This blog was originally published two years ago today at the Kill Zone, and the link popped up in my facebook feed. It’s not only as relevant as it was two years ago, but perhaps more so as the glut of self-published books has increased. Plus, as I re-read the history behind my first (unpublished) book, it reminded me not only of how far I have come since 2002 when I decided to commit myself to a writing career, but how far I’ve come in the last two years … and how far I still need to go. I’ve been doing a lot of creative soul searching lately and experiencing a lot of self-doubt. This is not uncommon among writers, but sometimes it’s important to see where we’ve been to know where we’re going.
Thanks Jodie Renner for hosting me on Kill Zone two years ago — and today, I’m just as happy to discuss this article with those who are interested.
* * *
In 2002, I finished my first full-length novel, a masterful romantic suspense. It had everything … and I mean everything … that a romantic suspense novel could have.
A Heroine … beautiful, smart, sweet. And a virgin. She was a computer expert who worked from home.
A Hero … tough, dedicated, handsome. And a cop.
A Chance Encounter … the heroine thought the hero was an intruder in her apartment building. An old house converted into three flats. How was she to know the landlord had rented the vacant unit?
A Villain … he worked at the coffee shop where the heroine bought her morning coffee after her daily run. He loved her. He was certain she felt the same way, but he couldn’t talk to her, so he stalked her.
A Victim (or five) … the villain, unable to share his feelings for the heroine, rapes women who look like her. Of course my hero catches the serial rape case.
The Ex-Girlfriend … the hero has a psycho ex-girlfriend who is none too happy when she sees the hero kissing the heroine. At some point, she trashes the Heroine’s apartment.
The Ex-Fiancé … yes, the heroine had been engaged. She broke it off for some reason I don’t remember (but I’m sure it was a very good reason), and then she learned that her ex was selling company secrets to a rival. So of course she turned him in.
The Heroine’s Brother. A priest. Well, a former Marine turned priest. (Why? I don’t know. It sounded good at the time.)
Danger. The Heroine’s ex-fiancé, furious that he was fired, plots to embezzle money from the company. But he needs the Very Smart Heroine to hack into the system and steal the payroll before it’s direct-deposited into employee accounts. To force her to help him, he and his gang hold her brother (the former Marine turned priest) hostage, shooting him in the leg when she refuses to help.
Of course, the hero comes in to save the day!