I’m kicking off 2014 with the release of a new book, the third and final in my Left at the Altar series. ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID releases on January 17, 2014. I can’t tell you how relieved I am! Finishing this book, and the series, very nearly didn’t happen.
Almost ten years ago I had a notion to write a series where each book opened with someone being left at the altar. I wanted to explore the humiliation someone jilted in such a public way would experience. How would they get over it? How would they learn to trust again? Would they ever be able to love again?
So I created characters and plotted out three stories. The first of these stories, HER BEST MAN, was released in 2007, my very first publication. I worked diligently on the second book, THERE GOES THE GROOM, but I ran into a big, huge roadblock – a lack of confidence. After receiving a critique from a published writer who questioned elements of my plot, I totally lost faith in my own work. She didn’t like that my heroine in the story had become engaged to someone else, after being dumped at the altar eight years previously by the hero. When Tony and Olivia meet again, she is about to get married. The published writer felt I should eliminate the fiancé since including him made the heroine into a cheater. She also felt I should eliminate the love scenes to make the book ‘sweeter’.
I wasn’t sure what to do, so I did nothing. For a long time. I couldn’t write the third book in the series before the second since I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen in book two. So I was stuck. I ignored the series and went on to write other projects.
But I hadn’t forgotten about Tony and Olivia and the other characters from the series. I really wanted to tell their stories. So when the opportunity arose to go on a long weekend retreat in the spring of 2012, I decided I was going to deal with THERE GOES THE GROOM once and for all. I would do the required revisions and finally finish it.
So there I was, all set to axe the poor, unsuspecting fiancé, when it hit me: eliminating him and the conflict he brought with him took the beating heart out of my book. It would no longer be the story I wanted to tell. Same with eliminating the love scenes. I wanted Tony and Olivia to make love. After all, they’d waited eight years to do it! I decided to go with my gut and write my story my way.
THERE GOES THE GROOM was finally published in May 2013, more than six years after the release of the first book in the series. It took me a ridiculously long time, but I have finally learned to trust in my own vision for my work.
Have you ever lacked the confidence to do what you really want to do? Have you ever let someone talk you out of something you felt was right? Do you enjoy romance series books? What are some of your favorites?