One of the most-asked questions I get is, “What made you write Ethan’s Chase?” (The question I’m most asked is a tie between “Ma’am, do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?” and “Wow. They let you out already?”). The answer to the question—er, the writing question—is multi-faceted.
First, I read a terrible romance story. The kind that Smart Bitches write about, and you tell your friends to read (y’know, because misery loves company). The kind of book that makes you wonder if the editor had dropped their pen on the ground and in bending down to pick it up, smashed their head on the back of the desk, then the author came in and said, “Here. Give me a contract for this book.” And the editor, dazed, blurry-eyed, and suffering some kind of concussion, gave them the contract. People, it was that bad. And not funny bad like my favourite B-movie, Caw (which is so horrible, when I tried to Google to give you the link, I couldn’t even find one). Bad like your brain is crying and your eyes are bleeding.
Second, I suffer from a debilitating case of TNTLS (Talk Now, Think Later Syndrome), and I said, “Man, can it be that hard to write a romance that doesn’t make women weep in horror?”
Third, I felt bad for the author of the horrible romance. I really, really did. Not liking a book makes me uncomfortable. I love books. I love authors. When I was a kid and got grounded, my parents took away television and phone privileges. Pfft. If they’d really wanted me to behave, they should have taken away the books. I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something important re: this author, that writing was harder than I thought, and I’d judged too quickly.
That’s how Ethan’s Chase started. Once I decided to get off the sidelines, I had to think of what I wanted to do with the book. I knew I wanted it to be funny, have suspense elements, and I knew what I wanted a reader to feel at the end: satisfied and happy.
Then, one day as I was watching television (or, doing research as I like to call it), I saw a documentary on stalking in Canada, and how hard it was for police and victims to find a permanent solution. And I knew I had my subplot and the big issue for Chase.
I also had some women close to me who had been the victims of con men. And I thought, what would it be like if it was a man who was the victim? With that, I had Ethan’s emotional wound.
From there, it was a matter of finding funny situations for the characters, and finding creepy ways for the stalker to be a stalker and not get caught. The most important thing was finding the happy ending that would leave readers satisfied and give them a good time, a relaxing escape from deadlines, washing machines on the fritz, and grouchy relatives.
Based on reader feedback and Ethan’s Chase getting nominated in 2008 for a CAPA Award for Excellence in Romance, I think—I’m very relieved to say—I managed to accomplish the main goal I set when writing the book: make people happy to have read it.
There was only one thing Bronwyn wanted to be when she grew up: a superhero. Sadly, this goal was made moot when she realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and her super-weakness for anything bright and shiny meant that a magpie with self-control could easily defeat her in a battle of wills. So, she turned to writing as a way to unleash her inner superhero. She doesn’t get to live on a secret space station orbiting the earth (and thank goodness because she gets motion sick on a merry-go-round), but she still get to wear leotards, a cape and say things like, “STAND ASIDE! THIS IS A JOB FOR WRITING-GIRL!”
Bronwyn’s latest book is Ethan’s Chase.
You can visit her website at www.bronwynstorm.com.