I have a new erotic paranormal romance published by Ellora's Cave in their "VaVa Boomers" theme month, featuring heroines over fifty. In my novelette "Romantic Retreat," a woman whose husband has just retired from the Navy disagrees with him about how to spend their "bonus years." But he brushes off her misgivings about his plan to uproot them from their current home and take a high-stress civilian job. Then a friend gives her an enchanted miniature model of a fairy-tale cottage. Its magic transports her and her husband into the cottage in a pocket dimension, where they have twenty-four uninterrupted hours to reconnect romantically and settle their differences:Romantic Retreat
Of all the fiction I've written, this story draws most extensively on my own background as a career Navy wife (with numerous changes in details, of course). We've all heard the precept "write what you know," as well as the reservations and counter-arguments. For example, it's obvious that if "what you know" means what you've personally lived through, nobody could create fantasy or science fiction. Henry James once said that an author doesn't necessarily need a broad variety of real-life experiences but, rather, should be a person "upon whom nothing is lost." In so far as "write what you know" is taken to mean using events from one's own life, however, I don't think it's the best advice for a beginning writer. The typical young aspiring author doesn't have a lot of life experience yet. More importantly, in my opinion writing about one's own experiences is the hardest thing to do well, not the easiest. It takes a long time to integrate memories through reflection before one can translate them into effective art.
Margaret L. CarterCarter's Crypt