Behind the Pen – All I’ve Ever Wanted
Creating a series involving five brothers is an interesting challenge. Not only does each brother get his own story but also, you have to make the stories compelling and something people would want to read. It was way too tempting (and quite mundane) to make each story another version of The Nanny. First, that’s an insult to the reader. Second, as much as I loved The Nanny, there’s only one Kieran; not five of him. Lastly, as much as the reader will let me get away with a family of brothers who love Black women, I think that’s the final straw of reality and fantasy.
Enter Joseph “Joey” D’Amato.
Joey’s character is interesting for the simple fact that through the series, he was (and is) characterized as a playboy and he’s proud of that fact. And of course, a man will play the field as long as he wants until he finds that one woman who will make his toes curl and turns his world upside down.
Shaping his character was interesting. I didn’t want him to be just a rich playboy, however, I also didn’t want him to be this cold, calculating executive who doesn’t know love until he meets The One. (I already did that in S&M and I’m sure you have read that in countless other novels.)
So I thought, ‘Hmm…how can I make this guy work?’ I borrowed a page from one of my most beloved characters, Scott Reed. I needed a calculating executive. I needed someone rich. I needed someone who is very business-oriented. But I needed someone who doesn’t do BDSM. Could that work?
Why yes, it could. J
Joey is very guarded and protective of his family, due to childhood issues. Though he doesn’t admit it, he was very impacted by Kieran’s failed marriage; after all, if the nicest man he knows was played by his first wife, why would any man take a woman seriously?
But I also wanted Joey to use his player attitude to be a cover. I wanted him to be someone who cares about his brothers, loves and adores his mother, and will do anything to make sure all of them are financially set for life and not go back to a life of wondering when their next meal will come from.
As much as I needed an alpha male, I also needed an alpha female to create a powerful dynamic. I needed a sista who didn’t care about her man’s money because she’s wealthy on her own. I needed someone who could go toe-to-toe in the bedroom with him and be even kinkier than he is. I needed someone who was willing to walk away if presented the choice.
Enter Zoe Mitchell.
Zoe’s character is described as half-Black/half-Asian, who is Kieran’s assistant. She’s young(ish), facetious, but has a good heart on her shoulders. She can be a wild child when she wants to be but is really a good girl. She eventually leaves her position to take on a bigger role as the main designer behind Kieran’s and Tiana’s fashion line, Tyson’s Heart.
Zoe, next to Zerrin Campbell and Sanora, is probably one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever written and she’s based on a few offline and online friends. I didn’t want Zoe to be weak and feel her life becoming complete the moment she meets The One. Instead, I wanted her to be in a predicament of sorts – she has everything going for her and then she meets The One. How can she make him fit into her world?
It’s not a situation most women find themselves in; we’re usually the ones that will bend over backwards and pull out our calendars to make time for a relationship. I wanted a heroine to be in a position where she would have to choose between the career she’s always wanted – or being with the love she’s always desired.
It’s a tough decision.
While the story does deal with a heavy topic, it’s really along the lines of The Nanny in terms of storytelling. Not a lot of sex but Joey and Zoe do get it in. I really wanted this story to be more focused on two people, intelligent and stubborn in their own right, potentially sacrificing what they have in order to get what they want. Would it be a mistake? Would one of them regret? Would one of them resent the other?
After many delays (which will be explained in a future post), All I’ve Ever Wanted will finally be released this November.
And there you have it,