Behind the Scenes: Windswept
Boy, do I love this story. I loved writing it, I love reading it, and I hope you do, too. It’s a thrilling page-turner that can put a lump in your throat, have you heading for a cold shower after the steamy scenes, or make your pulse race with every near-miss escape. So how exactly did Windswept come about, you ask?
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE CHARACTERS:
I love strong heroines, so Mia, almost-Olympic swimmer turned dive instructor, came easily to me. She’s proud, capable, and just wounded enough to make a perfect match for Ryan and a worthy new captain for good old Serendipity. If you’re wondering, I’m a certified diver like Mia but not as experienced as her. That’s because my heroines are always larger-than-life versions of who I am in a teensy, tiny way!
Ryan is one of those easy-to-fall-in-love-with hunks, especially since he’s wounded himself, if not quite ready to admit it. I have the feeling Mia and Ryan might not have made it as a couple if they hadn’t had that awful split in New York. It took something that truly threatened Ryan’s pride to make him chase down a woman rather than letting her slip away like so many others, and it took the life-threatening circumstances they encounter in Bonaire for Mia to let her guard down enough to let Ryan back in to her life. A good thing she does, too!
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE STORY:
There’s a kernel of truth in each of my stories, and the kernel I chose for this one is the 1985 (yes, I’m old enough to remember that) sinking of the Greenpeace flagship by French operatives (a shocking and sad story). I’m an environmentalist at heart, so it’s easy for me to make developers the bad guys. I also wanted an exciting new element as the backdrop for this story, so I chose scuba diving and the diving mecca of Bonaire.
MY FAVORITE SCENE:
One of my favorite scenes is at the very beginning when Ryan throws back his hood and reveals himself to Mia. Oh my god, the surprise! The rage, the goosebumps, the thumping heart! (Can’t you just feel it?) I also love the quiet morning on Serendipity after a very hairy night at sea. There really is nothing more calming to the soul than a beautiful morning on a sailboat safely at anchor in a sheltered bay. (Fine male company sure doesn’t hurt, either!)
BIGGEST CHANGE FROM THE EARLIEST DRAFT OF THE STORY:
Originally I had a seductress-type woman as part of the diving group you meet at the start of Windswept, but I decided to cut her out. Ryan wasn’t the least bit interested in her, and she was just a distraction in an otherwise tight scene. So snip, snip, out she went! Otherwise, the story didn’t change a great deal from first draft to last. Critique partners and reviewers all tell me it’s the best story in the series yet, and I hope you agree. If you haven’t gotten your copy of Windswept yet, grab one here today!