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Going Dark Side: Oh the feels!
I am not a super dark person.
Have I had bad stuff happen to me? Absolutely. Can I go dark side? Sometimes. But one of the reasons I prefer romance above all other genres is because even if it’s dark, you still have that ray of hope, that happily ever after…
And that keeps me reading.
But before I even finished Marines, I had Everett and Callie running around in my head and I knew that their story wasn’t going to start off with a bang of passion or that light hearted banter was going to carry them through. These two had been through the ringer and I didn’t want it to be sweet as honey when these two fell for each other. I wanted to show two damaged individuals trying to navigate living their lives again after just getting by. And after writing Return of the Bad Girl, my first trip into dark concepts and heavy questions, I was ready for it. I wanted to go there.
I know most writers feel like their characters are real people, but for me, I feel like my characters could be the person you bump into on the street. They are flawed, well rounded personalities that leap of the pages and yell, “Look at me!” I know that sounds crazy, and maybe a little conceited, but if I don’t love them, how can I ask you to?
The thing about dark, heavy writing is that it can drain you and even make you a little sad. What started as something beautiful evolving in Return of the Bad Girl left me emotionally raw after Callie and Everett’s journey. I remember sitting in my favorite coffee shop and I finally had to go to the bathroom to cry because I couldn’t contain it any longer! Both of these books and characters are so special to me because they didn’t just make one mistake or have a little misunderstanding, they experienced serious trauma and life altering consequences from their actions. They carried around some heavy baggage and it fubarred them royally. But dealing with what they went through helped me find my deep writers voice.
I still needed a break from the feels though, which is why I was so glad to jump into Mike’s book. Unlike ROTBG and BFM, Mike and Zoe have a complicated enemies to alliances to holy mother of orgasms, but it didn’t rip every organ from my body and leave me bleeding on the floor, so it was a nice chance of pace and I realized that, dark or light, I just want to write good books and I feel like I just keep getting better.