That question is truly the source of all evil.
I asked it one afternoon after I watched an obscure counter-culture film. The Buttercup Chain is about two cousins, via identical twins, raised as siblings, who have a deep attraction. The girl was totally cool with it. The guy was freaked.
Actually, the guy was kind of lame, and the movie rather dull. However, there was a crazy tension in the background between these two characters. I kept waiting for the obvious to happen. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting…
It never did.
Well, she tried. He, however, was kind of, well, lame. Despite that, I found myself routing for this trangressive relationship. Seriously, what was his problem? Oh yeah, he’s her cousin.
When I was a kid, a cousin of mine had a crush on another cousin. I thought that was the creepiest thing ever. Is that why this movie didn’t “go there?” Because it would have been a lot more interesting if it did. It also would have been nice if we knew why this guy was so against the relationship. Was he just freaked out, or was there some hidden secret that kept him at bay? What if there was a black reality in the original book that was omitted from the film?
Nope. Turns out he’s just lame.
But what if he’s her soul mate and every drop of happiness they could ever desire is right in front of them? What if the cliché of finishing each other’s sentences was laughable to them? What if they could read each other so well that they knew no secrets?
“What if?” Those words haunted me the entire film. When it ended and the guy was heartbroken I almost threw the remote at the TV. “Damn it! I could do better than that.”
Yeah? Okay, Diane, my inner voice taunted. I dare you to try.
A little over a month later I had the first draft of a novel that was accented with a whole lot of crazy.
In Love’s Forbidden Flower Lily and Donovan make life-altering decisions that result in life-long consequences. While their decisions dictate their path, it does not mean they will avoid the question “What if?”
And that’s how books, and their upcoming sequels, are born.
Thanks for reading!