Kevin Symmons is a best-selling novelist and college faculty member. He served four terms as president of one of the Northeast’s most respected writing organizations. His paranormal novel, Rite of Passage, was a 2013 RomCon Reader’s Crown Award finalist and was an Amazon best-seller. His recent release, Out of the Storm, is a contemporary romantic thriller set on Cape Cod. It is already gathering 5- star reviews and hit #6 on Amazon.com. His 2014 novel Solo, is a literate women’s fiction work already gathering critical acclaim and his third release from New York’s award-winning the Wild Rose Press. They have just signed him for a fourth novel, A YA romantic thriller titled Chrysalis, also set near his Cape Cod home. Kevin collaborated with an award-winning Boston screenwriter in adapting one of his story ideas for the screen. He is a sought after lecturer and public speaker who has appeared across New England.
Jessica Long has the voice of an angel. But Jesse’s cold beauty masks a brutal past filled with privation and cruelty. As the talented soprano approaches her final year at New England Conservatory, she is faced with a choice: stay with her striking young lover or accept the offer of a successful Broadway producer. She chooses the latter only to discover that fame can exact a cruel price. After years of yearning, the lovers meet again – at Jesse’s ragged homestead on the Maine Coast. Matt will reveal the benefactor who’s followed and protected Jesse as the lovers face a confrontation with the jealous pursuer who’s tried to destroy her. One final choice awaits that may cost Jesse both Matt and her life. The Broadway impresario, a mysterious crime lord, and Matt’s stunning literary agent head a cast of absorbing secondary characters. Filled with unexpected plot twists, Solo is a classic, leading the reader over a bittersweet tapestry spanning fifteen years.
The Four “E’s by Kevin Symmons
The title comes from a workshop I took years ago with a woman I call my mentor, a wonderful instructor named Jo Ann Ferguson. Jo Ann is one of the most kind and supportive fellow writers I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Perhaps the most critical thing(s) I gleaned from her information laden classes was a discussion of why and what we write as writers. Hence my discussion of the four “Es.”
Perhaps the simplest and most obvious of these is our desire, perhaps our need to Entertain. For without this simple trait even the most brilliant intellectual treatise would fall short. Whether a 600 page historical or a 25K word novella, first and foremost our duty is to take out readers to a place of enjoyment!
Next, I believe our task is to Educate those who pick up our work. And never misinterpret me, by educate I do not mean a dry, dusty list of facts. My debut novel while (hopefully) entertaining involved more than two years of consultation and study about witchcraft, America in the period after WWII and juicy tidbits that I hoped would entice and help my readers to understand the dynamics of the post war burgeoning cold war environment.
Aaah… and now e come to my two favorites. A recent USA Today poll stated that the vast majority of readers read to Escape! Yes, that’s correct, to escape. To find new worlds, horizons, heroes, heroines and villains that they could only conjure up in their imaginations. And no, escape does not necessarily imply a Fabio style hero or voluptuous Kate Upton heroine. It can be a simple as travelling to somewhere with someone that is outside our current reality!
But now, especially for romance readers and writers comes the biggest “E” of all. The one we all long for…. Emotion. Jo Ann taught me this many years ago and it’s one I can readily identify with it. Even if several of the other “E”s are absent what keeps us reading… coming back for more and keeps romance writing as the top seller in fiction by leaps and bounds is emotion.
And that emotion need not be between simply between a man and a woman… though that’s a pleasant equation. Much as Rhett and Scarlett or Bella and Edward can bring our blood to a boil, lest we forget Richard Llewellyn’s heart wrenching How Green was my Valley?
So I leave you budding writers with this thought. Impart sincere, genuine, open emotion to your stories and characters, be they passionate lovers or fathers and sons and you will thrill and entertain your audiences!