The Matchmaking Novelist

Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna, courtesy of Andrew Whitacre.

This month’s theme here at the Contemporary Romance Café is “What I’m working on.” I debated about this post. Was I really ready to talk about the story that’s lived comfortably in my head, where it’s safe and warm? I’d decided against it and was going to post instead about my recently completed project, releasing at the end of this year.

But I awoke this morning to scenes and dialogue from my current project rumbling through my head. Opening and slamming refrigerator doors. Headboards crashing against the wall. My characters felt I’d been sleeping long enough, and needed to put words on the screen.

So I did.

It also felt like a pretty clear sign that it was time to let them out of the cellar and into the light by posting about the project here. So here goes.

The secondary characters of my debut novel, Making the First Move, stayed with me. The Gordon Family—including Jamie Charles, the heroine in my second book, Love Me Not—is a fun, slightly crazy bunch. They love each other deeply and support each other always. They also madden one another like no-one else can—not unlike most families.  Then there is their circle of friends (and frenemies) which I also found intriguing. I sometimes wonder what they’re doing now.

What, you don’t do that? Really?

Leslie Morales was my heroine’s assistant in Making the First Move. She’s feisty, honest, and fiercely loyal. The kind of person any woman would want to have in her corner. At the end of that book I gave Leslie a happier ending. I couldn’t help thinking that she deserved more, but had no serious plan to make that happen.

Making the First Move by Reese RyanThen at the end of writing the second book, I created a character named Liam DeSeau who was the boss of the hero in Love Me Not, Miles Copeland. The manuscript had blown up to north of 100,000 words, so I did some merciless cutting. Liam ended up on the cutting room floor. But I couldn’t get him out of my head. He would make a perfect romance hero. Decidedly alpha, but with enough vulnerability at his core to make him intriguing to this writer of beta and gamma heroes.

Almost immediately, I knew he would be the hero of my first novella. But who would my heroine be? She needed to be a woman who was beautiful, but the complete opposite of his type. That’s when Leslie popped into my head. She would be the perfect match for Liam. Now I just needed to figure out how to get the two of them together—despite the fact that neither of them would have chosen the other.

It’s fun to do something I’d never attempt in real life—playing matchmaker. As a reader, have you ever done any imaginary matchmaking between characters? As a writer, what have been some of your most fun instances of matchmaking?

Photo credit: Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna courtesy of Andrew Whitacre. Some rights reserved.


The Matchmaking Novelist — 7 Comments

  1. Your WIP sounds so intriguing. I guess, in a way, all romance writers are matchmakers, even though the people we match together are only in our heads! It’s always a matter of finding just the right matches for our characters. There has to be compatibility, but there also has to be fireworks. It’s a matter of finding the right person who is exactly who they need, even if they don’t recognize it themselves!

  2. Thanks, Jana! I guess we do play cupid with our characters. And we have the luxury of making them have any characteristics we want. (Would be nice if that worked in real life.) 😉

    It’s been interesting–and a little more challenging–to start a new story with two existing characters whose personalities have already been established.

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