Friday, February 25, 2011

Too Wild and Weird To Be Real

Hey all,

Another Friday, another wonderful guest blogger.  This time we have an author I've known almost as long as I've been publishing.  Brynneth Colvin is one of the first authors I met when I started.  She writes for Love You Divine and Whiskey Creek Press and also does graphic novels for Copper Age.  Today's she's got a great blog about how sometimes our lives can be so much stranger than the fiction we write.  But before we read about that, let's get to know Bryn a little better.

Born in Gloucestershire England, Brynneth grew up not far from the River Severn, in Dursley - the place JK Rowling named the horrible Dursley family for. She learned music, read folklore, fell in love with the landscape, and discovered she was an unconventional soul deeply driven to follow her own path. She studied English Literature at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham. She spent about a decade living in the West Midlands, where she enjoyed running a folk club. Now, she's returned to the place of her birth, living with her son and a rather eccentric cat.

So now that you've peeked behind the curtain, let's see what she has to say about her weird and wonderful life.  Welcome, Brynneth!

I couldn’t make it up
My life, that is. Which is definitely stranger than fiction. Actually, I wouldn’t have made it up because I’m not keen on authors as characters in novels. Sometimes it works, but it’s so easy to get all self indulgent (and with the editing hat on... I have seen a few!). I can remember cringing over erotica stories in which the author turns out to have a fan who is the man of her dreams and all that. So I’d never have written my life in a book.

I fell in love with his artwork, he fell in love with my writing. But with me in the UK and him in the USA – score one for the ‘keeping your lovers apart’ plot device – not much doing. I visited, I got out of my previous marriage, and it took a year from when we first met to get my soul mate here. A year. I like to torture characters as much as the next author, but I don’t think I’d have put my people through that.

Plenty of romance stories go for a dash of action – the evil ex is a popular way of introducing it. He’s a domestic abuser, stalker, psychopath, drug dealer, hit man, crime boss... undead, insane, politician.  You name it, the evil ex does it. He only married her for the money, or he’s got her involved in some dire plan and he has to have her back for his evil scheme for world domination to work. I don’t think I can write about that part of the ‘how my life turned into a novel plot’ yet. But I got that bit too. With more twists, turns, unexpected revelations and the such than I care to contemplate.

And all those hurdles authors make their characters jump through? All those endless challenges to test your love and devotion? I wonder, sometimes, why more characters in romance fiction don’t end up total jabbering wrecks. How do you survive all that and not end up with nervous ticks and a Valium habit? (Or in my case, raging insomnia and gnawing anxiety issues). Life with a plot in it is not good for your sanity, let me tell you!

Then you get to that point in the book where you can see no way out for the lead couple. Everything is stacked against them. The last shreds of hope are floating away on a breeze. They are clearly doomed. Life is not going to let love survive. It’s a moment that comes up in other genres too – thrillers, murder mysteries even, when all seems grim and hopeless. The moment of doom. And this is where real life can learn a trick or two from fiction. When real life brings you one of those, it’s so tempting to give up, to roll into a ball and say “I can’t do this anymore.” Characters in books do not do this. It’s what makes them the heroes and heroines they are. And, not giving up is absolutely critical to not being beaten. Once you’ve thrown in the towel, then hope is truly gone. The defeat in your head is the only one that can prove absolute. No matter how bad it gets, the hero who does not give up, will have another go. Sometimes it works. Giving up never results in a win.

I’ve read plenty of book blurbs that seemed far-fetched to me. I’m probably not alone. Finding I’m living inside one of those books, with a life that seems impossible, insane and unreal, is pretty weird. I am inside the plot of a book. I guess the good news is, we know how romance fiction ends. The Happily Ever After payoff. I’m waiting for it to turn up, along with the poetic justice the genre favours. How about a dash of rags to riches along the way? Wouldn’t this be the perfect moment to be ‘discovered’? If this was fiction, I’d survive all the trials to be rewarded not only with the most fabulous bloke I’ve ever met, but a publisher contract of epic proportions, and maybe three movie deals thrown in for luck.

I’d love to know who’s writing the plot for my life right now. I can say with absolute confidence it isn’t me. I’ll do any amount of magic, supernatural, undead and otherwise speculative... but this is too wild and weird!

I have to say this was one of the best blog installments I've had.  I so understand what Brynneth is talking about.  Life is weird and when someone snatches control out of our hands and we wind up in a story we'd NEVER write ourselves, it gets even weirder.  Been in one yourself?  Let her know in the comments below.

The good news is I believe, like a real romance, the HEA will come.  I will live happily ever after because just as Brynneth said, refusing to give up is the only way to win the day.  And when you've found that perfect someone to complete you, there is no way on the planet you'll give up that dream.

Want to know more about Brynneth and her world?  Check out her website at  You can also see her work at Love You Divine, Whiskey Creek Press and Whiskey Creek Torrid.

I'll be back on Monday with a blog about some of the weirdest things I saw on my vacation. Think signs and oddities all around.  LOL

Hugs to all,
CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Margaret West said...

Being an imsomniac wreck myself, I could do without lifes little plots too. Glad you met your soulmate. We all should have one of those. Good luck with your books.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this CJ, and for your very encouraging thoughts.

Anonymous said...

You are so right about life being stranger than fiction.For me as a writer I would never dream of writing my life as a book. It would be a horror novel or a soap opera. Acting as a mother figure for a number of my friends I often joke about how its a good thing I never had kids. I have enough kids to take of as it is. ;-D

Although at this time I am single I've never given up hope that my soulmate is out there. I'm just convinced he's lost in the Amazon somewhere. *grins*

My battle cry is always:

Never give up, never surrender!

Good luck & blessed be...

Phylis said...

Brynneth, I can see why you wouldn't write your self in a book. Besides yours is ongoing...wouldn't it have to be a serial novel. With cliffhangers every month! Great blog.

CJ England said...


I hate having insomnia. It makes me tired. LOL

Hopefully, our life plots won't end up in some weird cosmic book.

CJ England said...


You are most welcome. The blog was thought provoking and made me wonder about my own--at times--weird and crazy life.

CJ England said...


I'm told the amazon is an amazing place to visit! Maybe you should take a trip! LOL

Good luck and I love your battle cry. It's from one of my favorite movies.

CJ England said...


Maybe she can be the new cliffhanger queen. LOL

morgan said...

I have to say your life does some like a riveting tale that I would definitely read :)

Kelley Heckart said...

Hi Bryn,

I'm glad you were finally able to start a new life with your soulmate. That makes for a happily ever after.

CJ England said...

I agree, Morgon. Truth is always more interesting than fiction.

CJ England said...

You're right CC. And Bryn deserves a happily ever after.

Ray said...

I've had a little stranger than fiction in my life. Ten years before I met my wife I used to dream about a woman from Georgia with red hair done up in ringlets.

In 1965 one of my patients in a field hospital in Vietnam showed me a picture of his girlfriend. I asked him if he knew anyone I could write to. He gave me his sister's address. We wrote to each other for the rest of my tour. We got engaged through letters and when I met her in person we got married two days afterward. Yesterday was our 45th wedding anniversary.

She was born in Georgia, has red hair and shortly after we married she put her hair up exactly like the woman of my dreams.


Ray said...

Bryn life can be really stranger than fiction.


CJ England said...


A actual dream come true. That's a wonderful end to an awesome story.

CJ England said...


And I think someday...when things slow down, she may even adapt it to a story...if for no other reason than to exorcise it. *smile*