Mills & Boon author Pippa Roscoe lives in Norfolk near her family and makes daily promises that this will be the day she will leave the computer and take a long walk in the countryside. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t dreaming of gorgeous alpha males and misunderstood heroines. Totally her mother’s fault of course—she gave Pippa her first romance to read at the age of seven! She is inconceivably happy that she gets to share those daydreams with her readers.
Pippa Roscoe on the web:
Keeping your characters on the page together
Ever get that moment when your hero wants to stalk off the page and brood all over his thoughts? Or when your heroine just doesn’t want to play ball because she’s had enough of the outrageously demanding hero? Or when there is an absolutely vital plot point that requires one character to spend at least a chapter with a secondary character? You know, you know, that your hero and heroine should be together, but… but!
For my debut book, Conquering His Virgin Queen, keeping the Odir and Eloise on the page was easy – the entire story took place in twelve hours and there wasn’t a minute or word to waste in plot points or secondary characters. But A Ring to Take His Revenge was slightly different. It was the first in a trilogy about three powerful heroes and there was so much brooding fun male bonding I wanted to get onto the page, I found the heroes-in-waiting nudging my heroine out of focus.
What you want to show and what the readers need you to show can be different things:
In A Ring to Take His Revenge, I had a perfect prologue that set up the whole trilogy. All three heroes were there, and even a heroine-in-waiting. There was fun, banter, back and forth and intrigue… just not Emma, my heroine for this book! I was adamant that it couldn’t be changed. That all the information there was vital for the entire series. But my editor was right. I needed to bring Emma and Antonio together, because they and not the other characters were what was important there and then. I found a way to still hold on to some of the key things I loved so much about it, and chose to start the scene earlier – thus allowing Emma to make her fabulous entrance on to the page and I now love the prologue even more than the original.
Explore ways to make your hero and heroine interdependent:
The hero needs a marriage of convenience, fine. Your heroine can take the ring and go off around the world on an all inclusive tour! Your heroine is pregnant, fine. Child support could easily help her become a single mother! Often the very thing that could force these two characters together, doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be together. But we do want that, so why? Why does the hero/heroine have to stay with the other? Is it social pressure – the public need the marriage to seem real? Or personal pressure – the hero will be a part of his child’s life? In A Ring to Take His Revenge, Antonio knows that Emma is the only person who will understand his need for a very public fiancé, who won’t make ‘emotional’ demands on him, who – he thinks – will treat it like a business proposition. Ultimately Emma becomes both the key to his revenge and the one thing that prevents him from reaching it. Exploring the tension between these two aspects was huge fun and hopefully deeply satisfying!
Find a situation that they can’t easily walk away from:
Some of my favourite Presents books are the ones that force the hero and heroine together, alone, for a period of time. Do they get stranded on an island, with no immediate hope of escape? Is there a snowstorm that locks them in a idyllic country cottage? Are they stuck on a boat at sea? Is the heroine stranded in a desert kingdom where the Sheikh is the only person who can save her? These moments not only allow the hero and heroine to be alone together, but also force them to confront some of the meaty emotional issues that are keeping them apart. Neither can simply walk away – they’re stuck together, even when things get tough… or hot and heavy!
I hope that you have found this helpful, but I’m curious… how did your favourite book keep your hero and heroine on the page together?
A Ring to Take His Revenge (The Winners' Circle)
He’ll do anything to settle the score…
…even fake an engagement!
To secure his revenge against his cruel father, billionaire Antonio Arcuri needs a fake fiancée—fast! He demands his shy PA, Emma Guilham, wear his diamond. In return, he’ll help fulfill her dreams—starting with a jet-set trip to Buenos Aires! It’s a simple charade, until the burning tension between them erupts into irresistible desire. Now Antonio must decide between vengeance and Emma…
A powerfully intense revenge romance!.