I’m always in the mood to write! But talking about my story idea with my friends has long been a way for me to generate excitement about an idea that I might have proposed and gone to contract on months ago, but am just now starting to write.
That’s what happened with the Amalfi Night Billionaires series. I’ve been friends with Mimi, Nancy, Kathleen & Eve for over 15 years and when the chance came for us to do a project together we were all excited about it. Because we’ve critiqued and brainstormed with each other over the years we were all familiar with each other’s writing styles. We all loved the glamour of the Amalfi coast and the idea of a famous family. We all threw out heroes that we wanted to write and the series built itself from there.
After developing the idea, what did you do next before beginning to write?
For this series we emailed a lot and had the chance to brainstorm at RWA in San Antonio, Texas last year. We spent a good chunk of time sitting in our hotel room throwing out ideas and roughing out our plots. Then when we got home we used FaceTime to talk to each other and brainstorm certain aspects of our own plot. We set up an email loop and a private pinterest board where we all pinned up images that were for our books and for the private island nation Isola de Sole we created.
How did you handle plot and character continuity across five books?
We emailed a lot, of course, but we also weren’t too particular about certain aspects of the story. No one was determined to have it all their way. So the process was very creative and nurturing. Mimi’s heroine Janine and my heroine Steffi are half-sisters who just learned they were related. So Mimi and I both came up with things for their father together. Nancy’s hero, Matteo, my hero, Rocco and Eve’s hero, Luke are all related to each other so we all dipped into the family and came up with important elements of their bond.
Is there something you all did to get into a writing mood?
We were all writing our books at the same time so there was a great synergy to the stories. I live in the UK, Nancy, Kathleen and Mimi are in Florida and Eve is in Texas. So when I got up in the morning (usually at four) we’d do writing sprints together. One of us would text the group to start and then we’d all write for twenty minute stretches. It was so much fun to be writing at the same time. And then we could bounce ideas off of each other if one of us got stuck in a scene.
What was your favorite part of the process?
I love writing and talking about books so creating a story world with my writing posse was beyond fun. Everything about the process was enjoyable. I hope the joy we had writing the books comes through to our readers!