The Story Behind Baby for the Beast by Penelope Bloom
22 Mar 2018
By Penelope Bloom
Baby for the Beast was not an easy book to write and I broke my biggest rule when writing it.
I have a general rule for myself when I’m writing to avoid looking back and re-reading until I’m done with the book. It prevents me from endlessly re-writing scenes over and over again because I didn’t think they turned out perfectly, and it’s probably one of the reasons I’m able to get a book written every month. I’ve found that ninety percent of the time, when I do my re-reads, the parts I thought were terrible actually read really well and don’t need major tweaks.
But I broke my own rule. I re-read the book when I was 60 pages in and everything was going fine until about page 30. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you read the blurb you’ll know the book is about Enzo, who is part of the mafia and gets ordered to kidnap Neela. My original plan for the book was to have the relationship dynamic be sexually charged, but for the characters to have a very love-hate kind of relationship. And that’s where the problem came in.
I don’t always get to decide how my characters will interact, as strange as that sounds. I might plan to have them not get along or to get along, and sometimes it really does feel like they gain weight as the book goes on–like they become something I can no longer bully and push into a specific direction. It’s a good problem to have, because it means that my characters have an identity and they live and breathe like real people, to me, at least.
And my stupid living and breathing characters decided to have off-the-charts chemistry in this book. So when I tried to force them into a kind of “I hate you for now” scenario where Enzo was trying to stay true to his mafia family loyalties and go through with the kidnapping, it rang really false as I did my re-read.
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