Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

It's going to be a pretty quiet Christmas at ye olde homestead this year so in between cooking and feeding 900 animals I'll be making an attempt to increase the wordcount on the book which is due mid-February. In the meantime I wanted to drop in and wish everyone a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!!! I hope you were all very good children this year and get lots of lovely things.

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Liv & The Start Of A Mini-Series

Everyone's Christmas plans going well? I can't believe how close it's getting. This weekend past I dug out the decorations and even if my living room now resembles Santa's grotto, I have to not-so-humbly say my tree is particularly spectacular this year. The twinkling lights have the same calming effect as watching fish in a tank, but sitting watching them isn't helping my writing any. Since my next book is due February I really need to keep plugging away at it, especially if I want to allow a little simmer time before the final edit.

Anyhoo, as we're still in book release month I thought I'd talk about my heroine a little this week.

When I started writing Liv's part of The Inconvenient Laws Of Attraction I knew she was a tough talking lawyer, but in the early days I thought she was still trying to prove herself in her workplace and saw her latest assignment as a way of moving up the food chain. When I was shaking things up to try and get writing again I re-cast her with this picture of Charlize Theron (she originally looked more like Reese Witherspoon) and started shaking things up in other ways.

Somewhere during various versions of a partial what I now refer to as the conspiracy part of the story was dropped, so Liv needed more thought. Then along came the change of lines with Riva and what was meant to be a Modern Heat story needed even more shaking up. As a result Liv became a lawyer who had already proved her worth, adding to her confidence and as usual the question once again became why she wouldn't want to get involved with such a hot guy. The fact he was her client was the obvious answer but it needed to go deeper than that, hence a re-think of her back-story.

After talking to my brand new editor we decided focussing on Liv's former career was a good place to start. In the original version I had her follow a career as a lawyer to remain close to the law since she came from a family of cops. In the new version she had been a cop, but only for a short period of time and ultimately the question of what had happened to make her change careers proved the key to her conflict with Blake. Even better, it lead me to the beginning of the mini-series I keep talking about...

The moment Liv's eldest brother Johnnie appeared on the page and I discovered all of her brothers ran background checks on every guy they saw her with a whole new world opened up to me. Unfortunately from the point of view of linked stories Johnnie was married but since he was one of four brothers my imagination started working overtime. Three NYPD cop brothers to play with; who can blame my muse for rubbing her hands with glee?

While The Inconvenient Laws Of Attraction was an uphill writing struggle during one of the most testing periods of my personal life the follow up story, New York's Finest Rebel, was an absolute joy. Featuring Liv's best friend Jo and Danny, the youngest of the Brannigan brothers, it picks up shortly after the finish of The Inconvenient Laws Of Attraction. There is even a glimpse of the plans for Liv and Blake's wedding and an appearance or two by the happy couple so if you enjoyed their story hopefully you'll come back for more. As a little taster I'll come back next week with some pics and a little background on Danny and Jo's story.

In the meantime, I'll be dropping into my old stomping ground The Pink Heart Society for a little visit tomorrow to hand on some tips I picked up while fighting my way back to writing. Drop by to say 'hi' and you can win a signed copy of Liv and Blake's story.

Can I just mention how difficult it is to type with a cat lying across your chest? Random but true.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Release Time!

After an eighteen month gap (and a week when I've been fighting with both a cold and a stubborn new hero) we FINALLY have a new book on the shelves! In the next couple of weeks I'll be blogging both here and in a couple of other places about the journey back to writing, the story behind The Inconvenient Laws Of Attraction and how excited I am about it being the first in a mini-series.

First up, the book:

Laying Down The Law

Lawyer Olivia Brannigan has faced down some cool customers in her time. But latest client Blake Clayton takes emotional control to a whole new level. The man didn't even bat an eyelid when he discovered he'd inherited a fortune from his estranged father!

Blake doesn't want guilt money - the only thing piquing his interest is the tough-talking, sweet-looking lawyer that comes with his new property portfolio.

Dating on the job isn't in Olivia's 'Guide to Good Client-Lawyer Relationships' and it certainly doesn't sit easily with her 'no strings' attitude... But aren't rules always made to be broken?

When I went looking through the archives to discover when I first mentioned this story, I was embarrassed to discover it was in February 2009. Yes, it has been that long! With a working title of 'The Reluctant Billionaire' I had cast my hero Blake as Christian Bale and outlined a character profile for him. As I blogged almost a year later in January 2010, the picture I had wasn't working for me any more than the title (something to do with the word 'reluctant', I surmised) so I changed both. I would now like to take this opportunity to say how very glad I am that I did!

Which brings us to the lovely Michael Trucco. I first discovered Michael in the TV series Battlestar Galactica, but to my great delight as I was working on this story he not only made a guest appearance in Castle but took on a bigger role in a new series called Fairly Legal. One of the things I do when I cast a hero is watch them in action; how they talk, how they move, the kind of attitude I can draw from to help form my character, and I have to say his role as Justin was ideal. I LOVED his interaction with Sarah Shahi's character, Kate (am looking forward to season 2!) and it inspired a lot of Blake's personality until he became real to me. In the finished version my hero couldn't be more different and now I look at the pictures I see Blake but without Michael's help I doubt I'd have got there. At least not in the same way. You can see his introduction as Justin in Fairly Legal here:

For those of you who know Michael from his Battlestar days there's an Easter Egg in The Inconvenient Laws of Attraction. You may even spot it in the opening pages of the book. Click on the 'Browse This Book' option at the Mills & Boon website and let me know if you find it.

Although I knew way back when I started working on this story that several things would change along the way (they usually do!), what I hadn't foreseen was how much of an effect the secondary characters would have on my next story and the one after that (which I'm working on now) and the one after that (planned for later in 2012). The first seeds of a new mini-series came from my heroine Liv and her family of NYPD brothers. But we'll talk about that next time...

In the meantime watch out for a few book give-a-ways on the guest blogs I'll be doing over the next couple of weeks; starting with The Minxes Of Romance on Wednesday 7th. See you there!