Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M IS FOR IN THE SHADOW OF MALICE: THE STORY THAT DEMANDED TO BE TOLD





Happy Wednesday, Everyone,

I introduced my In the Shadow series last week with the LETTER I. Today, I'm talking about In the Shadow of Malice because out of all the books in the series, this one is the story that completely surprised me as a writer. 

So M is for IN THE SHADOW OF MALICE: the story that demanded to be told...


By August of 2013, I released two books in this series, Greed and Evil. My readers had met four McNeil brothers, Jared, Noah, Mac and Jason. There is no mention of Adam, brother number five, because he didn't exist. 

Adam Blake's story came to me the day I released Evil in the most bizarre way. Releasing a book is so very stressful. That night, I had a glass of wine, hoping it would calm my nerves, and went to bed early.  Hours later, I was jarred awake with the opening scene of In the Shadow of Malice, the scene where Adam Blake's daughter screams in his head that someone is hurting her mother. My heart pounded in my chest and I couldn't catch my breath. I glanced at my alarm clock and it was 3:00 am. It wasn't that I didn't recognize the dream as a new character. What surprise the heck out of me was how desperate that story came about. It was like Adam Blake had to have his story told. 

I had already developed a basic outline for Jared's twin, Noah. I knew Noah was going to meet and fall in love with Elizabeth. His happy-ever-after would be the last book in a four book series. I had also mapped out Mac's love story and had Lexie all ready to knock Mac on his ass. So who was going to be there for Adam? He was a McNeil---his dynamic McNeil men eyes were what dragged me out of the dream. 

Then it hit me. Calista Martin. Calista was introduced in the first chapter of Greed. She walks out of her apartment after having an argument with her best friend and roommate, Hanna Tu.  SPOILER ALERT!!! As soon as the door closes, something horrible happens to Hanna. Calista is left living with so much shame and guilty, she can't move forward. 

I had never meant to write Calista's story as part of this series but she was who Adam wanted. I spent the rest of the night wide awake with images of this amazing couple, and Adam's adorable four-year-old daughter, Anna, running through my head. After an unusual infusion of coffee the next morning, I sat at my laptop and wrote down this scene: MALICE'S FIRST CHAPTERS.

Sometimes my ideas for stories come from people I meet/watch or from a story that catches my interest. And then there are those magical times when a story needs to be told and I'm given the honor to tell it. Do I love what I'm doing? Heck yes! 

If you want to see who inspired my characters, drop by and visit my Pinterest Board for In the Shadow of Malice. 

Tomorrow, I've invite another wonderful author, Leslie Garcia to drop by. She's taking over the letter N. I hope your Wednesday is fantastic. As always, be kind to one another.

Hugs to all,

Nancy C. Weeks

3 comments :

Colin Smith said...

An interesting insight into your creative process, Nancy. Thanks for sharing! :)

Nancy Weeks said...

Hi Colin! It was great visiting your blog today. I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Readers, if you have a minute, check out Colin's website. He doing a 100-word flash fiction stories/poems/scenes for the #AtoZChallenge which is wonderful! Thanks for stopping by, Colin.

Joanne Sisco said...

I'm always so amazed and impressed to get a peak into the minds of creative people and get a hint as to where that creativity comes from.
I don't have it - I deeply respect it in other people :)