Tell Me Something was written about five years ago and was a collection of scenes like a lot of my other “unfinished books” on my c drive. I had the characters, their personalities, and even some great dialogue, but something was missing. Then about three years ago I read 50 Shades of Grey and it opened a door. No, not to make Josh like Christian although there were already some similarities in Alpha status and maybe it did give me some ideas, but the first person POV (point of view) style of writing was what influenced me the most. It combined two types of books I loved. Chick lit and Romance. It also introduced ‘erotic’ into the mainstream romance novels you see today and made me feel more comfortable putting more explicit scenes into a contemporary romance novel.
Once I switched from “he said, she said” I was able to fully develop Haylee’s personality, interject a lot more humor with the ability to see inside of her mind and most importantly have the reader guess at Josh’s motivations and actions right along with the female main character. This to me was a much more honest representation of human beings considering we often are left wondering why people say or do the things they do.
It was right before I was about to turn 40 that I realized if I was going to ever do something about this dream of writing, I needed to put up or shut up. Tell Me Something had grown to almost 200K words. To put it into perspective, it’s 115K now and still considered too long by publishing standards (ah the beauty of self-publishing). This is what happens when you “SIT” with a story for years. In other words I was writing their lives, not the story that you see today. I also was trying to introduce the entire parade of secondary characters that I wanted to feature in later books. The cutting process was brutal to say the least! Because I had a baby that year (and anyone who tells you that maternity leave will give you plenty of time to write is lying-sleep, that’s what I wanted, sleep), it got put off another year, but I finally took that step!
One of the criticisms I get of Josh is that he was an asshole and that he didn’t treat Haylee well at times. I would argue that in order to have a true character arc, you have to flaw your characters enough to show growth. (And yep, not everyone likes that-but hopefully by clicking on my site, you did 🙂 )And in not showing his POV the entire time, unfortunately you can’t see his motivation and can only guess that he’s still raw from his divorce, socially awkward and unfortunately not so good at thinking before speaking. But you see glimpses of him wanting to become better, of feeling remorse and evolving slowly but surely, regressing and then in the end….well you know…(not going to give it away).
So in other words, if you want love at first sight, a hero who is romantic or perfect characters, this story is not for you 🙂
The title of the story, “Tell Me Something” came from a section on the airplane in which Haylee basically starts the game of learning more about Josh after a particularly steamy scene. After I’d come up with that name, I had my theme for the series. In case you were wondering there will be five books total. Each is stand alone, but builds on secondary characters previously introduced in earlier books. And since you’ve read this much, I’m even going to tell you their names:
Ask Me Something (the story of Sasha and Brian) will be out at the end of the year and is what I’m working on currently.
Teach Me Something (Catherine’s story-nope I’m not going to tell you who with-he may not have been introduced yet or has he?)
Show Me Something (nope, no hints)
Bet Me Something (sorry, can’t tell you whose story this is either-ha)
I may switch the order of the last three depending on how my writing goes, but that will make up the “Something Series”…hope you are as excited to read them as I am to write them!!