Sometimes a story just comes to you. And you immediately know how it’s going to happen and how it’s going to end.
Well, that didn’t happen with this one.
Flashback to 2015 when I began to steadily publish books — I was writing nonstop, and the ideas seemed to be constantly flowing. I had this sudden inspiration for a story. The ever-sacred love triangle. At the time I’d never really touched the subject, but I had an idea that came to me during a college class and I immediately began jotting down every detail I could think of. Cute Florida boy? Check. Shy and sweet girl visiting a friend from out of town? Check. Florida boy’s sarcastic and snarky lesbian best friend who has better game than he does with the ladies? Check. I had a notebook that I used to write down the entire outline of the book and it was one of the most detailed outlines I’d ever written. I had notes for every chapter from start to finish, and I was super excited about this one.
Florida boy Kade is sick of his best friend Taylor making the moves on all the girls he likes. After forcing her to promise to leave the next girl he likes alone, she agrees, deciding that maybe now is the time to start taking life more seriously. But of course, free-spirited bohemian chick Diem walks into both their lives, and they both fall for her; only this time, Taylor falls for real.
Now, in my very detailed outline, Taylor merely offers what I thought was a unique twist on the beloved love triangle but in the end, Diem would ultimately end up with Kade.
Well, guess what? I sat down and wrote the first chapter to Because of Summer. Then I stared at my computer screen and realized I had everything wrong. The entire book. I was so wrong. This book wasn’t about Diem and Kade’s romance — it was about Diem and Taylor’s love. And yes, it turned into the tangled, uncomfortable, hot, messy love triangle exactly just as I’d envisioned. Yes, the story centered around how the very foundation of Taylor and Kade’s friendship was completely rocked. How both of their worlds had been turned not only upside down but inside out. All of those things that I had expected to happen happened, just as I’d planned out. But the actual heart of this story turned into something completely different. Something I’d never anticipated. It took me to a place that I’d never even thought to go. I wasn’t a lesfic writer. I’d never written anything in the realm of it. Ever. And yet that’s exactly where these characters took me. To this day, Because of Summer still feels so special to me.
Now, let’s fast forward to after I gave birth to our second child in 2017 and my mother-loving brain fell out of my head and I couldn’t seem to write another damned word to save my life. Nope. Nothing. I kept trying and yet…nothing. NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. I went years without writing a single thing. It was heartbreaking.
Until one day, out of nowhere, that feeling came back. The random people came back to my brain again, and a story began to unfold and wouldn’t you know it, I wrote out a dang outline again. From start to finish. About a jerk named Elliot Faulkner who tries to sweep a snarky and unimpressed Penny Reynold’s off her feet. But that story didn’t go as planned either. Elliot hires Penny to pretend to be his girlfriend to hide the affair he’s having with a married woman to spare his career. And just like in Because of Summer, these freaking characters didn’t do anything I’d asked them to do. But I am so excited to finally be writing again. It feels so good to have these stories unfold and come together again.
If you’re in the mood for a complicated and messy story about friendship and love when you least expect it, I hope you check out Because of Summer, available on Amazon now. And if you’re ready for hot enemies to lovers romance, about a man who’s just too good looking for his own good being thrown for a loop by a girl who would rather jump out of a window than spend any amount of time with him, The Breakup Plan is available for preorder on Amazon now and is releasing December 15, 2020.