Millie and Drake

Blow, the twelfth Love Story, is out today.

Hands down the most difficult book to write so far. I’m not sure if it was the time in my personal life or the story, but this one was a labor of love.

Drake arrived first as Sistine’s brother in Tap. He was destined to have his own story the minute he walked into the kitchen and grabbed a bagel. But, it took me a while to meet him, fully flesh-out his internal and external conflicts. I did not want Drake’s story to lead with his physical injury and at the same time, I didn’t want it to be some token character piece.

I knew this book would start with Millie arriving in Bodega Bay and so she does, full of life with Pop-Tart by her side. I loved the idea of Millie achieving such success and still struggling with acceptance from others. It is a powerful thread for romance writers and readers. It was a joy writing Millie as she discovered herself and real love.

Best: The bookstore scene was so much fun, as were all the Jules and Drake bits. I am an only child, but if I had a brother, I would want to beat him around and love him up just like Jules. They have both been through so much and yet they hang onto their family. Oh, and the two snarky women at the general store were a blast to write. Every single one of those comments was from personal experience.

Hardest: Millie’s father. I kept wanting him to get better, to stop hurting his daughter, and he never figured things out. Their story is heartbreaking because he was a dad at one point, but the grief swept him away. I love that Millie saved herself, but some of those scenes were tough.

Worst: Getting to the end. The cover for this book is fitting because there were so many times I felt like I was treading water and completely lost in where I was going. I remember hiking The Grand Canyon once. We were supposed to go down the steep side and up the longer, gentler side. We ran out of time and had to return up the steep side, which was a bear. I counted my way out of The Canyon twenty steps at a time. Writing Blow felt like that.

Fun Fact: Drake started out as super angry and kind of douchey. I have never written a man with a physical injury and I remember putting all kinds of pressure on myself to get him right. So, I think that’s why he took a while. I know I say this with every book, but I love him. Deep into my bones, he grew into such a great character.

I hope you enjoy this Love Story. Happy Reading!