Anne McAllister just got home from a trip with her oldest grandkid to visit the youngest grandkids. Definitely NOT a wrong move.
My editor rang just before I went to Quebec last month to ask how the new book was going and when I expected to have it finished. I should stress that she is my new editor and thus she does not realize yet that when is not an easy question to answer. But she also in the course of the conversation, asked what it was about – or who it was about – and I told her. That much I knew.
At least I thought I did.
Turns out that isn’t an easy question either. And I was wrong, besides.
Well, not entirely wrong. Lukas, the hero, is still the hero (Thank God). But it turns out that Grace is not his heroine.
Not me, that’s for sure.
Not Lukas, either, apparently, because he’s been pursuing her with singleminded devotion for quite some time now. He even courted her through an entire Book-in-a-Week session with April Kihlstrom. Very successfully, I might add. At least the planning bits were. I was busy finishing up Alex and Daisy’s book, so I didn’t worry about writing Lukas’s story. It was enough, I thought, that I had a handle on it.
Not quite such a good handle as I thought. When it came to sitting down and writing, Grace got bored. She paced the room. She looked out the window. She even went back to work at the museum to avoid me – and Lukas. I complained to my friend Anne Gracie about her. She sympathized. Her heroine was treating her badly, too. But at least she has the right heroine.
It occurred to me about the tenth time Grace left me and Lukas without a scene much less a conflict, that I don’t. And as soon as I realized it, I could hear a not-so-faint hallelujah chorus (if there can be a chorus of one) in the background.
I didn’t know Grace could sing. There was dancing and capering, too. And a heartfelt sigh of relief that I was not going to make her marry the wrong man.
So Grace is gone -- off to find her own hero. I wish her luck. When she finds him, I hope she brings him back and there’s a book in the two of them. But I’m not worrying about Grace now. I have bigger problems. One bigger problem: Lukas needs a wife. He says, of course, that he could do without one. But I know better. All Antonides men need wives – eventually. Lukas is no different.
There is someone in the shadows, peeking out, lifting a speculative eyebrow, wondering if this is her cue. Is it? I don’t know. Yet. I think she may be the woman he’s never thought of in that way. A woman who isn’t likely to fall in easily with Lukas’s plans and let him mold her into his idea of the perfect wife.
What does he know, after all?
Hmm. I think I like this woman!
Guess I’ll have to invite her along on the journey and see what happens.
It occurred to me as I was letting Grace go, that sometimes not just writing. but life is like that. Many times decisions are easy and straightforward. Often I start out like my youngest grandson on the road above which seems clear and straight and full of possibilities,
Then it seems simple – just run headlong into the future and be confident that everything will work out exactly as I have planned it. And then, somewhere along the way, life turns into a Jorge Luis Borges’ short story full of forking paths.
The things I think are obvious, aren’t obvious at all. Or they’re just flat-out wrong. Things that I want to happen, don’t. Life isn’t just making good decisions, it’s also a bit about luck and being in the right place at the right time – and meeting the right people. Or, sometimes, the wrong ones.
Grace was a wrong one – for Lukas. So I’m going back, taking another path, trusting my gut.
I’m letting Grace go her own way and I’m offering the new girl (she says her name is Holly) a chance to see what she can do with Lukas. She is looking a little worried at the prospect. But there’s a glint in her eye, too. A slight smile on her face. And I feel this sort of breathless pause – like right before you dive in to the water for the first time.
Not sure what’s going to happen. I’m curious to find out. I suspect my editor will probably be a little more than curious, but I hope she is willing to go along for the ride.
I can tell you after spending two great weeks in Quebec and New York and Connecticut with my husband, followed by a wonderful week with my oldest grandson and his mom, while visiting two of his uncles and their families, having the right companions along for the ride can make all the difference.
Anne is home at last and back at work. Hear that sound? It’s her editor, sighing with relief. Both she and Anne hope that Lukas and the new girl turn out to make the next month a happy one in front of the computer screen – and that there will be no more waffling around, no more pacing and staring out the window, and no hallelujah choruses. They all hope for a happily ever after. Soon!
If you’re looking for a book to take on holiday with you, check out Savas’s Wildcat, Anne’s most recent release from Harlequin Presents Extra. Read an excerpt here.