I’ve been dreaming of writing The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard, it seems, forever. Long before the first word was written, I dreamt of my characters for weeks, feeling the ups and downs of the characters, the rollercoaster ride of emotions as though they were mine. I felt the first frisson of pleasure, the sharp pain of being insulted, the exhilaration of holding hands and the ecstasy of love. And this was before I even opened my trust Word application and selected – blank document.
A few secrets to start with – the original title was Darling Defender. My partner and soulmate even lovingly called it DD. I only changed it later to keep it in line with other publications in the same genre. I don’t know whether it was the right decision or wrong. Why don’t you read the book and tell me?
As I revisited each scene in my head, and conversations flowed between hero and heroine, I realised that I may forget what I conceived and decided – let me make notes. I started describing my characters as I saw them, and then again as I wanted them to be seen. You may think that it is the same thing, but it isn’t, I saw them as perfectly flawed. But I wanted them to be seen as real people with real emotions. I have to admit, even before I started writing Chapter One, I was already struggling.
So, what’s the point, you may ask? The point is, my dear readers, is that translating random thoughts, even constructively organised, is never easy when you begin to read it again with fresh eyes. Flaws begin appearing. Contradictions in character behaviours become obvious. As I wrote the chapter synopsis, they became glaringly apparent and cruelly disheartening, for now, I had to change the story ever so slightly.
It’s at this magical moment, I realised – I was hanging on by a frail thread to a story that was wholly and solely mine. And changing it was heartrendingly painful. I got over it very quickly, because the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. What if I had to change a plot line here and there to keep the characters consistent. And is it really so cumbersome to explain to readers why my darling heroine behaved in a certain way, particularly when our hero makes love to her for the first time. It’s at this point, I drew from my own personal experiences. Despite warring instincts, one’s true nature combines forcefully with one’s true desires to drive one’s actions. It was an eyeopener. Not just because my heroine had fallen in love, but also because I was reliving my own first bonding with my soulmate. The situations, however wildly dissimilar, the feelings were precisely the same – ecstasy, fulfilment, satisfaction and above all, a sense of being alive. Sigh.
And yet, there was worse to come. At the risk of repeating an aphorism, writing is predominantly perspiration. Don’t get me wrong. I simply loved writing my first romance – now to be titled The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard. As I started typing away frenetically, words flowing smoothly without ever once experiencing the dreaded writer’s block. It was only when I started with my first revision, challenges started cropping up out of the woodwork, and I started perspiring. Literally.
Despite said sweat, blood and tears, I still enjoyed the smart and feisty exchanges. Lex is a wonderful character – smart, sensual, sassy, accomplished, devious and emotionally vulnerable. Michael is a trifle more complex, devious, intelligent, quite rough around the edges and an honourable streak that violently clashes with his insatiable desire for Lex.
I found myself laughing as they battled wits. I found myself crying when Michael cruelly taunted Lex. I found a lump forming in my throat as Michael they each realised how strong their feelings were for the other.
Writing a romance novel is an emotional rollercoaster in itself, one that as an author, I found myself reliving each and every time I re-read the book with the intention of revising it. Not once did I feel it a burden. It was a joy, even the meticulous checking for SPAG, consistencies, flow and chapter separation. And I didn’t even struggle with perspectives, swapping effortlessly between Michael and Lex. What I did struggle with, was saying goodbye.
Sigh again. With a saddened heart, I bid you goodbye, but only for the moment. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Talk soon.