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Patti O’Shea – A Peek Behind the Book

October 8, 2007
Ideas come to authors at different times and in different ways. Sometimes one flash is enough to trigger an entire story. That’s what happened with THE POWER OF TWO. I was staring out the window at my day job when the word “nanotechnology” came into my mind. All I had to do was ask, well, what about it? and the next thing I knew, I had my heroine, the hero, and the way they were tied to each other.

Other times, nothing more than a concept pops into my head and I’ll write down what I have and file it away for some day. Only some day never seems to come–except with my latest book.

IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR started with a dream I had more than ten years ago. I knew the hero’s name–Deke Summers–I knew he was under a magical curse, and I was aware of what that curse was, but there was no heroine and no story. I wrote down the concept in one sentence and moved on. I loved the idea and hoped that some day I’d have a plot to go with it, but I didn’t hold out much hope because I have file drawers full of ideas waiting to be used.

Time marched on, and while I didn’t exactly forget Deke, I didn’t think about him often. Then it happened. December 2003 a woman appeared in my head and started talking about her people. (It’s true, I hear voices. It’s a good thing I’m a writer.) Anyway, this character wouldn’t share her name, not until she’d spent weeks telling me all about a magical society called the Gineal. Only after that did she let me know that her name was Ryne Frasier and she was a troubleshooter.

When a character comes in and talks to me, I know I’ll be writing their story, but I had a problem. While I had all kinds of facts about her people, I didn’t have a hero for Ryne and I didn’t have a clue what her story was. It’s funny I remembered Deke at that moment–or maybe it isn’t. Once I realized he and his curse belonged with her, the story began to flow–for a couple of chapters.

I could see the opening of the story clearly and how tough Ryne was–and how vulnerable and lonely. I could see her relationship with her sister and how both of them were hampered by their pasts, And I could see how Ryne and Deke met and how that would play into their relationship. But I couldn’t seem to get a handle on Deke beyond his curse and how much he hated it. Then I found the picture.

The man was gorgeous and he had attitude written all over his face. This guy totally fit Deke and that quickly, that easily, I had his personality. Deke is a horrible smart aleck and one of his favorite things in the world is to push people’s buttons–especially Ryne’s. She’s so serious, so intense, and he likes to see the heat in her eyes so much that he can’t help himself. He drove her crazy. Ryne was trained to control her emotions–she has to in order to function as a magical troubleshooter–but she had very little self-command when it came to Deke.

There was one other thing about this book that made it different for me–I knew the ending almost from the start. It’s the first time I’ve had a clue how one of my stories would close before I was past the halfway mark, and usually it’s deeper into the book than that. It was pretty darn cool to have that in my head from the beginning, but I’m not counting on being that lucky again any time soon.

Each book has a different story on how it came to be, but I thought I’d give you a little peek behind Midnight Hour. If you have any questions about any of my books, feel free to ask. I’m happy to talk about my stories.

Patti’s Website –
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In the Midnight Hour Video –

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