The XYZ of how this story came to life
When I talk to other writers about how they come up with their books sometimes I hear tales about how a story followed so organically it was a joy to write. Other times I hear about how a book was a bang-your-head-on-the-keyboard struggle to produce. In the beginning this book definitely fell into the second category. Usually I start with an idea that gets me interested in the characters and their world. I’ll be excited to see how their story unfolds. This time, however, I had a deadline but absolutely no idea what to write. I didn’t even know what characters to use. This was very nearly a book about Christian, a character from the first installment in the Fated Match world. I sat, as I’m sure many other writers have, staring at a blank page as time ticked by and waited for inspiration to strike.
Mine came from a strange place.
Feeling nostalgic I ended up watching “The Parent Trap.” As I was watching it I kept wondering if there was anything here I could draw from. I didn’t want to use twins or mistaken identities but I liked the idea of a trick being played with only a few people in the know. I thought having a secret that pulled my two characters together would be a great place to start a book. Let’s have them pretend to be in a relationship, I though. Eureka! Except while I had my basic plot but I still didn’t have any characters to work with.
So I went back to the beginning and read through my books. The character that jumped out as someone I wanted to know more about was the cheerful witch Chloe who seemed perpetually optimistic even though she was always alone. I wanted to know more about her and hoped my readers would too. Now I had two elements to work with – a heroine and an idea. Just one more missing piece to find.
Kieran was probably the element of my story that was the most fun to create. One thing I love about the Fated Match world is that every supernatural creature you can dream up has the potential to be a main character. I spent an afternoon researching mythical beings before deciding my hero would be a werewolf. I’ve never written a wolf hero before and was looking forward to exploring a new species. And with Kieran created, my story clicked into place.
This process in one I go through for every book I write, though sometimes it happens much faster than it did for this story. I don’t plot my books out before I write them. I start with these three elements – idea, heroine, hero – and let the story unfold as it will. Once I had my basic blueprint, Chloe and Kieran’s romance started to come to life. No longer was it such a struggle to churn out my daily word count. I wanted to see how they would grow together and weather the plot bumps I threw their way.
I think the key to writing, at least for me, is to be excited about where the story is headed. I can’t plan ahead because then I know the ending and I’m not as interested in writing the book. Chloe and Kieran surprised me as a wrote and I tried to translate my own enjoyment of the process into the writing so my readers would love the ride too. I was very pleased with how Chloe and Kieran turned out and hope whoever picks up a copy of this book considers it a great way to spend a few hours.
Oh and FYI, if you’re looking for a good Friday night movie, “The Parent Trap” still holds up.
Chloe is coerced into becoming the wolf’s temporary mate, but she’s determined to keep their agreement professional. But her seductive partner in crime has other ideas, and his considerable charm makes it difficult for her to keep her eye on the prize. While these two burn hot when they’re together, behind-the-scenes politics work to rip them apart.
“Vivian has me on the day shift for the duration of our time together, so my evenings will
“For whatever I need?” His voice was pitched lower, the sound almost a physical caress along her skin.
She leveled her best disapproving look at Kieran and crossed her arms. “So, is this what normally works for you? A dash of charm and all the women trip over themselves to get to you?”
Instead of withering under her stare, Kieran merely curled his lips into an amused smile. “Usually.”
“Well, it won’t work on me.” Kieran leaned closer, crowding into her space. “It has to, my witch. When my pack is watching, you need to look at me like I’m the only one in the world for you.”
“I can be a fine actress, thank you very much. I won’t give us away.”
He snorted. “I haven’t known you long, but even I know you can’t lie to save your life.”
She blinked at the words. It was true she’d never been very gifted at deception, but that wasn’t an insight
she’d expected him to have—not based on their limited relationship. Unease tugged at her as she realized Kieran saw more than she intended him to. It was so easy to write him off as a spoiled playboy, she tended to forget he was much more than that.
The man before her ran a powerful, dangerous pack with an iron fist. He’d weathered challenges to his leadership and threats from intruders. If she ripped open his shirt she had no doubt she’d see scars from his many battles marring his golden skin. She needed to remember Kieran wasn’t a man to be trifled with.
He was a predator, and she very much wanted to avoid being prey.
“I wouldn’t have agreed to this charade if I wasn’t confident I could do it,” she said, swallowing hard.
Kieran moved, trapping her between his arms as he gripped the railing on either side of her body.
“You can’t jump when I touch you,” he breathed against her ear. “You can’t look at me like a wayward schoolboy in need of a reprimand.” He drew back enough to meet her gaze. “We’re supposed to be lovers. There wouldn’t be a single inch of your skin I wouldn’t have run my lips over.”
Heat suffused her face.
“There, you see? You blush when I’m close.”
“I don’t,” she denied, lifting her chin.
Kieran snorted. “People will take one look at us and know we’re pretending. If we’d really been lovers for months, there’s no way you’d still look so goddamn innocent.”
“Maybe I’d teach you a thing or two instead. Ever think of that, wolf boy?”
A chuckle rumbled from his wide chest. “Witchling, if you ever want to try and teach me something new in the
bedroom, I promise I’ll be a most diligent student.”
Her cheeks were on fire despite her desire to remain unaffected by Kieran. He was right, damn him, she needed to stop acting like a giddy teen when he touched her.
“I’ll work on it,” she growled, pushing at him to force him back. “By tomorrow I’ll be ready.”
Currently she writes from Toronto, Canada. While she has a healthy love for the unknown, this corner of the world will always be her home.