WIP Joy Challenge - Day Eighteen: Share an Example of Your Best Prose.

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


I've shared a few snippets already, but I'm always up for sharing more.

Enjoy ...

“It’s just a thing, it’ll pass.” I buried my head again, and even as I closed my eyes, I knew it wasn’t true. When it was ‘just a thing’ your heart didn’t flip-flop inside your chest when the person smiled at you, and the days they weren’t around didn’t suck just because they weren’t there. This was way more than just a thing. 

WIP Joy Challenge - Day Seventeen: I Love The Way I Depict My Characters Because ...

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


They're real!

I hope readers will connect with Jade and think "this could be me/ someone I know."

I want her words, actions and emotions to resonate with readers, so they feel what she feels. 

An example of that is this scene:

I woke up with the worst headache I’d ever had in my life. My mouth felt like it was filled with cotton wool, and my eyelids were stuck together. I forced my eyes open, and looked around.
I was lying in a strange bed, in a room I didn’t recognize.
Images of the night before flicked through my mind, and I saw the two guys who’d obviously slipped something into my drink, and then tried to take me from the club. 
Hot claws gripped my body, and I threw off the bed covers. Leaping to my feet, I found I was still fully clothed apart from my shoes, which had been placed neatly on the floor at the foot of the bed. 
My heart hammered, and I creeped from the room. As I stepped out into the hall, I heard snoring coming from the room where the door was half open. 
Terrified of what I’d discover if I looked in, but desperate to know whose house I was at, I peered around the door. 


WIP Joy Challenge - Day Sixteen: I love How I Describe Things When ...

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


For me, I love how I describe things when there's the perfect amount of realism, that will hopefully have the author nodding their head long with the book, thinking "I could have said/ thought that."

“Is someone dating a person older then themselves against the G.E.M rules? Because, I’m quite sure inter-staff relationships are allowed, and as I’ve already said, twice, Seth is separated from his wife. Many people start dating again while separated. Or did you have this same conversation with Philippa Johnson when she was going through her divorce, and started seeing someone?”

WIP Joy Challenge - Day Fifteen: At It's Best, my WIP's Dialogue Is ...

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


I hope when people read my age-gap romance the find the dialogue funny, honest, and realistic.

Here's a snippet, what do you think?

I turned to Maria. “So, what’s the score with you and Rich?”
 
Maria laughed. “What? Me and Rich?” 
The alcohol making me forget my earlier promise, I said, “Yeah, he likes you.” 
Maria’s eyes widened and her body went ridged. “Seriously?” 
“That’s what he said to me earlier. But shit-” The memory came flooding back. “I wasn’t supposed to say anything.” 
“Oopsie,” Kelly interjected, and we all started giggling. 

WIP Joy Challenge - Day Fourteen: Which Characters Gt Along Worst With Each Other?

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


I've already touched upon the fact that Jade and her co-worker Courtney have a mutual hatred for each other.

Here's a scene that really exemplifies that:

As I deepened the kiss, I heard a screech from behind us.
 
“Oh my god. So, the newspapers weren’t lying. You two really are together?” 
My heart felt like led. Of all the people who had to see me and Seth kissing, it was Courtney Sinclair.  
I turned around to face her, my eyes narrowing. “Yeah, we are. Do you have a problem with that?” 
“A problem? This is fucking hilarious. Miss high and mighty, having me about accidentally showing a little more of myself than I’d intended on a night out, and here she is making moves on a man twice her age. What’s the matter, Jade? No one your own age interested in you? Or do you hope you can get your claws in good and proper, and score yourself a nice sugar daddy?” 
Before Seth could stop me, I’d jumped up off the couch and charged towards Courtney, my hand hovered just inches away from slapping that smug smile off her face. 
I stopped myself just in time, let out a breath, and stepped back. “Not even you’re worth losing my job over.” 
“Oh, you’ll lose your job. When I tell HR you raised your hand to me, you’re out of here.”

WIP Joy Challenge - Day Thirteen: What's A Message About Relationships in your Book?

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


The core key message about relationships in my age-gap romance is not to over-think things, or assume what the other person is thinking/ feeling, and to keep the lines of communication open.

Seth sums this up perfectly in a conversation with Jade early on in their relationship:

“Thank you for being honest with me.” 

“I want us to have a chance. If we decided later down the road there isn’t a spark there or whatever, we’ll deal with it. But I couldn’t bare thinking I’d messed things up before they even got going by not being open with you. That’s one mistake Tessa and I made, and I don’t intend to repeat it.”



WIP Joy Challenge - Day Twelve: What Was Your Antagonist's Past Like?

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


My age-gap romance has two antagonists. 

The first is soap actress Courtney Sinclair, who DOES NOT get along with my protagonist Jade at all; in fact, I'd go as far as saying she bullies Jade.

I haven't given much thought to why Courtney is the way she is. She's just one of these arrogant people who believes the sun shines out of her arse, and everyone should bend to her every whim, so when someone doesn't, she goes to war with them.

I guess it stems from growing up as a spoiled child and teen, getting anything she wanted, including lots of attention because of her natural good looks.

