Where did the idea for this story come from?
For over 900 years, immortal Rhys Trevellian has been in love with the soul of the same woman-- his childhood love Gwen. Unfortunately, Gwen is mortal, and Rhys is unable to keep her with him. When he meets Gwen Davies in a coffee shop in his newest hometown, he immediately recognizes his lost love.
Gwen Davies has had a rough life, most recently having to run from her hometown to a small town in Maine to escape her abusive ex. In Rhys Trevellian, she recognizes something that strikes a chord in her. Although she has no memory of the lifetimes he claims she’s shared with him, she knows he’s her true match.
To remain together forever, Rhys and Gwen must escape those who seek to murder Gwen before Rhys can transmute her to immortality, and those who seek to execute Rhys for crimes he didn’t commit.
Place of Purchase: http://pinkpetalbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=113&zenid=93cd814e4f169d47f901b302f4684 a1f
Back in 2006, I was struggling with some issues from my past. I won't go into that here, but suffice it to say that as a child, teen, and young adult I'd had some things said and done to me that had really done an emotional number on me. As part of all the detritus, I'd developed a very negative viewpoint about sex, at least as it pertained to my own life.
A very close friend of mine who'd talked me through a lot of the memories and issues challenged me to put my writing talent to work and write something showing "sex in a positive light," as he put it. Until that point, I'd never thought about writing a sex scene. Everything I'd written up until then had been for teenagers, and while I realize that teens are aware of sex and sometimes have it, I choose not to include it in my YA novels for the most part. But I knew my friend issued me the challenge because he felt it would benefit me, so partly for the sake of therapy and partly because I never turn down a writing challenge, I wrote the scene.
The idea just kind of came to me. I wanted a reason for the characters to have sex that wasn't just "Ooh, I want to have sex." So I came up with a situation where an immortal man had fallen in love with a mortal woman. In the universe that I inadvertently created, a mortal could become immortal if they had sex with and climaxed simultaneously with an immortal. That was the scene I wrote, where the immortal man and mortal woman made love, and he "transmuted" her to immortality. That scene, with some changes and revisions, is now part of my novel Eternal Love. When my friend read the scene after I'd written it, he said, "This isn't a short story. You have a novel here." Through emails and instant messages, we brainstormed an entire plot, along with his scientific basis for immortality and a few other things that play a role in the novel.
He chose to end the friendship in 2007, shortly after I left my ex-husband. I held onto the notes we'd made for the novel, though the time never felt right to write it. Then, in 2009, that time finally came. I wrote the entire first draft in just over a month.
How did your characters come to life?
When I wrote the initial scene back in 2006, I didn't have a very strong sense of who Rhys and Gwen were. As my friend and I brainstormed their story, though, I began to get a better concept of them. Rhys showed himself to be a very strong, patient man who'd been in love with the same soul for over 900 years. That's dedication! I made him a romance novelist because it seemed logical that after so many centuries, he probably had some experiences that would make good novels.
His narrative and speech patterns are a bit unusual, sometimes formal and stilted and sometimes modern and even slangish. (Is that a word?) That developed purely by accident as I worked on the first draft, and the harder I tried to make his voice consistent, the more varied it became. I finally realized that it made sense given the character. 935 years old, he's lived in many times and countries, and he's picked up speech patterns from all of them. English isn't even his first language; he lived his childhood and teen years in Wales in the 12th century. So of course he'd speak a bit oddly at times.
I knew from the first scene I wrote that Gwen was distrustful. Not a huge surprise, since at that time I was very distrustful myself, and my heroines often seem to have something in common with me. What I didn't know was why. So I allowed her to tell me as I wrote. I was pretty disturbed when I discovered what her former fiance had done to her, but I left it in the story because... well, she wanted it there. But as I wrote, I also discovered what a strong woman she is. In a couple of scenes, I originally envisioned Rhys rescuing her, but she overruled me and saved herself, which I think made it a much better story.