Friday Five

I posted a teaser from my WIP HERE. Go read it! There’s a steamy mistletoe kiss that will make you miss Christmas time!

I’m kind of in love with my WIP right now… Here are five reasons why:

ONE – WIP is set in the small Washington town that neighbors mine. It’s a cozy little place (my almost-three-year-old refers to it as a village) that oozes charm. It’s nestled down in a valley, in the imposing shadow of Mt. Rainier, and in the winter is very often blanketed in thin fog. It’s cool (not to mention EASY!) to write about a place I know so well, a place I grew up in, moved away from, then returned to because it’s like nowhere else.   

TWO – My main character, Jillian, is fun to write. She’s dry and sort of sarcastic. She’s shy and an avoider of conflict. She occasionally lacks a filter and becomes blunt enough to say what she really means, then spends eons questioning every word that left her mouth. She’s cautious, an analyzer of situations, and she’s not one to leap before she looks. She’s a hopeless romantic, though she pretends not to be. Many of these traits are ones I possess myself, which makes Jillian’s voice flow almost effortlessly. Sometimes in my “real” life,” I say something and then think, “that’s exactly what Jillian would say!” Here’s an excerpt:

            “How’s your mom doing, Jillian?”

            “She’s huge.”

            “She’s pregnant.”

            “You should see her ankles,” I say, suddenly more animated. Pregnancy symptoms are something I’ve become alarmingly familiar with over the last several months. I can talk about fatigue, weight gain, cramps, and varicose veins till I’m blue in the face. “It’s seriously disturbing,” I tell Max. “Who knew pregnancy makes your ankles fat, too?”

THREE – Jillian’s love interest, Max, is pretty awesome. He challenges her, he jokes with her, he’s sweet to her, and he wants to protect her. He’s a football player, he drives a big truck and he listens to Johnny Cash. What’s not to love? Here’s how I imagine him:

FOUR – Jillian and her best friend, Raini, work at a drive-through espresso stand called True Brew. If you’ve ever been to Washington, you know how freakishly common espresso shops are. During the four years I was in college, I made coffee at a stand very similar to the one Jill works at, so it’s kind of fun to relive those days. I feel like an expert, too, when I get to describe Jill and Raini steaming milk and pulling espresso shots. I find it to be a good setting for some of that deep best friend dialogue.


FIVE – As WIP unfolds, Jillian is faced with a family crisis, a mystery that she must unravel, often with Max’s help. It’s challenging to plant little hints along the away. My goal is that when the reader gets to the big reveal they’ll think: “Oh, my God! How did I miss that!” and then flip back through the story to look for the clues they missed. At the same time, I’m wary of planting too many hints for fear that the reader will figure out what’s going on too early and become bored with the story. Like I said, challenging, but fun and new, too!   


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