**Looking back is a series here where I take a meander down memory lane and talk about my past books. I’ll bring insight to the inspiration behind the story and what the writing process was like. Hope you enjoy!**
Today we’re talking about Hero Worship and not just because it was the second title I published. Alex was my first bisexual MC, so he has a special place in my heart. I wrote him before I even admitted to anyone out loud that I, too, was bisexual. In fact, I was still thinking of myself as mostly straight at that point, not really giving myself the room to accept my own identity.
This story came from a sub call (you’ll notice a pattern as we go through the series, and if you’ve followed along for any length of time, you know how much I love submission calls) for an anthology featuring medical professionals. I remember thinking I definitely didn’t want to write a doctor, because so many romance heroes are doctors. I contemplated a nurse, because they don’t get enough credit. But then, thinking about who didn’t get enough credit, I landed on paramedic. I wanted something a little different, especially because I didn’t think there’d be many submissions with paramdeics for the call.
With this story, the first thing that came to mind was the opening scene. More specifically, that Alex’s name would be screamed by the bride, and Alex would, in fact, rush to the rescue to help someone going into anaphylaxis. That his calmness and competency would save the day. From there I had to flesh out the characters. Who was Alex Sullivan? Who was the bride to him? And who was Matthew Carter?
It became apparent very quickly to me what Alex’s hang-ups were going to be. Matt was nine years younger than he was, but more than that, Matt has always had an apparent case of hero worship when it came to Alex. Alex is determined not to take advantage of that. To keep Matt at arm’s length and to keep things platonic.
Matt, of course, has other things in mind. Namely that he knows Alex’s heart is a good one, and that he wants nothing more than to be Alex’s forever. Their story is not without bumps, and has the traditional romance story beats—including the big miscommunication that I actively avoid in most stories these days—but in the end, they get their happily ever after.
This book required very little research on my part, as the medical part was the only part not made up by me, and I have a ridiculous knowledge of medical things. (Someday, I should do a post about how and why I know so much medical stuff.) But I did need to ask a few questions of a paramedic I know, and read an article or two on epinephrine, just to make sure I had my facts straight. But since I love the research part of writing, none of that was a hardship.
This was another book where the words flowed rather easily. My beta at the time had some good suggestions to help, and one of my favorite scenes toward the end was also their favorite scene. In fact, the one thing that was the most important to me in that scene was the thing they picked up on and loved too, so that made me extra happy. It was important to me, and the story, that Matt didn’t forgive Alex too easily for running. At least, not until he was sure that Alex had really learned from it. In the end, I was super happy with this story and Alex and Matt’s journey.
In fact, these two left such an impression on me that they ended up getting 5 flash fics here on the blog continuing their story. Which you can also get as a downloadable PDF. It was also one of the first stories I republished when the press that shall not be named took their fuckery to a new level and I got all my titles back. Because I love these guys so much, and I love the love they’ve gotten from readers. As I said, Alex has a special place in my heart as the first bi MC I wrote, and he was the one that gave me courage to not only express myself but to continue to write bi guys. Nowadays, almost always at least one of my MCs is bi.