Creating new stories is a fluid process, and I’ve learned over the years my books usually end up something quite different from that first what-if moment.
Last year, while working up a three-book proposal consisting of an overview that included an over-arching story, along with three full-length synopses and the first three chapters for the first book, this usual process included a surprising and radical shift.
When the Delaney story first came to me, it had strong paranormal elements. This is not at all the romance subgenre I write in, yet I was intrigued and excited about the idea.
Three brothers on a deep-sea fishing trip get capsized in the ocean. Each thinks he is going to drown, but something mysteriously lifts them from the depths of the sea and saves them. After that extraordinary incident, each brother realizes he has a special power.
<—– Daniel, has the gift of healing
Mark —-> the gift of acute, specialized hearing
and Conor, the gift of telekinesis.
The original premise was that each brother would have this special power until he saved someone else, because, as they were saved from the ocean, they were each meant to save another.
As you can imagine, this premise doesn’t work for contemporary romance, and I was hoping to get another contract with my usual publisher, so something had to give. As much as I loved the paranormal scenario, I knew it had to change, but I still wanted a touch of magic in the stories. So, working within the parameters of my usual romance line, I made some major adjustments. That’s part of the fluidity when brainstorming and creating a story.
The fishing trip changed from a near-drowning experience to one where the Delaney brothers save a seal
from a pod of Orca looking for a snack.
By the way, I based this on a personal experience my family and I had on a trip out to Santa Cruz island off the Ventura, California coast. No we weren’t on a fishing boat, but on an Island Packers Cruise boat for a day trip of hiking and family togetherness when we happened upon the National Geographic moment, one that I found terribly hard to watch. In fact, I went inside when I knew the poor harbor seal was about to meet the enormous tail of an orca. This is one of the perks of being a writer, I got to rewrite how that story ended and use it in a book!
Padraig Delaney, the patriarch of the family, upon hearing the news, claims his grandsons have saved a selkie. With his being from Ireland, the brothers are used to his occasional fanciful logic, and let him decide whatever he wants, what did it matter? Until Padraig insists that since Daniel, Mark, and Conor saved a selkie, they’d each soon find the love of their lives. Of course, the brothers write that off as typical magical thinking from good old Grandda, until…
As things turned out, there are three brothers, three romance stories, and three happily-ever-afters in this trilogy, so you can decide for yourselves if Grandda is a bit touched in the head, or simply in touch with the workings of fate.
The Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach trilogy will be out in spring of 2018.
Forever A Father (Daniel’s story, book #1) March
Soldier, Handyman, Family Man, American Heroes series, (Mark’s story, book #2) April
Reunited with the Sheriff (Conor’s story, book #3) May
Until next time, make it a great one, Lynne