where Honey Trap came from: Sophie

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Honey TrapOn Wednesday I’m going to be blogging on The Writing Playground, about why rock stars are the best heroes, and doing that got me thinking about Honey Trap in general and how it started out. So I’m going to spend a few days blogging about how I started that book and what I did for research with it, in case anybody wants to know.

It was one of those books I love writing, where the characters come from a book I’ve already written, and I treat myself to finding out what happens to them.

When I was writing One Night Stand, I did a scene where the heroine, Eleanor, hires a private detective to find the man who got her pregnant during a one night stand. All Eleanor knows is that he looks like George Michael, and that his name might be, and probably isn’t, George. The detective she hires is called Sophie Tennant. I wrote the scene where they met, at a back table in Coffee Republic in Reading where I, myself, used to do a lot of writing pre-baby.

I didn’t have any plans for Sophie, particularly, except for her to look for George. But she jumped from my fingers on the keyboard onto the page. She came out like this:

Sophie was pretty but understated; she didn’t appear to be the sort of person who would pull out a gun at the smallest opportunity. I could picture her maybe doing a bit of lurking, but she wouldn’t be eating doughnuts and making crude remarks while she did it, if that makes sense. If I was going to g so far as to hire a private investigator, it was nice that she wasn’t a cliche…I looked at Sophie’s light brown hair, held back by a rubber band, and her hands, which were small and had fingernails bitten to the quick.

There were details there that really struck me. Her hair, which was so plain, for one thing. And her bitten fingernails. And her propensity for quiet lurking. And the fact that she was pretty, but didn’t make much of it. As I wrote more of her, it became clear that she had a talent for getting people to open up with her, and tell her their secrets.

I wondered what sort of burden that would be.

To be continued tomorrow…

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  1. more…more…
    love to know how creative talent works…


  2. Yay – can’t wait to read more of this Julie! So, so interesting!!


  3. Look forward to hearing what you have to say as Honey Trap is a book I will be reading very shortly. I know what you mean about writing about characters from another book as that is what I am doing with my 2nd children’s book. I wrote about Rosie for my 1st book and am now writing about her best friend Allie, and in the 3rd book I will be writing about their friend and ex bully Georgina.


  4. Fran and Rachael, I’m glad you find this stuff interesting! I like reading about how others think, but am never quite sure if my process is that interesting.

    Julie, it’s fun to write linked books, isn’t it? It’s an excuse to stay in your characters’ world a little longer. I hope you enjoy Honey Trap!


  5. Hooray, I am looking forward to this as I started reading Honey Trap just yesterday 🙂


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