IN TWO WEEKS, which is the first book in the New York State Trooper Series is also the very first book I ever wrote. It took a while to get the story right because it was my first book. It was also the first book I ever published. I remember getting an email on my 40th birthday that an editor wanted the full manuscript. Three weeks later, on my husband’s 40th birthday, I got “the call”. 40 was a good year!
The idea for IN TWO WEEKS was simple. What if everything you ever wanted had been right in front of you, but you couldn’t see it?
The original title for this novel was RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. But since the story took place in two weeks, thought it was more appropriate.
This story changed a little as I rewrote 3 times…each time starting completely over. A few things never changed. The main idea and my hero and heroine. Their backstories changed a little, but it was always a May/December romance. It was always healing from tragedy, for both the hero and heroine.
Jared is probably the most “Alpha” male I have ever written, but what is interesting as he pops up in many of the books following, he’s mellowed a little. But recently I sat down and re-read the story and while he’s definitely a control freak, he’s got such a soft heart and his “alphaness” is more of a wall to protect his heart. But it will only take two weeks for Ryan, a woman he’s know her entire life, to show him what love could be.
Of course, there is a suspense aspect…Ryan has a stalker.
This was the book where I learned to write. In honor of upcoming book release of TO PROTECT HIS OWN I’m offering the first book in the series for free.
I always love the conversations writers have about whether or not they are plotters or pantsers. I’ve always thought of myself as a plotter with my color coded spreadsheets and I do a fare amount of plotting before writing. But its not detailed. I write backstory for my characters (which sometimes changes as I write). I make sure I have a good handle on characters goals and motivations. I almost always have the climatic scene in my head. Key word is almost.
I’m 50k words into DEADLY SEDUCTION, which comes out 23 May 2017 (pre-order is only 0.99 but that will change to 3.99 on release day). When I started the book, all I had was this one line: “What if the woman you were sleeping with was sent by the man who had vowed to destroy your life.”
I wrote the first three chapters and was loving where the story was going. I had figured out the Heroine was playing the Hero, so that they could still have a relationship, but I would try to think out past the next five or six chapters, and nothing. I had no idea how the climatic scene was going to go down and that halted my writing. I read what I’d written a few times, adjusting a few scenes. Adding a couple new scenes, but still, I was stuck. So that either meant, I wrote myself into a corner, or I wasn’t spending enough time day dreaming about my story.
In this case, it was both.
That’s when it hit me that if I changed one thing about a secondary character–the proxy for the bad guy–I could head to a very interesting climatic scene. Once I did that, I could easily see the dark moment and how my heroine was going to save herself…and the hero. However, a new twist developed that I hadn’t seen coming with one of the characters. I’m very excited about this twist.
I used to believe that the way to write a book is to plot it out, hence my spreadsheets. But I fill that in as I write. I do have scene ideas, but sometimes those ideas never make it into the book. I think its important to know a lot about your story, but its equally important to be open to new directions.