I am a serial mistake-maker. When I was writing my first category novel, Rules of Negotiation, I mistakenly made my heroine a driven career woman. Until Entangled came along, this mistake meant that Tori’s book would never see the light of day. Category heroines aren’t supposed to have careers, I was later told. Such a heroine wouldn’t be empathetic. Women wouldn’t like her.
(Note: I beg to differ. I think career women can be quite likeable. At least, being a career woman, sure I hope this is so!).
Then, for my follow up book, The Boss’s Fake Fiancee (BFF), I wrote about hero that wasn’t a perfect ladies man. He wasn’t all confidence and arrogance. My hero was uncomfortable with crowds, had three little white dogs that he loved, and knew how to speak Klingon.
Can you imagine? I shudder to think what most editors would have said about that!
Now, as I work my way through Ross Bencher’s book, Falling for Mr. Wrong, I find I’m doing it again. Ross is a big, sexy hunky guy. But he’s also a single dad who is worried about taking care of his family and having enough time with his kids. My heroine, Kelsey, is preparing to climb Annapurna, the world’s deadliest mountain. She’s terrified of families.
See the problem?
I’d like to claim that I’m some kind of “break the mold” crusader, but really, I’m not. I just write the stories that speak to me. I even try to write classic category novels, but they always take a weird turn as I go along. When I started writing BFF, I knew Garth was a recluse, but I had no idea his fears about relationships stemmed from deeper issues about the way he related to people. When I first met Ross, he seemed to be a prototypical ladies man. It wasn’t until I started writing his book that I realized how he’d been misunderstood by his family, and how his role as a single dad changed him.
So as much as I want to write classic category novels, I’m afraid I’m stuck here in mistake-land.
Which brings me to my question–what are your favorite mistakes? Ever fallen for a blonde hero? What about a divorced heroine? Make me feel better about my mistakes–what are the non-traditional books that you enjoyed?