posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
One of the things my Sourcebooks sisters and I quickly learned about each other is that when it comes to our writing, we don't always "play by the rules." Sometimes we've done it unintentionally, sometimes not. But we all agree that a wee bit of rule bending is what sets our Casablanca books apart and makes them memorable reads!
When I started writing The Wild Sight, I purposefully decided to bend some "rules" just a little. One of the first decisions I made, even before I had a clue about my plot or characters was the setting. I had set my previous two romantic suspense stories in Italy, but this time I wanted to set the book in Ireland. Hmmm... I've seen and read lots of books set in Ireland, but I couldn't think of a single contemporary story set in Northern Ireland. They're all set in the Republic of Ireland. But the Ireland I am most familiar with is Northern Ireland. So I huffed and puffed and bent the rules just a wee bit, and set The Wild Sight mostly in County Armagh in Northern Ireland.
So I had my setting, and my characters quickly followed. Or course my hero would be a dark haired, blue-eyed Irish hunk. That was EASY! And my heroine would be a small and sassy American, because that would annoy my hero no end. However, I have long been fascinated by the notion of The Second Sight. I've seen clairvoyance and psychic abilities portrayed in lots of books and movies, but in most cases, it is a female character who possesses these traits. That led me to think, "What if a man had it?" And with a tiny little twist, my Irish hunk hero became the beleaguered recipient of The Sight.
Always looking for every possible way to torture my characters, and thereby make the story that much more interesting for my readers, I turned to my cute and sassy heroine. She needed a compelling reason to be in Northern Ireland and to become a thorn in my poor hero's side. It's an old joke that half the people in America think they are descended from Irish royalty. Okay, so she's in Ireland searching for her roots... Not just her roots, but her biological father, who abandoned her when she was a baby. Then in the biggest rule bend of all, I decided she would believe (with good reason) that her father was also my hero's father.
HALF-SIBLINGS? NO WAY!
I admit, I've had more than one person tell me EWWWW! But I've had others tell me, "Can't WAIT to see how you get around that roadblock!" Lucky for me, our wonderful editor was in the latter camp. She loved the idea, and the whole book, bent and twisted rules and all! I hope most readers will feel the same.
Have you ever bent some rules? Just a little? What were they? And are you glad you did?