Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Executing the Hook

I was recently doing an interview and I was asked about my upcoming books. I said I had one set in Alberta that was the third in a series. And then the one after that is an Alberta rancher and a Mediterranean Princess.

There was a discernible pause.

It does sound unlikely, doesn't it. A quarterhorse rancher. A Princess. Yeah, right.

Category romances depend on the hook. They are themes that run through all the stories. Kind of that tag line...what's your book about. It's a marriage of convenience, or a secret baby, or reluctant royalty, old sweethearts, marriage in know the drill.

That hook is part of what tells the reader what they are getting. But that hook also has to be executed correctly for it to be plausible. I've had different hooks in each of my books so far. The first one was an inheritance/marriage of convenience story. My second old sweethearts, and one with a secret. My third was a soldier and a secret baby. The fourth - the one coming in August - has law enforcement and a widow. And the fifth is the rancher and Princess.

For some reason this one is the one that gives the most pause.

It's all in the execution. So what worked for me was that (and you find this out pretty early on) Lucy didn't know she was a Princess her whole life (oops, did I accidentally fit a secret baby into it as well? She was one!). She is resentful of it now and is using this trip to Prairie Rose Ranch as an escape. She resents her father, the King, and feels like she doesn't fit anywhere.

Only she encounters Brody Hamilton and he DOES remind her of where she came from. She grew up with horses and the ranch feels like home. Only Brody has issues of his own. And so it goes.

I did like the idea of the fairy tale, though, so writing the ending of the book was a real treat. I hope it reads as magically as it felt writing it. And I can't wait to write another "out there" hook and have fun making it all plausible!


braible said...

I still love a fairy tale. Thanks for writing some!! The world needs more fairy tales. The newspapers and TV news are so discouraging.

Pat Cochran said...

These all sound like books I need
to read. I must make my way to
the bookstore to find all of your
books. First, a stop at your website
to get all the titles!

Pat Cochran

Michelle Styles said...

Oh speaking as Donna's critque partner, her books are lovely.

I love hooks as well btw. Hooks are simply pegs to hang the story on.

Donna Alward said...

Michelle I don't know as you've ever described that to me that way before, but you are so right!

My current WIP has old friends/reunion as a hook (as Michelle knows). I love writing characters that have a history together.

Estella said...

OK, you've hooked me. My TBR pile is going to get bigger.

Jane said...

I really enjoy revenge plots.

sher said...

I love fairy tale stories. This is going on my TBR pile.

kimmyl said...

I love visiting here. My list keeps growing and growing.