Behind The Scenes

Take On Me

Take On Me is the first book in my Secret Lives of Daytime Divas mini-series. The idea for these books just, well, came to me. I had noticed that other authors were doing three-book series, and it occurred to me that this was probably a really good way to build an audience and play with some ongoing characters. And, after all, I work on soaps, right? Having ongoing stories should be a piece of cake for me, right?

Well, of course it was all a lot harder than I thought it would be. First up, when I pitched the idea to my editor she thought it was something we might do a little later on, after I had more than three books out. But then she called me back to tell me that her senior editor liked the idea and wanted to run with it. So then she hit me with the bad news. Because the three books were linked and were released one month apart, my deadlines were going to be killers – no spacing the three books out over one year. No way. Instead, they were all due pretty much at once. And if I missed deadline, I missed three publishing slots, not just one. Quickly I realized this was going to be a challenge as well as an opportunity. I buckled myself into the laptop, and started writing.

Sadie’s book was the first cab off the rank. It flowed pretty well, not many hiccups or deviations from my original story outline. I tend to try to solve story problems up front if possible, before I start writing. Of course, sometimes I only realize my plotting was flawed half way through the book (see Behind The Scenes for All Over You!) and I have to replot on the hop. Not for this one, though. Sadie and Dylan seemed to know where they wanted to go right from the start.

One funny story: My ed, the wonderful Wanda, gently pointed out that the original first sex scene between Sadie and Dylan was very clichéd. I think I had her tripping and falling against him, and all their hot anger turning into hot something else. I could see what Wanda meant, and I discussed it with my man, Chris. He’s so clever – he suggested the scene that is in the book now, where Sadie walks into Dylan’s office, kicks his door shut and starts undressing without in any way checking with Dylan that sex is on the agenda. And he starts undressing, too, even as they tell each other how much they dislike each other. I love it that they both totally knew that a powerful sexual undercurrent was at play beneath all their previous disagreements. That sex scene is my all time favorite. So far!

Well, of course it was all a lot harder than I thought it would be. First up, when I pitched the idea to my editor she thought it was something we might do a little later on, after I had more than three books out. But then she called me back to tell me that her senior editor liked the idea and wanted to run with it. So then she hit me with the bad news. Because the three books were linked and were released one month apart, my deadlines were going to be killers – no spacing the three books out over one year. No way. Instead, they were all due pretty much at once. And if I missed deadline, I missed three publishing slots, not just one. Quickly I realized this was going to be a challenge as well as an opportunity. I buckled myself into the laptop, and started writing. Sadie’s book was the first cab off the rank. It flowed pretty well, not many hiccups or deviations from my original story outline. I tend to try to solve story problems up front if possible, before I start writing. Of course, sometimes I only realize my plotting was flawed half way through the book (see Behind The Scenes for All Over You!) and I have to replot on the hop. Not for this one, though. Sadie and Dylan seemed to know where they wanted to go right from the start. One funny story: My ed, the wonderful Wanda, gently pointed out that the original first sex scene between Sadie and Dylan was very clichéd. I think I had her tripping and falling against him, and all their hot anger turning into hot something else. I could see what Wanda meant, and I discussed it with my man, Chris. He’s so clever – he suggested the scene that is in the book now, where Sadie walks into Dylan’s office, kicks his door shut and starts undressing without in any way checking with Dylan that sex is on the agenda. And he starts undressing, too, even as they tell each other how much they dislike each other. I love it that they both totally knew that a powerful sexual undercurrent was at play beneath all their previous disagreements. That sex scene is my all time favorite. So far!

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