With my cover now out in the wide world and with The Deal out with Beta’s while they rip it apart for me to make it the best book I can have, I’ve decided to start posting more about The Deal, hopefully getting you excited for 1st December when my little baby will be released for all you lovely lot to read.
So I want to start off with the two most important people in The Deal – Craig Thomas and Nicole Jones.
These two are my babies, my work of art and I have loved every moment of writing their story that I hope you will fall in love with them too. I made both my character Welsh mainly because I’m Welsh and wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about an area I don’t know. And really, there aren’t enough British based books out there. I’d love for that to change because the UK does have some pretty awesome places but I suppose the majority of book lovers prefer to read about the US. Sorry, you’ll have to read about the lush beach of Swansea and have Welsh words and English sayings in my book.
I live about an hour away from where I based The Deal and the reason I didn’t base the book in Newport/Cardiff is because Swansea is gorgeous and they have a beach – which is pivotal in my book, whereas you would have to travel to Barry – about a 30 minute drive from Cardiff to get to Barry Island and I wanted Nic and Craig closer than that, and with Swansea they can be.
Anyway, back to Nic and Craig. Despite Nicole and Craig not being Welsh names, their surnames are. Of course they are, they are like one of the dominant surnames in Wales. I’ve always liked the name Nicole so it was an easy option when I started writing the YA version of this book and when I began the Erotic Romance version, I saw her grow up right before me and I couldn’t change her name. She fit the vision perfectly – kind of the same of Craig. His name exhumes masculinity to me and then when I began writing the grown-up version, I knew I had the perfect names for my characters.
Nic and Craig aren’t your usual NA or Erotic Romance characters. I’m not hating on these storylines because I do read them but Nic isn’t a ‘damaged’ girl or a blushing virgin who tames the bad boy because Craig isn’t a bad boy at all. Craig isn’t a billionaire, an MMA fighter or a drug lord, he’s just a regular guy from Swansea who teaches Geography. Pretty boring, hey?
He’s just a 22 year old who has been in love with Nic since he was 16 and has put determination into making it as a teacher and giving back. He loves his job, loves teaching and really, who cares what the character does as long as you can connect with the character on other levels.
Craig comes across as a cocky bastard when you first meet him, because that’s all he’s ever known to do, but underneath, he’s just a guy who is in love and keeping it a secret. He wants to fix the past so he can have Nic for real. He gets jealous and angry and there is one scene which tore my heart apart and I cried for Craig but he has determination, and he fights for what he wants. He has his sweet sides too. Some of the things he says make my heart swoon and I bloody wrote them! He has his dominating sexy sides as well and most importantly, he can be scared of losing everything, especially Nic.
I based Craig on my boyfriend, (I wish) Leigh Halfpenny. If you don’t know who Leigh is, he plays rugby from Wales and French team, Toulon. He is just the perfect vision for Craig, from his curly hair to his eyes to his delicious body. But I’d love to know who your Craig is!
Nic, as mentioned, isn’t the blushing virgin or someone who is running away from her past life because of some big secret, she’s actually just a regular girl who works as a Digital Marketer and dreams of owning her own business one day. I kind of gave her my job and degree, because I know what I am talking about when you see Nic in work – although you don’t see a hell of a lot of her at work, just mentions of a few things she does.
She’s feisty, sarcastic and loveable, but underneath she is scared and vulnerable and is over her head in love with Craig that sometimes it becomes too much for her. You will see what I mean. There are times when I want to bash her head in and you will want to as well. But I hope you will see her grow up and become into herself. Watch her embrace everything around her. It takes time but she gets there in the end. She fights herself a lot and wants to protect herself, but she finally makes it in the end.
I based Nic on two people. Firstly Emmy Rossum and Danneel Harris. Emmy is who I envisioned Nic to look like (with green eyes, not brown), although I haven’t seen her in anything, she seemed like the calm and cute side to Nic’s personality. And then I used Danneel Harris for Nic’s feisty and sexy side. I loved Danneel in One Tree Hill and I used part of her sexiness to inject into Nic.
So there we have it, my two characters who have loved from afar and are together for a deal. It will be awesome to see who you envision as Nic and Craig and I think, apart from if you love The Deal or not, I want to know who you would pick as them!