One Romance Couple Who Can’t Quit Each Other
A Guest Post by Monica Murphy
I wrote a young adult contemporary romance series (the Friend Series) a few years ago with a cast of drama-filled, angst-ridden teenage characters.
I loved them all. But the readers particularly took to Amanda Winters and Jordan Tuttle and their mysterious little relationship. Alternately, readers didn’t really like the vaguely whiny, completely selfish main character Livvy from JUST FRIENDS. (I sort of loved her whiny, selfish ways, not gonna lie). But they loved Livvy’s new friend, Amanda.
Amanda was down to earth. Practical. A little unsure of herself. Very smart. And that is why she hates that she’s attracted to the hottest, most popular guy at their high school (cue entrance for Jordan Tuttle). Talk about a cliché. She doesn’t want to be attracted to him. Except he keeps acting like he wants to spend time with her, which is weird.
That’s because Jordan Tuttle was totally into her, and had been for years. At least, that’s what my writer brain told me.
I gave them a happy ending. Those two are MTB. (I just watched Sleepless in Seattle for the first time in a while. The kids all talk in acronyms. MTB = meant to be).
Time goes on though, and for some strange reason, there was still demand for Tuttle. What would happen if he was an adult? Where would he be? Where would they be? Hmm. Those questions got my writer brain thinking. But I wasn’t tempted to write another book. They got their HEA (happily ever after). They don’t need me to write them another one, do they?
But my publicist Nina really harassed me for another book about Tuttle (I believe she’s his biggest fan!). I told her the only way I could write another book for him and Amanda is—*gasp*—by breaking them up. I don’t think she liked that idea.
Oh well. I did it anyway.
Let’s be real, people. High school relationships rarely last out of high school. I can admit I married my high school sweetheart. And we divorced when we were in our mid-twenties. He wasn’t the man for me. I wasn’t the woman for him, and that’s okay. Life goes on.
But the great thing about fiction is, the writer can make that one high school couple soulmates. They need each other, despite growing pains and break ups and moving on with their lives. In the case of Amanda and Tuttle, they tried finding someone else. But they always wondered what the other person was doing. This is why I wrote YOU PROMISED ME FOREVER. I gave them their final, final happily ever after.
It was great being back in those characters’ heads, but it was also tough. The breakup that happened hurt both of them, and they were angry. A little resentful. I had to transition all that old teenage pain and make it believable with these two characters who are now adults. I hope I did an okay job. Reviews were mostly positive, so I believe I did. And it brought me a lot of joy to give Amanda and Jordan that firm, “we’re adults, we’re not going to mess this up again” happy ending.
Now I have THINKING ABOUT YOU releasing, and it’s about Amanda and Tuttle’s friend Cannon Whittaker. In the YA Friends series, Cannon is in love with a girl (Em), but she’s not his forever match. He deserves someone better. In THINKING ABOUT YOU, he’s older now. A little wiser. Successful (he and Tuttle are both professional football players with the NFL). And he meets the woman of his dreams—Lady Susanna Sumner.
Too bad she lives in another country halfway around the world…
Meet Monica Murphy:
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. Monica writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings. Though, she does like to put her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.