Hi everybody and welcome to 2016. I want to say a huge thank you to the ladies of UTC. You’ve supported me since before I published my first book and I truly do appreciate everything that you have done. Today, I’m going to talk about my thought process and how a scene from my new romance, You Only, evolved. The story is a second chance at love, set in a small Indiana town with head-strong characters.
This scene takes place about half-way into the book. Finn and Hale are still working towards a relationship. Their sexual chemistry is strong. They “like” each other, but as you can see, the past has not been put to rest. My first draft had the argument and then make-up sex on the conference room table. My editor suggested that they go deeper so that we see that Finn’s refusal to move on is holding them back. Editor Donna always asks for more feelings and to dig deeper. This is the end product.
“I have told you my secrets. I’ve given you the ugly, scary parts of myself.” She looked away, fighting back the angry tears. “You should have understood, Finn.”
“I suck, all right?” he yelled.
“You don’t get off that easily, Finn. You’ve made me carry this around for far too long and that’s the best you can do? I suck?” She wanted to jump off the table and tackle him to the floor.
“I…I missed it at first, OK?” He started pacing again. “For years, I wanted to hear your reasons for walking out. I wanted to tear you apart because I was sure that you wouldn’t be able to make me understand. God, I hated it that I did.” He moved toward her. “I carried all that anger and hurt and even when I thought it had faded away, someone would remind me and it would come back.”
“You got caught up in the story.” She knew it, had known it for a while. His pride had taken a beating.
“Jesus, Hale, I’ve wasted so much time being mad when I should have let it go.” Again, his hand raked through his hair. “I always thought that I was a good person, a smart person, I’m not.” He looked so lost.
“Finn.” She started to tell him that one of the first things that she had learned in therapy was that it hurt to find out that what you believed to be true, wasn’t.
“You should hate me,” he told her.
She slid off the table and took a step toward him. She lightly grasped his biceps. “Nope, those words never crossed my mind.” She let go of his arms. “You see, I know how much it hurts when you see a different truth and your pride takes a hit. Believe me, I’ve been there many times. Right now, I can see that you are hurting. If you want me or need me, I’m here.
Reading this scene today is a punch in the gut. Finn’s way of fighting is so much like mine when I was younger. I went for the kill and if that didn’t work then I threw out the “I quit, I suck” excuse and walked away. With age, I’ve become more like Hale. An argument does not have to be the end all.
Finn begins to realize that he has been caught up in the role of the broken hearted prince. He’s a successful attorney, the town’s mayor, and an intelligent person, but he keeps falling into the trap of “Poor Finn”. He realizes that he’s not seeing Hale or himself clearly. It hurts his pride and frightens him. He doesn’t handle it very well and the idiot gets mad at Hale for making him see the truth.
I wanted my hero, Finn to be imperfect. Love and life aren’t perfect. Not everyone can move on quickly or forgive fully. Finn isn’t always rational when he is upset, he doesn’t fight fairly.
Hale understands that Finn still has some growing to do. She’s been in therapy for years and is more emotionally aware. No, she doesn’t like Finn’s attack or behavior but she loves him, has loved him for years and she knows that he is a good person. To me, this scene is the point of the story where Hale proves that she is totally invested in their relationship. Finn infuriated and hurt her but she senses that there is more to it. She digs deeper, hoping to learn more but she doesn’t push Finn because he would shut down. She lets the fight go in order to give Finn time to work through what he has learned.
My editor felt Hale’s acceptance didn’t ring true, she felt that Hale should have argued harder, thrown his actions in his face. I believe that Hale is strong and in love enough with Finn to hold on even though he did hurt her. My book is not about a perfect love or relationship. People we love can hurt us and then we have to deal with that. In this case, Hale sees the big picture, Finn was scared and took out his frustration on her. Together they worked through the problem and he took responsibility for his actions. She chose to let it go, to accept his apology and to move forward.
by Melanie Jayne
Released: January 12th 2016
Series: Cameron Farms #1
Published by Self Published
Fifteen years ago the hometown princess ran away...
Her prince, Finn Webber, has moved on but he never forgot his heartbreak. Now, Hale Cameron, his lost love, is back and he is curious. This new Hale is smart, sassy and sexy.
Hale is back home and all grown up. She's smarter and sassier. But there are still things she needs to resolve, one of which is Finn Webber, the guy whose heart she broke. She hopes he can forgive her for her past mistakes. What she doesn't expect is his reaction to her.
Time may have passed, but old feelings are still alive. Find out what happens when the hometown princess comes home and discovers that her prince isn't as immune to her as she believed.