Enticed - Kathleen Dante

I really can’t claim responsibility for the genesis of Enticed. Sure, the seeds were all there—an article I’d read about a blind painter, a cat I’d met on a wine-tasting jaunt in Oregon . . . and Dillon, who’d first appeared in Entangled—but I hadn’t put them together.

You see, it’s all my crit partner’s fault. Yup, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. =)

It started a day or so after I finished Entangled, my first novel. I was at loose ends, wondering what to do next and toying with the nebulous idea of committing sequel, with Dillon as the hero. When I mentioned it to my crit partner, she immediately responded with “I hope you make him work for it” or maybe she used “crawl”; after two years, I don’t quite remember the exact phrasing and the original e-mail has since vanished from the archives. Anyway, she wrote something to that effect.

Those words electrified my imagination. I hadn’t had a plot in mind, but once I read those words, my muse began throwing ideas at me.

Here’s a cool, black ops agent who’s dedicated to his job. What if he’s forced to take a vacation? What if he’s intrigued by a woman who’s seems blind to his appeal—literally? (That blind painter I’d read about immediately came to mind. Reliance on the remaining senses, particularly touch, held promise for an erotic romance, which is the kind I prefer to write.) But why would she resist such a great guy? As a corollary to that, how to introduce tension from his black ops background when she’s a not-so-worldly-wise artist? Since the first book was set in a magical world, the answer that popped up was: What if she’s clairvoyant and picks up on secret info?

The above was more than enough for a first scene, but my muse wasn’t done yet. She had to ask: Wouldn’t it be cool if she had a cat to run interference? O.o! (Apparently, the hind brain wanted to see if it could develop a pet into a major character.) Since I hadn’t sold a book yet at the time and didn’t have any idea who my audience was, I figured, why not?

That’s how Enticed came to be. Sometimes you need a catalyst to pull everything together and transform the grist of a writer’s mill into a story. Without it, you just have several disparate ideas that don’t hang together. That’s why I can’t take responsibility for the genesis of Enticed; if it hadn’t been for my crit partner’s timely comment, who knows what might have happened?

Kathleen Dante