My third secret, is the inspiration behind Decadent.
I joined Wattpad last year and it really revolutionised my writing. Why? Because on Wattpad, there is anything and everything to read. I spent the first few weeks exploring what was on offer and posting a few of my oldest stories, to gage how people would accept them.
I read a story called ‘Friend Zoned’ by SkeneKidz (you can find the link on my Wattpad page) It was a great story by an 18-year-old writer and somehow it just blew my plot bunnies into the extreme. I had all these ideas floating around my head, which eventually turned into ‘The Friendship Diaries’. I began with Forever Friends, which ended up relatively innocent as it centered around Cait and Brayden, best friends who fall in love.
Then I realised wrote Decadent, about Cormag and Lachlan, as it is now before editing, and it was originally going to be a solo novel, just like Forever Friends was supposed to be. But once both books were finished something kept niggling at me. They felt unfinished. Cait and Brayden’s story was over, by the end of Forever Friends, but Grayson’s story seemed like it was just starting. But I didn’t know how to continue it.
Then I noticed that although Cormag and Lachlan’s story was over, Konnor’s story wasn’t even started yet. And then it came to me – what if Konnor and Grayson met? What if Konnor tried to seduce Grayson?
It was genius. And it worked. The Other Side was born and written very quickly, in a matter of weeks. Then the plot bunnies wouldn’t shut up. They demanded more and Fallen Heart, Book 4 was born. The feedback I’ve had on this series so far is phenomenal.
But here’s the thing – I wasn’t just inspired to write these stories because of Friend Zoned. It was the comments, the community and the people on Wattpad who did it. They are amazing, young, sweet people, who just want a safe place to read and write whatever they want, without being judged. There are kids on there who can’t come out as gay because they attend a Catholic school and would risk getting expelled because of who they are, if anyone knew.
They are what inspired me. I saw them and their struggles and it touched me in a way that said I should do better…I should be better…I should write better. So I wrote Decadent for them. And The Other Side and Fallen Heart. I wrote those stories with them in mind and tried to instil a little of what I had learned from them into my characters.
Decadent, a pansexual-gay romance, is about not putting yourself in a box and confining yourself to the opinions of others. Forever Friends, a heterosexual romance, is about how sometimes friendship isn’t always innocent. The Other Side, a bisexual romance, is the story of overcoming preconceptions about yourself and others and learning to listen to your heart and your instincts. And Fallen Heart, a transgender story about a boy who became the girl she always was on the inside, is about trusting what you feel and how sometimes what you see isn’t always what you get. Everyone has a story that deserves to be told.
Through meeting those at Wattpad and the other writers of my publishing companies, Write More Publications and Hot Ink Press, I can honestly say that my eyes have been opened and I have learned more than I ever thought I could. I have been inspired. And if just one person can be inspired by what I write, then all that hard work in imagining the story, writing and editing it and marketing the heck out of it, was worth it.