The idea for The Fire came to me after watching one of the shows I re-watch constantly. It’s America’s favorite comfort watch: Criminal Minds. There’s an episode where a family is trapped in their house, and the arsonist sets the fire and watches them burn. (You’ve probably guessed that calling this show a comfort show was sarcasm.)
Anyway, I got it in my mind a story about there being a survivor of a fire that takes their whole family. After that, it was not just a survivor but a child, and she grows up wondering what happened because the crime hadn’t ever been solved. The first thing I did for The Fire was to actually write the prologue. I wanted it to be vivid and make you, the reader, feel like you were right there with young Ripley (who had no name yet at this point in my process). I didn’t even have the rest of the plot when I wrote the prologue.
Once I knew that I wanted to write about her growing up and falling in love, I decided to pair her with her near polar opposite. Did you know that I chose the names for Kenna and Ripley because Ripley means water and Kenna means fire?
While Ripley was the one that survived the fire, she became water: giving up, not fighting, and going through the motions until Kenna, our intrepid and sometimes annoying reporter, told her that she should fight when it matters, representing fire.
I think Kenna annoys some people, but I get it – I’m not generally a big fan of reporters myself, either, but Kenna means well, and very quickly, she turns from a reporter just trying to get a story to someone who truly cares for Ripley. When Ripley can’t bear to do anything, Kenna steps in. When Kenna needs to calm the hell down, Ripley does that for her.
There wasn’t meant to be a big mystery in this book. I didn’t want that to be the driving plot. I wanted the story to be about the two of them finding each other and falling in love, with the fire in the background as the thing that brings them together. I also purposefully wanted it to be fairly easy for them to figure out who did it because, as it sometimes happens, these cold cases get solved by one tip, one fact no one else noticed, one piece of the puzzle that they didn’t have back then, and then the answer is obvious.
Now, Ripley has what she needs to move on from what happened to her and start a new life with Kenna.
Genre: Lesbian Romance
Release Date: September 20th, 2018
Formats: Kindle, Paperback
Print Length: 288 pages