BEHIND THE SCENES
Once I’d set on the idea of a “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series starring the four Fallon sisters, it was clear the first book had to be the “planes” one. It seemed logical to start with the oldest sister.
You can read about the original idea for the series here.
As part of my research, I’d been reading books about birth order and sisters. Being an only child, I can identify with the pressures put on the oldest. Now, imagine how those pressures would be magnified if the parents were both extremely bright, successful people, and their first-born, Theresa, proved to be a genius of the Doogie Howser calibre? What issues would she grow up with, and how would she deal them and carve out her own niche as an adult?
[Yes, I was one of those bright kids, not of Theresa’s calibre, but still the kind who got straight A’s, faced a lot of parental pressure, and was better at books than boys. I confess, there’s definitely a bit of me in Theresa!]
Because the pressure on Theresa was so strong, I figured that, much as she loved her family, she might move far away from them. One of my favourite places is Australia, so I gave Prof. Theresa Fallon a home there. A home that was far enough from her family in Vancouver that she’d have a couple of long flights to get back to them. [Remember, this is the “planes” book!]
But, why would she return home? And why, looking ahead, would sisters 2 and 3 also return home by train and automobile? [When you start the first book in a series, you also have to keep the future books in mind.]
While I was musing on this, I thought about the fact that siblings often each carve out their own niche – e.g., Theresa being “the brain.” They tend not to compete, but each find the thing they’re good at. And so I wondered what would be left for the poor baby sister…
What about love? What if she was the only one of the sisters who’d been lucky in love, and now she was getting married? The others would all come home – and be envious! [And baby sis would be planning a honeymoon on . . . what else but a cruise ship?]
Okay, so I had Theresa, a studious type who’d been unlucky in love, who believed herself unattractive to men, who figured her sex drive had pretty much shrivelled up and died. She was in Australia, all set to fly back to Vancouver.
Enter the hero. What kind of hero would most challenge and attract Theresa? Of course she’d think it would be the professorial type, so I gave her the opposite. Damien Black is a celebrity author who writes paranormal thrillers – books that an intellectual like her considers to be superficial and a waste of time. Not only is he a hottie, he’s been voted one of Australia’s 10 sexiest bachelors and he could have pretty much any woman he wants.
In other words, they’re pretty much opposites, and we all know the saying about opposites attracting!
Well, once I had all of that, Damien and Theresa were pretty well equipped to take it from there!
That’s usually how it goes for me, with a book. Initially, I put a lot of thought into figuring out who the characters are, and deciding on the basic scenario, then I just dive in and start writing. It’s wonderful when the characters take over and my fingers fly along without conscious thought. Of course that doesn’t always happen, and sometimes I plod and fidget and wonder what on earth’s going to happen next! But in the end, the books always get written, as this one did.
I hope you enjoy it!