BY RICH WALLS
You need this book. Seriously! It’s filled with a ton of these little love stories, they are quick and happy and sweet.
Now I know what you’re thinking, who is this swoony author? And why is he writing love stories? He’s a dude! Well, perfect timing, because he’s written a guest post to explain that to you… just scroll down!
Hi. My name is Rich Walls. I am twenty-nine, and I write love stories.
Was that so embarrassing to admit? Okay, maybe a little bit, but don’t think I’m not damn proud of it still.
My ‘coming out’ as a writer-of-love was two years ago when I shared my first draft of my first novel with a few close friends.
“What’s it about?” They asked.
“A kid that goes on a business trip. He meets a girl on the flight over. They spend five days in Chicago together.”
“So it’s a love story.”
“Well, no, not entirely, there’s that business part, and it’s sort of coming-of-age.”
“But he spends five days with a girl.”
“Then it’s a love story…”
Okay, fine, I’d written a love story. Is that really so bad? After all, the only thing The Beatles wrote about was love. And who wouldn’t want to be a Beatle?
Even still, I was going to fight this one a little bit. So I spent the next year finishing and then sharing my coming-of-age-novel-about-a-kid-who-finds-himself-while-traveling-to-a-new-city-in-the-midst-of-a-blizzard-which-wreaks-havoc-on-his-plans-and-as-a-result-forces-him-to interact-with-all-these-interesting-people-including-the-girl-he-happens-to-meet-on-the-flight-over.
Here’s a quick lesson. Simpler is easier, in all things in life, including love. Love is not complicated. You just do it.
I would have saved a lot of breath if I had learned that earlier.
Ask me now, what’s the book about? It’s about a boy who meets a girl on a plane…
I didn’t know what my next project was going to be. I didn’t have a novel in me, but I wanted to keep writing, and I wanted to get something out there quickly.
Around that time, two things occurred.
First, with the rise of Kindle, I noticed there was a market for novellas and short fiction that had never seen the light of day before. I really believed (and still do) that this would be the next big thing in fiction. Stories you can travel with. Stories you can take a risk on and not be upset if they only cost you the hour or two reading them.
The second major influence was happening upon the phenomenal 30 Days/30 Covers by Sophie Madeleine a year ago [A must see in the YouTube universe. Both her albums are winners, too. (Dear Sophie: next pint on me if you happen to read this)]. It took a while for this idea to connect, but I loved the concept. I loved the interaction with her audience, and I loved the daily content.
Then one day it hit me. If shorter is better, why not take it as short as possible. Write the 8-minute Abs of stories. And deliver it daily if you can. Give them a new one page story, every day, for a year.
So there it was—I was going to write a story a day, for a year, God help me.
The problem was, I couldn’t just post a random story every day. There had to be some theme, some connection tying it all together.
Have you seen that new Zoosk ad, where the heart is sitting on a couch with a computer next to the girl suggesting she should go date ‘Brad?’
It was kind of like that. Here I am, needing a theme deep enough to write 260 stories about, and suddenly there’s that giant heart on the sofa chair next to me, there’s love, grinning at me like a goat, saying, “You tell me one subject that’s better than me. I’m good looking, I’m sexy, and I make people do some bat-shit crazy things.”
And One Page Love Story was born. I was back to writing love stories.
Again, not something I sought out. It just happened to be.
But here’s where it gets interesting, or at least where I feel fortunate: discovering what a great ride it’s become.
I call my Mom. She tells me how much fun she had today sharing my story with her friends (It was so romantic…). Over Christmas, a reader I have never spoken to before, tells me she had met her husband while flying standby, to Chicago. A friend shares her uncle’s story, how he met his wife, her aunt, in Japan—describing it as an invisible red string that had drawn two very distant lives together.
And soon it becomes fairly obvious, why I’ve committed to writing love stories, and why I’ll keep writing them. Because they’re all love stories, the ones that matter, at least. It’s the Zoosk heart saying, “I told you so.”
When you’re drawn to do something you’re passionate about, it’s a love story. When you’re thankful for this life and all its treasures, it’s a love story. And when you realize it’s the amazing people around you who are making your every day brighter, it’s absolutely a love story.
To think, I had been embarrassed because I’d written a love story before I even knew what that meant.
So find love, every day. Find it in your special someone. Find it in the work that you do. Find it in whatever excites you to get out of bed in the morning. Remember, loving is living. Inspire. Create. Do something amazing. Write your own love story.
I promise you, I’ll be here writing mine.
The song playing on Rich’s headphones at the time of the above picture was At The Bottom Of Everything by Bright Eyes. Yes, this was a terrible choice. Of timing. Not the song. The song is quite good.
Please feel free to send all gushing fan mail or even your own love story to:
rich at onepagelovestory.com