Tuesday, July 12, 2011
NO CHANCE Discussion!
Hi Everyone! Welcome to the discussion of NO CHANCE, Gabe Maddox’s and Skylar James’s story. Wow, can you believe it? We’re halfway through the LCR countdown to SWEET JUSTICE. Yay!
Before we get started, just wanted to warn you that there are some major spoilers in this post. So if you haven't had the chance to read NO CHANCE, you might want to wait to read this blog. But if spoilers don't bother you, then read on. Hopefully it will entice you to read the book!
NO CHANCE was a bit of a departure for me and for LCR stories. For the first time, I had a married couple to write about. What fun! Also, I devoted a lot of the story to one of the victims that LCR was trying to rescue. And, I had an opportunity to write about a young couple falling in love without all the baggage that sometimes inhibits falling in love at an older age.
Though Gabe definitely had plenty of emotional baggage from losing his father and brother, being the lone survivor of a mining accident and then being held captive for over a year in a war torn country. Whew! Just typing that out was exhausting. Poor guy.
I’ve mentioned many times that Gabe irritated me in a couple of books. I didn’t particularly like him in RETURN TO ME and it wasn’t until the end of RUN TO ME that I began to warm up to him. In fact, I even thought he might have been the mole in that book. So glad he wasn’t!
I didn’t know what Gabe’s problem was for a long time. I knew he had issues with closed in spaces and that he didn’t trust women. He revealed both of those in RUN TO ME. When he admitted to Ethan that he was still married, I thought wow, Gabe, you’ve got some secrets you need to be talking to me about, buddy. And then, finally, thankfully, he gave me a significant lead near the end of RUN TO ME with this inner dialogue: ...he’d just as soon eat coal dust as delve back into his own past. That’s when I realized Gabe had a coal mining background. And he had an interesting and heartbreaking story to tell.
Skylar was a little less complicated to get to know but still fascinating, especially eight years after her marriage to Gabe. She’d grown up wealthy, surrounded by the best of everything--a little spoiled, but basically a good person. She’s a young woman who sees the shallowness that surrounds her and accepts that as the way things are…until she meets a man who makes her view the world in a different way.
My first draft of NO CHANCE started when Kendra was taken. The sentence: By the time you read this, I'll be gone had been revolving around in my head for days and that's how I wanted to begin the book. I had planned to do a couple of flashbacks of Gabe and Skye’s first meeting, but hadn’t planned on showing them meeting or falling in love. My editor wanted me to show them at the earlier age. I’m glad she asked for that. It was interesting to see their innocence and excitement of falling in love and then compare that to what they were like eight years later.
Jeremiah James, Skylar’s father, was an intriguing person to write. He loved his daughter. In his own selfish, misguided and elitist way, he believed he was doing the right thing for her. What he did was deceitful and wrong but it wasn’t done out of malice. Even though I despised what he did, I couldn’t really hate him. I would imagine the fear of Skylar learning the truth weighed heavily on his shoulders.
For those who know my writing style, you won’t be surprised to learn that NO CHANCE surprised me throughout the story. For instance, I knew Skylar’s father set up the whole fabricated scenario to keep them apart, however, I didn’t know until Gabe told Skylar that he had tried to see her several times and Jeremiah James’s goons had beaten him up. How hard that must have been for him to admit. LOL Even now I want to hug the poor guy! And I was surprised when I learned that Skylar almost died trying to find Gabe. Now I want to hug her too. (:
I know some people believed that Gabe going without sex for eight years was unbelievable. Which made me doubly glad that I showed what kind of man Gabe was when he was younger. He was an idealist and a dreamer. He believed in a once in a lifetime kind of love and though he became a hardened and bitter man, his core values never changed. He was still married and refused to cheat on his wife. It was that simple. As a romance author and a romantic, I believe that kind of love exists. Is it rare? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.
One of the things I enjoy about the first book in a back-to-back trilogy is the chance to introduce the characters for upcoming stories. I loved having readers get to know Cole Mathison better. And through his amusement at watching Gabe and Skylar, we learned what kind of husband Cole might have been. I think we can all agree he was a good one. And I got to introduce McKenna Sloan, one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever written. Once I finished, I was so excited to get back to Cole’s story and I couldn’t wait to find out more about McKenna. Such a fascinating young woman!
I had a love/hate relationship with Kendra. I hated what happened to her. She paid a high price for her poor judgment and desire to be famous. I hurt for her and wanted her to be able to get retribution against William. Having her get a little of her own vengeance against him near the end was fun. I sincerely hope I can write her story someday. I already have her storyline in my mind, so we’ll see.
And William? What can we say about him but that he was a pervert, rapist and all around evil person? The contrast between him as a doting father and what he did to women somehow freaked me out even more.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing NO CHANCE—the characters came alive in my mind and sometimes I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with them. Gabe and Skye’s heartbreak felt so real, as did their powerful love for one another.
So what about you? What did you think about NO CHANCE? Any issues you want to discuss? Would you have made Skylar’s father suffer more? Was Skylar too forgiving of her family? Did it make you mad when Gabe left at the end? And what about Kendra? Do you think her goals and values changed after what she went through? What questions do you have for me or the characters?
One random commenter will win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of your choice and a signed copy of NO CHANCE.
I’ll come back at noon and post a short NO CHANCE trivia contest. You'll have until noon tomorrow to answer the questions. Random winner of the contest will receive a signed copy of the entire 2010 LCR trilogy, NO CHANCE, SECOND CHANCE and LAST CHANCE.
Both winners will be announced at two o’clock tomorrow.
Okay, let’s chat!
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]