Authors dread the question where do you come up with your ideas? There is no magic idea vault. If we knew how to manufacture ideas, we’d all be millionaires, churning out bestsellers every month. (But if there is a secret idea vault that people are hiding from me, I’d really like to bribe my way in – spread the word!).
My Aisle Bound trilogy—centered around a wedding company--is an exception. After I’d been a wedding planner in Chicago for, oh, all of a month, people started telling me that I should write a book. They wanted the dish on tempermental bridezillas, overbearing mothers, and drunken bridesmaid/groomsmen hook-ups. Well, if I did that I’d have about fifty lawsuits pending against me. My guilty pleasure was watching Whose Wedding Is It Anyway, which follows harried wedding planners all around the country. And one night, those two things clicked for me. The idea for Planning for Love popped right into my head.
I’m a sucker for romance. That’s why I love weddings so much. And yes, just like my heroine Ivy, I would well up every single time one of my brides walked down the aisle. Weddings are full of passion and love and, yes, occasionally hysterically funny drama (well, funny if it isn’t your wedding). Here’s a quote from my hero, Ben talking about his assistant cameraman:
“Sorry. The kid’s young, and is sure every gig we do has the potential for major drama. Instead of paying his dues, he plans to catapult to stardom on a clip of the bride falling off a chair during the Hora.” Did I ever have that happen at one of my weddings? No. Did some other things go haywire? You bet. Three real events even made it into the book (although all the names were changed to protect the happily married). Once you read Planning for Love, I’d love to hear your guesses about what wacky antics I made up, and what really happened.
So weddings mixed with the harsh spotlight of reality television sparked a plot for me. How would a perfectly organized, detail oriented planner deal with being shadowed by cameras? Why would she even agree to it in the first place? No spoilers, but after she’s accidentally railroaded into being on one show, the network manages to talk her into starring in another one. They think she’s a star. Ivy disagrees.
“I can’t take all the credit,” Ivy said. “Aside from the excitement before the ceremony, everything ran according to plan.” Yes, aside from rolling around naked with the videographer after the wedding ended. Because really, no matter how ruthlessly a wedding coordinator organized the day’s itinerary, it never included three orgasms before dawn.
Of course, the story of where I got the idea for Planning for Love is exactly that – one story. Somehow I convinced myself the wedding world provided enough inspiration for three books. I started sorting through vendors in my mind. Could I make anything funny and romantic about a DJ? A caterer? Nope. But I do have a sexy baker/chocolatier doing unmentionably naughty things with melted chocolate in book two, and a florist hooking up with a hotel manager in a bed of rose petals in book three. Oh, and of course another reality show to stir the pot by putting my characters under a different live spotlight.
Here’s what I want to know from all of you (because I’m still in the middle of writing book #3 in the trilogy – call it research): What went hopelessly, and hysterically, wrong at a wedding you attended?
One randomly selected person leaving a comment on today's blog will receive a digital copy of Planning for Love!
Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes
anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for
their disaster of a courtship
Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she gets an offer to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.
Bennett Westcott can admit that he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and, okay, great body—through the lens of a camera every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have a little no-strings fun.
The more time Bennett and Ivy spend together, the more he realizes that Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?
Purchase at Carina Press