Captive Lies was a “turning point” book. I wanted to explore my writing voice, to see where I could improve and to figure out what could be holding me back. I have always written what I wanted which was why quitting my day job wasn’t in my immediate future. 😉
Let me backtrack a bit. Writing Fire & Ice started out as an accident. I’d been reading about amazing alpha male heroes but they were always getting paired with doormat heroines and I got frustrated. Out of that frustration, I wrote the first five chapters of F&I and sent it to my friend and forgot about it. A couple of weeks later, she emailed me back and asked me where the rest of the manuscript was. And I thought, really? Someone wanted to read it? I went ahead plotting and writing the rest of it, googling editors and sending it off to one I found. No way was I publishing unedited work. I got good feedback as well as critique. I had a male editor, and he thought Jack was a wooden character, but he liked Maia and my plot was well-paced. Made some adjustments and the rest, as they say, was history.
I’ve always liked to tinker with a character’s story arc, but I noticed I always followed what was the “trend.” I’ve ventured into dark and twisty with Deadly Obsession, but that hesitation to go darker than I was comfortable with curtailed some of its storyline. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how it turned out, but I knew I could have explored it more, but would I be writing “me?”
Then I wrote the alpha-hole that was Matt in Saving Grace. Could I have made him more of an asshole or did I hesitate because I didn’t want readers to hate him so much? Or maybe his arc was a bit too contrived? Maybe a bit, but that was where my editor and betas came in and I think he’s still an asshole but he’s my lovable asshole. 😉
I was learning throughout my writing journey, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was learning.
Then came clarity.