The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (pre-order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.
Question 1: Theme
The stories readers will find in Crazy Little Spring Called Love are written by eight wildly different authors. However, all the stories have three common themes: Spring, Renewal, and Awakening. How did you all manage to write to the theme?
I had a particularly interesting (but most welcome!) challenge with “A Siren’s Song of Spring” – I only had 36 hours to research, outline, write, and edit the story! The idea for the tale arrived rapidly, and I went with my gut instinct. Luckily, the pieces fell into place – I had just returned from a long, restful weekend with family in St. Michael’s, MD, which is located right by the creeks leading into the Chesapeake Bay, and my mind was set on “all things related to water and spring” mode. Allowing my main character, Mariana, to discover what she wanted out of life – a chance to be free, a chance to love without consequence, a chance to explore her body as her own and not as a treasure to be won or fawned over – eased me down the road of renewal and awakening. Mariana awakened to herself due to her own strengths, mostly without my guidance. But the water I had just heard from the previous weekend put me in the mindset to explore a gentle form of love in the springtime, when life – be it nature, human, or other – comes out from a freeze and blossoms, hatches, grows, and encompasses all.
Given that my heroine is the goddess of the dawn and Spring, writing to the theme of Spring awakening/ renewal wasn’t all that difficult for me. LOL. I did, though, try to go beyond that superficial connection to the anthology’s topic and explore how these characters who are so identified with their respective personas would feel about that and how they might develop beyond that into wholehearted people.
Awakening in “Girl With a Broken Wing” is about finding a new way to live and love when you’re thrown off course. Being able to love yourself, with all its imperfections, and then be open to being loved, is a true awakening.
My initial attempt involved a dryad who only wanted to protect the forest but was being forced to take a mate. About 400 or so words in, I realized this wasn’t working for me and let the story drop. At least another week passed before the phrase “djinn of the planter” settled in my brain. I immediately knew this was the story. It had “fun” written all over it, and it was appropriately “springy.”
I thought I was all set for renewal with a reunited lovers story, but I ended up doing awakenings instead! “Love at Dawn” is about two people who have spent their lives seeing each other a certain way, and then everything changes in an instant and brand-new awareness awakens. The biggest theme of the story is how important it is to shine a light on assumptions and think about our lives (and loves) in a new way. Sometimes love is right there in front of you, and you just have to open your eyes to see it.
Full disclosure, I forgot the theme was awakenings and renewal. I was totally invested in the spring and the fantasy elements of the romance so I had a dozen story ideas about magical creatures during the changing season and how it would affect them. There’s a story about were-bunnies that was just too silly even for me. My favorite idea (which became Seaweed and Silk) was about a mermaid from the far North who lived deep in the darkness under the ice until she’s hired by a group of sailors as a guide. She still ended up experiencing some awakenings, since she’s never seen spring or had legs…
There is no more perfect theme for love than spring. It is when the earth, and we – awaken. Not just to growth, but to beauty, and to love. Sometimes you can have something and not give it value, but when you lose it, you recognize what it was worth. Finding it again is like spring in your heart, and love is the most precious thing you will find.
My main character is tough and a bit hard. At first I couldn’t imagine her having an awakening or renewal, but then I started getting glimpses of her blushing and twirling her hair… we all have a soft side, even the toughest of us. It was fun watching her soften and fall in love.