Not many of you know this, but I wrote ROGUE from first page to its last page twice.
My first version was originally titled RAW and it featured Greyson King as a businessman, his brother Liam, and Melanie, who was Greyson’s girlfriend and should have fallen for Liam … that was my plan.
Alas, that was not the case.
By Chapter Two, I could see the chemistry between Greyson and Melanie wouldn’t fizzle down.
By Chapter Four, I was downright worried my hero, Liam, was being overshadowed by Melanie’s actual boyfriend, Greyson.
By the end of the book, I gave Melanie to Liam and cried because I knew it was a mistake. Greyson wouldn’t forgive me for it. He was pissed off and restless and very much in love. Melanie couldn’t forget Greyson and even when she was with Liam, she was moping and clearly in love and in lust with Greyson too. Greyson kept haunting me for days – telling me Melanie belonged to him, he didn’t appreciate her kissing his brother, he didn’t approve of any of it.
So….I had to call my super patient, smart and understanding editor at Gallery Books, Adam Wilson, and tell him I had to rewrite the book from scratch because I gave Melanie to the wrong hero.
That’s when ROGUE started and really took off. Greyson is a man of his own – he stands on his own, he’s the kind of hero that takes shit from nobody. Not even me. So, in a way, it was easy because he took control. In another way, it was scary. Because he took control. I was almost as helpless as Melanie and scared because, just like its title, my originally planned story had gone ROGUE and turned out to be darker and far more intense than I imagined.
It also thrilled me.
It also made it clear that I wasn’t the boss of the story, the characters were.
In a sense, that’s what you always want as an author. When the characters surprise you and you don’t have to plan for the happenings of each chapter, that’s when you know your book “breathes” and that’s what you dream for every book you ever conceive. But this was my first couple after Brooke and Remington – who so very adored by me and my fans – and I was super scared. I sometimes tried to put the breaks on Greyson King’s dark edge….I had a version where I toned everything down. One of my beta readers, CeCe, saved me from that mistake. She put her foot down and said “What are you doing to my panty-melting, delicious Greyson? Why did you take out this part? And this other part?”
I laughed. And I also realized that this man wasn’t going to be who I wanted him to be. He was going to be who he was. All wrong for Melanie.
Their story was so exhilarating, even now, six months after I finished it and turned it into my publisher, I think of them and write scenes for them because I miss and love them and love how authentic and real they became to me.
Now they’re about to hit your hands and ereaders and I can’t even believe the time is here! When this book that consumed me, gave me headaches, tummy dips, smiles, and tears, is about to hit your hands, and you’ll be able to meet Greyson King, Melanie, and revisit Brooke and Remy. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! (Even when sometimes you’re banging your head to your desk because you just completely lost control of your own story.)
But I’d do it all again for you, Greyson King – and for your princess Melanie.