This is going to sound a little like the Twilight Zone, but I’ve met some of my characters in real life…
We were sitting in our seats in an airplane and a lady sat down in our row. I couldn’t believe it, but she was exactly as I had imagined Paige from Taking Chances. When we deplaned I asked my husband if the lady sitting in our row reminded him of anyone and he said “Yes, Paige”.
Another time we were sitting at the gate waiting for our plane. My husband leaned over and said, “Here comes Meghan.” I looked up and there was Meghan from Lasting Chances. She was tall, athletic and had a long braid – again, she was exactly as I imagined her.
I really enjoy creating different pets for my main characters. Being a dog lover and owner, I find developing dogs as realistic characters to to be easy.
Bruiser from Taking Chances was inspired by a stop at a gas station. We were filling up our car and a man stepped out of a pickup truck. A huge dog hung his head out of the window with slobber running off his jowls. The man reached in the back end, pulled out a towel and began wiping slobber from the dogs face. It was really funny!
Bruiser and his slobber problem was born. You can find all kinds of inspiration from real life.
We all learned in school about writing from different points of view (first person, second person, third person). When I wrote my first novel it felt more comfortable to me to write in first person – like I was living the story myself. The Chance on Love series is told through the heroine’s eyes.
In my new novel, Catching Cash’s Heart, I wanted to try something a little different and tell the story through both the hero and heroine’s point of view. But frankly I was a little nervous to do this – could I accurately write from the guy’s standpoint? Fortunately, I had two wonderful helpers – my cousin Gary and my husband Carl. Both gave me suggestions (such as no guy would ever say “cute”) that helped mold Cash into a believable hero that any woman would swoon over.
Now that I’m a romance writer, my secret is out in the open. But, once, I too, was a closet romance reader – afraid of the sneers and funny looks if I even breathed the name Susan Elizabeth Phillips or mentioned that I had actually read the unabridged version of Gone with the Wind.
My true mettle was tested one day at work when we were asked to talk about our hobbies. At that time, I worked for a large corporation and I was the lone female manager in an engineering development area. All the managers were settled in a conference room in order to meet our new third line manager. He was truly a nice guy and I enjoyed working for him. He asked each of us to go around the table, introduce ourselves and describe things that we liked doing outside of work.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up when he said that. But, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I had some time to formulate my answer as he had started with a guy at the far end of the table from me. I decided to listen to what everyone else said and then come up with something. I certainly didn’t want to embarrass myself by blurting out the first thing that should come out of my mouth – “I love reading romance novels”. Keep in mind that the room was full of testosterone and geekiness. I just didn’t fit in.
One man told about building a playhouse for his daughters with his bare hands using only a hand saw, hammer and nails. Another gave a dissertation about how he built a circuit to control his coffee pot and toaster. How did he know how to do that? Someone had lovingly restored a 1967 Mustang. He was so proud that at the end of the project there were no spare parts lying dejectedly on the garage floor with a sign on them that said “what do I do with this?” Stories of woodworking, bowling, fishing, hunting and an occasional golf story filled the room.
My palms began to sweat. Should I mention my love affair with my new, shiny bread machine? Who knew you could make wheat bread one day and rye bread the next? How about the pine cone wreath I assembled in my basement and now had proudly hanging on my front door? Dare I mention that I aced a ribbon making class and am now looking forward to wrapping Christmas presents that look like they were done by a very well trained elf?
When my turn finally came I told about training for a Centurion bicycle ride with my husband (all true), that I was in a ladies bowling league proudly bowling on a team named the ‘Guttersnipes’ and that I was a rabid Minnesota Vikings fan. Go Vikes!
Whew! Disaster averted. At least I wasn’t laughed out of the room. But, my true love was nestled safely inside my purse. Maybe I could read a few chapters in my car during lunch.
According to Wikipedia, the meet cute is a scene in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time.
This type of scene is a staple of romantic comedies. Frequently, the meet-cute leads to a humorous clash of personality or of beliefs, embarrassing situations, or comical misunderstandings that further drive the plot.
In my Chance on Love Series, each book has a meet cute in the first chapter.
Second Chances: Samantha is running late and literally runs into Matt on his first day in the office. An embarrassing situation for sure!
Taking Chances: Paige trips over a backpack on her first day in MBA class…and the only chair left in class is beside Danny. Embarrassment and an opportunity for the hero and heroine to meet.
Lasting Chances: Megan is exiting the conference room from her interview with Gramps and Jack. Gabe enters the conference room at the same time she’s leaving and they both feel a zing of attraction.
My new book, Catching Cash’s Heart, starts off with a comical misunderstanding. Let’s just say that Cash is not too happy to meet Holly because of a case of mistaken identity.
This first book in my new series, Unlikely Catches, will be published in late October or early November. Watch this website for updates!
If you have your own real life meet cute, reply and tell us about it!