I particularly loved writing Her Secret Prince, because it is connected to my first Tule novella. The heroine Dee was Alexia’s best friend in The Playboy – fun, a little outrageous, and bold to a fault. She was happy to march through the sidelines of that story, cheering on her friend while having her own summer fling down under.
Dee seemed capable of anything. In reality, she was hiding her vulnerability: that her flings never became anything more and she had no idea why. Why didn’t men want to make it last? What was wrong with her? By the time she returned to Los Angeles at the end, Dee’s heart had begun to wilt.
Now she’s on her guard. Not rushing into sex, not risking her happiness on men who’ll only leave her. At the beginning of Her Secret Prince, her first love Jed turns up – ten years after his disappearance. His presence threatens her newfound singledom and the very depths of her heart. She’s confused, torn, and overwhelmed. She loves him still, but can’t trust that he’ll stay.
I wanted to capture Dee’s mood properly here. It was difficult – because she was so vivacious in The Playboy, it was hard to imagine her feeling uncertain about anything! But there had to be a depth to her beyond bold statements, and I was determined to find it.
So I used music to help. I had a big playlist, influencing the mood of my writing to tap into her emotions. These were some of my favorites:
Music can be so persuasive. I’d love to know if there are any songs that make you feel a certain way – doesn’t have to be melancholic!
Madeline has always lived in Melbourne. She is emotionally allergic to spontaneity, and yet doesn’t mind the weather that drags her into rain when she’s planned for sunshine. She likes to call this her wild side.
She’s a Virgo, vegetarian, and once had a romantic suspense-style dream in which the hero was a shredded lettuce sandwich and the villain was a cherry tomato. The tomato got away. She took the dream as a sign that she’d better stick to writing contemporary romance.
Her stories have spunky heroines, strong heroes, and as much dialogue as she can cram in. As for why she writes romance, she’s in a long-term relationship with the genre and writing such stories makes it happy.