I desperately, urgently want this to be my first book to hit the USA Today or New York Times bestseller list. I've never publicly said that about any of my books for fear of jinxing myself, but I figure I'm turning 40 in a few weeks and this is my chance to put my ultimate birthday fantasy out there in the universe.
So why this book?
Here's where I have to make another confession:
Several months ago, I sent an early draft of Fiancée for Hire to my agent so she could review it before I sent it along to my editor. Amid her notes about assorted typos and character issues was the following paragraph:
So during the Williams Sonoma registry discussion (hilarious, btw), all of a sudden it hit me why I love this so much and love Kelli – she's totally you!!!! I feel like I'm usually good at spotting lines etc. where I hear my clients speaking in their own voice instead of the character. Certain phrases or whatever that they use. And of course this scene felt so you. But then I realized Kelli is totally you!!! All of it!! With the animals and the sex jokes etc. She just feels the most like you of any character I think you've ever written. To me at least. In a good way. :)
The moment I read that paragraph, I pushed back in my chair and sat blinking at the computer screen, too dumbfounded to do anything else. Holy shit. She's right. I wrote myself into my own damn book.
Is there a special kind of therapy for that?
|Dr. Emily, my real life veterinarian (who |
bears a striking physical resemblance to Kelli).
I'm also not suggesting my perfect love match is a stoic former Marine with control issues (though for the record, I'll admit there are echos of my gentleman friend in Mac's bedroom talk – sorry, honey).
But you know how you talk about characters having a certain "voice?" Yeah. Kelli's is mine. Or mine is hers, I'm not actually sure.
Did I mention the therapy thing?
Just to give you some examples, here's a classic Kelli monologue from the opening scene in Fiancée for Hire when Kelli gets tired of being polite to a customer trying to hit on her at her veterinary office.
Kelli jerked back, cherubic smile faltering. “I may look like a Cabbage Patch doll, but you should know I have a pump-action shotgun, a black belt in karate, and a vibrator that doubles as a jackhammer,” she replied, her voice still soft and bright. “If you’re not out of my office in ten seconds, I will demonstrate all three on you, starting from the bottom of the list and working my way up.”
Here's another excerpt of a conversation between Kelli and Mac's sister, Sheri (Kelli's best friend):
“My brother has spent his whole life making himself an emotional iceberg so his feelings don’t get in the way of his ability to protect people," Sheri said. "It’s kind of an art form with him.”
“Beats the hell out of papier-mâché,” Kelli replied, shifting a little in her lounge chair as she filed that insight away in her mental Rolodex. “Anyway, things are going well. Great, I mean. Really great. Mac is amazing.”God, she sounded like an idiot. On the other end of the line, Sheri was quiet.“You’re not falling in love with him, right?” she asked. “I mean, you’ve always had a thing for my brother, but I thought it was just lust, and—”“Don’t worry,” she said, licking her lips and infusing her voice with her normal, lighthearted perkiness. “I only do lust. Not love. That’s why I’m here, right?”“Right.” Sheri didn’t sound convinced, but she was a good enough friend to let it drop. “Mac called last night. He sounded a little rattled. You must’ve done something to shake up his image of you as sweet, demure, and wholesome?”Kelli laughed. “I jerked him off in his closet, then let him finger me in a restaurant.”“That’ll do it. All that within the first forty-eight hours?”“All that in a two-hour span. I’m nothing if not efficient.”
So there's a little taste of Kelli, which I suppose means I'm giving you a taste of me. Is this getting creepy for anyone else? I probably need to end this post now.
Well, after making one last plea – Fiancée for Hire is only 99-cents all week, and that link right there will take you to where you can buy it for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or any other eReader on the planet. If you've already bought it for yourself, it makes a lovely (and cheap!) gift.
I promise to use a portion of the royalties for therapy.