They both loved the same woman
When I was brainstorming ideas, my head immediately came up with the line, they both loved the same woman. I knew that was my root idea, but who is this woman they loved, why is she in the past tense and more importantly, who are they?
I made a spider diagram of possible ideas and came up with this woman who had died. She was my hero’s deceased wife, Jen. She was funky and funny and a great friend to my heroine, Brooke, who’d been going through man-trouble of her own! I knew that they’d had this beautiful friendship, strong, supportive and kind which helped Brooke through her pregnancy and so when Jen dies, Brooke is left devastated.
But I knew the husband had to be bereft, too. And to crank up his pain (authors can sometimes be cruel!) I decided to leave Major Matt Galloway with a new born baby and PTSD, too.
Two people, who both loved the same woman, suddenly single parents and trying to make their lives work again. Brooke would return to work to regain who she used to be. Matt turns to work to be in the place his wife loved, to fulfil the promise Jen made to Brooke – to be there for her and her baby.
Darkness only works if there’s light
It was noble and an idea, full of conflict. But I wanted lighter moments, too. Darkness only works if there’s light! So, I cast my own mind back to what it was like in those first heady days of being a parent. Of trying to do your best, making silly mistakes and suddenly finding yourself in floods of tears and I remembered a dreadful parent and baby class I went to and … well, I’ll leave that bit for the book! I can’t tell you everything!
I loved writing Matt and Brooke’s story. These two characters emerged onto the page almost painlessly. I laughed and I cried, writing it. The PTSD Matt suffers from his time in the war, came from a colleague I used to work with. Ex-army and the nicest guy, but he was terrified of balloons and loud noises, which would set off his flashbacks. He very kindly allowed me to borrow his symptoms.
I do hope you get a chance to read Their Double Baby Gift. It is a book from my very heart, which I so enjoyed writing and I hope that you so enjoy reading!