All of my stories come out with romance in them. That’s no surprise. In the case of The Truth About Faking, the comedy was the big surprise—to me at least. Originally, I had a completely different idea of how this story would go, and it started with the movie Signs by M. Night Shyamalan.
No, the book wasn’t going to be science fiction.
I saw Signs the first time in the theater with my husband and two friends about a week before my oldest daughter was born. At that viewing, the theater was packed, and the unknown girl sitting next to me kept screaming every time the aliens would appear. Naturally, I giggled every time she screamed, and basically I missed the subtext of the film.
Fast-forward seven years, and Signs comes on HBO one night. Hubs and I decide to watch it again, and upon second viewing, I was struck by the other story of the film: The minister who’s lost his faith, who no one will allow to stop being a minister, who tells his brother-in-law about the two kinds of people in the world—those who see miracles and are optimistic and those who believe we’re in this thing alone and are afraid. And the minister who says he’s never praying again.
I love that story! And I was determined to explore it in a book.
So the book that’s out now, which was originally titled
was going to be more dramatic and serious, and I was going to explore these
fascinating themes for myself. Shadow Falls
The only problem was Harley. She kept coming out funny.
I’d write a scene where she’s leaving the gym, and wham-o! She’d get hit in the head with a basketball. I’d have her failing to make the cheerleading squad, and her best friend would get her on in spite of her one jump, “The Banana.”
When Jason appeared, things just got better. And it’s funny, because writing the book, I felt myself relating more to Jason than any other character. He loves Harley’s funny self and all her big ideas, which are really ridiculous. And he’s willing to wait for her (or help her) to get over herself and date him.
So for whatever reason, those two characters took over the story, and what was going to be very thoughtful and sad came out wrapped in pink tulle with a sparkly bow on the side.
I think that’s okay. It’s a matter of not forcing our characters to be what we want them to be when they’re really something else. And I think the end product, while it still deals with serious matters, leaves readers smiling.
That’s equally as good as frowning, contemplating heavy thoughts. All that frowning causes wrinkles anyway.
Thanks for having me, Jessica! I hope readers enjoy the story that is.
Jason just wants a date with Harley.
Harley just wants a date with
When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions.
Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent.
Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?