What had happened was…
Last spring, as I was finishing up the first draft of Unforgettable, it occurred to me that I needed to introduce another character to help solve a plot point. At first, I thought s/he might just be a throwaway character, like the process server who moves the plot along by letting the hero know he’s being sued, then proceeds on his merry way out of the story, never to be seen or heard from again. A character so unimportant that s/he doesn’t even need a name.
But then I thought…what if I make this person an old friend of Daniel’s…what if I make this person the anchor for the Journey’s End spinoff series I’d been considering…what if I try to kill those two birds with one stone?
Could it work?
With that—voilà!—Jean-Baptiste Mercier was born.
He sprang out of my imagination and onto the page fully formed. And let me tell you, it’s a gift when that happens. I’ve experienced this a few times before—with Justus, the say-anything bad boy hero from Risk, for example, and with Noah and Jonah, the precocious eight-year-old twins who appear in all the Journey’s End books. All these characters bounded onto the page with strong points of view and plenty to say. What could be better?
In Baptiste’s case, he had a stellar audition at the end of Unforgettable, then insisted on cutting ahead of Isaiah, the next Harper brother in line for his story to be told in my Journey’s End series. I had Baptiste announce as much in the epilogue. Was this fair to Isaiah and Alyssa, who’d been waiting patiently to get together? No, but what could I do with Baptiste chattering away in my head? His voice was so loud that I couldn’t hear any other characters, much less write their stories.
So I finished Unforgettable on a Friday and started No Ordinary Love on the following Monday. Without bothering to take any time off to decompress or recharge.
And can I just say—I LOVE Baptiste! Seriously. LOVE. HIM. Does he mess some @#$% up at times? Oh, yeah. Still love him, though. His big heart is always in the right place.
And Samira is just the heroine he needs.
I wrote and wrote and wrote.
And wrote some more.
All through the summer and early fall.
I wrote way more than I thought I would.
Baptiste and Samira, it turned out, have a love story too big to be contained in the two-hundred-and-twenty-ish pages I’d been hoping for. They have too much to say to each other. Too many outstanding issues to resolve before they earn a happily-ever-after.
BTW, this has never happened to me before. Normally, characters and plots behave very well.
But when this book headed north of four-hundred pages, one of my writing BFFs, Eve Silver, who frequently weighs in with timely and indispensable advice, made a brilliant observation:
You don’t have one book here—you have two.
Introducing the two-part saga of Baptiste and Samira, kicking off my new BILLIONAIRES OF JOURNEY’S END series:
No Ordinary Love and
Beyond Ordinary Love.
Coming very soon. Both of them. At the same time.
Stay tuned for more details, including cover copy, excerpts and release date…
Oh, and P.S.:
I still have more of Baptiste and Samira’s story to tell. So don’t act surprised when they pop up with at least an additional novella—and possibly a whole novel—somewhere down the road. 😉