What is your story about?
‘She’s Mine’ is about a young woman who’s being stalked. Caitlin Harrington only went on a couple, casual dates with Adam but he felt their relationship was something much more. When she moves back to her childhood home, taking a new teaching job, Caitlin is sure she’s left Adam behind. But then ominous notes start showing up on her front door. Someone locks her in the church basement. Flat tires, shadowy figures in her yard at night…did Adam followed her? Sean Taggart is attracted to Caitlin except for her aloof attitude. And getting “locked” in an unlocked basement – she just might be a little crazy. Still, something about Caitlin draws Sean. He’d like to help her vanquish whatever demon is spooking her. When Sean learns the truth, can he rescue Caitlin before stalking turns to murder?
I love romantic suspense. What was the most surprising part of the plot for you?
When I wrote the first draft of this novel, I always knew Adam was the “bad guy” but I wanted his true identity to be a surprise. I got almost three-quarters of the way through the writing with still no idea how to create that plot twist. Then one afternoon I sat at the lakeside chatting with a friend who I don’t get to see often enough. She tossed out some ideas for the twist, without knowing the intricate details of the story. One of them clicked. I went home and started working on that idea right away. What took me by surprise was seeing all the ways I’d hinted at this revelation before I even knew about it!
Chemistry between characters is so key. What makes your main characters mesh so well?
Sean is a rescuer. Caitlin is determined to be independent. She views her father as chauvinistic and any man who tries to tell her what to do gets the same label. So when Sean rescues Caitlin the first time and tries to insist she go to the hospital, they should clash. Yet Sean is gentle in his insistence and backs down when Caitlin resists. His willingness to let her be independent and take care of herself draws Caitlin to want more and more to rely on Sean. I think the key to their relationship is Sean knowing how to pick his battles (and when to just do something without asking Caitlin first), and Caitlin recognizing when she needs to concede.
If you were to ask your characters one question, what would it be? What would be their answer?
That’s a hard one. Since it’s Christmas, I think I will ask them about that.
Me: Sean, what is your favorite Christmas memory?
Sean: When I was ten years old, it was my mother’s turn to host the family Christmas gathering (she and Aunt Charlotte took turns – now that my cousins are adults, we rotate each year between six houses). That year we had tons of snow before Christmas. Randy and I decided to go sledding down the side of our campground that is really steep. We got up so much speed – it was awesome. Unfortunately, the property ends in a very solid stone wall along that side, which was also overgrown with pricker bushes. Yeah, we crashed through all those thorns and then rammed into the stone wall. I broke my arm. But it was worth it!
Me: Caitlin, what’s your fondest Christmas memory?
Caitlin: The last Christmas my grandpa was alive. I wasn’t living with Grampa and Gram yet but I did spend most of my time there. For whatever reason, our parents decided to let James and me spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with our grandparents. We made cookies and then went out and played in the snow. There wasn’t much that year, just enough for a short snowball fight. Then we went back inside and Gram made us some hot cocoa to go with the still-warm-from-the-oven cookies. Oatmeal raisin, my favorite. (she pauses, staring into the distance as if watching it all play out on a movie screen. With a sigh, her focus comes back to the present.) That was the last Christmas before James joined the Navy, too. Best Christmas ever.
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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.