July: Her Irresistible Protector
August: The Rebel and the Heiress
The thing is, though, I never set out to write a duet. I sent a proposal to my editor for Her Irresistible Protector with an the off-the-cuff comment of, “It’d be fun to write Rick’s story next.” Rick being a secondary character in the story. Well, now…apparently this was the best idea I’d ever had and could I write it in a month? Uh, no.
So I thought I’d share some of the behind-the-scenes titbits that led to the creation of my duet.
As mentioned, I couldn’t meet the deadline for Her Irresistible Protector and then write the second book in a month. I mean I wasn’t even sure what Rick’s story was yet…I just wanted him to have one. So we jiggled my schedule a bit and I wrote a different book first -- Road Trip With the Eligible Bachelor if you wanted to know -- and then I dove into the duet.
In the first version of Her Irresistible Protector I had the climactic scene at the end of the novel occurring in Chapter 8. My editor asked me to rearrange the last 3 chapters so the story ended with that climactic scene instead. It was a lot of work, but in hindsight I’m grateful for the advice. I think it works much better.
Tash, the heroine of Book 1. is really angry at the beginning of the book. I was worried she might be too angry and alienate the reader. So I toned it down. The revision suggestion that made my heart sing was when my editor asked me to ramp that anger up. So I did. :)
The Rebel and the Heiress challenged me to stretch myself. You see there’s a family mystery in the shape of a treasure hunt that needs to be solved. Initially I was intimidated. How could I create halfway decent clues—believable clues and ooh-what’s-going-to-happen-next clues that would keep readers on the edge of their seats? I’m not a mystery writer. Reciting, “I am a goddess” over and over, I sat down one afternoon and created said clues. From then on the book wrote itself. It was a gift of a book. The revisions were ludicrously light. I loved writing that book.
And some fun facts:
* I originally wrote Her Irresistible Protector as a novella in some down time when I was between books. I was playing with the novella form. Unsuccessfully as it happens as these characters needed a full-length book. :-)
* I always have a theme song for my books. For Her Irresistible Protector it’s the Crowded House song “Don’t Dream it’s Over.” For The Rebel and the Heiress it’s Martika’s “Toy Soldiers.” But in this instance I also had a theme song for the Duet itself, which is a celebration of Tash and Rick’s friendship. Click here if you'd like to listen to it. This is my favourite line: "Cuz you still have my heartache and I still have your sweater." Don't you just love that?
* The Rebel and the Heiress has my favourite cover of all my books. I think it’s not only the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever received, but the most gorgeous cover ever. Full stop. But then I’m probably biased.
* I didn’t create the tag line for the duet but I love it: The Wild Ones—what will it take to tame these rebels?
* Also, The Rebel and the Heiress should come with a cupcake warning. You will want to eat cupcakes while reading it. I promise.
What about you, do you love duets? Do you, like me, think they’re twice the fun?