You might feel like you have a book when you finish the outline. Or the first draft. Or the second draft. Or when you give the manuscript to your editor. Or when you finish making all the damn changes the editor “suggests.” Or when you incorporate the final changes from the proofreader.

But there’s something about having a cover in hand that truly makes things real.

I’ve never written a series before, so I had no idea how it would go when I assembled the cast of PalmSprings Heat and asked them what happened next. Here are some things I didn’t know going in:

  • What the relationship of Palm Springs Heat’s central characters—billionaire Clay Creighton and Lara Dixon, the woman who tried to bring him down—would be like after their initial burst of romantic passion.

 

  • How Fast Lane, Clay’s men’s media empire, would fare without Sushma Vishnuveda, the woman who saved it from collapse, at the helm.
  • What Sushma would do after exiting Fast Lane.
  • What Sushma did before she got there.

The most enjoyable part of writing Malibu Bride was finding out more about Sushma. Or rather, finding out that everything Sushma did in Palm Springs Heat proceeded from a back story I wasn’t aware of.

Or was I? I never write long, detailed character bios—or even short, general ones—but it simultaneously felt as though I was just getting to know Sushma and that I’d known her forever.

And, like a dope, I fell in love with her. As if one night I’d be in my La-Z-Boy watching Mythbusters or That Metal Show, and this five-foot-tall woman from Mumbai would sit on the couch and we’d have a marvelous conversation and she’d look at me through strands of hair and bat the lashes of her big, round eyes, and I’d suddenly be twenty-eight years old and single and…

What’re you gonna do? Write romance novels, I guess.

It turns out that there is no fun part; it’s a whole series of fun parts. And now there’s a book, and it has a cover designed by Dale Robert Pease of Walking Stick Books. And in a week or so, you’ll be able to click on that cover and shoot Malibu Bride onto your Kindle.

Good times, for sure—and more on the way. Book 3: San Fernando Dreams is already taking shape.

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