The second antagonist is Seth's ex-wife, Tessa, a former Page-3 model, who is actually vary similar to Courtney on the surface, but the reason behind her behaviour runs much deeper.

Their relationship was the classic tale of rock-star marries model, that you see a lot in real life celebrities. 

Tessa was happy to live the celebrity life, and hoped her marriage to Seth would further her career. But after a few years of her aspirations of being an actress not taking off, Tessa decided instead that she'd devote her life to being a mother, and quickly convinced Seth to try for a baby - even though he was struggling with a cocaine addiction at the time.

However, motherhood wasn't what she imagined, either, and with Seth still away a lot (first in rehab and then trying to reignite his music career) Tessa became bored and lonely, and turned to alcohol and partying to combat this.

Eventually their marriage broke down, and when Tessa shows up the the story, they're in the middle of a divorce.

She doesn't want to be with Seth anymore, but she can't stand to see him happy with someone else, either, when she is so miserable, so she tries to cause as much trouble between Jade and Seth as possible. 



WIP Joy Challenge - Day Eleven: Share a Line About Love or Hatred

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


Here's a snippet from early on in my age-gap romance, where one of Jade's friends is talking about how great it would be if their whole group each had boyfriends.

“Okay, but my point still stands. Suggesting me and Mike hook up is like saying a penguin would enjoy a trip to the Sahara. Never going to happen. And besides, we don’t all need to be coupled off, you know?” 
“Yeah, but it would be fun, wouldn’t it? Going out on double dates and stuff.” 
“I guess, but I don’t even know if Chloe and Jon will get to the dating stage, they might just be fuckbuddies. And Kelly only just met Carl. Don’t count your chickens before they’re omelettes.” 
Maria sighed. “I know. I can’t help it though. I just want everyone to find their true love, get married and live happily ever after.” 
“Are you still drunk or have you seen one too many Disney movies?” Shaking my head, I climbed out of bed. “I’m going to see if Chloe and Kelly are awake. It’s time we started thinking about getting ready for work.”


WIP Joy Challenge - Day Ten: Anyone Suffering From A Broken Heart?

For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).



None of my characters are suffering from a broken heart, but both Jade and Seth have issues from their previously relationships that get in the way of them moving forward in their new relationship.

Here's what Seth has to say on the failing of his marriage:


I have no intention of ever going back to Tessa. Yes, I was in love with her once, and she’ll always have a place in my heart, but whatever she and I had died a long time ago.

The tears were obvious in his eyes, and my throat felt thick knowing I’d contributed by probing too deeply.

“Thank you for being honest with me.”

“I want us to have a chance. If we decided later down the road there isn’t a spark there or whatever, we’ll deal with it. But I couldn’t bare thinking I’d messed things up before they even got going by not being open with you. That’s one mistake Tessa and I made, and I don’t intend to repeat it.”

“Can I ask what happened? You said you loved her once, and well, twenty years is a long time.”

Seth sighed and raked his hands through his hair.

“I’ve asked myself that question a lot. I guess the simplest answer is, we grew apart. We weren’t the same people we were when we got married. Somewhere between having Alexa, and her growing up, what me and Tessa wanted became different.”


WIP Joy Challenge - Day Nine: How Do (Or How Did) The Main Characters Meet?

 For the month of January, I'll be taking part in the WIP Joy Challenge, created by Bethany A. Jennings (found via a share from Adam.C.Macdonald).


Jade met all her friends, who I described in yesterday's post, via her work as a makeup artist for G.E.M network, which is where she meets the other main character, and love interest, Seth. 

Here's the scene Jade and Seth meet for the first time:

I’d just finished my sandwich, and had turned on my tablet, opened my chocolate bar and prepared to dive into the world of Marvel, when the heavy metal doors swung open, and a guy in scruffy biker boots, torn black jeans, a red t-shirt and a leather jacket entered. If it wasn’t for his age, I’d have assumed he was a guest on some music show, but judging by the flecks of grey in his dark hair and his salt-and-pepper beard, I figured he was a little older than most. 
He flashed me a sheepish grin and dropped down on the couch. “Sorry. I thought it’d be empty in here now.” 
I looked up at him over the top of my tablet, and smiled. “No worries. I’ll be out of your hair in a sec.” 
His grin widened, his eyes dancing with amusement. 
“Wow. You’re the first person to say that to me today. I snuck in here to hide out from all the ‘well-wishers.’” 
He said the last word with a certain amount of disdain that had me raising my eyebrows.

“No offence, but I don’t have a clue who you are.” 
The guy hooted with laughter, and his brown eyes sparkled.  “I like you.” He stood and extended his hand to me. I clasped his hand, and he shook it firmly. “Seth Marshall. New music presenter and-”
“Former front man of Stryfe.” I finished for him as the penny dropped. “Jon Harrington told me earlier you’d joined us. You’ll have to forgive me, you’re a little before my time.” 
Another laugh had me grinning back, and Seth’s disposition relaxed as he settled onto the couch opposite me.

“Jade Landon, cosmetologist extraordinaire. Aka the makeup girl.”