Hi book lovers! Today on the blog I have Jennifer Schmidt, author of Last Call. She is here to tell us about the decisions she made about one of her characters. Hope you all enjoy it.
First, here is a little about the book:
While on vacation, a night out turns into a drunken haze, and Novalee Jensen wakes up hung over, confused, and… married? Fleeing Nevada, Novalee returns home to Montana to hide out, dreading the moment when her husband will show up to take her hard-earned business. But two years later just when Novalee thinks her secret is safe, guess who walks through her door? Now, face-to-face with the man she left in a hotel room two years ago, Novalee discovers the difficult part isn’t having to explain her actions that night, or the questions that arise about the sexy stranger’s arrival, it’s keeping her hands off her husband. And what’s Novalee to do when the hardest part turns out not to be confronting her past, but facing a possible future without her soon-to-be ex-husband?
Multi-millionaire Dean Philips wakes up in a Las Vegas hotel room to find the pretty blonde he married the night before gone. The piece of paper he possesses proves she served her purpose, and guilt ridden over his actions, Dean begins a battle with his father for a fight for his grandfather’s fortune. When Dean is ordered to have his wife appear in court, he finds himself in a small town in Montana, looking for the woman who ran off two years ago. Caught up in secrets and lies of his own, he has to find a way to persuade her to come back to Vegas with him without having her find out that she’s the missing puzzle piece to everything he’s been fighting for. But when Dean decides to mix a little pleasure with business, he suddenly finds himself in unfamiliar territory that could cost him everything.
And now, here’s Jennifer:
It took me almost a year to write Last Call. Yes, yes, I know I’m a slow writer. You would think taking that long I had difficulty coming up with ideas. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was writer’s block. I had tons of ideas, I just couldn’t figure out how to get them down right, but once I did there was no stopping my fingers from flying over my keyboard.
There was one scene that was especially difficult to write, however. And not because it was emotional, or hard to put into words, but because I had so many different ways that I wanted to do it. Towards the end when Dean confronts Richard I had a couple of different versions of how that went down. I wanted to give Richard some kind of send-off from the book, I couldn’t leave that character hanging after all was said and done. Yes, he’s a total asshat, but even the asshats get the better of our curiosity, right? So I needed an ending for him. The problem was I had so many I wanted to do.
I wanted him to suffer. Honestly, I wanted the character dead. I wrote one version of him being offed by the mob, and then another one of him overdosing, I think I even had one of him just disappearing, whether he was dead or just gone who knows. Ugh, but I couldn’t do that. I guess I wanted to keep him around just in case. In case of what? Well, who knows about that either. I just knew I couldn’t have a final fate, such as death, for this character. So I went with the hospital scene. I had to tone it down a few times, because really, it was just a lot of yelling and insults being thrown back and forth between father and son. I think I must have rewritten that part half a dozen times before I was satisfied with it. Who knew something so short could cause the most problems?
In my opinion, Richard will never be one of those characters that grows on a reader. And I’m okay with that. I didn’t want him to grow on anyone. I didn’t want him to be given sympathy. I wanted everyone who picked up Last Call to hate him. And, from what I’ve been told from some of you, I think I succeeded in doing that. Richard is evil, right down to his core and that’s how I always wanted him to be.
Will we see more of Richard? I have no plans to write another story featuring Novalee and Dean. Their story is complete. But, like I’ve said in posts before, I’ll always wonder about Abby and her story. Could there be something there? I definitely think so. Will we see more of Richard? I have no idea. But like the saying goes, ‘only the good die young’ and Richard is far from good…