Tuesday 22 June 2010

NEAR EDGWARE - Is that love?

Why did she do it?  Why did Jess fall in love? 

Make like the girls who do boys Jess, that would be fair enough: he is hot. The six-foot, out-doors-tanned, blond-haired-with-that-hint-of-curls-trimmed-in-to-good- behaviour look would have the same effect on many a hot-blooded girl. 

But, I'm not talking about desire with a capital: L-U-S-T!  I am talking about love and, if it isn’t love that has grown between you both, then I don’t want to be around either of you when you get to know each other better. 

The question that made me wait weeks - between getting the idea, finishing the planning and writing the book - was the all important one: why?

I can’t say much about this from Caleb’s point of view because, well, it’s a first person narrative. I mostly get to wander around in Jess’ head. (However, in true Stephenie Meyer fashion, I could just as easily write NEAR EDGWARE from Caleb’s POV - *blush! You didn’t think, even for a moment, that I don’t know what Caleb is thinking; did you?)

I have read shelves full of YA paranormal romances (and quite a lot written for adults) and, sometimes, I have to suspend disbelief because I can’t work out what it is about the moody misogynist that led the woman, or girl, to feel a deep, endless and true love.

With hormones and pheromones densely concentrated in the air I created a strong female protagonist with supportive parents and friends who would be there for her. Next I made sure she was attracted, but capable of analysing her feelings. Then I wrote the scenes to make sure Jess could see more of Caleb's personality than his six-pack and smile.

I had great days discussing with teens which characteristics allowed Caleb to be seen as caring: more than strong and silent. The group was slightly unrepresentative because only 50% had read Twilight. Then I research Blogs where men spoke frankly about their feelings: desire and love were covered in detail. In that setting there was no need for any of these anonymous men to give answers that would gain them any particular advantage. I also have six brothers so I found it impossible to write unrealistically for Caleb.

I loved creating Jess and Caleb and the challenges they have to face. 

The section in the planning stage is steamier than the weather we are experiencing. 

Happy 18th Birthday, Jess.


  1. Sounds like you're having a lot of fun writing this part :)

    I really like when the characters have much more than lust going on! Lust is fun, but it's not enough :)

  2. Hi Jemi
    I totally agree with you: there is no depth in lust and it can be such a destructive force.