The Story Behind AWAKENED

When I began writing what would become the milieu behind Awakened about back in 2011, it was a simple short story intended for my wife—a sweet romance as told by me—written from my own masculine perspective. Of course, I had read a few of her romance novels, but I’d found most of them rather dry and unappealing—from a male perspective.

I found the idea of a “romance mystery” very intriguing, but clearly, these novels were written only for a female audience. Why hadn’t someone written something like this for a much wider audience?

I set out to produce a steamy romance while keeping the story elegant, riveting and deeply compelling. It was to be a romance that would be something I myself would actually want to read; a story that would appeal to more than just the so-called “romance crowd”; a book that anyone, especially men who’d never be caught dead venturing into the romance genre, would want to read.

It should be no secret that men and women view love and romance very differently. That does not mean that the female view of romance is any more correct or superior than the male view. It just means that they are different. What would happen if a story could be blended to appeal to both sexes?

While writing Awakened, I encountered what seemed to be a prejudice among other (usually female) authors that men cannot write romance. I found the assertions and prejudices of these other so-called authors patently ridiculous.

It seems the bestseller crowd attempts to write to the broadest possible “target market” and their work is often heavily edited so as not to offend the delicate, dare I say fickle, sensibilities of whatever market segment they want the most readership from.

I set out to do the exact opposite.

With some bold advice from a very successful author and junking the advice from all of the so-called publishing “experts”, I did something Earthshattering: I wrote what I wanted to write, in the way I wanted to write it, and I didn’t care who I offended in the process.

In doing so, I believe I have broken almost every so-called rule there was to break in brining Awakened to market.

In the end, I learned something very valuable as an author, storyteller and writer, and it was simply this: Always trust your instincts and write what you feel—not what you think some market segment wants. It is the only way to stay true to yourself.

Awakened boldly sets out to create what I hope becomes a new and powerful genre of story, a deep mystery, intrigue, romance that attracts both male and female audiences alike. The story, perhaps experimentally, attempts to strike a balance between what both men and women would find interesting and appealing when reading a sincerely romantic novel with a heavy dose of the unexpected.

I hope you enjoy reading Awakened and the rest of the series that follows.

~ Harley

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