Sometimes ideas come to me – boom – fully formed. Sometimes I get a seedling – just a character or a situation -- and have to water and grow it to “see” the rest of the story. That’s what happened with Enslave Me Sweetly. I had to do a lot of watering.

When I first sat down to write Enslave Me Sweetly, I decided to write about a new heroine (not Mia Snow from the first alien huntress book, Awaken Me Darkly) because I had a germ of an idea about alien slavers and Mia was too busy searching for Halflings to solve this case. So Eden Black, alien assassin, was born. Here's a secret: Originally I envisioned this new heroine paired with the ultra sexy Dallas (Mia’s partner) from Awaken Me Darkly.

I had absolutely no trouble writing the opening of that book. I did, however, have many problems when the two main characters finally met in chapter three (I think it was). There was no chemistry for them or for me and I began to dread writing the book. But I was determined.

Still. I let my editor know what was going on and she suggested I try a new hero. I dragged my feet a little on that because in my mind, I still thought I could force Eden and Dallas to click. But I told my editor, “I’ll think about it.”

And I did. That night I lay in bed, wondering what type of man could make the proud, determined Eden sit up and take notice. Very clearly, a rough male voice said in my mind, “Uh, I could.” Enter Lucius Adaire, a hard-ass slayer who found the idea of a female assassin “amusing”.

You know what? Eden did sit up and took notice. Immediately. They sparred all night long and I wrote as much as I could – it was hard to keep up – down. All of it made it into the book. To be honest, it was some of the best dialogue I’d ever written.

The story flowed smoothly from that point on, pretty much writing itself. Maybe one day I’ll post those few chapters I wrote with Eden and Dallas. But maybe not. Lucius might kill me. He's her man, not Dallas.

Nowadays I’m very careful not to force my ideas onto the characters, but to let them lead to me wherever they want to go. Makes my life a whole lot easier.
Coming soon from Gena: (July 2006) Oh My Goth! & Mysteria. (September 2006) Playing With Fire