Back in 2005, still seven years before I sold my first book, I saw a documentary called Murderball about wheelchair rugby. The men were hardcore alpha males, very athletic and confident and full of testosterone.
My first thought was that ‘someone’ should write a hero like that because they were really sexy, but I didn’t see myself as up to the task. I hadn’t even sold a book yet and I was still playing things very safe.
Fast forward to 2019 and I watched the new season of Veronica Mars. Spoiler alert, the ending sucked. I was so annoyed, I decided to rewrite that ending more palatably where, instead of her husband dying, my hero, Giovanni, fakes his death. Freja suspects he’s alive and is trying to flush him out to prove it. When he surfaces, there’s built-in conflict because she’s furious he let her believe for one second that he was actually dead.
So I pitched it to my editor while pitching some other stories and I actually said, “I’ve always wanted to do a James Bond sexy spy-guy so maybe this hero could be an ambassador or something and does secret spy stuff and fakes his death and what do you think?”
She told me to run with it, but shortly thereafter, asked if I’d ever thought of doing a character in a wheelchair. I thought of those Murderball guys, but writing an athlete hero in a wheelchair was a ‘one day’ aspiration. Maybe I’d think about it for a future book, but it wouldn’t fit for this book. This hero was a super spy-guy who fakes his death. Murderball hero would have to wait.
Except, once I asked myself, “Why can’t super spy-guy be in a wheelchair?” I was sunk. Because I couldn’t think of a reason he couldn’t be sexy and a spy and dynamic and a Sicilian tycoon…and also happen to be in a wheelchair.
And Freja is his perfect match. She’s sharp and tough and funny and sweet. I hope you adore both of them as much as I do.