I thought writing SCENT OF PERSUASION would be easy. I knew my plot. I knew my hero. I knew my heroine. What I didn’t know was that knowing the heroine would give me fits. See, this Kami is not just any fictional character I cooked up or who came to me fully formed like some of my characters. I had trouble writing her for a good while. I knew what the problem was, but I couldn’t make myself change the heroine, because Breck was meant to be with Kami. No, I had to get past this.
So what was my issue? Other than the fact I was seeing a friend in the ever naughty role of an escort?
That was basically it. We thought it would be fun to name a heroine Kami. And it was. But no matter how loosely based the character was on my friend, it gave me a hard time. I was seeing my friend being put in the situations my heroine was in and they were NOT computing. My friend has spunk and a ton of heart and a loyal streak as wide as the Grand Canyon, but I could not imagine a single scenario where she would in real life pose as an escort to prove a loved one hadn’t committed suicide. I can see my friend fighting for her beliefs. I can see her falling for a guy like Breck. That was about it.
Another big issue I had was that the opening scene is Kami’s first assignment and every doubt she’s got is lunging to the surface and shoving her into a desperate back pedal. Proceed? Retreat? Find answers? Live in doubt? What’s the right answer? What price is too high to pay?
I tried to answer these questions for Kami. I found I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the answers, which made it impossible to write her for a long while. Only once I got it into my head that Kami was fictional, that she was not my friend, could I answer the questions and move forward. Yes, there were some similarities between my friend and Kami. There still are. Her spirit. Her generosity. Her spine. That’s about it.
My friend is an inspiration to me, but I’m still not sure I could answer any of those questions about her. What about you? If someone you loved died and you knew deep in your heart that it was not accidental or at their own hand, what would you do to convince the police? What if all you had to go on was your gut? Your instincts and knowledge of the person? What if you were faced with overworked cops who didn’t buy your story? Would you let it go? Would you push?
I know it’s a tough question to answer, and you may not be able to. But playing the what if game is what we writers do. It’s what makes our jobs fun. It’s what makes great stories possible. So, even if you can’t answer the questions about yourself, what is a great book you’ve read that made you wonder... What if?
SCENT OF PERSUASION release from Samhain Publishing, Tuesday, May 4th. It is the second book in the Sensory Ops Series, where each book is centered around a different sense. In book one, SOUNDS TO DIE BY, the hero was a blind listener for the NSA. In SCENT OF PERSUASION, escorts become a man’s lure to death by wearing a, shall we say, SCENT OF PERSUASION. :)
Check it out!
Visit Nikki at her online homes:
Sign up for Nikki’s monthly newsletter to be automatically entered in monthly gift card drawings.