I knew once I finished PML that I wanted to write a book for Gavin, Cash, and some other characters that the EMP affected. They just grabbed my attention as I wrote them and filled my mind with their stories. I started Cash's book about the time PML was in the editing process but decided to let the story simmer in my mind for a while. It just needed time to grow. So I worked on other books (Sweet Destruction being one of them) and let Cash quietly whisper bits and pieces of his story to me. Months (and months) later, I sat down to write it. First, I knew I wanted to go back in time. I wanted to write about Cash's life before the EMP and I also wanted to write about where he was and what he was doing when it hit. His experience was very different than Maddie and Ryder's but it was just as important and I wanted to tell it.
So I started diving back in, excited about the new female character that was going to be Cash's love interest. I wrote like mad, loving everything about her. She was innocent and strong and sweet. Everything Maddie was and more. Her and Cash were perfect together. A match made in heaven. But then one day - 20,000 words later - Cash said NO, she wasn't for him. I cried to my husband. I vented to my writer friends (who understood my frustration). I tried to make Cash and the girl work, I really did, but he was adamant. They weren't a match. So who was?
Let me backtrack. I wrote a scene very, very, very early (like Promise Me Darkness early) that involved Cash on a date with a wild, no-rules, dance-on-the-bar-and-go-home-with-any-man kind of girl. She was rude and spoiled and everything Cash didn't need or like, but all signs pointed to her. I disagreed. I fumed. I argued with myself for a week, but the girl had a story there and Cash seemed to be drawn to her. So I scraped 10,000 words and cried to my author friends, hoping I could pull this girl off because I had never wrote a character like her. My friends told me to just do it and I did. The reality is I always give my characters want they want...even if I don't agree.
But the more I wrote her, the more I loved her. She's raw and broken and takes crap from no one. She's bold and unstoppable and needs a little mending. She just needed a man like Cash to balance her and he needed a woman like her to make him see that sometimes what we thought we wanted isn't what we really needed.
One problem down. The next was the timeline. It spans for quite a length of time. How was I going to fit that into one single novel? I average 100,000 words per book. That didn't seem like enough to tell Cash's story. So the decision was simple...
Cash would get two books.
So now the cat's out of the bag. I haven't announced that anywhere else and only a handful of people know it. Cash will get two books. Two complete novels. There I said it again. But don't worry. I won't release the first one until the second one is finished too. I learned my lesson with PMD. ;)
And because people have asked - no, you won't get a repeat of what happened in PMD and PML. This is ALL Cash. His story. I can't promise that you won't see the moment Cash met up with Eva and Brody or the scene where Ryder was captured. It might be in his book. Maybe. But just know that I'm not rewriting PMD or PML in Cash's point of view. This is all Cash. All the time. New scenes. New adventures. New problems.
I'll keep you posted on release dates. As soon as I know, you'll know. But like I said - the first book will not be released until I write "THE END" on the second one. So please bear with me!
P.S. - Ryder says hi. ;*