When I started Ruby Red it was for a holiday submission. I had been playing around with a little short story I had titled Roadside (Leavings Notes #1). Diego was stranded in the early morning hours on the highway because he'd run out of gas. There was a misunderstanding with Beck disappearing for a week the night they first had sex. There were so many problems with it. Why Beck didn't contact Diego (besides leaving a note that was lost) was hard to explain with all the technology of today. The second part was Jude, Becks brother, flaunted his naked butt at Diego when Beck does come back home. Diego doesn't know who Jude is and takes off in a fit of temper...
...and I hated it.
Diego was supposed to be this great guy but he was such a drama queen stomping off like a teenage girl. That's okay in a certain context but he didn't even ask any questions, confirm what was going on. I wanted to strangle the both of them.
For three weeks I was bent over this story attempting to make it better and my heart wasn't into it. I couldn't get past 7k. I disliked it more with every read through. Them my husband said, "Does it have to be a contemporary? Why don't you change the genre?"
I stripped the characters and their backgrounds out of the story and started anew. In one day I wrote 15k. I was ecstatic On a break, I made some coffee, and gave a rundown of the plot. As I spoke it dawned on me that the story was a little dark for a holiday story. Originally it took place Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with a tree, dinner with the family, and even a "Merry Fucking Christmas to me." But there was also best friends to lovers, a mysterious package, roofing hopping, alley dodging, a Louisville Slugger, some Kung Fu fighting, gang bangers, and... well you get it. It wasn't an ideal Holiday story.
The story finished up at just under 23k. I submitted it knowing it wouldn't fit the bill for December but hoped the publisher could fit me in January--if they accepted it. Silver did like it and suggested I change the holidays and we chose Three Kings Day on January 5th. (How Cool Is It That Ruby Red Releases on January 5th!!) I had to rewrite some scenes and lost my, "Merry Fucking Christmas to me." which I shamelessly lamented for days.
That, boys and girls, was how Ruby Red came into fruition. Both Beck and Diego are still flawed but in different ways. What I loved was they could love each other through the flaws and mistakes. I thought Diego's family rocked, too, but that is just me--I'm sort of biased.
A quick note before I leave, make sure you stop by on Saturday the 5th for a giveaway. I wouldn't want you to miss it. Cheers!