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Behind the Book: The (Mostly) True Story Behind the Writing of Let’s Fall in Love

These stories have a varied, um, writing history, don’t they?

Let's fall in love marquee

Unlike the other Behind the Book interviews that I have posted (reposted, actually) so far, Let’s Fall in Love never had an “original” interview and it’s not a book. It is a collection of short stories that I wrote over several years, okay, lots of years. So many years, I don’t remember the date of the first one, but it was a LONG time ago. So this interview might be a) challenging for interviewer and interviewee and b) strange.

With that caveat, let’s look at what’s in the collection:

Let’s fall in love and into…

Love, laughter and happy endings guaranteed in a collection that is “…unusual but delightful to read…”

Let’s Fall in LoveNic and Lexie fell in love, but can they stay in love with their families pulling them apart?

Second Chance for the Sheik  – Ellie fell in love with the son of a sheik and he broke her heart. Now he’s back, but it’s not just her heart at risk this time…

Give Love a Chance – A Trapini and a Maloney have as much chance of getting together as a Hatfield or McCoy. But the heart wants what the heart wants…

Chance Encounter – What if you meet the right man at the wrong time? Lily was engaged and Theo was a stranger. Only he didn’t feel like a stranger…

Almost Over You –  Liz was sure her marriage was over. Was it too late for Steven to make her fall in love with him again?

Wanting WillaThe one thing Max never did was fall in love. Until he met Willa…

Falling for her AlienMarrying a man she’d met once was a bad idea. When the guy was ET, it was insane—even if they were anatomically compatible…

Last Chance for Love –  For Ric Hamilton, business came first, until he saw his beautiful PA dance the samba. And suddenly his first order of business was capturing her heart….

Grab this collection and take a chance on romance!

cover artAnd now that you know what I’m talking about, let’s dive into the interview:

Me: These stories have a varied, um, writing history, don’t they?

Myself: Very. There’s almost a story behind each story. For instance, “Almost Over You” started as a fragment of a dream that had a lot of emotion attached to it. The only way to deal with it was to write a story around that fragment. I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was my first complete “romance” story.

Me: You wanted to write straight romance, but…

Myself: yeah, the mayhem and such kept getting in the way. This story is kind of bittersweet and, I hope, haunting like that fragment of dream. I posted it as a free story on my website and then took it down when a former publisher included it in an anthology.

Me: I guess we need to talk about the story that came out of The Romance Studio contest.

Myself: (sighs) I guess we must. “Give Love a Chance” was another fragment of a story written for a kind of “write-off” contest. We wrote stuff, people voted and you either moved on or got dropped off. I think I made it through a couple of levels? Again, don’t remember now.

Me: Your memory is kind of sad.

Myself: You’re telling me. Anyway, I liked my snippet and developed it into a story, again, for an anthology call.

Me: And then there’s your sheik story and your marriage of convenience one.

Myself: I think that story came about because of all the sheik stories and the phrase “son of a sheik.” LOL It sort of spun in my head, joined up with fragments of other ideas drifting through and turned into “Second Chance for the Sheik,” though the original title was “Son of a Sheik.” Lol And the marriage of convenience story, “Falling for her Alien” happened when my SF writing and reading got me to wondering about what used to be a popular romance trope (and might still be, not sure!). I think I might have considered a novel, but my idea wasn’t big enough.

Me: And that brings us to the last three stories. “Chance Encounter,” “Wanting Willa,” and “Last Chance for Love” have a kind of complicated backstory, don’t they?

Myself: [stares into the distance and then sighs] They do. I had reason to spend a lot of time in hospitals waiting for a family member to receive diagnosis and treatment. I dealt with it by plowing through romance novel after romance novel. I wasn’t able to write that much, so sometimes I’d sit and plot short stories. Since I was reading romance novels, the short story ideas were romance ideas. I finished a couple of them but didn’t finish the last one until a couple of years ago when I created mini anthologies of three stories each. Then last year, I took those mini anthologies off sale and bundled all the stories into one romance collection.

Me: We have mixed feelings about the collection, don’t we?

Myself: We do. I worry that it is not reflective of my body of writing since the stories are romance and nothing else. Usually, I mix genres together randomly (and painfully when it comes time to try to explain or promote them). Other than the one science fiction romance story, these are “just” romances. But—should I admit this—when I read them I remember how I felt writing them and I…like them. They make me smile. So even though they most likely don’t bring me that many follow-on readers, I leave them out there. Maybe because I hope they will provide a small escape like they did for me during a very tough time.

Me: So, that’s the story behind the stories. Anything else you’d like to add?

Myself: I would add that I also wrote all of these stories while I was learning my craft and figuring out what type of stories I like to write (and that my Muse sends to my brain). I will mention that my son-in-law says they do reflect my writing voice and a son-in-law wouldn’t lie.

Me: So that’s it. The story and an endorsement by an entirely neutral party. What more could you want in deciding whether to check out Let’s Fall in Love?

So, dear visitors and readers of this blog, that’s it. That’s the story behind the stories and probably more than you wanted to know. As February draws to a close, I hope it brought you as much (or little) romance as you desired.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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