This is the last day of the contest. Tomorrow I’ll be announcing not only today’s winner of a signed copy of Inside Out, but the Grand Prize #2 winner as well. Good luck all!
Instead of an excerpt, today I wanted to re-post a guest blog I particularly liked and felt encapsulated NEVER ENOUGH and Gillian in particular to me.
The End of a Series â€“ Finding the Right Heroine: Meet Gillian Forrester
Over the course of the books, readers get invested in the lives of the characters â€“ or that’s the ultimate hope on my part, that readers connect with my characters. As each book ends and another couple has its HEA, the sense of anticipation builds for that last one.
I’m totally guilty of this as a reader myself. I watch those secondary characters who grow over the years, over the stories as he or she watches those they love finding their match and I can’t wait for their happy ending as well.
When it’s a hero, the key is to put him with the right kind of heroine. And to accept that no matter who you put him with, she’ll probably never be good enough for some folks â€“ it’s that connection we have, I think. How can anyone be good enough for that character you’ve loved so long?
Back to the heroine again â€“ she’s got a big job. She has to win over those readers who are going to demand the very best, totally perfect partner for him (or in the m/m instance, the perfect hero). The problem is that there are as many ideas of what the perfect heroine is as there are people reading that book, LOL!
When I was writing Coming Undone, I thought Adrian’s book would be the third and Cope’s the last. But as I started sketching out the story, I realized Adrian wasn’t ready to fall in love and that Cope needed it a lot more and was open to it so much more readily.
And then I thought about how the woman I’d originally planned for Cope was totally all wrong for him and that’s when I realized his heroine had been with the series all along in Ella.
So I really sat down and thought about Adrian and what sort of story he needed. What sort of heroine he needed. And the first thing that came to me was that she should be as private as his life was public.
She should be protective of her family as he was of his own. And see it as integral as he did. She needed to be raw and honest but buttoned up and reserved. He needed to work for her in a way he’d never had to before.
Creative, as he is. Artistic. I wanted her to understand music the way Adrian would. I wanted her to know what it meant to have creation be integral to her life. But I gave her some different twists in the road and made other choices. Choices she made and does not regret. I wanted her to absolutely have a sense of her path and to be there fully and happily.
She’s a mother. A fierce, no nonsense mother and the scenes I began to understand her the most at first, were those with Miles. And I think for Adrian the same is true.
She does not love or trust easily, but once she does, she does deeply and forever. Like Adrian, she has a close circle. While not her biological family, they are the family she’s made with her friends. Miles comes from a large, close group just as Adrian does. Gillian has made this for their son and it’s something I felt quite strongly would be a necessity for a man like Adrian.
In short, she needed to be smart, strong, loyal, brave, honest and loving â€“ and in a package Adrian wouldn’t necessarily expect. He works hard for his success, but women fall into his lap right and left. He doesn’t need easy. He needs to be challenged and Gillian is that for him.
But she definitely needed to be knocked off kilter. Repeatedly. Had to be uncomfortable and off balance and keep going because it was about Miles. At first. And then it was because she doesn’t have the life he does and she absolutely needed to buy none of his bull and accept all of him, flaws and all. Above all, Adrian Brown needs to be loved for Adrian the man, not Adrian the rock star. And Gillian does.
They’re very much alike in all the ways that count. Enough that it’s those like issues that get them into trouble. They bicker a lot, which he’s endlessly amused by and he gets under her skin enough to charm her. It’s that safety they find together, that intimacy that’s the key to their connection. Even when it’s shaken by a dark secret she’s held on to for years, that connection is still there, though it’s a challenge for the two of them to remember.
I wanted Gillian to be worth the struggle. Because Adrian is. And I think she is. I hope you all think so too.