Thursday, March 03, 2011

Shayla Black: Romantic myths—or are they?

In every book I write, I try to put in a little dash of something extra that makes it special for me to write, something I can take from mythos or personal experience, turn on its end, and help propel a story. For my March release, SURRENDER TO ME, I chose one of my favorite romantic myths: love at first sight.

The “grown up” and cynical among us laugh at such a concept. When you see an attractive stranger across a room, you can’t possibly know enough about him or her to actually love that person, so real, lasting love at first site is nothing but garbage, right? If we’re being purely logical…that’s probably right.

But love isn’t always logical.

When I wrote SURRENDER TO ME, my hero Hunter expected to attend the birthday party of a boot camp buddy’s girlfriend and help him fulfill her sexual fantasy. What he didn’t expect was to look across the room and her and be completely blindsided by not only attraction, but the feeling that she was that someone special he’d been looking for, that combination of looks, charm, sass, brains and perfect fit. Did he know her? Heck, he’d never even had a conversation with her at that point. So he didn’t know her well enough to know why she was special, but he was dying to find out exactly what it was about her that would make him love her. Because he had no doubt that he would.

I didn’t just pull this feeling out of thin air. I drew on personal experiences. I remember being twelve and feeling this way about my first crush. He was very sweet, and it was all very innocent, but we met when I was visiting my grandmother and he was staying with his dad for the summer because his parents were divorced. I was from California; he lived in Colorado. It was never going to work. But we had two really wonderful summers, and I learned to trust that love-at-first-sight feeling, but not only did he give me my first kiss, but we became friends.

I felt that feeling again not three months after my first boyfriend went back home. But this boy lived in the next neighborhood and was best friends with one of my friend’s brothers. The first time I met him, it was if a truck had run me over. I got dizzy, couldn’t hear for a minute. I’m sure I stared like an idiot. But he just smiled, gorgeous green eyes and all, and I was done. We had three years worth of ups and downs and ended up going our separate ways early during our senior year in high school. I was headed away for college; he wasn’t. The strain was too much, but he kept in touch for a few years saying that he didn’t just miss me as a girlfriend, but also as a friend he could talk to. So something about that instinct was right. I just hadn’t hit it out of the park yet.

Just before I graduated from high school, I met this tall, insanely sexy guy through a mutual friend. She’d been talking about him for a while and we kept missing each other. In fact, we’d attended the same high school and had never met. We’d lived less than three miles apart for eight years and never crossed paths. We even had mutual friends, but just had never come face to face. But one day that changed, and that dopey, dizzy, spiraling down into love feeling hit me again. No, it flattened me this time. He was the one; I knew it. Like my hero Hunter does with his heroine Kata, I had to set about convincing this man that I was perfect for him. He was a little on the shy side (never an issue for me), so I was happy to tell him how I felt, talk patiently with him, tag along on group outings and never stray too far. About three months later, he called me and wanted to see me. I agreed, and he came over. And we started talking and talking. We paused so that he could drive me to his house to meet his parents. We went back to my house and talked on the sofa until the wee hours of the morning. We ended the night knowing that we were both in love. This coming September, we’ll celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

So yes, I’m a big believer in love at first sight. I pursued my man all the way to our happy ending, and wanted to write a story where one of my heroes could do the same. Hunter is VERY alpha, and Kata doesn’t always happily follow along on this merry chase; she’s often a handful. But in the end, they come to a very mutual understanding and a very mutual love. Now who doesn’t want to believe in that?

Surrender To Me

A secret fantasy.
Hunter had everything until a bullet put his career as a Navy SEAL on hold. Restless and in need of distraction, he accepts an intriguing proposition. Restless and uncertain about his future, he accepts an intriguing proposition: share an acquaintance’s girlfriend and fulfill her fantasy of a ménage. It should have been just a night of sexual adventure between three consenting adults. But Kata is like no other girl Hunter has ever met. By turns audacious and sexy, then vulnerable and aloof, she’s a heartbreaker he’s determined to master. But he needs more than one night. And he wants to do it alone.

An uncontrollable obsession.
Kata never expected to leave her comfortable relationship and explore something so dangerously forbidden with a stranger. Hard as she tries to resist, the guilty pleasure overwhelms her, and she surrenders herself, inch by inch, to the hardcore man who wants her for himself. Consumed by blazing desire, they’re soon threatened by the shadows of the past. And now to keep Kata safe, Hunter makes her a bold proposition of his own. Saying yes will destroy her heart. But saying no could cost Kata her life.


Estella said...

Am looking forward to reading Surrender To Me!

Wolf Bear said...

I chased my man too. He was an umpire where I was playing softball.

Surrender To Me sounds like a great read.

Nas Dean said...

I also am looking forward to reading Surrender To ME!