Last summer, I found myself in an odd gap between books. I had handed in The Garden Intrigue freakishly early. While waiting to hear about more Pink books, I’d started writing a rather different novel, set in Kenya in the 1920s, but was waiting for publisher feedback before continuing with it, unsure whether anyone would want it. (They did– but I wouldn’t know that until August.) I started work on Pink X, but Miss Gwen was being uncooperative and it wasn’t entirely clear that more Pink books were in the cards.
So I decided to write something just for fun.
I wanted to write something out of my ordinary orbit, something light, something different. So I decided to try my hand at a contemporary romance. It would involve a down and out heroine inheriting a house, because, as you all know, I have a thing for house inheritance novels, and a small town in upstate New York, because I’ve spent some of my happiest times in a small town in upstate New York. (Cold Spring, I’m looking at you!) Over the course of last July, I happily dug into writing it. I called the town Phillips Falls, as a nod to Susan Elizabeth Philips, queen of the genre (and to Philipstown, the larger entity that includes my own beloved Cold Spring). As for title… well, I had to throw in a Jennifer Crusie homage. My heroine’s name was Kristy Dare, so what more logical than to call it Dare Me?
As you can see, I was amusing myself mightily.
I had about a hundred pages done when I got a call telling me that it was time to go full steam ahead on the Kenya book– and then another call telling me that my old publisher wanted two more Pink books. Suddenly, I found myself booked up with deadlines and my contemporary romance (known to me as the RCR, for Random Contemporary Romance), had to be filed away for later.
I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to finish writing it, but, just for fun, just because it’s summer, I’ve decided to dust it off and share it with you. Starting June 23rd, I’ll be posting a chapter here on the News page every Saturday, straight through July and into August.
I hope it proves as much of a summer escape for you as it did for me last July!