Love. Hope. Passion. No life is happy without all three. No book, no matter what the genre, is complete without it. Even a mystery. It’s like humor, though. Depending on the genre, there needs to be less of it, more of it, some subtlety or none at all. It’s a delicate balance, and it’s obvious when a book misses the mark.
I made Lydia single in Posed for Murder, with no boyfriend on the horizon. I wanted her to be the kind of woman who stood on her own two feet. And I thought she would take more chances and be more committed to her job if she was on her own. But I also gave her a flirtation with a sexy stubborn cop named Daniel Romero.
Romero is Puerto Rican and raised in the neighborhood. He has a lot of depth and layers that Lydia doesn’t see at first. He reads War and Peace, he enjoys great music, and he is the loving parent to a small son (who lives with his ex-wife). He finds Lydia infuriating (as many lovers do when they first meet!) and thinks she’s interfering and blocking his investigation—which she is. The two of them spar, but never get beyond… well, that would be telling. You’ll have to read the book.
My second book is almost finished, and my agent commented that she wanted something more to happen between Romero and Lydia. She wanted the relationship to deepen. It makes sense that she would be dissatisfied. After all, don’t we all want love to work out whether in life or on the page? But there’s also good reasons to hold out on her, and make Lydia and Romero wait before finding true love with someone else or with each other. The friction makes the story so much more interesting and engaging, and I’m not ready to write “The End” on the series.
My live is nothing like Lydia’s. I’m not single, or in my twenties, or a photographer. I am a married mom who rarely goes to clubs and fantasizes more about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep then fame and fortune. And this Valentine’s Day, I will reflect, as I always do, on how darn long my husband and I have been together (19 years this June—whoa!) and how thankful I am to have such a wonderful life partner. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!