One more day until release! Woo Hoo! And I just realized I’m doing a count-up, not a countdown. Whatever, between the pregnancy brain, my full-time job, raising a three-year-old, trying to write two books at once, and doing promo for The Arrangement my brain is totally fried. You’ll take what I give you people!
Today I’m doing a Throwback Thursday to a post I did for the Happy Authors Guild back in November in 2014. At the time I was about 50% done with The Arrangement, and I had no clue which leading man my heroine, Michelle would choose. Her ex-boyfriend and booty call Russ, or her boss Jeremiah. So I sat all three of them down in my brain for a little round-table discussion.
I‘m infamously indecisive. Just ask my husband. He dreads the “what should we have for dinner?” conversation. It usually goes something like this:
Me: I don’t know, what do you want?
Him: Whatever, what do you want?
Me: I’m easy, whatever.
Him: I know you’re easy, but what do you want to eat?
Me: Ha. Ha.
And around and around we go until we eventually settle on pizza or something equally boring.
So why on earth did someone with zero ability to make a simple choice start writing a romance novel with a love triangle at the heart of the story? Because I’m secretly a masochist?
And so it happened that 30,000 words into my first novel I had set up an impossible situation. 1 strong, beautiful woman. 2 hunky, sweet, awesome in the sack men. What’s a girl to do? No, not a three-some.
My main female character, Michelle and I spend hours drinking wine, agonizing over this quandary. True, Michelle is a fictional character of my own making. That doesn’t mean I can’t share a drink with her.
First there is Russ: A tall, strong, rugged man with a long history with Michelle. They dated in college, circumstances drove them apart. Years later they started a friends with benefits relationship. Now, he wants more, Michelle isn’t so sure.
Then there’s Jeremiah: He has elegant, angular features, brilliant green eyes. Smart, successful, and an amazing kisser. He seems to be everything Michelle could want in a man. There is a problem however, he’s her boss.
We go back and forth on a daily basis. It should be Russ, he has been there for Michelle for years. They have chemistry in spades. What he lacks in ambition he more than makes up for in caring and muscle.
But Michelle pops into my head. “Brandy!” she admonishes “a relationship with Russ could never work. There’s too much baggage weighing us down! Jeremiah is the obvious choice. He owns a business. Knows how to wine and dine a woman. Not to mention the body he’s spent hours sculpting in the gym.”
I try to explain to her that Jeremiah is her boss, it’s a conflict of interest. And we end up in a stalemate, both pouting in opposite corners of my brain. I really need to get this woman under control!
Letting her stew in her own juices, I turn to our men. They glare at each other across the scattered landscape of my brain.
“Okay boys, let’s rein it in and sit down to hash this out.” I scold them
Russ looks at me with those big hazel eyes “Tell pretty boy, he’s the one that horned in on my woman.”
“Your woman?” Jeremiah scoffs in disdain. “I’m pretty sure she’s her own woman. Caveman.”
(Michelle perks up, turning to me with a “See, I told you so in her eyes.”)
“Now, gentlemen, plead your case. Why should we pick you?” I clasp my hands in front of me and turn to Russ first.
“Come on Brandy, no one knows our girl better than me! I know every sexy curve of her body, I know how to meet her needs and then some.” He licks his plump bottom lip and Michelle and I shiver in unison. “She doesn’t need to resort to fantasies and daydreams when she’s with me.” He shoots an accusatory look at the man standing opposite him.
Jeremiah takes a threatening step towards him, but I return him to his corner with a well placed glare.
“Go on, Russ.”
“Sure, we have history. I did some stupid crap when we were in college. But we’re in our 30’s for God sake. I’ve changed, grown. She has just failed to see that. Yet.” He heaves a deep sigh and slumps against the wall. “She just needs to open her eyes.”
Michelle eyes him questioningly from her corner. “What haven’t I seen yet Russ?”
“Uh huh, you aren’t part of this discussion right now girlie.” My stern look shuts her mouth. For now. “And Jeremiah, what do you have to say for yourself?”
“Well, Brandy.” He puts on his best conference room voice. “Not only are Michelle and I compatible on an intellectual level, but we also have so much in common. We are both avid readers, share a fondness for body art, and we have similar ambitions for our future.”
“Ohhh, impressive.” Russ spits the comment at Jeremiah from across our little room.
“Hey, you had your chance buddy, let the man talk.” Maybe getting these two in the same room wasn’t such a good idea. “Anything else Jeremiah?”
“Yea, I may not know every curve of her body yet, but I am more than willing to learn. Making fantasies come true just so happens to be one of my talents.”
His smooth as caramel voice sends butterflies swarming in both our bellies.
Well, this has been no help at all. I send my creations back to their corners of my mind and search for my wine glass.
In the end, I know I’ll have to come to a decision. I keep hoping it will come out organically, without having to force a resolution.
For now I keep writing. I’m starting to get an inkling who Michelle’s main squeeze will be, but I hesitate to pull the trigger. Because making that decision means I’ll have to go back and make some changes. Those rewrites will make the not chosen one flawed, so it’s easier for readers to accept her decision.
But it physically pains me to have to do that to one of my perfect men. Maybe I will write another story for the loser down the line. Give him his happy ending too.
Maybe it’s strange that I get so personally attached to my characters. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for taking this journey into my sometimes confused brain with me. Hopefully in a few months I’ll have a book finished, and more importantly, a decision made.