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Darcy Burke, Author of YOU’RE STILL THE ONE (Ribbon Ridge #6), Talks About Emotional Writing (with a giveaway!)

Don’t miss my review of YOU’RE STILL THE ONE here!

Emotional Writing

You’ll have to pardon me in advance because this has turned out to be a rather personal post! Thanks for letting me share it with you.

For those of you that have read the Ribbon Ridge series, you know that along with some funny scenes and, of course, romance, there’s a healthy dose of emotion, too. When I first thought of this series, I knew that one of the sextuplets would die. That he committed suicide came a bit later in the plotting (and you can thank my friend Elisabeth Naughton for that, lol). Writing a romance series about a family struggling to deal with the after-effects of the death of a loved one was tricky. It was sometimes hard to balance that giddy sensation of falling in love with the weight of their brother’s death. I think this was never more true than in book three, WHEN LOVE HAPPENS. The heroine of that book, Tori Archer, was so broken up that she just had a hard time feeling anything—like she was numb. I related to that so much. Sometimes we just have to power through the day, and in my case, sometimes I just had to power through writing these emotional scenes!

True confession: I’m a crier. I wasn’t always, and it’s not just when I’m sad. Live music typically makes me tear up if not outright cry (which can be ultra embarrassing!). Unsurprisingly, sappy commercials can trigger tears. But for me, just a happy hug from my children can make my eyes leak with joy. It’s not something I’m proud of, lol. Conversely, as I’m writing, I don’t cry often. I might tear up during an especially emotional scene near the end—usually on a read-through—but generally speaking, I keep myself together. This book (YOU’RE STILL THE ONE), however, really got to me. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

First, it’s the last book in the Archer family saga. I’ve come to love these characters a great deal and I truly enjoy writing them (never fear—there will be more Ribbon Ridge books and they will make appearances!). Still, I’m sure there was a natural sadness to be finishing this particular story regarding Alex Archer, who passed away at the start of book one. Complicating matters was a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer for a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for a decade—volunteering together, mothering together, being there for each other in times of great joy and laughter and moments of deep struggle. I had a difficult time translating my wild emotions during this time onto the page. I think I finally found what I was searching for when I wrote one of the scenes toward the end. When you read it, know that I wrote every word with my friend Dominique in mind. She’s already gone, but her impact on my life and on this world will be forever felt.

I (and Dominique—it was one of the many things we bonded over) used to act in high school and college. Tapping into your life experiences to find the emotion for a scene is just something you learn to do and hone. It’s very much the same for writing. Good and bad, I reach into my emotional stockpile, if you will, and hopefully find the right tone for a scene or a character. Sometimes it’s draining and other times (more often that not actually), it’s exhilarating. I’ve adored writing the Archers and am grateful for the new well of emotions they’ve given me. Thank you for coming along on the ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!


Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.


Ribbon Ridge #6
Darcy Burke
Releasing on April 5th, 2016.
Avon Impulse
USA Today bestseller Darcy Burke concludes her Archer family saga with a second chance at first love…
Everyone thought college sweethearts Bex Holmgren and Hayden Archer were headed for the altar… until a tragic accident sent young Bex running from a future she wasn’t ready to claim. But when she’s offered her dream job at Archer Brewing, Bex can’t pass up the chance to reconnect with the big, crazy family that once welcomed her with open arms—and the one man she’s never stopped loving.
When he returns home after a year in France, Hayden is less than thrilled to find his ex-girlfriend working for his family’s company. He’s finally moved on, and being around her rekindles long-buried feelings he’d rather ignore. But Bex isn’t the same girl he knew—she’s more mature, more beautiful, more tempting than ever—and he can’t resist the pull of the intense passion he’s only ever shared with her.
Have five years changed them enough, or are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? The only thing Bex knows for sure is that for her, Hayden is still the one.


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  1. You’re welcome! It was an enjoyable read, even if it did add to my never-ending TBR 🙂

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