Why I Wrote I Just Came here to Dance
This wasn’t my first novel, nor even my second or third (although it was my second one published). I’ve been penning fiction for as long as I’ve been breathing.
And each one has come uniquely, as if from its own seed buried deeply in the psyche, which one day pops up and says, “It’s my time!”
No one is ever more surprised than I am at the appearance of a character or place popping into my awareness.
This one came to me in a dream. Winding up that magical hill, and then down into a town that time forgot. From there I fell onto Diana’s porch, much as Paula Anne does in the novel, and listened to the myths and stories told there as El Duende blew soul into the face of the listeners. I was captivated by the stories, and began to write them down . . .
Odd how novels come about, no?
And this one grabbed by me the throat, never to let go. It went through many revisions, many iterations, over a longer span of years than I can even believe. I fell in love with the people, the place, the idea of what they were trying to build.
The storyline itself is straightforward enough:
Paula Anne Fairbanks understands all about the unexamined life. And she likes hers that way—until her world gets ripped smooth apart. Running from reality, Paula falls under the mythological yarns being spun on Diana Maclean’s porch. Surely Paula’s own choices aren’t to blame for the summer of insanity she spends under the spells of Diana…who is, after all, known as the White Witch of Sociable, Texas.
I learned more from writing this novel than just about anything in my entire life. Good thing, with all those years spent! But genuine myths echo and resonate deep within the soul, conveying the most profound truths inside us all. `
As with all true myths, the superfluous must burn to uncover the heart within.
And I lost my very breath when I found that the fire’s ashes produce wisdom and courage, just as the stories say.
As the years (and versions) continued, finally coming to publication, never once did I mind proofing draft after publication draft. Each and every single time, I fell right back into this myth within a myth, and cherished my time there.
It is the essence of my heart.
A sequel awaits, although I’m not ready to write it. So for now I’ll ride the waltz on the rickety bridge far from civilization, with the crickets as symphony to the accordion’s strum. And again under the hot moonlight, with a strong arm guiding my naked skin . . .
Because in truth through this book I just fell in love with the pirouette of life. And learned, as did Paula Anne, “that the dance itself is always changing. So, too, the steps we take within in. And once you catch the rhythm, the flow becomes endless.”
My wish is that you catch it too.
Link to my website: http://www.susanmarymalone.com/
My bio: Texas native Susan Mary Malone has published two novels, co-authored four nonfiction books, and written many short stories. Her happiness is fiction, wine, and Labrador Retrievers, the latter of which she raises, trains, and shows. Literature is her love. In addition to writing, she edits; fifty-plus Malone-edited books have sold to traditional publishers, and one of them was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame film (while another is in production, set to be released in 2015). Her stories revolve around the passions and purpose, the myths and meaning of women’s lives. Which often involves wine. She does, however, try to keep the Labradors out of that.