The Way it Nearly Always Happens

I’m working on a contemporary romance. Be amazed.

clown noseI blame it on my mother-in-law, who gave us clown noses for Christmas and on a guy I’ll call “Brian” at my oral surgeon’s office. Brian and I were talking while I was waiting for my mouth to cease all feelings and a new idea surfaced to use the clown nose for a heroine who has a clown phobia (coulrophobia) and who keeps the clown nose on her during her workday as her own private form of therapy.

Sort of.

So I have a heroine in a job about which I know virtually nothing. And then I find a hero while doing some local “charitable work” with my husband’s company…

Young couple outdoorAnd I suddenly have a plot.

And I got all tickled and wrote and outlined and wrote some more.

All of which was a rush — I love writing.

I did online research about being an oral surgeon. I checked out the bios for the hero’s type of character and gave him some quirks. I poked around locally (for the story will be set in a nearby town) to find where everyone lives.

All of which is FUN! I love researching.

Then…I got responsible and asked to visit the oral surgeon’s office.

Cue ominous music.

I had “staffed” the surgeon’s office in my head so that I had functional characters as I began my story. One must have functional secondary characters—they can make or break even the sweetest romance. Assumptions, naturally, were made because I had to start somewhere, right?

Well, yeah.


I made several erroneous assumptions.

I am always pleased, though, to find out how things really work, even if it IS frustrating to have to go back and rewrite stuff. This happened in Éire’s Viking, where my wonderful lead editor corrected me on a major medical issue that affected quite a few chapters. This happened a great deal in the final book of the trilogy, Éire’s Devil King, in which I had to actually follow real history and in which I used a real person as a main character. So I’m cool with rewriting.



It is always a bit disheartening to make thousands and thousands of words go away. Still, if I hadn’t written them in the first place, I wouldn’t know my main characters.

Which I do. Rather well.

Now, I must present them creditably. So, it’s off to work I go.