most interesting part of publication. Of course, while it’s happening, the
author never realizes backstory is backstory. In the thick of things, backstory is the malaise of the process—or, more accurately, the one step forward, two steps
back shuffle of book writing. There’s amazement and achievement when a novel
clears all the hurdles, the hard revisions, and labor intensive rewriting of
pages that were briefly, dreamily deemed perfect.
But after a book sells and edits are finalized, there is time to reflect. Traditional publishing comes with a wait time of a year or
more. And it was in this holding pattern that I started to think about backstory,
how and why I ended up writing the book I did. While my first novel, BEAUTIFUL
DISASTER, was a product of past environment, PERFECT TIMING is
anchored to my present. I’m almost as fond of its backtory as I am the result. In a phrase, this is the story of the little trunk novel that could.
readers are important readers, and PERFECT
TIMING had more than a
few. Among them was my oldest daughter, Megan. She was this book’s first fan,
and Aidan and Isabel remain her favorite characters. Her interest fueled a lot
of drive during the novel’s rough “I
can’t do this” stage.
Yes, Megan listened to her fair share of whining as I wrote, and rewrote, this
book. But she also insisted that if I was malevolent enough to create
such heart-wrenching conflict, I’d better come up the right resolutions to see things through.
(Since PT contains a few steamier scenes, I should mention that
Megan is 24) Writing to satisfy her demand was a challenge, and winning her
approval an achievement. She’s a tough editor and a scrupulous critic. In the
end, I believe she got the book she wanted. I know she’s pleased by its
dedication page. There was the trial and error of two manuscripts after BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, at which point Megan insisted I revisit the story and characters she found so endearing. Clearly, sometimes, you should listen to your kids.
true that PERFECT TIMING’s protagonist is a rock star. That part
is intended to take the reader away from the ordinary. And I do think, in
his element, Aidan Royce earns his ovation. But that’s not what this story is
about; it’s about the rhythm of lasting friendship, and the beat of a love
story subject to incredible odds. It’s about family and figuring out what makes
you truly happy, then being brave enough to embrace it. PERFECT TIMING is relationship fiction set to the
sometimes extraordinary and always precarious tempo of life.