Pay It Forward · Writing

Origin Story: The One That Got Away

This is a new feature, where I tell you the story of where my novels originally came from. From the first germ of an idea, to the first “written” inception and how it became what it is today, in it’s print form.

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The One That Got Away began as a full length young adult novel (with some steamy stuff), called To Serve You Well. The story never really settled well with me, but I loved the concept too much to let it go. Originally, it was about two teens who were enemies at school – one a bully, the other the bullied – but somehow found themselves ridiculously attracted to each other. The bully used the bullying to make contact, while the bullied basked in the same contact, since it was the only attention his crush gave him. Over time, they found themselves falling into a D/s relationship, with no real idea of what it entailed or the consequences of it.

For a while, I left the story up on Wattpad, to be read for free. Then, an anthology came up about lost loves and I decided to rework To Serve You Well. I made it happen 12 years later, when they were adults, where they reflected back on their time as teenagers, making stupid mistakes that stayed with them and tore their hearts out. I loved what I came up with – The One That Got Away. But, after getting it ready for publication, I realised that I still wanted to tell the story of young Rory and Bradley, to show how they’d gotten to this point. There would be an element of “what if” about it, so that the ending could change and offer a HEA or HFN, rather than leaving it open so that it ended with the short story 12 years later. I hate incomplete endings, even if it was published first.

Now, with To Serve You Well completely written, I could so easily just edit and make sure the plot points mark up with The One That Got Away. But that’s not how I roll. The minute I decided to release To Serve You Well, under a new name, I got all these ideas for how to improve the story and make it much more exciting. At the same time, the bones are good enough to keep and show the real heartache from 12 years ago.

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Overall, I hope that what started out as a YA novel to counter the romanticism of slave/master stories, will be enjoyable. It’s undergone substantial re-writes, multiple edits, re-edits and Beta Readers, but I hope it’s a better story for it.

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The One That Got Away Screenshot

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