Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Patti O’Shea | Risky Business

June 4, 2008

One of the things that satisfies me most about writing is exploring the characters’ fears, their hopes, and dreams. Each book has had something new for me and I’ve enjoyed stretching myself—and I’ve especially enjoyed torturing—um, I mean pushing—the hero and heroine. It isn’t always deliberate, but if I have a heroine who’s afraid she’s going to fall to the dark side in her magical world, you can bet she’s going to end up in a situation where that’s tested.

IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW (Jun 3, 2008) gave me something different to think about—risk.

I’d explored the idea of courage in an earlier book, but I never thought about risk until Maia and Creed’s story. Maia was a troubleshooter for a society of magic users and she gambled her job, her standing, even her life by playing with black magic.

She lost.

Certain that her sister, Ryne, would be sent to hunt her, Maia gave up her magic, but she also gave up the only world she’s ever known. Considered an outsider among her people, she lives a human life. She has a job she hates, a mortgage, and bills. And she’s playing it safe now, afraid to take a chance again, afraid to lose more than she already has. So she stays in the job and endures it.

Of course, that’s a guarantee that she was going to find herself in a situation where she couldn’t play it safe. If Maia doesn’t take the risk, her sister could be killed. Since she would do anything to protect her, Maia wasn’t about to stand back when Ryne was in danger.

But Maia threw a twist at me—she wasn’t all that worried about the physical risk. She didn’t want to die, of course, but she’d been a troubleshooter and had lived with that threat for years. She was used to it.

What scared her was emotional risk.

Not just fear of getting involved with Creed, her hero, but fear of pursuing her dreams. Maia loves art, she knows a lot about it, and she’d always wanted to work in a museum, but instead she became a troubleshooter and never bothered to attend college. Now that she’s no longer a player, there’s no reason why she can’t explore that dream. But she doesn’t.

This immediately intrigued me. Why doesn’t she go after something she’s always wanted now that she has a chance? Fear of the risk. What if she fails? My job was to get her to see things a little differently—what if she succeeds?

IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW is focused on the action/adventure, the paranormal aspects, and the romance, of course, but the underlying story is about something riskier—taking a chance on a dream.

Patti O’Shea

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