I’m so pleased that Charlotte Rains Dixon accepted my invitation to write about her delightful novel and protagonist. You can read my review of the novel here.
In the first chapter of my just-published novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior, the heroine, novelist Emma Jean Sullivan, has a problem (well, she has several of them, but the others don’t become evident until later on in the book).
Emma Jean realizes she has no friends.
She has family, with whom she has an assortment of affinities, most of them not very close.
She has colleagues.
And she has fans, the grandiose word she uses for her readers.
But Emma Jean has no friends.
And every woman needs friends. We need friends to meet at Happy Hour for a glass of wine. To parse confusing knitting patterns. To talk about men. To bond over a beloved book. To discuss the day’s news.
In short, we need friends for a sense of connection.
So Emma Jean, feeling this lack, sets off on a path to make friends. (Really, its one friend because she can only come up with a single candidate.) And while her efforts meet with varying degrees of success, what happens over the course of the novel is that Emma Jean finds that missing sense of connection, in totally surprising ways.
And her life changes for the better.
Emma Jean learns what many of us already know—that relationships transform our world. This simple fact is one reason I love writing and reading women’s fiction. The genre focuses on relationships, and many women put relationships first in their own lives. This used to be seen as weakness, but more and more it’s looked at as having the power to transform our world.
In the recent book The Bond, author Lynne McTaggart writes, with well-researched scientific backing, of the power of connection, and maintains that strong relationships are the most important aspect of a harmonious life. And that achieving a harmonious life is the key to a successful future for this planet.
That’s exactly what Emma Jean learns over the course of the novel: that life is simply better when you’ve got friends.
In writing the novel, I learned to value my friends and family even more. I’ve probably always been guilty of valuing love in all its forms over anything else in my life (including money) and since going on the journey with Emma Jean, I’ve vowed to no longer feel like this is a weakness.
Instead I believe that by focusing on connection, I—along with all my female brethren—am changing the world.
Charlotte Rains Dixon mentors creative writers from passionate to published. Charlotte is a free-lance journalist, ghostwriter, and author. She is Director Emeritus and a current mentor at the Writer’s Loft, a certificate writing program at Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and is the author of a dozen books, including The Complete Guide to Writing Successful Fundraising Letters, and Beautiful America’s Oregon Coast. Her fiction has appeared in The Trunk, Santa Fe Writer’s Project, Nameless Grace, andSomerset Studios and her articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, the Oregonian, and Pology, to name a few. Her novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior, was just published. Visit her blog at www.charlotterainsdixon.com, where you can find all kinds of tips and techniques on writing and creativity.