Lorelei James discusses the inspiration for her hot romance series
27 Jul 2017
Over the course of my publishing career, I’ve set my books in the West—the Rough Riders and Blacktop Cowboys series both take place in different areas of Wyoming, and Denver is the backdrop for the Mastered series. While I love my cowboys and the rugged terrain that defines the men and women who live in rural America, I like to mix things up.
When I first started kicking around the idea for the Need You series, I decided to set it in the first “big” city my husband and I ever lived in: the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The people of Minnesota are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—hard working, family oriented, humble and unassuming, and a large part of that attitude is from the Scandinavian population who settled there.
Bad boy billionaires were all the rage in publishing when this new series started simmering in the back of my mind. Rich men and their families who acted like…let’s face it, entitled jerks. I’ve met some wealthy people over the years; some nice, some…not. But thinking about the series I wanted to create, a memory popped up that I’d forgotten.
During my short time in the Twin Cities, I waited tables at a breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurant in downtown St. Paul. I had an elderly couple who came in every day for about a week. They were courteous, friendly, and curious about my family ties in South Dakota. I enjoyed talking with them because they reminded me of my grandparents—retired farmers; good people who’d lived a simple life. My manager (a Minnesota native) was at the register when the couple came up to pay and I said goodbye to them. As soon as the couple was out of earshot, my manager said, “Do you know who that was?” Obviously, I didn’t. He told me the man was a former Minnesota legislator who owned one of the biggest farming operations in the entire state. The man hadn’t looked like a multi-millionaire. He hadn’t acted like he could buy half of the city if he wanted. He was just…a nice, hardworking man, proud of the life he’d built.
When that memory resurfaced, I knew I’d found the last piece of the puzzle of who my series was about—a decent, hardworking family, nice people who just happened to run a multigenerational conglomerate. It’s been a blast writing about the Lund family in the Need You series, and getting to do research in one of my very favorite places.
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