I would like to share the backstory of a song (The Scientist by Coldplay) from Sliding: The Stone Series Book 1.
Like so many other readers out there, Fifty Shades of Grey affected me as a reader. I’d always enjoyed reading books that used music references and when they did I would pop over to my iTunes account for a listen. This was the case with E.L. James’ trilogy. She referenced The Scientist in Fifty Shades Freed and after just one listen, I knew I needed to create a story around it.
I had been an avid reader for years before her trilogy came out, my husband would joke with me that I read so much; I should try to write a book. “Ha, Ha,” I had laughed. Then I thought about it a little more seriously and thought, well, shit, why not?
That one song, still stuck in my head, started to take root and I began to hear voices. No, I had not lost my mind (Well, maybe just a little. I had just decided to write a book with no experience at all!) I started creating a story, complete with characters, in my head while I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep at night. #insomniac
Now, the story I’m about to release is nothing like the original version. There have been revisions upon revisions, the few people whom read the original (my apologies) wouldn’t even know it was the same story. That being said, even that originally released version was nothing like the outline I made before I began to write the story.
When I first started Sliding, Tate was meant to be a dick! He cheated on Brook from the start, was jealous and controlling, guilty and did I mention an all around dick? Total dick! Brook was naïve and clueless when it came to life, friends, sex and most of all Tate’s infidelities. She was immature and I kind of wanted to slap her...hard. And not in a good Christian Grey kind of way. I struggled with her being young and writing her as a teenager then as a grown woman. I also struggled with Brook and Tate having sex before the age of consent. Being a mother of three teenage boys, I was cringing to admit that it’s happening as young as it is, but we’ve all lived through those years and know firsthand that it is. I kept trying to draw it out so they wouldn’t actually do the deed until they were a little older. Originally, I had included sex scenes from their teenage years but in the end removed them. Don’t worry about missing out on any steamy details, I re-worked those scenes and you’ve read them in my other books or in Brook and Tate’s older years.
Because my initial intention was to hate Tate, I decided that Brook would leave him in the end, fall in love and finally find true happiness with her driver, Mac. But as I started writing the story, I fell in love with the idea of young love that lasts the test of time. So at first I decided to still have Tate be a cheating douche bag, but Brook wouldn’t find out in part one. Yes, back then I wrote it in two sections (Door 1 & Door 2. That’s why the cover was a door knob.). She’d live her life thinking he was true to her and Tate would live with the guilt of his infidelities. But then in part two, she’d find out that Tate was sleeping with her best friend and in the end, she’d ultimately leave him for Mac. Mac, by the way, was developed as nothing more than her driver, not military, not dominant in any way, just your classic all around nice guy. I never thought he’d be a reoccurring character, nor Brook or Tate for that matter. Okay, honestly, in the beginning I never thought I’d finish one book let alone write a series!
But then I had another problem, writing Brook and Mac falling in love made me love Mac too. But by that point I already, in my heart, needed Brook to end up with Tate. So what to do with Mac? I waited till the next book (Stoned) to hook him up with another character and I explained part 2 away as a dream.
Okay, I think this has included enough almost spoilers from the revised edition, so moving on... Here is a portion of the lyrics from The Scientist and how they created the story…As always, please support Coldplay by legal means.
I knew I wanted Tate and Brook to be separated by time and space and Brook would go to him (“Come up to meet you…”) to try to work things out. I thought they’d be contemplating a divorce (“Tell you I’m sorry” Tate had a lot to be sorry about) and while looking back on their years together they’d discover that they were meant to be together (Tell you I need you. Tell you I set you apart.”)
This was a storyline I had written in my head (again, okay…maybe I am a little insane!) when the TV show, The Wonder Years ended in a way that I HATED! In my mind I decided that Kevin and Winnie (Tate and Brook began by being modeled after them) had married and twenty or so years later were thinking about splitting up. (“Oh let's go back to the start. Nobody said it was easy. It's such a shame for us to part... No one ever said it would be this hard.”) The show, in my mind, was them looking back on their lives together and in the end they would decide to remain together because they were meant to be. Of course, the show had already ended the way the writers and producers meant it to but I was the writer now and Tate and Brook’s story would go my way!
So, that’s the back story of Sliding and how I used The Scientist to form the plot.
Come back soon to find out who I used as my inspiration for Brook, Tate and Mac…
A piece of info about me...my favorite author that writes contemporary romance is Shayla Black