Exciting developments! I’m now on Pinterest. I’m not entirely sure what purpose it serves, but it allows me to look at pretty people under the guise of research. So if you’re desperate to have your mental images of any of my characters ruined by my own ideas, take a look at my shiny new Pinterest!
I don’t listen to music when I write – way too distracting – but I’ve got some playlist plans in place for the Royal Element 1.0 and 2.0 gang. Hard not to when you’re writing about musicians!
You can already listen to Royal Element 1.0’s greatest hits album on Spotify! (Note: It’s, er, not actually Royal Element. They don’t exist – heartbreaking, I know. But over two-dozen tracks of real-life boy band bliss? Feast yourself silly on the cheese!)
I go back and forth on this, but Brain is arguably my favourite entry in the 5 Boys series. I view it as two acts – angsty, fractious Act One and sexy, healing Act Two. Writing it was an act of catharsis.
Brain was written during a time of personal upheaval. In my life, nothing seemed secure. There was a lot of ongoing disruption, and it took me forever to write out the ridiculously long sex scene (ie. the whole of Act Two). I’m not sure I’ll ever write a sex scene that’s so involved again but it’s what the characters deserved after all they’d been through.
Really hope you enjoy this one. It’s got a special place in my writerly, cerulean heart.
Brink was written in the middle of an intense heatwave. It was a special, new time in my life. I felt as though I’d woken from a deep sleep into an exciting world. I was a tourist in my own city. There was sunshine everywhere, for days and weeks, and everyone seemed happy. It was like the world had overdosed on Vitamin D.
I was definitely on something. I’d walk to the library every day, write my words, and then walk ~15k steps to the gym, where I’d work out for almost three hours. Yeah. Wild, sunny times. Something I learned while writing Brink is that mega-famous musicians have gyms purpose-built for them at every leg of their tour. I thought this was so OTT that I had to include it.
The soundtrack to Brink is The 1975’s Give Yourself a Try. I couldn’t escape it. It was everywhere at the time. And it also felt, fittingly, like a small nod of encouragement to my writing. That intro takes me straight back to climbing up and down hills to visit the library, with sunshine beaming and flowers blooming.
I hope the book manages to evoke similar feelings for you as that song does for me.
The first book in the 5 Boys series began as an experiment: write a Reverse Harem novel. Heck, just write a novel. It was written in secret, surrounded by frantically revising students, when the sky was dark and cold. I made a promise to myself to finish it, and I did.
I wanted it to be a lighthearted, steamy, fast-burn, OTT romance. But, as these things so often happen, the characters spoke louder than my intentions. They took over my head so I gave them a series.
These characters have kept me awake at night, have kept me distracted from the humdrum, and have helped start to steer my life in the direction I want. Most of all, they gave me something I didn’t expect: they made me fall back in love with writing. I hope their personalities come across as individually as they do for me.