Today I’ll discuss what inspired Runaway Bride.
As I mentioned last week in my post last week, I get most of my ideas while I am writing a book and I suddenly know that character X is meant to be with character Y. The plot idea on how the two characters get together usually comes later, but in the case with Runaway Bride, I knew immediately that Mark was going to convince Lexie to run off to Las Vegas to marry him instead of Nick.
The idea for Lexie’s romance sparked while I wrote this passage in Suddenly a Bride:
“Well, Lexie is having the most wonderful wedding,” her mother said, her smile growing wide. “We’re going to have it on the beach. We booked the best photographer and caterer as well. Chris, have you had fresh lobster?”
Chris furrowed his eyebrows. “You mean, fresh as in you don’t cook it before you eat it?”
“What? Of course not.” Her mother shot Caitlyn a startled look. “Exactly where did he come from?”
“Um, I was just thinking,” Sandy began as she cleared her throat, “I think it’s great Caitlyn found someone. It’s romantic, Mrs. Rogers. Chris came into the diner one evening, and it was like love at first sight. They had an instant connection.”
Her mother waved her hand as if to dismiss the comment. “Romantic? I’ll tell you what’s romantic. We’re going to have two doves that will fly into the air when Lexie and the doctor share their first kiss as husband and wife.”
Caitlyn caught Sandy’s eye roll and fought the urge to chuckle.
“It was Mom’s idea,” Lexie told Caitlyn.
“Doves are beautiful birds,” her mother said. “Why, just imagine it, Chris. While the harp strums out the ‘Wedding March’ and Lexie shares her first marital kiss with the doctor, the doves fly up into the sky together.” She clasped her hands over her heart and sighed.
“I can’t help but notice you keep calling Nick ‘the doctor’,” Caitlyn noted.
Her mother laughed and brushed her hair over her shoulder. “Well, that’s because he is a doctor.”
This scene took place when Chris first met Caitlyn’s family at the barbecue. I didn’t intend to come up with the idea, but as soon as I realized how miserable Lexie was, I knew I couldn’t let her marry Nick. And who better than Mark to fix up with her? In the span of the passage, I knew Lexie was going to run off and elope with Mark shortly before she married Nick. I also knew this was going to cause problems between Lexie and her mother.
Lexie is nothing like Caitlyn. Caitlyn does what she wants, whether other people are happy about it or not. Lexie, on the other hand, is the type of person who tries to make everyone happy. So Lexie was going along with her mom’s plan for her to marry Nick because Lexie had pretty much always done what her mom wanted.
What Lexie needed was someone to come into her life and show her that it was okay for her to think about what she wanted instead of having people tell her what she wanted. Mark was the perfect fit for this.
While I wrote the scene in Suddenly a Bride, I also knew that Nick was self-centered. That was all I knew about him, but based on Lexie’s lack of enthusiasm for her wedding, I knew that Nick didn’t love her the way she deserved to be loved. The fun of writing Runaway Bride, of course, is learning exactly what things were like between Lexie and Nick. That was something I didn’t know until I introduced Nick in Runaway Bride. It’s impossible for me to truly know a character until I bring them on “stage”. :D
Quick side note: the mom (surprisingly) is turning out to have a redeeming quality to her, but only Mark is going to be able to bring that part of her out to make her likable.