Today's guest is Erin M. Blakemore. She learned to drool over Darcy and cry over Little Women in suburban San Diego, California. These days, her inner heroine loves roller derby, running her own business, and hiking in her adopted hometown of Boulder, Colorado. 
The Heroine’s Bookshelf, her first published book, is an exploration of classic heroines and their equally admirable authors,   it shows today’s women how to tap into their inner strengths and live life with intelligence and grace. 


Read Erin's post, leave a comment + your e-mail address and you'll have the chance to win a copy of
The Heroine’s Bookshelf. The contest is open worldwide and ends December 22nd.

There’s a terrible, little-mentioned side effect of writing a book about your literary heroines.  Over time, it manages to ruin all your excuses. 
To wit:  it is almost impossible to lament that you haven’t been able to get to the post office when you know that Louisa May Alcott had to tramp across a muddy field and take an uncomfortable coach to get to town.
It’s hard to complain about being poor when you know that Alice Walker’s parents could not pay for medical care when she was shot in the eye by a brother’s BB gun. 
Lack of inspiration starts to seem trivial when you consider that Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote their books at phases of emotional prostration and in the face of extreme physical, financial, and emotional odds. 
I point out these facts not to depress, but to point out that a certain lack of romance, that sense of going through the motions, is A-OK.  We’ve been fed the line about divine inspiration, pretty muses and lofty Writing Experiences for so long that it’s easy to get bogged down.  In my experience, “I can’t” raises her head whenever anything, be it a bad cold or the fantasy of a writer’s life, gives her an in.
“If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken,” wrote Charlotte Brontë in the preface to her novel Shirley in 1849.  “Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie?  Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama?  Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard.  Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning.”

Don’t accuse poor Charlotte of being bitter; after all, she did lose three of her dearest siblings within one miserable year at Haworth.  To be sure, she wrote these lines at an all-time low in her personal life.  But the girl has a point.  What if you could exchange something sentimental for something real?  To me, exchanging my fantasies about writing for the reality of writing – challenging, maddening, distressing, infuriating, and fun – means the writing gets done.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Erin M.Blakemore


Mystica said...

Thank you for this post. Thanks also for making it open to all. Much appreciated.


~ Babs ~ said...

This was a great read thanks for posting.


Laura said...

Thanks so much. I always believe the "romantic" writers such Jane Austen, The Brontes and the likes were so good at imagining those beautiful stories because of the struggling and/or the lack/misfortune of romance that their lives had.
Writing, romance/drama whatever, was their release. A way to live a life out of her real ones.

Belén said...

Thanks for this post & giveaway and also thank you for doing it worldwide, I appreciate it^^.

Regarding to the author, her words are so true!It seems a really great and interesting book.

My email: otroscuentos@hotmail.es

Suwaida said...

Funny and insightful! Mostly honest!


Margay Leah Justice said...

This sounds like a fantastic book! Especially since I'm a writer, this would be of great assistance in my writing. More important, I am an avid reader and I love reading about the people who create the heroines - and heroes! - I love.


Susan Kaye said...

So, all my whining and complaining is just that and not the soul of an artist in turmoil. *sigh* Back to work.

Susan Kaye

JaneGS said...

Great post, Erin. The reality and the romance of the writing life don't always jive, but your heroines (the literary ones and their creators) did what it took to get the job done and so can we!

BTW, Maria--don't sign me up to win Erin's book because I already have my signed copy and it's fabulous!

Really enjoyed this post--good job, Erin.

Cassandra said...

I'd love to join the giveaway--- if this is the right place to do it.

My email address is cassie(at)literaryladies(dot)com

maribea said...

I like the strength your words can communicate, Erin. Congratulations on your book. And, of course, I would be happy to read it.

Monica said...

Beautiful post. I am really interested in reading your book about all those wonderful women: real or fictional.

E-mail: moon.card@yahoo.com

Jasmine1485 said...

I really enjoyed this post and it definitely made me stop and think :) Thank you for the thought-provoking words and for making this giveaway international.

Kate1485 at hotmail.com

The Twisted Red LadyBug / Anda Alexandra said...

I just finished reading a biography of the life of Charlotte Bronte... it quite puzzled me and brought another light over her writings... After it, I started again "Jane Eyre" and I love thinking her as little Jane, plain and small :) but with such force and vigour...