Too Hot to Handle
in Men On Fire
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BEHIND THE SCENES
When Kensington asked me if I’d like to participate in Aphrodisia’s second firefighter anthology, I was thrilled. I so much enjoyed writing a novella for the first one (The Firefighter). I do love writing firefighter heroes!
Typically, with a writing project, the author originates the idea and sends either a proposal or the complete manuscript to an editor. It’s very different when an editor asks you if you’d like to write a novella for an anthology. You start with absolutely nothing other than a basic guideline, e.g., “write a firefighter novella.”
So, your brain starts to mull... Here's the path mine took.
Ever since writing about a firefighter calendar competition in Hot In Here, I had the idea that it would be fun to write about a bachelor auction. So, my firefighter hero could be one of the bachelors.
That meant my heroine had to need a man, and be prepared to bid on one. What might lead her to do that? How about a job-related need for a fiancé?
But it would be way too easy if she picked a guy at the auction, won him, and they fell for each other. There have to be complications along the way.
I had so much fun thinking up the complications. Like, a couple of meddling girlfriends, a string of truly awful dates with other guys, Jade’s risk-averseness and Quinn’s dangerous job and risky hobbies, a surprise revelation from her dad, and... Well, I don’t want to spoil the story if you haven’t read it yet.
Let's just say, there’s a happy ending for Jade and Quinn, but it takes both of them some soul-searching and sacrifice–along with lots of great sex–before they get there.
Here’s a fun fact. When I started writing, I had in mind a half-Chinese half-black heroine. Casting about for just the right name, I hit on Jade Rousseau (her mom’s Chinese-Canadian; her dad’s black and French-Canadian). That name resonated immediately and, as I wrote the novella, it seemed to fit her perfectly. But I didn’t know just how perfect that fit was until, right near the end of the story, her dad talked to her about her name Jade, and I realized its significance to the story. It wasn’t something I’d planned, it just flew through my fingers and onto the screen. That kind of writerly revelation is amazing. It’s a true “aha” moment, the kind that reminds me my muse or subconscious is so much smarter than my conscious brain!
You’re probably wondering how I came up with the title. On the surface, it’s just a sexy allusion to the intense passion between Jade and Quinn. But there’s a deeper significance, which has to do with Jade being risk-averse and wanting to avoid a relationship with a man like Quinn.