I had a lot of fun writing my two latest contemporary romance novels, The Scandal and Aquamarine. Both stories took place in Hollywood, so creating characters who work in the entertainment industry was a real treat. Interestingly enough, I had only planned to write one Hollywood novel, but sometimes life imitates art.
I was in the early planning stages for The Scandal when the real-life Harvey Weinstein scandal made the headlines. The news stories were too similar to what I had in mind for the storyline, so I had to come up with a whole new game plan. Later on, I used the original Scandal story idea for Aquamarine. Now I’m going back to writing stories about more every day people.
My next story involves a romantic triangle. It’s a classic soap opera trope which always creates nice conflicts. The underlying theme would be best described as, “though shalt not bear false witness.” We’ve all had a lying, two-faced, backstabbing so-called friend at least once in our lives, and this person will be the instigator for much of the conflict.
Jenna, the lead character, is an interior designer whose most recent romance had ended amicably. Or so she thought. However, when her former boyfriend finds out there’s a new man in her life, he’ll do whatever he can to sabotage her new relationship. No, he doesn’t want her back. He’s doing it just because he can. The title for this new contemporary romance novel is Rivalry. Look for it in late 2024.
The Letter, differs from my other contemporary romance novels. I didn’t kill any of the characters. Not one. It was a first for me. Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m not a sociopathic serial killer. At least not in the real world. However, as a novel writer, I have to create conflict and drama to keep the stories interesting, and when it comes to creating drama, death is as good as it gets.
Most of the time, the dearly departed is a notorious villain with whom karma has finally caught up with. Big time. They had it coming. And then some. The one exception was The Journey, where I killed off a supporting character who I truly liked. So much so that I tried writing alternate scenes in which she survived. Unfortunately, they just didn’t work as well. Killing her off really heightened the drama and made the story more intense. That said, having to write her out made me feel genuinely sad, and I guess that was the point.
There was an antagonist in The Letter I thought of killing off. Her name is Martha. Like many of my female villains, she’s a real schemer, although she isn’t as evil as the others. Her motivation is loneliness, not jealousy. She also had a young child, and I simply couldn’t bring myself to create an orphan. So, this time around, instead of an untimely and perhaps painful death, she’ll have a terrifying near death experience. Surely you didn’t think I’d let a villain get away scot-free, did you?