Confessions of a Romance Novelist: You Will End Up in My Book

June 28, 2016

Confessions of a Romance NovelistI get asked two things quite a bit.

One: Where do your ideas come from?

Two: Will I end up in your book?

To the first I say, I don’t know.  (See previous post.)  To the second, I say yes, of course.

Ask my husband.  Or better yet, don’t ask him.  My mother-in-law does not read my books (and she is a voracious reader) because of this reason, “Every time I get to those parts, I picture my son.”  I’m sorry to disappoint you all, but no, my husband has not helped with those parts.

He helps with the other parts.  Have you read When She Knows?  The scene with the spider and the toilet?  I made my husband do that.  Ian Darke for that matter.  A hero in a romance novel with Type 1 diabetes?  I live with a hero who has Type 1 diabetes everyday.  (And get really annoyed when he can eat half a gallon of ice cream when his sugar drops, and it somehow manages to skip right off his waistline.)

But why I’m writing of this tragic trait in being the acquaintance of a writer is that as recently as yesterday a very special person from my growing up years ended up in my work in progress for the oddest of reasons.  He was my friend in high school when I took the definition of nerd to a whole new level.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized this kid was unusually nice to a weirdo like me, and as an adult with the power of foresight, I am exceptionally grateful he was friends with the writer in the making that was me.  (We are a very weird bunch.  I’m not sure I can express that enough.)  And as I was typing away yesterday, my friend popped into my mind when I needed a name for the father of one of the hero’s of my Victorian mystery novel.  Why did his name pop into my head?  Because his name is unusual, and when I first asked him where it came from, he said it came from the Bible.  That the man in the Bible was the father of James and John.  My hero’s name is James, and I said, well, the father of James is most obviously this.

So something as slick and loose as coincidence can land you in the middle of a romance novel.  Let that be fair warning.

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