I'd always heard every romance had two sides: his and hers. A good friend recently told me there were actually three sides: his, hers, and what really happened. The truth is, anything we experience is filtered through our internal lens. Ten people can see the same thing happen and all ten will tell it differently. Such is the case with THE DOMINANT.
I wrote THE SUBMISSIVE as a writing exercise, to see if I could write something spicy. There was never any intention on my part to write anything further with the characters.
But as I wrote, something interesting started to happen, I started hearing Nathaniel’s voice and to grasp his thoughts and motives. The problem was THE SUBMISSIVE is written in first person from Abby’s point of view. Since she couldn’t hear Nathaniel’s thoughts and motives, neither could the reader. And I hated that because Nathaniel’s side was fascinating to me.
I thought about writing their story with alternating points of view. Unfortunately, Nathaniel has a secret revealed at the end of THE SUBMISSIVE and if I alternated points of view, we’d learn that secret much, much earlier. The solution was Nathaniel got his own book to tell the story the way he saw it happen.
In THE SUBMISSIVE, Nathaniel is often seen as cold and distant, but that’s only because that’s the way Abby first sees him. It’s also the only side he allows her to see. In the first chapter of THE SUBMISSIVE, we see Nathaniel ignoring Abby while typing on his computer. Abby and the reader immediately form an opinion of him based on that very fact. What no one knows (other than Nathaniel himself) is exactly what he’s typing on the computer. I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t business related.
The chapter that made me decide to write THE DOMINANT, however, was Chapter Ten. It was the most difficult chapter to write in THE SUBMISSIVE, but there was a lot going on in Nathaniel’s head that one, made the chapter such a necessary part of the book and two, perfectly illustrated the inner turmoil he was going through.
I won’t lie and say I knew everything that would happen in THE DOMINANT before I started writing it, I didn’t. As I wrote there were plenty of surprises in store for me. I actually remember arguing with Nathaniel about some of them. For example, he started referring to her as “Abby” instead of “Abigail” in his head a lot sooner than I thought he should. But as typically happens when I argue with my characters, I eventually came to the understanding that they know the story better than I do.
The best part for me, however, was that in writing Nathaniel’s side of the story, I got to know him better and came to understand his motives. He became more real, more vulnerable, and more approachable. By the end of THE DOMINANT, he’d secured an even stronger hold on my heart.