelligent women that I know are living in relationships with men who are abusive. Because I appreciate how special these women are and what amazing qualities they offer to the world, I couldn't stop asking myself why they were staying with someone who treats them with anything less than respect... with someone who doesn't shower them with the unconditional love they deserve.

After going to bed one night with these exact questions churning in the back of my mind, I woke up with the story of Left and its characters completely formed in my head and ready to be written. Since I was in the middle of writing Underground (Secrets, #2) and had immovable editor deadlines associated with that book, I was disappointed. I wanted to charge forth with Left.   

In order to ease the nag, I took an hour out of my writing time and drafted the first chapter for Left, sent it over to my beta reader, and asked his opinion (Write it or forget it?). As soon as he read the chapter, he told me to stop everything and concentrate fully on Left. Since my gut was telling me the same, I did just that.

Morning, noon, night (when I wasn't working, commuting, or sleeping), I was writing Left. I can honestly say that I've never written a story that was so effortless. It's approximately 87k words and 300+ pages, and all of that was written in five weeks.

Left deals with an unspeakable subject, domestic violence, but it's not preachy or in your face. Instead, it's full of sweet and tender (and passionate) moments, ones that will help you understand how a woman, Baylee, can fall for a man, Colt, who has a monster buried deep inside. It's offset by empowering moments where the main character realizes she's been looking through her rose-colored glasses long enough and that it's time to admit what she already knows. Enriching the story is the team of people (in the form of amazing back-up characters... most notably Ryker) who support Baylee as she pulls herself up and swears on all that is holy she will stand on her own two feet if it's the last thing she does. Finally and because no story is complete without an 'Oh my God! I never saw that coming' ending, there are some finishing events that are similar to the ones we see played out every day across this country. They are the result of several relatively benign and ignored actions/reactions. I'm convinced that everything about this story will hit home with readers because the progression of events and the characters' underlying relationships with each other are so natural and real.

I say all of this this because I'm the author of this book (wrote every word and know what's about to happen from one paragraph to the next), and there are several excerpts that still give me chills every single time I read them. They are that powerful.

I'd like to thank Book Bunny's Burrow for hosting my book tour and me (and this guest post). I've said it a million times and I'll say it a million more... authors would be nowhere if it were not for the kindness showered upon us by bloggers just like Book Bunny's Burrow. ❤