This morning I started another project to add to my pile of WIP. It was too hot to sleep with the windows closed last night, and I had closed the window because of the feline activity on the veranda roof. I spend much of my nights awake what with one thing or another, and often get tremendous ideas between two and five in the morning. Usually they don’t bear close scrutiny in the cold light of day, but last night for some reason, whole chunks of a book I wrote about fifteen years ago came back to me.
As a novel it was a typical first novel. Laughable in places, full of clichés and plot holes, and with just a few lovely lines. What hit me though was that it would make a tremendous NA story. NA hadn’t been invented fifteen years ago so it’s a good thing I abandoned it before ever approaching a publisher. Now, thanks to fashion and literary trends, I might be able to turn it into something.
I need another literary project like a hole in the head but it seems such a shame not to dust it off and try and knock a proper story out of it. It should be completely contemporary and romantic enough to have me weeping like a fountain. But thinking about it, I can see a lovely fantasy twist that would take it in an entirely different direction…
Better than Perfect
Better than Perfect is a fairy tale running parallel with a nightmare. On the face of it, Karlie doesn’t have a lot going for her. Between juggling her college classes, her job, the house she lives in alone since her parents died and keeping an eye on her elderly neighbour, she doesn’t have much time for making herself look gorgeous and hunting for boyfriends. She gets by, but the memory of her parents’ death keeps her curled up in her shell and prevents her from really ‘getting herself a life’.
When things start to happen to Karlie, they happen with a vengeance. A guy in her psychology class with the face of an Adonis starts to notice her. Her neighbour and surrogate grandmother/mother/father/family has her fourteen-year-old twin grandsons to stay for an unspecified time. This is where things start to go wonderfully right and horribly wrong. At the same time.
How Karlie copes with the frantic rhythm as her life charges along like a train out of control is nothing short of heroic. I was crying with weariness in sympathy. She is the kind of girl usually despised for being gullible, a sucker. Kevin, her boyfriend, is the epitome of success. But as the story rockets along and the reader is wondering just how is she going to prevent her life crashing into the buffers…Well, that would be giving the story away, but some pretty wonderful things happen.
This is the feel-good novel par excellence. I loved every minute of it. Between wanting to give the twins a good slap, Karlie a big hug, and Kevin a boot in the hole I experienced a whole palette of emotions. In Better than Perfect, Tricia Drammeh treats us again to her sensitive style of writing, understated but packed with feeling. This is romance the way I like it—two people sharing problems as well as pleasure, and supporting one another when things get hairy. If you need something to put a spring in your step, this is your book.