Home to Stay
This is the second in a series of articles that explains the inspirations that led to “The Rose’s Thorn.”
By nature, I’m a very sarcastic and slightly cynical person. Quite a stretch for those that know me, I’m aware. However, despite that self-proclaimed description, I’m also quite the hopeless romantic, if that makes any sense. Love is the thing that binds our lives together – whether it’s in the actual context of being in love, searching for love, lamenting lost love or what not. I believe in love, and I believe in love as a motivation.
When it came to categorizing this project, I definitely knew it was going to be of the “fantasy-without-magic-or-elves” variety with hopefully lots of action and suspense, but I’m not ashamed to admit that it is a love story of sorts. In typical fashion, I cannot call it a romance novel because …well … there is certainly a nasty stigma attached to that tag. This is where Josh Groban’s “Home to Stay” comes in as an inspiration.
“Home to Stay” is about two lovers apart because the girl needs to go off and explore the world while the boy stays home. In a bittersweet way, it’s about the determination of the boy to bring the girl back home once the girl has had her fill of adventures.
There is no happy ending, but it’s hopeful in a powerful way that the fairy tale ending is possible. Obviously the parallels are obvious comparing my Christopher and Isabella with this song.
It’s clear that the same yearning in “Home to Stay” is exactly what Christopher envisions his reunion with Isabella. He embodies the hopeless romantic in me that obviously wants the happy ending, but how the story ends is what we don’t know.
I don’t know if I can ever write a story where the romance is the main subject of the plot, but it has to be there. “The Rose’s Thorn” could have been a straightforward story about honor, duty and good ol’ fashioned butt kicking, but love makes us do dumb, crazy and brave things. It makes things more interesting, although it can be hard to balance the two extremes of kicking butt and having a romantic subplot. Most of the time, it ends up being tacked in like a certain current movie, “The Lone Ranger.” Hopefully I’ve done the balance some justice.
So the question remains: what does love have to do in this story? Obviously quite a bit since it’s so constantly on Christopher’s mind in relations to his connection or lack thereof with Isabella, but hopefully you’ll find that it’s not the only thing on Christopher’s mind. Love might be a major part of lives, but it’s not the only thing. There are so many other facets that make us who we are that to narrow it down to love and who we love would severely limit us as persons.
I hope that you find the effort I put into the aforementioned balance to be satisfying. It’s not easy being a hopeless romantic cynic, but I’ve put my best foot forward with this book. Love is magical. Love is beautiful. Love is pain. Love is the worst. Love is everything. Love is nothing. Love is all of these things, but on top of everything else, love is what makes the world go around. Write your own stories about love, and don’t let anyone else tell you how you should write about love. (Unless you are infringing upon someone else’s rights, of course.)