Who’s my favorite?
As always when I write a post like this it's unedited....just me rambling from my head like I do. If my notoriously bad spelling and epic run-on sentences bug you...look away!
Which boy is my favorite? I get asked it once a day, in every interview I do, for every blog tour-and I know the answer should be “I don’t have a favorite.”
I don’t. I really don’t when it comes to the Marked Men.
I love Rule because he was the first and he changed my life. He opened the door and gave me a shot at being a writer. He helped heal my broken heart.
I love Jet and the way he speaks through music. I think he has a beautiful soul. He makes me fan girl and I absolutely have a book crush on him.
I love Rome because he made me think, made me stretch and look at a different type of guy. His story was heartbreaking and sweet. I just wanted to hug him.
Nash has the type of personality that I think I would look for in a man now. He’s smart, he’s a thinker and I like how accountable and self-aware he is. He speaks to the more mature part of my personality. Plus I want to rub my hands all over the flames on his head.
As for Rowdy and Asa we’ll have to see what they bring with them to the table. These boys always end up surprising me by the time I’m done with them.
But my favorite…the guy that really got to me, the story that consumed me was Bax’s. BETTER WHEN HE’S BAD was by far the book that was my most favorite to write, my favorite to spend time in, my favorite to create and get lost in. The world of The Point and the people that are trying to survive in it, is just engrossing and a flat out good time.
When Jet came out I knew people were going to compare the 2nd book to Rule. What I didn’t expect was the backlash because Jet simply wasn’t Rule. I didn’t know what to do with that. It made no sense to me. How could someone not like a book-hate it even- just because it wasn’t a carbon copy of the first book in the series? Granted this was the response of only a handful...well a large handful of readers...but it was enough that I noticed and went all spazzy over it.
I was baffled and then came all the negativity towards Ayden. Again I just didn’t get it. She was tough, she made decisions to protect those she loved, she was trying to do the right thing the way she saw it, she had a troubled past, she was leery of commitment because of what that would do to the person she loved….Dude she had every characteristic the heroes do in every romance book since the beginning of time. I read a lot…I mean a lot, so I know this to be a fact. I had no idea giving those traits to a chick was going to translate into her being-whiny-needy-dumb-annoying. What? How is that possible? I was so confused and honestly hurt. I felt really misunderstood and that maybe I didn’t really have what it took to do this writing thing.
Anyway I was lost, muddled and really ready to just stop what I was doing. If you know anything about me I get crazy hyper focused on one thing and can’t let it go to the point of obsession. I do it with everything, but with writing especially. You should see my epic freak outs when I get edits back from my editor. I full on melt down-then just sit down and do the work, but not without going crazy first.
When I sat down to write Rome all that feedback and criticism from Jet was flooding my head and I couldn’t get past it. I didn’t want to write another book that was torn apart just because it wasn’t Rule. I stared at a blank computer screen for a few days-watched the cursor blink at me-and thought, “Oh shit, what am I going to do?” I still had Rome to write and by then Nash, Rowdy and Asa had sold as well. I needed to figure it out.
Well I did an interview during that time and a huge focus the interviewer keep asking me about was bad-boys. How did I write such a realistic bad-boy? What makes a guy a bad-boy? Why do ladies love a bad-boy?
I kept saying, “I don’t think Rule and Jet are bad-boys. They are just guys that own who they are and have claimed their skin and lives as their own. Sure they have some attitude and some badassness, but any cocky young man that has the world in his hands would. They have jobs, they have family and eventually they find true love-nothing about that is bad.”
BOOM! Like a shot of lightening out of the sky it hit me. There is a difference between a bad-boy and a boy that IS bad, bad in all the ways a person can be bad.
I set Rome aside and jumped into The Point. I had to…Bax wouldn’t leave me alone.
Bax is bad- it’s what he’s good at. I wrote him with no rules, no restraints, and no fear that people would read him and compare him to Rule. I unleashed every crazy, twisted, wild thing I could think of and worked it into his story. It was a blast and my writer’s block and my own personal mental block was gone. I finished Better When He’s Bad in a little over two weeks and then wrote Rome in the following 20 days. That’s a little over 200,000 words in a bit over a month. It’s nuts is what it is!
Bax kicked open the door that had closed on my creative mojo and he will forever be my favorite for that alone needed his energy, his F-The-World vibe to kick me back into gear.
Because of Bax I embraced how different Rome was from his brother and I wasn’t scared to write Nash with a little bit more softness than the other Marked Men have had. (He’s still a total badass I promise! It’s just a little more reserved than his bestie.)
Bax and his world reminded me that I’m just supposed to do my thing-that’s what I’m good at. Plus he’s dead sexy, super complicated and the way he works- the choices he makes- are staggering to watch. It’s just a good time, a fun walk on the dark side….
So there you have it- as of now Bax holds the place as my favorite. I hope you all pick up his book when it’s out on June 17th so you can see why. The new crew in the new series is something else. You can pre-order now!!! (Shameless plug)
And since you made it all the way through that post let me introduce you to my new main guy: (if you have followed me from the beginning, I posted this paragraph on my author page almost a year ago when Bax first took over my brain)
My name is Shane Baxter, Bax to most people, and I’m a thief.
Got a girl? I’ll take her from you. Got a sweet ride you dropped a mint on? I’ll take it from you. Got expensive electronics you think are safe? I’ll come and take them, because you probably didn’t need them anyway. If it isn’t nailed down or attached to you by unbreakable chains, there is a good chance I can make it mine. It was the only thing I was good at. Taking things that didn’t belong to me was second nature; well, that and finding all the worst kinds of trouble to get into. I was only twenty-two, had gone in for a nickel right on the heels of my eighteenth birthday, but that wasn’t even close to the first time I got busted or banged heads with the law. I wasn’t a master of good choices or clean living, but I knew my strengths and I stuck with them and I took care of my own. Whatever the cost may be.