For my second date with a book, I've chosen Wayward Love.
Wayward Love is the second book in the Cedarwood Beach series and it features Andy, the eldest of the Karagiannis family, and widowed father of three, and Kyle, his son's best friend.
Wayward Love proved challenging to write for a couple of reasons.
It was the second book in a series and those are always the hardest to write in my opinion.
It featured a difficult trope to do justice (best friend's dad) without being cheesy or cringy. (Hopefully I succeeded.)
I was writing in the beginning of the pandemic while still adjusting to all the lockdown time and trying to get myself on a schedule.
And it featured a subplot that was important to the book.
The last point was actually a big one. Indeed after writing 10 or so thousand words on the book, I had to start from scratch.
I 'd written a good few chapters when I realized that the subplot had taken over the romance and I needed to fix it. Stat.
The subplot, if you haven't read Wayward Love, is Andy's failing business, his bar, which is slipping under his very hands under tons of debt since the loss of his wife.
I was passionate about this part of his story when I was plotting and came up with everything that brings Andy and Kyle together through their unlikely partnership.
I've spent most of my adult life in and out of bars/pubs. I've worked the minimum wage waiting jobs, all the way into management, so I know everything pretty much inside out. I also know how hard it is to save a failing business, so I was excited to use all my knowledge and spruce up Andy's life via Kyle's help.
(sidenote: Kyle comes into Andy's bar to help out as part of his business degree, but ends up taking over. Kinda.)
But as fun as all of that was to write, God was it boring and monotonous.
Don't get me wrong, having Kyle, a character full of sunshine, fix everything that way I would, was a blast to write, but it didn't exactly scream hot, swoon-worthy romance.
So, start from scratch I did and the book became better for it of course.
Once I was on track and really focused on the romance and how Kyle was actually fixing Andy's scars and not just his business, everything fell into place.
Also, Andy's bisexual awakening was so beautiful to explore. It was like peeling all of his layers off like an onion (thankfully without as many tears) and giving him back a sense of normality, but also love. Accepting himself, his love for someone else. Accepting the fact that he's allowed to be happy even after losing his wife.
On the other hand, writing Kyle's sunny disposition, his freedom of expression, his fearlessness was a beast of its own. If you've met me, you might know I'm not the smiliest person in the world. I'm full of sarcasm, bitch faces, and a little bit of crazy so a ray of sunshine I am not. But through Kyle I learned to bring that side of me up in the surface a bit more. And what do you know? I 'm now full of sarcasm, bitch face and a tiny bit of sunshine. Oh and a hella lot of crazy. A year-long lockdown will do that to you, I guess.
Also, I'd like to point out that without Wayward Love, we wouldn't have Gordon. And without Gordon, we wouldn't have Beau Pair. In fact, Kyle (and Nathan, Andy's son) were going to be based in Virginia Beach for their studies, or Newport News. See, New Harlow, the town they study in, hadn't been created when I wrote Fresh Start. But for the purpose of the second book, I created a city that I could make my own, and of course I had to set some more stories in there.
So yeah, Wayward Love might have taken me much longer than I'd wanted, it might have been a struggle in the beginning, but without it, I wouldn't be the writer I am today and of course the book that followed, Rogue Affair, but we'll talk about Book 3 on another date.
That's it for our date. If you're intrigued and would like to check out Wayward Love, you can click here and grab the book on Amazon/read on KindleUnlimited:
If you've read Wayward Love, what was your favorite part? What was your favorite scene? Has it been some time since you read it? Maybe, a reread is due. *Nudge, nudge.*