Girls Write Out
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I wrote for fourteen years before my first novel was published, and I'm so glad I had that waiting period. I know it's a cliche to say that good things come to those who wait, but it's true. It wasn't until I was married to Mel and learned what a real live hero was like that I found the missing ingredient in my novels--tenderness with strength and a certain, optimistic focus. That was when I went back through all the manuscripts I'd completed--thirteen--and based the male leads, all of them, on Mel. And that was when the publishers took notice.

Now, of course, that could be due to the new subject matter of the books we worked on together--emergency medicine, which was all the rage at the time--but I still believe that the change of characters made all the difference.

Here's what I mean--see the picture above? (I hope I got it in the right place this time). What do you see? Mel was the photographer. He didn't see the dead trees. He saw the beauty of the flowers, the brilliant green of the living plants, and his beloved wife near the trail. So when I created a new hero for a series all those years ago, I created a widower who was still in love with his dead wife, and though his wife had been overweight, all other women were judged against his wife's beauty and found wanting. Until, of course, the heroine of the novel came along.

Mel doesn't see my gray hair--even when I let it grow out too much. He doesn't see the lines and wrinkles of a maturing body. He sees in me the woman he first fell in love with--the woman who was so embarrassed by her skinny legs and cellulite that he didn't get a glimpse of them until nine months after we started dating. He uses me as a pattern by which to judge the beauty of other women. What woman would not love a hero like that? Esepcially the older she gets.

So you see those dead, brown trees in the picture? Mel takes a lot of pictures like that. He pulls out the beauty and doesn't even see the scars or ugliness. Who could lose with a hero who focuses on the inner beauty of the woman he loves, and not on the fading outer shell?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:04 AM  
  Comments (13)
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At 12:56 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Honestly, I didn't see the dead trees until you wrote that. LOL I think you have to focus in on the beauty with kids because everything is usually a mess. LOL

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Anna said...

"He uses me as a pattern by which to judge the beauty of other women"
Wow I love that!

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Ooooo, I love this post! Jim is the same way!! Boy, are we blessed!! :-)

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL, Kris. See, you've learned to screen out the dead trees, too. I agree. Focus on the beauty and goodness in life. I need to practice that more often.

Anna, I've been in situations that were totally different, and there is no comparison. Mel has taught me a lot over the years simply by example.

Diann, I know, you have a man who adores your heart--and there's a beautiful heart to adore. He knows your beauty, and though it may take us all our lives to realize our own beauty, a lot of people can already see it.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Crystal Mazzuca said...

Woo-hoo for a marriage that glorifies the Lord in such a tender, sweet way! Thanks for sharing that beautiful edifying love in your books!

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Crystal! I've just got to show this to Mel when he gets home. it'll tickle him.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Julia M. Reffner said...

What a wonderful post. I didn't see the dead trees either. A wonderful marriage is such a blessing .

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Julia M. Reffner said...

What a wonderful post. I didn't see the dead trees either. A wonderful marriage is such a blessing .

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Julia, you didn't see the dead trees either? Consider yourself blessed. You're focusing on the right things. Bless you!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Mel is a jewel! My Dave is like that too. :-)

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I agree that Dave is a jewel, Colleen, but face it, you don't have a single gray hair or wrinkle, and you're gorgeous. What's there to overlook? LOL

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

You are so blessed! I'd almost given up hope that such men exist. Maybe there's one out there looking for someone like me, too, flaws and all. (Lots of flaws...) Congratulations on your "overnight" success after 14 years. LOL

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Never give up, Deborah. There's always hope. I had given up, and my pastor set me up with Mel.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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