If you're an artist, writer, musician, actor or (as established in my last post) a software developer, if you've ever done or wanted to do something creative with your life and your time, you should read this blog post: "How to Steal Like an Artist" - Austin Kleon.
Austin Kleon is a frickin genius. Included are 10 things he wished he could tell his recently college-graduated self, one of which I already knew: Write the book you want to read - aka - WRITE WHAT YOU
KNOW LIKE. (Yay for articles that tell me I've done something right! It's like a To Do list with pre-crossed-out bullet points, resulting in instant feelings of accomplishment. What's not to love about that?)
I've known for a while now that "write what you know" gave me two things to write about well (and a lot of utter crap that no one would want to read): I either wrote about really sad stuff (such as the day I learned that my little brother had been diagnosed with AIDS), or snippets of my attempt to parent (like when my son put rocks in the toilet at school because he "wanted to see if they'd flush," which I tried to excuse in my head as scientific curiosity).
I read YA almost exclusively. My favorites are contemporary romantic novels like Forget You, Leaving Paradise, Fall for Anything, The Truth About Forever - and these are the authors with multiple favorites on my shelves. Lots more have one great book out and are hopefully hard at work on their sophomore effort (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Freefall). When I branch out to paranormal (Shiver, Wicked Lovely), fantasy (Graceling, Finnikin of the Rock) or dystopian (The Hunger Games, Delirium), the more romantic the story, the better the chance I'm going to go fangirl all over it.
I set out to write something I'd fall in love with if I was a reader. So I gave it a contemporary setting, tried to create realistic characters who meet, relate, feel strongly attracted, fall in love (or lust) and do everything in their power to figure out and get what they want out of their lives while striving towards humanity's ultimate communal goal: be happy. Most of all, I refused to stray from my personal belief that love conquers all - if you let it.