First time author Rachel Trusty zeroes in on a life principle that she and her main character share in common in her essay below and in her brand new book, Lilly: Beyond the Horizon. Read on to learn what that is!
“If you can’t let go, then you’ll never get to the other side.” My favorite quote. I forget where I saw it, or who said it, but it’s me. It’s the way I like to think. I want to hold on, just like anybody, but I love seeing what’s on the other side!
Writing Lilly: Beyond the Horizon taught me about my process, how I write stories! And it is definitely a “letting go,” a surrendering of control to the story that I’m telling.
My editor recently asked me what it was like to write a story; do the characters talk to me, do I see it like a movie? What’s happening while I write?
I told her that the story and characters are already there. It’s almost like the words are already on the page, and all I have to do is concentrate and trace them.
With Lilly, I set out to write about a young girl who was raised in the mountains outside a little town in Scotland. I thought it would be interesting because she would go to town and have to figure out how to get along with people. The main character is the first thing I think about while writing a story. In this story, that was Lilly.
Even though I didn’t know the trail this story would take, I had some idea of the outcome. That outcome was her figuring things out, and finding love through obstacles she would face while learning how to interact with people. It still turned out like that! (And I won’t say any more about that, because I never give spoilers.)
Fiction would not be entertaining if there was no conflict. Conflict came very naturally in this story. It started with the main idea of a girl who grew up in isolation and doesn’t know about forming relationships, yet ultimately somehow forms beautiful bonds of love.
Sometimes I wonder what the message is of the stories I tell, the words I’ve written. I’m a writer of fiction; of stories that have never happened and never will. I aim to entertain and engage.
I also aim for something else. To share a message that resonates with you, your parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren. And one that resonates with me and mine.
I have found my message to be consistent, yet fluid. Something that’s definition evolves as I do, but with words that are set in stone. What is that message? It has been, and I believe it will always be hope, family, love.
Hope, family, and love are the names for the three parts in Lilly. And I got to join her on a journey to find these three most important things!
I believe that if Lilly were a real person, she would have felt a lot like I do, “If you can’t let go, then you’ll never get to the other side.” If we can’t let go of fear, and comfort, and so many of our reservations, we won’t live life the way we’d rather, or love the way we’d hope.
Rachel was first inspired to write living among the sunshine and mountains of east Tennessee. She loves learning about different cultures, trying new recipes, taking long road trips, and meeting new people. She has lived in the eastern and western united states, and loves desert sunsets more than anything else. Rachel spent the last two years as a live-in nanny, but is now working full-time as an author, and absolutely loves it! You can find Rachel’s work on Amazon, and connect with her on Instagram @ByRachelTrusty