Friday, August 19, 2011
People Will Say They're in Love
The interesting thing about writing a book and having it published is that it starts to belong to someone other than you. I don't mean someone steals your copyright or anything. I just mean that people start feeling some ownership of your characters and start expressing their opinions of your work. I once had a reviewer who was quite outraged that my second book, DEAD IN THE WATER, didn't do Lydia McKenzie justice. I consoled myself with the knowledge that they must have really, really liked POSED FOR MURDER. Enough to get all upset, anyway.
So now my characters are out there and I have two books published, my readers have all sorts of opinions about what should happen in book three. Lydia should move out of New York. Lydia should focus on her photography. Lydia should give up her photography. Lydia should become a PI. Lydia should quit working for the D'Angelos. But mostly I hear that Lydia should get together with Detective Daniel Romero. Soon. And I hear that a lot. Even from my agent.
It's important to introduce romantic tension (as well as lots of other kinds of tension) in a book, and sparks flew immediately between my photographer sleuth and the Puerto Rican New York City cop. They rub each other the wrong way. He thinks the worst of her. She thinks he's a lousy dresser and ridiculously hostile. He hauls her in for questioning. She withholds evidence from him. They fight. They forgive each other. He saves her life. She solves the case. They hug and then are embarrassed. People will say they're in love...
And in homage to Rebecca Cantrell, here's a movie star who could play Romero. The talented and handsome Javier Bardem.
But here's the real reason they haven't hooked up on a permanent basis before now. It would destroy the tension. You know what I mean. You've read those series where the couple is fighting and carrying on and as soon as everyone gets lovey-dovey and gets married--poof! The series becomes deadly dull and the writer has to end it. There's no conflict. And without conflict, well, there's just no drama.
So will Romero and Lydia ever hook-up? Um, maybe. But one thing is certain. I will leave you in suspense a little longer.