Cathy, please share what you think are the top 10 things readers should know about your book:
1. Prisoner of Love appeared on Wattpad three years ago, and had over 800,000 hits before Entangled Publishing picked it up. It would probably have over a million hits by now. I still get questions about it, though now I can send readers to Amazon or B & N to buy it.
2. Jake Dalton is not your usual hero. Although he is drop-dead gorgeous, he has character flaws that set him apart from the typical romance novel hero. He swears, he gets impatient, and some of his bad decisions are what has put him in the predicament we find him in at the beginning of the book. Women can relate to him because he represents many of the men they know.
3. Lucy Parker also is not your typical romance novel heroine. She is smart and sassy, but she also has issues with self-confidence. She’s about ten pounds overweight (which in my opinion is nothing), and wears glasses. When oh-so-hot Jake Dalton shows an interest in her, she can’t I understand why. I was Lucy for the longest time in my life, so I guess you could say I made her in my image.
4. Prisoner of Love is my very first published book, and also the first suspense book I ever attempted. I’d written romances and uploaded them to Wattpad, but always figured suspense was too complicated to put together. Until Prisoner’s plot exploded in my brain. I’d seen a prison road crew on the side of the freeway, and the idea for the book was born. I discussed it with my older son, who was in the car with me at the time, and he helped me get the suspense part figured out, since he loves James Bond plots to begin with. But it was a complex undertaking that I love how it turned out.
5. A few of the suspenseful scenes in Prisoner of Love are personal fears that I have harbored over the years. For example, take the restroom scene. I won’t explain more because that would ruin the surprise. But I’ve imagined that particular scenario every time I’ve gone into an empty public restroom. What would I do if that happened to me? How would I react? What is believable, and what would turn readers off? Lucy’s response is the result.
6. Most of this book flowed from my brain like a movie. I had trouble keeping up with the scenes as they poured forth. I could see the kidnapping scene; I could see the final chase scene. It’s awesome to have such a clear vision of what I want, but often very hard to put into words. My editor definitely had her work cut out for her with this book!
7. I had a very definite idea for Jake’s characterization. I pictured Johnny Depp as him (although many readers saw him as Ian Somerhalder). Also, Jake swears. A lot. He uses curse words as adjectives and nouns. I chose this because I imagine most undercover cops take on the behaviors of the people they hang around. Lucy, on the other hand, doesn’t swear at all. Coming from her particular background, she wanted to get as far away from it as possible. So she never swears. The one time she does shows just how far her nerves have been stretched.
8. I chose the Inland Empire of southern California, as well as Las Vegas, because I know both those areas fairly well. I’ve been on that road that connects the two areas numerous occasions. And I do enjoy a weekend in Las Vegas! Plus, I imagined Anton Farelli would be the flashy type, and diversify his holdings beyond drugs. A Las Vegas hotel seemed logical. Years ago I read that authors should write about what they know. I couldn’t set the book in England because I’ve never been there, and couldn’t make it realistic. But I could write about California and Las Vegas. I was able to describe those places and make them realistic.
9. The book started out much differently. There was more humor, a little too slap-stick in retrospect, and Jake wasn’t quite as decisive as in the final version. The readers never really know what happened to the bad guys. With the help of my editor, we polished it up so that it became a fast-paced read that keeps readers turning that next page to find out what happens. I can’t help but be proud of the finished product.
10. I asked the Entangled art department for a cover that did not have the same bare-chested man that so many contemporary romance novels portray nowadays. I wanted my book to stand out, and I am in awe of what Entangled came up with. Provocative without being trashy.
These are the 10 most interesting facts behind my debut release, Prisoner of Love. I have really enjoyed sharing these details, and I hope everyone buys a copy to see for themselves why Prisoner of Love is not your average romance novel. And thank you, Sabrina, for giving me the time and the space on your blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have!
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