Amanda: Oh, the headache and the heartbreak of the writing process! I’m one of those seat-of-the-pants writers. Every time I try to plot out a book ahead of time, it veers off in another direction. My editor, the fearless Liz Pelletier of Entangled Publishing, generously refers to my process as “organic plotting.” I like that—a lot. It makes me feel like I’ve got a plan instead of a cast of characters who are working it out as they live their lives trying to get lucky! My books always start with a character. For INTO THE FIRE, I had Lila. She picked up the phone and said, “Personal Chef, at your service. What are you hungry for?” And she was mad because her boss makes her answer the phone like that every time, and it sounds like a come-on. Bam! I had a story. Somewhere. SEDUCING THE PLAYBOY started with the heroine, too. I wanted to write a “spunky kid” heroine because I was reading a book about archetypes. A spunky kid is impulsive, relentless, and full of energy. The perfect match for her would be an older brother’s best friend hero who holds her in check. Bam! Jenna and Roman. And what would happen if Roman let go of the brakes and got even more impulsive than Jenna? A story. Somewhere. I just had to find it. What about you, Gina? How do you find your stories?
Gina: Funny! I am the complete opposite. I am 100% a plotter. I must have an outline of all the scenes before I start writing. Anal? Totally! Unspontaneous? Not necessarily! A lot of the times the book ends up being completely different so I simply change the outline accordingly. As for my book ideas, I think big picture. The plot always comes to me first. RECIPE FOR SEDUCTION, and the entire Madewood brothers series, started with a simple question–what happens if a rich widow adopts four teenage boys? Maybe that’s why we work so well together, Amanda. You’re the daring-pantster and I’m the careful-organizer. Right brain. Left brain. If we put our heads together, we might take over the world. 🙂
Amanda: Oh, Gina! I want the ability to outline almost as much as I want a no-strings lap dance from Channing Tatum. I try to organize my head, but it won’t hold still. I’ve used a different process for each book: Laura Baker and Robin Perini’s Story Magic, Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery, NaNoWriMo, and Candace Haven’s Fast Draft technique, just to name a few. But no matter what I do to get organized, the book never really comes together for me until I’ve written half of it. Faith, enthusiasm, inspiration, and stubbornness get me to The End. Most of the time I sit in front of my computer daydreaming about sandwiches, cupcakes, old boyfriends, super-sexy moments from my past, and things that stabbed me in the heart until I feel a tingle somewhere between my head and my nether regions. Then I give those memories and daydreams to my characters. Hot mess, I know. That’s my process. Gina, you’re going to tell me you sit down with a planned, concrete scene in mind and then you write it, aren’t you? Go ahead…turn me on!
Gina: Wait a minute! Is the reward for being a plotter a lap dance with Channing Tatum? Hmmm…I must have missed that memo. LOL! Obviously the recipe for your seduction is a neatly plotted book. Ready for me to blow your mind? Or should I say….. quiver your loins? 🙂 First I start with the plot, and then my characters begin to develop. Then, like magic, the scenes start to pop into my head in a very non-linear fashion. Of course I insert and delete as necessary but I have never, EVER, sat in front of my computer and just went for it. That’s when my mind goes blank.
Amanda: *fanning myself* I love that so much! Inspiration is a tricky thing. I get seduced by my characters, and Gina gets seduced by her plot. It’s different for everyone, but one thing holds true: whatever it is, it’s yours. We’d love to hear about what inspires YOU! It doesn’t have to be writing related, although it can be. What’s the last thing that made you tingle and want to share it with the world?
SEDUCING THE PLAYBOY
Work hard, play harder…
The best desserts are worth the wait…
Pastry chef Jenna Cooper crushed hard on playboy chef Roman Gallagher when her older brother brought him home to share their family Christmas six years ago. Now she’s old enough to do something about it, and she won’t take no for an answer—for anything.
Out of the frying pan into the fire…
Roman has one hard and fast rule—don’t sleep where you eat. But he can’t say no to Jenna’s plea for him to help her save her family business. Soon she’s working for him, and their scorching chemistry melts Roman’s resistance.
If you can’t stand the heat…
Jenna knows Roman has reservations about enjoying the heat between them, but she’s got a plan. She’s going to keep this sexy man so satisfied in—and out—of the kitchen, he won’t regret a thing. But Roman has his own ideas. He wants more than a few hot nights, and he’s going to teach Jenna a lesson about playing with fire.
RECIPE FOR SEDUCTION
Let the game of seduction begin…
Veronica Whitfield feels like a frumpy old maid. After ten years of raising her younger siblings, she’s desperate to get her sexy back. And why not find it with the man she’s been in lust with since she was twelve years old—her brother’s best friend, Finn O’Reilly?
Finn is looking for love. And not any love—true love. Complete with the white picket fence, two children, and a dog. He’s just been a little unlucky finding it, and he sure as hell isn’t about to consider his best friend’s little sister for the job, no matter how badly he wants her in his bed.
But then Veronica propositions him with a game of dark, delicious seduction. Finn is tempted to indulge his hidden need for kink, but at what cost? Following through could very well ruin their friendship, but maybe—just maybe—helping Veronica rediscover her sexy side is exactly what he needs to find love at last…