I fall in love with book characters. I enjoy the love story of two characters. When I get completely hooked like with Tris and Four in Divergent and now Claire and Jaime in Outlander, I can't get enough of them. I love the build up and trust that is built and the testing of the relationship. I think authentic characters and their complex relationships is the strong pull for me. I have read so many romance and women's fiction novel that when two characters are still with me long after I put the book down, it's special. I don't read fan fiction or stuff like that because I love the story the original author told, but I might be swayed in my love affairs by the actors that portray Four (Theo James) and Jaime (Sam Heughan). I will admit to watching countless interviews with the actors. I have to admit to not finding men with red hair and long hair attractive, but Sam Heughan is the gorgeous grand exception for me.
I've been thinking about the characters and love stories that stick with me and I am working to hopefully translating what I love about these characters into better storytelling for me. I have a work-in-progress that I started last November which I am dying to get back to because it involves a great passion of mine. Through my doctoral studies, I have researched and written about the prosecution of Sex Trafficking and Child Pornography cases. These are horrible crimes and a wretched industry that I'm passionate about reducing (elimination would be awesome, but I'm a realist) and putting the perpetrators in jail.
The book is set in a large metropolitan city (not NYC) that is one of the largest hubs for child sex trafficking in the nation, and it affects everyday children that don't have a voice to protect them from these predators. A young girl is brought up in a good home but because of the death of her father and a new influence in her life, she is kidnapped and trafficked in a brothel. The book unfolds through the actions of two people that don't know each other and eventually meet and have to form a tentative trust relationship to get through the dangerous situation. It is a love story but told through unspeakable events. Right now, I'm addicted to thinking about these characters and weaving an authentic love story through their interactions and I hope it rings true with the readers.