Since tomorrow is April 19th, in order to celebrate the third anniversary of On 4/19, I wanted to share a little more with you about where the idea for the book came from. So here’s a little behind the scenes look:
I never watch the evening news, but for some reason, when about to change the channel one night, a story caught my attention. The story was about how young women, especially college age women, were entering into contracts with older men through some match service. It showed video clips of older men with beautiful young girls. I’m not sure why the thought crossed my mind, but I wondered what would happen if a Christian girl got caught up in that. The early story was born.
Chelsea – Just so you know, I always have someone’s face in mind when I write, some actor. I don’t know why she came to mind, but if you have kids and have ever watched The Jonas Brothers TV show, then you know who the character Stella Malone is. The actress who played her is Chelsea Kane. Such a cute girl.
John – sigh… When I started to think about my leading man, I knew I wouldn’t go with some creepy old man. John was inspired by Jim Caveizel, specifically his look on Person of Interest. His expression and intensity created a perfect profile for our relationship-phobic millionaire.
Always in his dark suit and white shirt, Jim was the perfect John. Of all the leading male characters I’ve written, I think John is still my favorite. I’m not alone. I’ve had more fan comments on him than any other character.
When I published On 4/19, I was nervous. It was so different than my first book, Unmending the Veil, much less deep and spiritual. Of course the sequel, Beyond 4/20 went to deeper places, but I dreaded the reviews. So many had loved UtV because of its depth, that I feared disappointment when they read the more fairy-tale romance of John and Chelsea. In part I was right. A few readers were disappointed. For the most part, though, like me, you needed a lighter read after UtV. That was taxing to write and read as I did the revisions. I enjoyed allowing my creative mind to flow. Now, On 4/19 has been nearly as well received as Unmending the Veil.
There were some haters who didn’t like the age difference, but there will always be haters. If I’ve learned anything as a writer, I’ve learned that. I will never make everyone happy. Some thought it was too light just like some though UtV was too preachy. I just have to let the negative comments and reviews roll off my back. That’s never easy, but I move on after mean comments.
What’s next for the novel:
Just as I’m doing with Unmending the Veil, I will be making revisions to On 4/19. I’ve learned so much this past four years that I feel I have to go back and make it the best it can be. I’m not sure when it will happen, but you can be sure there will be new scenes when I do revise. One thing I have to do is to have more “on stage” and less “in the head” time. In order to do that, I have to add scenes. I can’t wait to see the possibilities as I revise. I’ve found that the UtV revision has allowed me to expand some areas that I have wanted to since publishing the book in the first place. I’m sure it’ll be the same with Chelsea’s and John’s story. And then Tucks, when I get around to working on Beyond 4/20.
Funniest thing ever:
When I chose the contract date for the novel, 4/19, I just picked a date out of thin air. There was no significance to it. Of course at the time I had no idea there would be a sequel. Even when I wrote the sequel, I had no idea that 4/20 meant something. Come to find out, it’s national pot smoking day. People actually take off work to smoke pot. That still makes me fall out laughing that I wrote a book with that date in the title. I have to wonder if my book comes up on web searches for pot day. I’m okay with stealing back the day for God’s glory. 🙂
The first person I let do some proofing work for the novel said that it was a Christian woman’s 50 Shades. At the time I had no idea what that was. She told me to go look it up but not purchase the book! I still haven’t read 50 Shades nor do I plan to, but from what I gather, I have to assume there was some contract imposed in the story. Once again, if I can be the Christian alternative to 50 Shades, then I’m happy to win another victory for the Kingdom.
So there you have it. I would love to hear your comments below.
Until next week,