Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Beginnings by Regina Merrick

January is known for beginnings. New Year’s resolutions, trying to remember to write 2019 instead of 2018, start a diet, an exercise regimen, stop a bad habit or start a new one.

February? It’s just cold. Yeah, there’s Valentine’s Day, but it comes and goes really quickly unless there’s a major life event tied to it. Basically, it’s the time when you flake out on all those noble aspirations and pledges you made in January.

Beginnings are like that. They come and they go.

Writing the beginning of a book is very similar.

You have grand ideas, lots of backstory for your characters, and a setting that you simply MUST describe in full detail lest the reader has trouble placing themselves there. That’s the mark of an inexperienced writer.

When I started my first book, Carolina Dream, I knew how I wanted it to begin. Have you seen the Hitchcock movie, Rebecca? It starts out with this line from the book by Daphne DuMaurier: “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again . . .” Sigh . . .

That was how I wanted it to feel. I recounted a dream, then after the prologue, I started with an average morning in the life of my heroine.

Would you believe it took many, many rewrites to get the opening scene the way it needed to be? One of my writing group friends, in a critique, finally got through to me that I needed to start where I had started the second chapter, instead of the first.

But? But those were such great words?! As my publisher teases, “How could you kill my baby?”
It was true. Beginnings are meant to be rewritten, in books, as in life. God gives us the grace and mercy to have multiple do-overs. So do revisions and edits.

I still love the movie Rebecca. I still love gothic romance. But you know what? I wasn’t writing gothic romance. I was writing contemporary romance with some humor.

In my life, as well as in my books, I need sunshine and the beach, not fog and mist.

Back-Cover Copy

She knows about God’s grace for her life, but pushes it away. He hasn’t experienced it, but finds grace in a way he never expected.

First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies to happen to her family.

Rance Beaumont is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things can only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy life seems to disintegrate.

Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment can quickly turn to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace.


Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming in Feb. 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series.

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1 comment:

Marilyn R. said...

Carolina Grace sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading. Thank you for sharing.

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