Hello Writerspace readers! I’m so happy to be here today to share a few words about my new release from Entangled Publishing, WRITTEN FOR YOU. It’s a friends to lovers, forced proximity, small town romance that took a long time to get to The End.
You see, like my screenwriting hero, Cam, I suffered from some major writer’s block. Not in the traditional sense where I didn’t know what to write, but in that it took me three major revisions to get my heroine right. Writing a novel never gets easier, and I really struggled with Reese. I wanted her to be the perfect match for my Cam (who was fairly easy to write). I wanted her to be smart and funny and the perfect foil to his steadier and more reliable modus operandi.
They didn’t start out as close friends, but rather acquaintances. A third of the way through the first draft, I realized that wasn’t working – or more precisely that Reese wasn’t working. She needed a different occupation. I emailed my editor in panic mode. We talked on the phone and she helped me off the ledge of despair and we came up with a better occupation for her. Yay! I got back to writing feeling better about the story.
Then another problem arose: a little something called a pandemic and with that, personal hardship that made writing not so fun. I made it through. I turned the book in on time, but I knew it wasn’t my best work. I knew my mind had been elsewhere and that I hadn’t given Cam and Reese my whole heart.
My editors, being the brilliant women that they are, had great editorial feedback for me, but guess what? I still couldn’t let go that something was wrong with Reese. Once again, her occupation didn’t make her the person I wanted her to be – or authentically challenge Cam the way I wanted her to. I also realized it would be more problematic for Cam and Reese if they were best friends. <insert evil laugh> So, I emailed my editors and asked “Is it okay if I change Reese again and rewrite the book?” The answer: yes.
Now, I had best friends (whose moms are also best friends) and my hero and heroine working in the same field: Cam as a screenwriter, and Reese as an agent’s assistant and script reader for the same agency that represents Cam. Then I threw in a whopper of a secret for Reese to keep and finally I had my story. I loved what I was writing! It felt right. The push and pull between Cam and Reese was fun and lighthearted, but also emotional given their close relationship and shared background. Cam’s growing crush on his best friend made writing his action film impossible and instead he had romcom on the brain. I love a good romcom, don’t you?
It took me longer than I’d hoped to turn in my edits, but when I typed The End – actually it’s FADE OUT, and I hope you’ll read the book to see why – I was proud of myself for delivering a book I truly believed it, and so happy to be finished! I’m pretty sure my editors were immensely relieved, too. (Side note: their faith in me helped tremendously.)
They say the third times a charm, and in this case it definitely was. I think I still have a bit of an editing hangover, but it was worth it to make Cam and Reese two people I adore and whose story I hope captures your heart and leaves you with a smile on your face.
Thanks so much Writerspace for having me here today! Before I go, I’ve got a question: what is your favorite romcom (book or film)? Let me know in the comments for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.