I wasn’t sure I was going to survive.
Seriously. I’m not just being dramatic. I really wasn’t sure I was going to survive the writing of this last book. There I was, just about two weeks ago, still trying to create something. And I don’t just mean I was trying to create more romantic tension, or deeper POV, or engaging character development.
No…I was just trying to create something.
I had these two characters who had this one pretty intriguing first scene together, and then I was fairly certain everything that came after that scene was about as intriguing as an afternoon spent disinfecting the house after someone’s had the flu. I didn’t know these characters, I didn’t care about them, and I certainly wasn’t invested in whether or not they ever fell in love with each other.
Trust me, people. These are not things a romance author should be feeling.
But then fifteen days ago, something miraculous happened. My hero showed up. Seriously. Fifteen days ago. Never mind that I’ve been working on this story for nearly eight months. Never mind that I’d already written scenes and dialogue for him—dialogue with as much charm and romance as you feel when you’re disinfecting the house, after someone has the flu.
And never mind that my deadline is May 1st, and that was April 12th.
Max just took his sweet time showing me who he was, but once he did…wowsers! He’s fiery and passionate and brilliant, and sometimes he’s a total jerk. He uses people, he’s condescending, he’s especially demeaning to women, at times, but he’s also a bit of a ladies’ man. (Okay…not just a bit.) And the thing is, I already knew all of that. For eight months I’d known that. But finally, fifteen days ago, he revealed something new to me.
Max is human.
Underneath the man with so many flaws is a little boy with big dreams and a desire to be loved. He’s tough and resilient. And maybe he’s never seemed to have a problem inflicting misery on people, but witnessing genuine pain? That reaches something deep inside of him. Something he hasn’t allowed anyone access to in far too long.
This book (which will be available in Spring 2020!) is unlike anything I’ve ever written. It was difficult to write, and there are parts of it that may be difficult to read. (It’s still a romantic comedy, so don’t worry…I’m counting on you laughing more than anything.) But I think it’s an important story to tell. How often do we write off someone based on their outer bravado? Maybe even based on their actions and how they treat people. And it’s easy to say, “Well, those people are causing pain and inflicting damage, and I can’t stand to be around that.” That’s valid. Trust me…I couldn’t stand to be around Max for a while there, and he’s fictional! But over the past fifteen days, as I’ve finally gotten to know Max, I’ve found myself thinking about how nice it would have been to get to know him sooner. (And not just because I might have been less stressed as I approached the deadline…)
Max has a lot to offer. Max is charming and generous and downright chivalrous, actually…once you get to know him. He’s a lovely guy, and I’m glad I stuck it out.