Welcome back for Day 3 of my Release Party for Simple Treasures! Today is the Story Behind the Story Day. Come on. You know every book has to have one, right?
Once I had the contract for my second book, Fractured Paradise, I began thinking about the possibility of writing a New Year's Honor Guard novella with a specific hero in mind. When I was trading emails with my fantabulous senior editor about something else in May, I asked her what the odds were that if I submitted another novella soon that it would be available in December 2012. If it couldn't be done, I planned to wait and write it next year. But my senior editor said that if I submitted it by June and the acquisitions editors accepted it, then it would be out this year. I had 3 weeks.
Immediately I began plotting and planning. I thought for sure the book would come together and be perfect for my intended hero. After all, I knew him well since he appeared in both Her Highland Champion and Fractured Paradise. But it wasn't working. I typed up a rough draft and sent it to my awesome critique partner and she basically told me it was crap. She was right, of course. So, I rewrote bits, tried some other ideas and a couple days later I sent her the opening again. And she told me....it was crap.
By this time, I was panicked. June 1st was right around the corner and all I had was a heroine I sort of liked. I'd stopped getting online, did nothing but work and then come home to write. At this point, I took one day to take a long, hard look at my story ideas. I gave myself one day to figure out a decent enough plot with a fantastic hero who could bring out the best in my heroine. If I could not have all those pieces in play by the next day, I told myself I would skip the story and write it for New Year's 2013/2014.
But I really liked the suspense plot idea.
And I started liking more about my heroine.
And the setting, Edinburgh during Hogmanay, was perfect.
AND I really, really, really wanted an Honor Guard UK trilogy.
So I plotted and planned, wrote down details of the hero I knew was right and by the end of that day I had my story outlined. Every free moment I had during my substitute teaching job, I wrote. In between sub jobs and my tutoring job, I wrote. When I got home from work, I ate a frozen meal, turned on some music, and wrote. On the weekends, I wrote from sun up to long after sun down. I took 15-30 minute breaks in between each hour. Some nights I fell asleep on the couch. Some nights I didn't sleep at all, but on June 4th, I hit send on my submission.
8 weeks and 2 days later I received the contract in my email. I knew the book still needed a lot of revising, but the crux of a good story was there, one I could definitely be proud of. My FANTABULOUS content editor helped me whip it into shape and now I get to share it with all of you! I hope you like it!
Simple Treasures Dedication~
For (MY CRITIQUE PARTNER). Thank you for your pom-poms, a swift kick in the arse, and the wisdom to know which one I needed on which day!