Sometimes a character just screams and screams at you to write their story. That happened to me recently with Dr. Liliana Carrera who gets her wish this November in STRONGER THAN SIN.
One of the first times it happened with me was with Diana Reyes from THE CALLING vampire novels.
I was actually in the middle of finishing up a baseball series (never published) for the Encanto line when Diana started her campaign to get me to write her story.
She was so loud in my head that I actually set aside the book on which I was working! What came to mind for Diana was a story about a determined and prickly FBI Agent who encounters a man who is determined to protect her no matter how much she tells him she doesn’t need it. At the time I had no plans on having that man — Ryder Latimer — be a vampire. But as Diana and Ryder stayed in the back of my brain while I finished the other book, it became apparent that the nature of their conflict demanded that one of them be dead. Or should I say undead.
With the first few chapters polished, my then agent sent it off. Nearly a year later – no bites. (VBG – Big pun intended.)
My agent and I parted ways since it became apparent I was not going to be the next Latina Terry McMillan. (I think every Latina author would be rich if they had a penny for each time they’d heard that phrase!)
Despite the lack of enthusiasm for DARKNESS CALLS and the general comments that there was no interest in vampire stories (LOL!), I knew I had to write this book. The characters kept calling to me, screaming that they needed to see the light of the day. Over a Christmas break from work, I went home and started writing. A couple of weeks later, the book was done and an amazing thing happened.
An editor from Harlequin wanted to see it. She liked my writing and the premise intrigued her. She sent it on to a colleague to read and the next thing I knew . . . I had a publisher for the book of my heart!
So there is a lesson there — persistence pays off. Never give up on those dreams.
Today I’m sharing with you the original version of a scene from the book — a Director’s Cut. We changed up some things along the way to publication, but I think you’ll find that both this scene and the one that ultimately made it into the final version are true to Diana and Ryder.
If you cannot see the e-reader version below, you can click here for the DARKNESS CALLS Director’s Cut or cut and paste this link into your browser: