The Story Behind The Junior by Monica Murphy

14 Sep 2021

by Monica Murphy

Plotting out a book is not always a linear thought process. In fact, I don’t plot much at all. I know where I’m going—somewhat—but I don’t want a play-by-play. That takes all the fun out of writing for me. This means things can happen that I didn’t expect, especially when it comes to a series.

For instance, my College Years series (which is a spinoff of the Callahans series). When I wrote the first book The Freshman, I introduced a side character that was a friend of the female main character, Hayden. Gracie was her bestie and her roommate. They were both studying the same major and really close friends.

I wrote a scene where they were all getting together to go to a concert and the main male character Tony brought his friends, including Caleb. The moment Caleb and Gracie got close to each other it was as if I had no control over them. The chemistry was off the charts. They wanted to take over the story completely. I had to cut whole paragraphs out of the book in edits because these two characters were screaming at me, “We belong together!”

I still didn’t believe it. I knew Caleb was my hero for The Junior and I thought I would put him together with another character. A girl who was his sort of high school girlfriend. I thought it would be a great redemption story. I wavered back and forth as I drew closer and closer to writing The Junior. Up until a few days before I started writing it, I fully planned on not putting him with Gracie.

Until someone explained to me how much they made sense together, and I knew that she was right. I changed my mind right then and there and never wavered again. As I wrote their story, I realized Caleb and Gracie are perfect together, and though they struggled a bit (of course!), ultimately, I think their story is swoony and romantic. I hope readers think so too.

Monica Murphy is the author of the new book The Junior

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