Patricia Kay
Patricia Kay

As you know, I drove down to Houston for the West Houston RWA’s 2010 Emily Awards . I was told that the West Houston ladies would “take good care of us” during the special Emily presentation, and they were right.
 

One of the speakers was USA Today best-selling author Patricia Kay, author of more than 48 novels of romance and women’s fiction. 4 million copies of her novels have been published in 18 countries.
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Patricia was speaking on “The Emotional Connection”. While I won’t get into the details of her presentation (take one of her great writing classes for those), she mentioned a few jaw-dropping points that made me sit up and take notice. And they’re ones that too many authors forget.
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This genius is all hers (and none of mine). Anyway, here goes:
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  • It’s not about what happens on the page – it’s about what happens in the reader’s heart and mind. Think about movies or TV – men watch sports to experience jubilation, excitement, etc. And as for reality TV like American Idol? It’s about people’s hopes and dreams.
  • People read fiction in order to feel– to experience emotions in the context of safety. To cry their eyes out, yet know they are safe. To experience fear, without experiencing actual harm.
  • If you leave the reader without emotional impact, you will leave the reader unsatisfied. There must be an emotional payoff – and in order for a payoff to occur, there must be an emotional investment to begin with.
  • If a reader is involved in a book, they forget about whether or not the author is a good craftsman. (About POV errors, about adverbs, etc.) This is what you must strive to do – make your readers care, make them emotionally invested.

Hmm. Something to think about, no?

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