When we began writing Outbid by the Boss, we quickly realized that not only did we need to find a “new” voice, we needed to create a single point-of-view. As writers who care passionately about the genre and the women who read it, we wanted our nom de plume to reflect our individual identities and give us license to dream. It was like magic. As soon as we blended our names into one, it was as though we had unlocked a secret doorway into a world where anything, and everything, is possible.
With Outbid by the Boss awaiting publication, we are already working on our next Stephanie Browning, fleshing out our characters and fine tuning our storyline. Having grown up reading everyone from Daphne du Maurier and Georgetter Heyer, to Stella Cameron and Mary Balogh, we’ve learned how powerful a well-written romance can be. In fact, for us, a story without love as its driving force, whether set down the street or in an exotic locale, is hardly a story at all.
That’s why we are back in London, with a drop-dead gorgeous American movie star, dare we say a cross between Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper, and a strong-willed, independent woman unwilling to settle for anything less than the real deal when it comes to love… That she mistakes our hero for a plumber, and sets him to work on the hotel’s rumbling pipes without batting an eyelash, only amuses him. But that she does nothing but coolly apologize when she realizes her error, instantly intrigues him. This is not the way it’s supposed to go. At least not in his world, where women are drawn to him for all the wrong reasons and true love is more elusive than a front-row seat at the Oscars.
The women we create (under Stephanie Browning’s watchful eye), care deeply about the important things in life…love, honour, friendship and courage, but they are not naïve. They fully appreciate the power that a set of broad shoulders, a well-toned physique and piercing eyes can unleash. Their need to be held is human, and if that need should turn into love, our job is complete.
Character development and plot lines change and grow over the time it takes to complete a manuscript, but before we actually start writing, determining what lies at the “heart” of our story, is the all-important first step.
In the case of Outbid by the Boss, it was identifying what drove our heroine, Samantha Redfern, to take crazy risks with her career, and her boss. Chas Porter, our alpha-male, is well-bred, and well-heeled, but beneath his ever-so-cool exterior lies a molten core just begging for someone like Sam to break through.
As fictional matchmakers, we love the thought of bringing our characters together through story, drama, and snappy dialogue, but always with a dash of humour. So while we work out the kinks in the plot, they can get on with falling in love, and enjoy the dizzying heights that true romance has to offer. Nothing gives us greater pleasure than when we all arrive at a happy ending.