Hi, y’all! My name is Anne Harper and I write small-town, romantic comedies filled with shenanigans, romance, and sweet tea. Most notably, the Accidentally Viral series! The first book in the series, Fake It Till You Make It, was inspired by a very embarrassing email I almost sent to my editor on accident. That uh-oh turned into a what if that then led me to the entire creation of the book! The what if a secret blog went public and then viral on the internet?
Bing, bang, boom and the shenanigan-filled story of Sloane De Carlo and Brady Knox was born! But I’ve been asked since then, “What about Book 2?”
Well, it definitely was inspired by something strange.
Now, let’s talk about how one comment from one actor completely and utterly transfixed me, body and soul, to the point of creating an entire book just to satisfy my new obsession.
So one day while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a short snippet of an interview with actor Chris Pine (my favorite version of Captain Kirk from the 2009 Star Trek and also my favorite suitor to Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries 2, among many other fantastic roles) and let’s say it stuck. In the clip he basically says that he doesn’t like social media and even despises smart phones. That he even spent time out in a cabin in the woods away from all of it, happily a luddite.
And that was it. That was the entire clip. Just an extremely good-looking actor with a sense of shyness and equal amounts of ferocity explaining that he wasn’t a fan of how technology was used.
Listen, I don’t know why it happened but suddenly I was picturing this man who was so lively and energetic on screen out in the woods with a long beard, a warm cup of black coffee, and wearing flannel brooding. Maybe chopping down some wood? Maybe about to go fishing? Something to do with his hands while grumping when he sees a tourist roaming his same woods?
From there I kind of spiraled. Why did this man dislike technology and social media? Was there a specific reason? And how do you live in today’s society without embracing at least one of the two? What did your social life look like? What did your family life look like? What job could you do and how did your day-to-day look?
Before I realized what was happening, I’d left Chris Pine behind and had slowly started to create the character Quinn Hannigan, the hero of Like A Boss. An older man, single father to a pre-teen, and new arrival to the small, Alabama town of Arbor Bay. But having someone not be a fan of social media and technology in itself isn’t an interesting quality. Yet, having that same someone put in close proximity with their total opposite? That was something I wanted to explore!
In walks Antonella “Nell” Bennett. She’s one of five children and has gone viral for her very public post-break-up speech. Nell isn’t the type to be caught escaping into the woods to hide from the world but she isn’t that much of a fan of her new fame. Especially since it seems to be following her back from the scene of the crime to a job she truly loves…and the new boss, Quinn. A man she already met by chance…and kissed?
It’s a fun combination and one neither expects to work. For a man who likes his quiet, prefers to work and never play, and doesn’t understand the appeal of the internet, he sure ends up hanging around with the young woman the internet is currently watching.
That’s one of the reasons I truly love writing. I saw one snippet of an interview and then bam there was an entire book waiting for me to write. And I definitely did!
Like A Boss is about two people who couldn’t be more opposite trying to work together, solve some ridiculous problems together, and find a way to live a life that’s suddenly become very different for them. All while trying to fight an attraction and chemistry that they both keep telling themselves isn’t there…and it all started with an actor talking about his dislikes on my Facebook newsfeed.
So here’s to Chris Pine, small towns, and opposites fitting together beautifully. And for any aspiring writers or curious readers out there, this is a great example of how sometimes you’re just minding your own business when some inspiration truly strikes! All you have to do is listen to it!