The story behind Slow Burn…

So, since, um, something like 1700 copies of the book have been sold since I published it a week and a half ago, I thought some people might be interested in why I wrote this book. Where the ideas came from and all of that. Here you go.

I’ve already talked about how I wrote it in this post. It was a challenge novel, something I banged out in ten days. Then I had to rewrite most of the ending, because I’d gotten it all wrong, and that took another three days. Then I did my copyedit in two days, and then I threw it out there. So from first starting the outline to publish, it was… twenty-four days.

Why did I do this to myself?

Well, we should first go back in time to October. Some of you may remember Planet Craziness: 240K in 40 Days. It was a project that got abandoned. I tried to write three books at once. I didn’t finish any of them. One was a book called Wide, Wicked World and it was about two assassins who were super soldiers who worked for an arms corporation called Dewhurst-McFarland.

No, wait, we need to go even further back in time.

So, as I was writing the third Toil and Trouble Trilogy book, I rediscovered Nikita. I had started watching it when it premiered, and really liked it, but then I got sidetracked and I stopped watching it. It was on Netflix, so I watched the first two seasons. And I found myself really digging the Michael-Nikita relationship. How they were in love, but they were both tough, and how they traded quips while shooting people.

And I thought, “Man, I really miss Jason and Azazel.”

But at the time, Jason and Azazel were still in a coma. So I started Wide, Wicked World as a way to have characters like Jason and Azazel. But I had to create this whole new world for them.

Anyway, around that time, I realized that it was stupid to create a new Jason and Azazel. If I wanted to, I’d just wake them up and have them shoot stuff and quip at each other and be cooler than Michael and Nikita anyway.

So, I did. And there will be more of that in the next J&A book.

But then I had this whole universe I made up for Wide, Wicked World that I wasn’t using. And it kind of simmered in my brain the way my ideas tend to do.

Sometime in late December, I was scrolling through the Amazon Top 100, and I thought, “Huh. These new adult contemporaries are doing well. I wonder if everyone will get sick of contemporaries and want something a little different?”

But I was supposed to be writing the newest Helicon book in January, and I knew it.

I thought to myself, “Well, what if I wrote a new adult book in two weeks?”

And that was how I convinced myself it was okay not to write the next Helicon book. All I knew starting out was that I wanted it to kind of be like The Terminator, only with more romance, and that the guy was going to have been SPOILER raped in prison. (It still resides in a folder called “jailbait,” which was its working title. I know. I’m horrible.) /SPOILER I wanted people after a girl, trying to kill her, and I wanted a guy to save her. I watched a bunch of movies to try to get myself in the mood. The Bodyguard, for one. (There’s really not much romance in that movie. Seriously. The music video is really misleading.) That was where I got the idea for Leigh to be a brat who didn’t want to be protected. I watched Knight and Day, which was awesome. I even forgot that I hate Tom Cruise. I watched other stuff, but none of it fit the bill.

And then I decided I had better actually read some new adult books if I was going to write in this genre. So I picked up a few, including Beautiful Disaster. As usual, I found that I the third act of romances usually bores and frustrates me. I get so sick of those misunderstandings. God. Like how many times did she break up with Travis? Ten? Jesus.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that my story fit into the new adult genre nicely already.

So, then, I started asking myself questions. Like who would be trying to kill this girl, etc. And that was when I remembered Wide, Wicked World. Suddenly, it all clicked. I had my premise.

I wanted to plot quickly and easily, so I modified Save the Cat, which is a screenwriting workbook, to something for novels, and I used that as my blueprint.

Oh! I set it in Thomas because I’ve been reading Jennifer Armentrout, and it’s so fun to read books that are set in West Virginia, because it like never happens. I wanted to do that for some other girl who lives in the boonies of West Virginia. So, I thought, okay… where in West Virginia can I set this? And Thomas seemed like the perfect fit. I really love it there. I’ve only visited a handful of times, but it’s awesome.