WRITE WHAT YOU WANT!
When I decided to indulge my every romance whim and write HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I knew I wanted a wedding, a private island, an alpha male boss and a cheeky assistant and sizzling love scenes. That was my entire premise when I started the book. When pressed by my editor to give her a bit more information, I said it was a story about a runaway bride that gets to have her honeymoon anyway.
I came up with the title because I’ve always wanted a book with Cinderella in the title. No other reason than pure indulgence on my part. I knew what I liked to read, so and I started piecing together how my story should go. I’m a visual person, so this involved torturous hours scanning the web for pictures of islands, hot men, and sassy women. It’s a hard life, I tell you.
The hero came first, followed closely by the heroine…
I wasn’t plotting, which coming off a nasty over-plotted rejection I was loathe to do. Instead I just made sure I know my 32-year-old real estate developer (Trump, but sexy) & his 23-year-old personal assistant (Angelina without the confidence and with 20 extra pounds). He's sick to death of playing the media darling, she began drooling when she started working for him and has developed a full-on case of lovesickness. So when he asks her to get the media off his tail by marrying him...what choice does she have? Everything is great, except for HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX.
Then I had the find of the century…an actual private island in Northern California, hidden in the middle of Lake Shastina. Everything just blended together. A friend and I drove from
Oregonto a writing conference in , and along the way we worked out all the other details. At the conference Cherry Adair issued a Finish The Damn Book challenge. After our brainstorming session, I had no problem signing up. lace w:st="on">Seattlelace>
I had a few stops and starts, but the book came together quickly. Not only did I love it for allowing me to write the things that make me smile in romance, but Samhain loved it as well. I was so excited last year when I got to announce at the same conference that not only had I met Cherry’s challenge and finished the book, it would be published!
Sometimes it pays to put aside all the notions of what you should write, and just create what you’d want to read.
Jenna Bayley-Burke soaked up a steady stream of romance novels as soon as she found them on her grandmother's bookshelf. Taken by the exotic locales (
) and interesting jobs (flight attendant), her world blossomed and dreams of happily every after outside the confines of her small town took root. Her first stories lacked emotion and depth, but most eight-year-olds don't get the concepts of motivation in literature. She tried on other careers, but realized she only wanted to write romance stories and read bedtime stories to her two blueberry-eyed baby boys. Jenna is the author of HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX (Samhain) and FOR KICKS (Black Lyon). To see what is keeping Jenna busy now, check out www.jennabayleyburke.com. lace w:st="on">Minnesotalace>