Two years ago today, my second book released. I wrote it to collect incidents and personalities I observed in Washington and ideas I have about the state of American politics. This is probably why Special Interests is wonky and insidery. I truly never thought I’d sell it or that anyone would read it, so I wrote staffers who talked, thought, loved, drank, and snarked liked the one I was and the ones I knew.
I recently re-read it, and I’m a better writer and far more aware of the romance market than I was back in 2012 when I was drafting. But that I wouldn’t write it the same way now–or probably wouldn’t write it at all–is what makes Special Interests, erm, special to me.
It’s a book about two people who meet and are immediately gobsmacked, but because of the narrow yet deep differences in their personalities and worldviews, they can’t imagine a future together. But they can’t quite stay away from each other either.
This has always been one of my favorite bits. It’s from Millie and Parker’s first date.
“This is a big event?”
“Yeah, it is.”
There was noise around them. The conversation of other diners. The clang of dishes in the kitchen. The busyness and hum of hundreds of bodies in motion all at once. At that moment, it clicked to silence. There were only his eyes, wounded and earnest and frightened, and her heart, which had leapt into her mouth. When he left— and really, she had no doubt that he would eventually— she was going to hurt for so long.
“You’ve got to give me a little warning before you do something like that,” she said, exhaling the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.
“Something like what?”
She couldn’t decide whether his puzzled expression was real or feigned, which was precisely what was so dangerous about this operation.
“Say something that’s so sweet it makes my teeth hurt, that’s also so obviously, painfully sincere that neither of us can joke about it.”
He leaned toward her, taking her hand again. “I know that you don’t believe me, but you have all the power and it scares the piss out of me. That’s what had me so addled today.”
If you haven’t read it, Special Interests is available in all the usual places, including Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, All Romance, and Google Play. You can also add it on Goodreads or check out its Pinterest board.