When I got the idea for the D’Amato Brothers, I was inspired by a book I was reading, Dane by Liliana Hart (click the link, the book is free, btw). It’s the first book in the Mackenzie Brothers series. As I read the short novella, I wondered if there have ever been a book of brothers who loved Black women? And I don’t mean one or two, but a whole group? Like many of them?
Thus, the idea of the D’Amato Brothers was born.
Realistically, the series wouldn’t exist. Let’s face it – a group of five brothers who all love Black women? Let’s be real. However, it’s fantasy and in my fantasy, if I want five brothers to have Black life partners? Guess what? They’re going to.
Writing about five brothers is difficult. You have to keep them separate, keep them in chronological order (which even I get confused at times), and make sure they all have their unique identity. Nick is the more serious brother. Kieran is sensitive. Eli is Mr. Dependable (for the time being). Joey doesn’t want to be tied down to anyone. Tony, poor sweet Tony…his heart is in the right place but sometimes the things that come out of his mouth…
It’s also a challenge to make sure their stories, while connected to each other, are completely separate and stand-alone. You don’t have to read one book to understand the other, however, you might be confused by a few situations if you didn’t read the book(s) that came before it.
Since there are two books out, let’s talk about the two. Below is a copy and paste from earlier Behind the Pen Facebook postings so if they sound familiar, it’s because I’m too lazy to recreate the same thing.
From December 2012:
I think the biggest challenge in writing several stories is making sure those wonderful heroes are similar but not exactly like one another. The Nanny was a fun story to write because I actually got to write a guy who was sexually dominant, but not a Dom.
I was inspired by Melody Hobson, the vice-president of Ariel Investments (she’s also the lady friend of George Lucas) for Tiana’s character. I think as women, we have gone through a stage where who we are and wanted to be wasn’t “acceptable” in society’s eyes or worse yet, our parents’ view of what we should be. I wanted to show that even though Tiana had enormous support from her friends and Kieran’s family, she really wanted her parents to approve and be happy for her. The one scene where she has a Come-to-Jesus meeting with her mother is indicative of that.
Kieran’s character was a nice change from the alpha males I’ve written in the past. He’s sensitive but he’s not a punk, and he will walk away from a situation if need be. I also wanted to show that the devastation from his first marriage still played a role in all of his relationships and his personality, forcing him to not have anyone get too close to him. As Zoe mentioned to Kieran, “It’s okay to fall in love.”
The love scenes between Kieran and Tiana (both real and fantasy) were very different from anything I’ve written before as some of you may have noticed because they were more sensual than erotic. I wanted to show that while the love scenes were pretty hot, there was more to it than just two people in lust with each other just ‘doing it.’ I wanted to show Tiana was getting rid of her judgmental past, her divorce, and being free while Kieran was welcoming the possibility of a new and wonderful relationship.
I’m shocked, still, by the response of The Nanny. It’s been my most successful single-title to date and I’m just floored by the response. I took a huge, huge risk by writing a couple who aren’t the typical hero/heroine and it paid off. I sincerely thank all of you for your ridiculously wonderful support of me and The Nanny.
From February 2013:
Scott and Mariana v. Nick and Zerrin.
The biggest challenge in writing a new BDSM story with different characters will be the comparisons to S&M, which has a pretty strong following. And when people read about Nick and Zerrin, there are similarities to Scott and Mariana: a D/s interracial relationship, the hero being rich/wealthy, the Black female submissive, the off-the-chain sex.
I will say, however, that’s when the comparisons will stop.
The biggest difference readers will find when they read Nick’s and Zerrin’s story is how ‘grown up’ their story is. And when I mean ‘grown up’, I don’t mean boring. If anything, their story has its fair share of drama. But you will see two people, both in academia, and probably an unlikely pairing to begin with, come together in a way that tests them both – Zerrin was looking for a Dom to cultivate her and Nick was exploring the possibility of being in a relationship.
Zerrin is also different from Mariana: she has a little more world experience. She’s traveled, she’s in grad school, and she also has prior experience in being a submissive. You will get to see more of Zerrin’s thoughts as she will have a diary and written assignments.
Nick is different from Scott mainly because of their professions and income level – Scott is ridiculously wealthy (at least for the time being) and Nick is considered to be rich, even though he doesn’t like to think of himself that way. Nick is a little more intense than Scott, if that’s even possible. Readers will see that when they read the submissive training Zerrin goes through in order to submit to Nick.
Nick chooses not to be in a relationship because he takes academia very seriously. It’s not that he’s been scorned or doesn’t like relationships; if anything, he’s open to the idea of being in a relationship and starting a family. But he also feels he would rather teach the perfect class than have the perfect woman.
The readers will also discover when they see how Nick is a Dom, is how similar he is to Scott. And that’s because they were trained by the same Domme. 🙂
Soon, within the next couple of weeks, I will host the first-ever chat regarding The Nanny on the Facebook page. I will have reminders leading up to it but mark your calendars for the May 5th Facebook chat date. Per the announcement last week on Facebook, I’ll be on ‘vacation’ for a while as I recover from upcoming surgery. As of now, I cannot give a release date for any books that will come out after Where I Wanna Be (which will be out soon, I promise) because I don’t know how long my recovery will take.
And there you have it,