Behind The Scenes
This book was very emotional to write. Imagining my way into Michael's relationship with Billie and then having her die in the prologue meant that I was pretty much having a sook at the beginning of the book - normally that only happens at the end. I really wanted to write a romance about a second chance at love that didn't require that Michael's first chance (ie Billie) be wrong or faulty or evil or anything apart from someone he had loved and lost. I wanted to honor Billie while at the same time offering Michael and Angie the chance to see each other as people and to discover that there was something very special to be had between them, too, if they could both get out of their own way enough to see it. So, it was a balancing act, and I hope I was able to hit the right notes in the right places to tell their story properly.
I was lucky enough to be able to steal the profession of my lovely friend, Camilla Gough, for Angie's career. Camilla is a bespoke wedding ring designer, and ever since I met her I have loved that she essentially works with people on the cusp of making one of life's great commitments all the time. She literally deals in the symbols of romance and love and commitment, and she does amazing, stunning work. I am lucky enough to have one of her rings myself - a gorgeous rose gold and champagne diamond ring that she made for me for my wedding a couple of years ago. To research her work, I went to her studio and watched as she created an alloy with her colleague, Jason, and began to shape the resulting tiny ingot into a ring. It was amazing stuff - very physical and hands on and almost primal. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank her for sharing her time and studio with me. I'm currently saving up for my next Gough creation. Earrings, I think. Or maybe a necklace.
The two children in this book are based on my neighbours' children, Beth and Charlie. While I was able to use Charlie's name, I had already used Beth's in an earlier book so she became Eva in this one. They're great kids - cute and funny and charming as all get out. A big thanks to them for inspiring me.
This is also the first book I have written with the distraction/companionship of my new dog, Max the Cavoodle (Cavapoo in the US, I believe). He's a cross between a Cavalier King Charle's Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle, and he has become my lovely writing buddy. He sleeps at my feet all day, and then, as the day grows darker, insists that we go out for a walk and/or play. He's an absolute sweetheart, and I am convinced he's making me a better writer with his steady friendship and excellent snuggling skills.