Ah, secrets. I, too have an upcoming release with Carina, and it’s full of secrets and a modicum of danger, but definitely not in the same vein as our talented Katie. In my book, the secrets revolve primarily around mistaken identity where a brothel owner on a faraway planet is mistaken for one of his employees… by a man who’s got secrets of his own, including an impending marriage.
Secrets are intriguing, no doubt, but one of the main reasons I write about them is that secrets by their very nature require lies to keep. Lies place a great deal of conflict on a romantic relationship, whether through guilt or emotional distance, fear of exposing yourself or hurting the one you love, and that’s before the truth is revealed.
Writing about secrets… lies… and ultimately, the sense of betrayal when the truth comes out, means I’m bringing my own personal hang-ups to the table. Betrayal is a them in just about everything I’ve written, published or not, because for me, there’s nothing worse than finding out the rock-solid foundation of your relationship is nothing more than the shifting sand of lies.
Another theme I often slip in is the fish out of water syndrome -- the sense that you really don’t quite belong. These two themes work very well together, because once you start to believe in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, you start to feel like you belong. Which makes the betrayal that much sharper when the truth forces back out of the water, exposing you to the elements, suffocating you.
And therein lies the whole ‘write what you know’. I don’t know what it’s like to love a vampire or pilot a space ship or be a prostitute. That’s where escapism and imagination comes in and it’s not how people connect with your characters. The emotional connection is built when you get across the gut-wrenching breathlessness of shock when learning the person you love is not who you thought. The terror of letting yourself trust that this time they’re telling the truth. I’d bet that most everyone has experienced this in some degree at some point in their lives, making it universal, more or less.
Other authors choose other themes: little girl lost, isolation, abuse. These are ways the author can convey shared experiences, making that important connection between reader and character, even if the character is a secret agent or an alien negotiator. But the great thing about romances? The deeper the betrayal and hurt, the more satisfying when the relationship is resolved and faith is restored. Because I want everyone to have that happy ending, to believe it’s possible.
And on that note, here’s a blurb from my upcoming release, Spice ‘n’ Solace. It’ll be out March 14.
The Galactic Alliance’s most important negotiator, Jathan One-Moon, is responsible for ensuring the yearly negotiations with the Ankylos are successful. If he fails and the Ankylos go to war, the human race will likely be exterminated. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s under pressure to marry and produce an heir. When he mistakes the brothel owner, Kazha Deinos, for his escort prior to the negotiations, the resulting evening makes Jathan realize his life is missing a man who can be a true partner to him.
Kaz never met his most important client, and Jathan’s misconception allows Kaz the freedom to give in to desires he’s never let himself indulge in before. But Kaz has a business to run, one that a rival is trying to steal, which will force him to reveal his true identity to Jay. There’s also the little issue of Jathan’s impending marriage. Kaz is not interested in being a boy on the side of Jay’s marriage, no matter how much he’s come to care for Jathan. Will Jathan and Kaz find a way to be together, or will losing the man Jathan’s grown to love be yet another price he must pay for saving the human race?
30 Days of Danger & Secrets is still going strong! Later this week we have Jill Sorenson, Meg Maguire, Angela Henry, and Loribelle Hunt! Some of these authors are giving away sweet prizes and blogging about some really interesting stuff so I hope to see you back here! For more details on the grand prize (March 2) giveaway, visit the 30 Days of Danger & Secrets tab at the top of this page.