Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Donna Alward: Behind the Book - Off the Clock

A few years ago a friend of mine was in a terrible accident. She came out of it with "minor" injuries, but it was very traumatic. You see, she was hit by a drunk driver. She was pregnant. And her two other children were in the car.

Luckily everyone made it out okay, but it did start the ball rolling into some really tough times for that family.

So let's flip to something completely separate - my love for a man in uniform. Soldiers, flyboys, cops, firemen, EMTs....yeah. I'd been toying with the idea of writing a First Responders series for a long time. I had an idea but I had no story. I knew I wanted a story for each profession of paramedic, cop, and fireman. But that was all I had.

Finally, last year, it came to me. But it wasn't like it popped into my head as a fully formed idea. At first I thought...what if the paramedic witnesses an accident and steps in to save the heroine - who is pregnant? (see, now you get the tie in with the first part of this story).

Talk about setting myself up for trouble. First of all, I had about 25000 words to write it (as it's a novella). I have a woman pregnant with another man's child. And romance is the furthest thing from her mind as she's sitting in her car, injured.

And by the way, is a woman pregnant with another man's child even ATTRACTIVE to a man?

I had some work to do.

I had to ask myself a lot of questions. Who is the daddy and why is he not there? I figured that out and phew, that was covered. Then I thought...who is the paramedic and why would he care for the heroine beyond that of a patient? And then I figured that out - and gave them a history. A history that would mean that seeing Gabe's face is the best-and worst-thing that could happen to her.

But the writing troubles weren't over. Can a post-natal sleep-deprived mom even be thinking about love?

Well, eventually it seems she can. Especially when it's Gabe, who is willing to take it slow and steady.

Sometimes the books that are the biggest challenges turn out to be the ones we enjoy writing the most. I know I enjoyed writing OFF THE CLOCK and I'm definitely enjoying writing the next one, IN THE LINE OF DUTY.

OFF THE CLOCK released yesterday from Samhain Publishing and it's also available on amazon and other ebook sellers. :-) You can read an excerpt on my website.


Maria D. said...

Great post! Thanks for the story behind the story

Harlie Reader said...

Hi Donna. Great post and thanks for letting us know the inspiration for the story. I'm glad that you're friend and her children are okay.

Harlie Reader said...

Sorry, can't wait for the next one.

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the back story. My son, who
is a playwright, uses that phrase now
and then.

I've read more than a few stories in
which the heroine is pregnant. Her
rescuer (there's always a problem or
conflict of some sort!)almost always
ends up as her fiance/spouse. Always
enjoy such stories!!Pat C.

Melanie Milburne said...

Donna, I really loved how you came up with that story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

marybelle said...

I also love a man in uniform & one who saves lives - yes please.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Donna,

Great post and thanks for letting us know the inspiration for the story. I'm glad that you're friend and her children are okay.

Congratulations on the releases of your books!

Sonali said...

I love the post. Congratulations on your latest release.