Just a Thought: What if There’s More Than One?


I read a really interesting review of another author’s work yesterday. The reader was asking whether it was necessary for the author to demonize one love interest to make the second love interest more attractive.

The reader said: “I’ve seen this too many times in romance novels. One love interest is made into the bad guy so the other can be the heroine’s white knight.”  And I thought: yes! Exactly!

We all know that life is more complicated than that, and sometimes the love of your life might not be as easy to spot as fiction would have us think. Or, more interestingly, why do we always talk about “the love” of someone’s life?

What if there’s more than one?

In my latest book, ‘Wife‘, I follow Keisha Crawford and Jayson Holmes, two broken people whose pasts cause them shame and regret. They share a bond that is intense and sometimes even destructive of the new path they’ve chosen for their lives, but like that line in that great movie goes, they just can’t quit each other. When we meet them first in ‘Mistress‘, they’re both at a turning point and find what they most need in the other. That experience, as fleeting as it was, marks them for each other and bonds them on a level even they don’t quite understand. There’s no doubt that Jayson is the great love of Keisha’s life, and vice versa.

But what if there’s more than one?

In ‘Wife‘, I explore how different people make us grow in different ways, and whether positive or negative help us reach a place of self-acceptance, or not. One character in particular has this effect on Keisha and the temptation was there to make him the ‘bad guy’. But it didn’t feel right to me. He isn’t a bad guy, he’s just not Jayson. So I ran with this idea that maybe, just maybe, there isn’t just one. And maybe there is no bad guy. If there were, that could be too easy.

I don’t want to do easy. So I’m forging ahead with this idea that sometimes there isn’t just one, and am eager to see it play out in the final book in this trilogy, due in the Spring. I hope you’ll hang with me so we can explore this theme together.

Happy Reading!


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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

12 thoughts on “Just a Thought: What if There’s More Than One?

  1. Hence one if the many reasons why your fans are absolutely obsessed with your ability to write like you are speaking directly from our thoughts.

  2. Love that you acknowledge this Nia. I’ve often felt that way about people in my own life. I can’t wait to read your interpretation. I also have to agree with Andrea’s post – it’s like you get in our heads, and in some cases, I have felt that you knew me in a previous incarnation – before I became the me I am now.

  3. I think it’s just the nature of the romance genre. We know in the end the hero and heroine will get together. So if there’s someone else in the picture, he has to be “the bad guy” so the reader will feel good about the hero and heroine getting together.

  4. This happened to me with a beta reader and my current WIP. One of the main characters gets her heart broken by a guy because he does something bad, but *he’s* not bad. His reasons for doing it don’t excuse him, but they don’t make him an awful person. It was like it just wouldn’t compute for them that no, he’s not the white knight he seemed to be, but he’s also not the opposite. They wanted me to change who he was, how he reacted, how he treated others, and I just couldn’t do it. He is who he is, which is a likable guy, and even thought I’m writing the story, I kinda don’t have anything to do with that!

    So, while reading Wife, I noticed that even though I wanted to hate the other guy, because he was Jayson’s rival, I couldn’t make myself do it. I actually really liked him, which felt like a betrayal to Jay! I was actually really, really, REALLY scared that you were going to have Keisha and the other guy end up together… because I don’t think I would have hated it! But I’m Team Jay, so there’s another betrayal, lol.

    Now that b-word, on the other hand, I don’t think anything could have made me like her, lmbo.

    1. You’re funny! But I get you about where you’re going with your WIP. Sometimes as the writer you WANT to make the other guy/woman “bad” but I’ve never been able to do that. Like you, I think people do rotten things sometimes, but they’re probably more complicated than that rotten thing would lead us to believe. I think those complications are where the REALLY good stories lie. Like why does the “good girl” (like Riley in Commitment) cheat? How does the good guy (like Brendan in Unsuitable Men) choose the high-maintenance chick over the mellow one? And granted, we might never answer those questions satisfactorily for every reader, but it’s trying to get there that’s fun . . . Looking forward to more of Terrence and Gabi! I hope that’s the WIP you’re talking about. 😉

      1. Unfortunately no, Terrence and Gabi will happen after the project I’m working on now, lol! BUT, I can say that I’m not happy with him at all!

      2. Just so long as Terrence wasn’t the only doing the ‘bad thing’, although from the excerpt at the end of ‘Strictly Professional’ I’m thinking that Gabi is the one who’s going to disappoint me. 😦

  5. Two of my favorite authors talking….this couldn’t be nicer. And though I only read the excerpt of Terrance and Gabi’s story I must say I just loooooooved Love & Other Things!!! Nia, sorry to take up your blogosphere to shout out Christina, but she is also doing her thing!!!! As a matter of fact, just yesterday I recommended her to another reader friend, quite naturally after I told Wife was out. 🙂 BTW I still have a Fiona hangup…so apparently I have not moved far enough into the novel to see who the other he might be, although I have an idea. Cause truthfully I felt him at the cash register….tell me I am wrong???

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