This post is part of a blog hop for #PitchWars and will be hosted by the fearless C.M. Franklin on her blog. Follow the links at the bottom of this post to visit the other authors in this blog hop.
The first time someone asked me why I wrote Calamity, I answered without thinking, “Because it pleased me to do so.” And that’s true. I didn’t set out to write the Great American Novel or to criticize some aspect of the human race. I simply wanted to entertain myself with the hope that I could produce something that might entertain others.
So the question I’ll answer is, “What inspired me to write Calamity?”
I had been re-re-reworking my last MS in that clutchy way we do, occasionally setting it aside to follow an errant idea or other, then coming back again to find ways to get back into that world I had become so comfortable in. My Scrivener work area is a graveyard of half-told tales, and I started to worry I’d never have another compelling idea. That’s when I realized I needed to stop writing and start reading.
My stack of books waiting to be read never diminishes. It just topples over occasionally. Several books on my shelf — or more accurately on TOP of my bookshelf — were written by a close friend. I got them all at one time but didn’t read them in one sitting. The last book of four sat unopened with a lovely inscription on the inner flap that reads, “May the cards always be in your favor.” It’s a book about gambling, and sex, and love, and sex. Mostly gambling.
At the start of the novel, Shuffle Up and Deal by Susan DiPlacido, our intrepid heroine, a poker player mind you, suffers a streak of terrible luck. Not just with the cards but with everything else. And this all plays out in such a way that she’s at her absolute worst at the exact moment she first meets that famous poker player she has a legendary crush on. As it goes in romance novels, the heartthrob not only overlooks her embarrassing entrance into his life, he’s captivated by this apparent nut job of a girl. And — spoiler alert — things work out just fine.
After reading that, I began to imagine a scenario where embarrassing snafus don’t just fail to hinder the romance but inadvertently work in favor of landing Mr. Me Love You Long Time. Then my evil thoughts took it to eleven. What if snagging the heartthrob turns out to be just one more calamitous misfortune for our unlucky heroine. And what if — spoiler alert — things don’t work out just fine? Or at least not in the way she planned.
I knew I had to write that book.
Thus began my long slow torture of poor Mallory, the girl whose name literally means “the unlucky one.”