****CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEVERAL OF MY BOOKS****
I made a weird observation last night about my writing. There seems to be a common theme in several of my books about the main character having his/her soul mate marked out for them.
In The Last Ancient series, the consorts all bear a mark and there are only a handful of them for her to choose from.
In The Broken Souls, Jen and Mark’s souls have been entwined throughout history, coming back to each other again and again.
In the Masquerade series, Oceana’s magic makes her unbearably attractive to vampires and it later transpires that there was a prophecy about her meeting with Tristan. They were destined for each other.
In the Kingmaker trilogy (not yet published) Chloe’s gift chooses her mates for her, drawing them together.
The realisation was an uncomfortable insight into my own psyche. I’ve always thought of writing as being an external expression of internal dreams. The themes and emotions that I express are things that resonate with me. If I wasn’t feeling them right down to my bones, I wouldn’t be great at writing them. It’d be like trying to describe a sunset without ever having actually seen one.
It made me wonder about the depth of my longing to have all the uncertainty and awkwardness removed from the search for love. I wouldn’t even say I’m looking. I’ve been single for a long time now and I’m enjoying it. There have only been a handful of times in the last 4 years where I’ve wished I had someone to share the burden with. Most of the time I love my freedom and alone time. My life is entirely my own, to do with as I choose and without recourse to any man.
And yet this is a theme I keep coming back to, again and again, over a considerable period of time. Kingmaker was started about four or five years ago. I’m busy writing the Last Ancient series now. In all that time, the secret internal yearning hasn’t quieted.
Part of me wonders if it’s social conditioning. Girls of my generation grew up with Disney princesses and fairytales and books where the girl has a tough time, meets a handsome prince, falls in love, overcomes adversity and then lives happily ever after. The media is all over it now, making out Kate and Wills to be a fairytale of modern humanity. It seeps into your mental makeup, convincing you that it is the way of things. You fall in love, you live happily ever after. Even the stroppy cows like the princess who has a hundred mattresses and can still feel the pea end up with a charming and handsome dream guy.
Are we so overconditioned with this ridiculous stereotype that we are in constant internal conflict with our acceptance of reality?
What’s even more interesting is the way these relationships I set up in my books merrily crash and burn. In the Broken Souls, they tear their families apart to be together, giving up everything that they have. Yeah, it’s romantic, but it’s also a bittersweet victory. In Masquerade I kill Tristan. In the Kingmaker trilogy, Chloe’s power picks out not one, but two soulmates and tries to force her to be with both. Cue much angst.
It seems to me that the taint is my subconscious’ way of balancing out the fairytale and the reality. It’s the only way to force the two polar opposites to meet in the middle.
Now that I’m aware of it, I don’t know if it’s a theme I’ll consciously avoid from now on, but I did think it was interesting. Let it never be said that I am not self aware!