Friday 6 May 2016

Behind The Scenes of The Wedding Date: Inspiration & Planning

When you've worked on a book for months and have been through all the different stages - initial drafts, rewrites and editing - and watched your book take its first tentative steps into the world, it's sometimes hard to imagine that blank page you started off with.

Where did the idea come from? How did it evolve to become a fully grown book?

Delilah Explains It All

The Wedding Date actually started life as a blog. I set it up for fun as I was busy working on The Mince Pie Mix-Up and couldn't concentrate on the new girl in my life. Delilah - because she came with a name immediately - was jumping up and down in my head and demanding attention. To appease her, I set up the blog and every now and then would post a snippet about Delilah or her family, friends or work. I only managed a handful of posts before Real Life took over and I no longer had the free time to dedicate to Delilah.

But when it came time to write a new story, I knew I wanted to return to Delilah and tell her story. I didn't know what that story was going to be yet but I had a base. I returned to the blog and read through the posts, noting down what I already knew about her. And the story began to emerge!

Of course, Delilah evolved from those blog posts as I brainstormed the story and developed it further. But lots of details remained, including the idea of using text messages. On the blog, I ended each post with a text message between Delilah and a family member or friend, which corresponded to the post. I loved these text messages so I kept the idea, beginning each chapter with one that corresponded in some way with the chapter ahead.

The blog is still up. You can see it here!

Planning The Book

After brainstorming who Delilah James was and what her story would be, I made little biographies for each character, just to get to know them a bit better in my own head. I then created a flowchart depicting Delilah's story - which changed a lot, even during the first draft. My neatly printed out chart ended up covered in scribbled notes! For me, this three-page flowchart was minimal - I usually plan each chapter out but not having every minute detail planned out worked and I enjoyed the freedom it gave me.

Once I'd planned out the story, I was ready to go. Using my flowchart as a base, I was able to somehow turn a blank page into a 90,000+ word document that, with lots more work, finally became The Wedding Date!

Delilah James, singleton and smoothie-addict, has six months to find a date for her oldest friend’s wedding. Oh, and to prove to her ex, best man Ben, that she has totally moved on since he dumped her out-of-the-blue nine months, eight days and seventeen hours ago…

So, with her two BFFs playing Cupid, Delilah launches herself into the high-tech, fast-paced and frankly terrifying world of dating. Luckily there’s the hot new guy at work, Adam Sinclair, to practice her flirting on – even if, as a colleague, he’s strictly off-limits!

Yet time’s running out and date after disastrous date forces Delilah to tell a little white lie – and invent a fake boyfriend! But will her secret crush on Adam ruin everything? Does she even care about Ben anymore? And is it too late to untangle her web of lies and take a real date to the wedding…?

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  1. Planning a book sounds like a fun but also like a hard work!
    I always admire to you authors who manage to write a novel. I know that is not easy to do, and to keep doing until the work is done.
    Many people start but never finish.

    1. You're right - planning a novel is hard work but also lots of fun! It's my favourite part of the whole process (that and being able type The End!)


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