Tuesday, April 28, 2015

After the Frogs

My reading lately has still been re-reading Terry Pratchett (once you start, nothing else will do), so I may as well continue the Enchanted, Inc. commentary.

In chapter thirteen, we're continuing the frog-kissing scene, where we get the guy who just thinks he's been turned into a frog. I'm pretty sure that was my idea. I know my agent suggested they actually go kiss frogs, but there weren't any details beyond that. It kind of spiraled outward from there, with ongoing ramifications.

One of those ramifications was that one of Katie's roommates ended up dating the guy who really had been turned into a frog. My agent and I had decided that we were going to market the book as chick lit rather than fantasy because of the way the market stood at the time (I'm still not sure if that was a great decision in retrospect, since chick lit tanked soon afterward and urban fantasy took off, but then again I'm not sure how well the book would have been received by fantasy houses. Even editors who loved these books have nixed everything else I've written). I needed to add a little more "real world" chick lit content by showing all the stuff with the friends, dating, etc. Having one of those dates be with a guy who'd been turned into a frog for nearly a century was a good way to add that content while keeping the fantasy element strong.

And then there was the effect of the fake frog spell. Of course he'd fall in love with the woman who broke the spell, because that's how it tends to go. But what if the woman isn't in love with him? The bad blind date was already in the book, with Ari and her friends interrupting things and making it go all wrong. Throwing in the fake frog guy just took it up a notch to make it a real disaster. I've had some miserable blind dates in my time, thanks to well-meaning people whose idea of "you're perfect for each other" boiled down to "you're both single," but this went well beyond anything I've experienced.

This was also a good way to show how Katie's life has changed. There was the setup early in the book that was normal bad blind date, with nothing to talk about. Now she has this magical life, and it's still not working out, but it's not working out in spectacular ways.

I'm getting all nostalgic over this section of the book because it was so much fun to write, and even if I wrote more books in the series, I'm not sure I could quite recapture this feeling because at that time it was so fresh for both me and the character.

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