Do Opposites Attract?: The scenes that nearly didn’t happen…
Thanks so much for having me on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell!
Having a great editor can make so much difference to the final product. Do Opposites Attract? is my second novel and my first paperback, so working with an editor is a relatively new experience for me – and I love it. Obviously when I first submitted the manuscript to my publisher I believed it was the best that it could be. But then my editor took a look. One of the phrases that came back on my first round of edits – the substantive edits – really made me smile. She wanted to make my heroine ‘suffer more’. Instantly I knew what she meant, though. Brianna is rich and beautiful – a combination that made her character hard for readers to empathise with. It also totally put my hero’s back up. Mitch McBride was brought up on the wrong side of the tracks and his life has been full of hardship. Now a doctor with a medical charity, he’s out trying to save lives in a tornado stricken part of South America. The last thing he needs is a visit from the patron’s daughter. But the more she tries to help out at the refugee camp, the more he finds himself drawn to her and the more, hopefully, the readers will warm to her, too. Especially when her efforts aren’t always well received, because though she means well, she’s pretty clueless.
Below is an example of a scene that wasn’t in the original novel I submitted, but which I later included to make Brianna suffer more. To get her out of his hair for a while, Mitch has sent her out to help teach children in a temporary school. He’s given her explicit instructions not to drink any water other than the sealed bottle he’s given her.
I hope you enjoy it. Remember, my editor made me do it, honest.
A couple of hours later he heard a groan from his bed and turned to find her trying to sit up. Her hair was a mess and her face washed out, yet her very vulnerability tugged at him. ‘Welcome back,’ he told her gruffly.
She held out the arm with the drip in it. ‘What’s this doing here? I’m not ill.’
‘It’s replacing the fluids you splattered over my shirt.’
Instantly she clasped her other hand to her mouth in horror. ‘Shit, now I remember. I’m so sorry.’ She hung her head. ‘I can’t believe I puked up all over you. God, and it would have to be you, wouldn’t it?’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘I mean, you’re ... well ... you’re you.’ She bit her lip. ‘You already think I’m a total moron. Now I’ve thrown up all over you, you’ll hate me even more.’
What the blazes was she going on about? ‘Number one, I don’t hate you, don’t be so ridiculous. Number two, do I look like the type of man who’s bothered by a bit of sick?’
It stopped her in her tracks. At least long enough to study him. He tried not to squirm. ‘No, I guess not. But I expect you are bothered by the fact that I forgot to do as you told me.’ She shook her head. ‘No, that’s not true. I didn’t forget. It’s just the girl who offered me the drink looked so adorable, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.’ He was about to say something, but she wasn’t finished. ‘Instead I disappointed you.’
‘Jesus, Brianna, I’m not disappointed in you.’
‘Then why are you so cross with me?’
‘Yes. When I got out of the jeep, you called me a fool. And just now, when I woke up, you looked almost angry.’
He was angry, but not with her. With himself, for being so bloody attracted to her. Hell, when Dan had offered to go with her today, he’d been hard pressed not to punch the guy. ‘I’m not cross,’ he told her shortly. ‘I was worried. Do you have any idea how many diseases you can pick up from contaminated water?’
She shook her head, and he sighed and went to feel her forehead. It felt normal. If soft, silk-like skin could be called normal. ‘I think you’ll be fine. Dan went back to the school and the water they used was originally from a bottle, though it wasn’t fresh. I think whatever upset you has probably been flushed out by now.’
‘All over your shirt.’
She sounded so flat, as if she’d had the stuffing knocked out of her, that he almost smiled. He should enjoy this subdued version of Brianna while he could. She was a lot easier to handle. ‘I’ll take the drip out and you can go and rest a while in your own bed.’
He quickly removed the line and helped her to her feet. She looked a little shaky. Like a newborn foal, all large eyes and cute. Yeah, definitely cute. Hastily he dropped his hand to his side. ‘Are you okay to make your own way back?’
She eased her feet into her boots, holding onto his bed to steady herself. ‘Yes, thanks. I’ve caused you enough trouble.’
Okay, now this almost chastened version was beginning to frustrate him. ‘It’s no trouble. Looking after sick people is what I do.’
He received a small smile for that. ‘I know. And you’re pretty good at it.’ Her smile grew wider. ‘Though your bedside manner could do with softening up a bit.’
Thank you so much for having me. If you want to find out more about the story, it’s available here: http://amzn.to/1miDL04
Too Charming http://amzn.to/Vqs1TH
Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.
Kathryn’s debut digital novel Too Charming was released under Choc Lit Lite and was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.
Do Opposites attract?
There’s no such thing as a class divide – until you’re on separate sides.
Brianna Worthington has beauty, privilege and a very healthy trust fund. The only hardship she’s ever witnessed has been on the television. Yet when she’s invited to see how her mother’s charity, Medic SOS, is dealing with the aftermath of a tornado in South America, even Brianna is surprised when she accepts.
Mitch McBride, Chief Medical Officer, doesn’t need the patron’s daughter disrupting his work. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and has led life on the edge, but he’s not about to risk losing his job for a pretty face.
Poles apart, dynamite together, but can Brianna and Mitch ever bridge the gap separating them?