For the past few months I have been attending bridal shows with a friend who is starting a new business. It’s so much fun to talk with the brides-to-be. Their excitement about the big day is contagious as they gush over their plans. The promise of a new beginning is appealing, no matter how old you are or how many years you’ve been married. Think back to those giddy days of young love and how you couldn’t wait to spend the future with the one you love. How you looked at life with hope for the best times yet to come.
When we start a reading a book, aren’t we filled with the same expectation? We are drawn to a book by a review, word of mouth or perhaps because it is our favorite author. When we open the cover, we’re hoping that the story takes us to a special place. As a romance author, it’s my job to do all the background work and bring you the special story. My characters demand their happily ever after despite the rocky road to get there, but I aim to deliver. This is why I love being an author.
Talking to the future brides is part enjoyment, part research. ( Sorry ladies!) My ongoing series for Harlequin Heartwarming is The Business of Weddings, so I constantly have my attention focused on the emotions of the women I meet, as well as keeping up with wedding trends. As I attended the shows, I kept an eye on the other vendors to see what is popular. At the shows, photographers, florists, bakers and wedding planners, the foundation of a successful wedding, are all represented. But I also have seen candy vendors, print material vendors, for invitations, and even financial institutions who offer help for the big day and beyond. One trend I noticed at all the shows were health specialists. Think about it, you certainly want to be healthy for the big day. Makes sense that you would want brides to get information on exercise and dietary advice.
During the show, there are fashion shows featuring bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. The focus is not only on the gown, but hair and makeup as well. The brides-to-be love this part of the afternoon. As the show comes to an end, the women are full of ideas. They can now begin to plan their day.
Being at these bridal shows jump started creative ideas for my future books. I always bring a notebook and jot down ideas, impressions and trends. Some might find research tedious, I find it exhilarating. I get more ideas for stories than I have time to write, but I can hope too!
So my good friend knows I’m helping her at the bridal shows, but really, she’s opened a whole world of possibilities for me. Possibilities I plan to share with my readers.
Tara’s newest release, Honeysuckle Bride, received a 4.5 star rating from Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.
Read an excerpt: http://www.tararandel.com/harlequin