Coming Soon The Scandal

Hands typing on a computer keyboard.
© Can Stock Photo / Kurhan

My newest contemporary romance novel, The Letter, has been successfully launched. Now it’s time to start planning my next contemporary romance novel. As often happens, my inspiration comes for the strangest places.

I was reminiscing about one of my cousins who I hadn’t thought about in some time. Back in the 1980s she was on a soap opera, and she had quite a following. I was a budding artist at the time, and she graciously allowed me to create the cover art for her fan club newsletter. She also invited me to visit the set. It was exciting indeed. Few people get to see what happens behind the scenes on a network television show. When she left, she invited me back for her final taping and her wrap party. It was like your typical office party. People dropped by to have a drink, say congratulations and chit chat amongst themselves. The only difference was this office party included many famous faces. 

So fast forward to the present day. As I was reminiscing the thought hit me. Very few people will ever have the opportunity to visit a Hollywood set, so maybe I should write a story about it. The wrap party would be the perfect starting point. However, in the fictional version, something really interesting will happen at the party. Like my cousin, the lead character, Lauren McAllen, will leave the soap to look for other opportunities. However, unlike my cousin, things will take an unexpected turn. Lauren’s hopes and dreams will come crashing down around her, and she’ll walk away from Hollywood for good.

A few weeks later, while I was still formulating my ideas, the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted. And while it’s nice to have art imitate life, it really threw a wrench into my plans. I wanted my antagonist to be a manipulative cad. What I didn’t want was for my book to become politicalized. Even worse, I didn’t want people saying, “Oh, you must have gotten your idea from the Harvey Weinstein scandal,” because I didn’t. I’ll have to come up with a way to make my antagonist different from Mr. Weinstein. 

The working title is, The Scandal, although it’s subject to change. And, just so you know, Lauren won’t bear any resemblance my cousin. The only thing they’ll have in common is being on a soap opera. Like all of my characters, Lauren is a unique individual. She has her own set of issues, and her life will be very different from my cousin’s. 

Marina Martindale

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