Behind the Book
I was all set to write a completely different story early in 2012. With different characters, set on a completely different continent. Until my editor mentioned she might be interested in a story about a couple involved in some very public scandal. Not what I was planning, but sometimes just a few words can spark an idea that just grows and grows. In this case the idea sparked and grew so fast I knew within 24 hours I had to write it.
I began by thinking of what sort of scandals might dog someone with a high public profile. Sex scandals, mistresses and generally bad behaviour seemed likely. Too likely. What else? Misappropriation of funds? Fraud? I didn't really want a hero who'd been stealing other people's money. Long lost family members? None of them grabbed me - not for this particular story.
So I came at it another way. Which two people might be subject to the most press scrutiny if their romance became known? I had a passing thought for a royal story but as I had one of those half planned for later I put that aside. I wanted something different. How about a heroine who'd been convicted of killing the hero's brother?
'Yess!' said that little voice that leads me on to investigate 'what if' when planning new stories. If it was a celebrated case, and if the hero was newsworthy in his own right, wouldn't they be in the spotlight just by spending time together? Imagine the emotions that poor heroine would experience, falling for that particular hero. Imagine how he'd feel. There'd be guilt and regret and very possibly hatred to overcome, which meant their attraction would have to be incredibly strong. They would have to be incredibly strong.
As soon as I knew that I was hooked. My next step was to think of how the story would open. Why not on her first day out of prison? Too harsh? I love making life difficult for my heroines - that way when they find their happy ending I feel they've deserved it. What would she be feeling on that first day? What would she feel about the hero and why would he feel compelled to see her on her release?
The questions came thick and fast, and, to my relief, so did the answers. The story ideas poured out once I had my premise and my characters. Lucy, a naive girl at the time of her trial, is now outwardly tough and untrusting. It takes a special man to break through to the needy woman inside. Domenico, born to one of Italy's most prestigious families and used to wielding enormous power, is forced to learn he can't have everything he wants - at least not immediately. Compromise is needed by both, and trust to match the flare of attraction that threatens everything they hold precious.
As for the setting - let me just say I immersed myself in research on the south of Italy. I felt I was basking in warm Mediterranean sunshine as I wrote. What better place for two unlikely lovers to escape the press and discover the meaning of true love?
CAPTIVE IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a very special book for me with unforgettable characters that took me on a rollercoaster trip through loss and love and into new beginnings. I hope you enjoy Lucy and Domenico's story too.Reviews Excerpt Return