The Lady of the Yellow Rose was my mother, Maxie Rene Holmes.
I lost her in 2005, and yet she has never stopped being the source of my strength and inspiration.
It started in the late seventies when she gave me the first romance novel I would ever read and from that point forward I was hooked on these stories. In the years to follow, I would read hundreds. In those days, the story lines were clean and wholesome. Everything that happened in these books was told from the viewpoint of the female lead and she was always portrayed as a sweet, unassuming woman who always won her great love. The man was usually larger than life. He was very handsome and very rich. Every woman wanted to marry him and every man wanted to be him. Although I am still a huge fan of these stories, age and maturity changed my viewpoints.
One rainy Sunday afternoon, several years after I completed college with a degree in Political Science, I decided to write a short story. I hacked away on my Remington typewriter and presented my mother with twenty perfectly typed pages. One hour later she gave it back and told me it was one of the worst things she'd ever read and she expect her daughter to be able to do much better.
I took the criticism to heart because I knew she always spoke her mind and gave me the truth. Two days later, I turned those pages into something she considered much better and it became one of the beginning chapters of Power that Binds.
Her honesty and criticism became the framework for which I based my work. From that chapter, she became my editor and chief. "Make sure the book has flow," she would tell me. It was her idea that if something in the plot didn't make sense to me, as the author, it wouldn't make sense to the reader.
My mother pressed me to describe settings in a way to allow the reader enough visual images that the story could play in their minds like a movie. Most of all, we wanted all female leads to be strong women who were independent thinkers who knew their own minds and their own hearts.
I wanted them to be business oriented, well-educated and sophisticated. The male leads would still be handsome, established men. However, more realism would be added to make them flawed. They might have hidden secrets and mysterious agendas.
Some of the story would be seen from the male point of view, as well as, getting into the minds of secondary characters to learn what drives and motivates them. Hopefully gaining a better understanding of all the characters makes reading the book a much more fulfilling experience.
This is the inspiration that theLadyof the Yellow Rose inspired. Never stop striving, never stop dreaming and never stop making it better.
All of my stories will be dedicated to my mother, Maxie Rene Holmes who taught me love, respect and honor. I will never stop fulfilling her vision.