Storyteller, Part 5


This post is part 5 of the Storyteller series, which features a behind the scenes look at "Breaking Roman", the third book in The Moran Family series.


“Breaking Roman” tells the story of baby brother, Roman. Roman is not as serious as big brother Cruz…and not nearly as naughty as Marco, but he is a charmer. He shares the ‘ladies man’ attitude that Marco has, but Roman’s philosophy is much different: he wants someone to love. Unfortunately, every woman he dates is the potential “one”, earning him the nickname Romeo. But deep down, Roman is kind and gracious and very caring.


I truly loved writing Roman’s book. It was important to me to show what a really good man could be like (not that his brothers aren’t good men…they are). Roman is the hardworking blue-collar Moran boy, heading up the construction division of The Moran Group. He’s a jeans and t-shirt guy who hates being inside an office and would prefer to swing a hammer all day.


Here’s a little sneak peek into the muse I originally chose for Roman, a yummy model named Sebastian Rulli. Although said muse and Roman share similar looks, the character that formed in my head during the writing process morphed considerably. Anyway…here you go:



When I began drafting this book, I knew that Roman (like Marco) needed to meet a woman that was initially unattainable. So the story goes, over the course of a few years, Roman develops a crush for the head of the Human Resources department at The Moran Group, the very professional Sabrina Morris. Sabrina, a tall willowy blonde, is a single mom to a teenage girl who has no time for a man in her life. And even though Roman tried very hard to charm her, initially she refuted all his advances.


My muse for Sabrina was the beautiful and talented Naomi Watts, who I just love in the movie “Adore” (and pretty much anything else she’s in):




The shining star in this book surprisingly was not either of the main characters, but rather Sabrina’s daughter, Emerson (AKA Emmy). I loved the relationship that developed between Roman and Emmy, which really showed Roman’s potential as a father. Side note: My editor, Max, loved their relationship too, particularly the fact that Roman always called Emmy ‘kiddo’.


One thing I love about writing is when what you think will be a non-character (someone that has a minor part in the story) turns out to be one of your favorites. Case in point, Sabrina’s best friend and next door neighbor, Jack. Jack is very overprotective of Sabrina and Emmy, as gay as the day is long, and initially suspicious of the very gorgeous Roman Moran. Jack may not be featured in a lot of scenes, but when he does, he shines. Jack also happens to have a twin brother, who may or may not end up being the love interest in book 4 (sister Bella’s story).


By the time this third book was completed, I had the self-publishing machine down to a science. What I did not anticipate with ANY of it, though, were the costs involved. Seems like there is a fee for everything, except the actual publishing itself. Between the costs for formatting, covers, ISBN numbers, editing and website costs, it was nothing for me to spend upwards of $2000 per book. At the time, I had a high paying job, which helped to offset all the expenses involved. And…I truly believed I could make a living off writing. Deep down, I still hope for that to be true. One day…maybe.


There are no real secrets or interesting information about this book, except to say that I enjoyed writing it very much. “Breaking Roman” was published on June 27, 2017, a few months after the release of “Taming Marco”. This time around, I put the novel on a blog tour. It’s a good way to get your work seen by bloggers who post book reviews online. I received a few really amazing reviews from these bloggers, but one thing that really stood out was not everyone connected with Sabrina. Some thought she was too cold, some believed she took advantage of Roman’s good nature. Overall, everyone loved Roman…and they also really enjoyed his connection with Emmy.


The blog tour helped the book gain more traction overall, which I will always be grateful for. Through the feedback I received I realized how important it is and always will be to never assume the reader knows what you mean. Sometimes certain things need to be spelled out. Other times, it just needs to be explained in further depth. Either way, I learned a lot from this experience.


Sadly, I also learned that having a presence online (especially Twitter) will not gain you readers. In fact, the authors that once supported your work, became annoyed at all the book promotion. I fully understand that you will never make everyone happy, and there is a delicate line between not enough and too much. But I have and will always believe that authors should support one another.


Another relationship that shined during the writing process for this book, was the close relationship between Roman and his sister Bella. I loved writing their interactions and seeing Bella’s protectiveness come through. Good thing, too, because her book was next in the series. Read all about “Revealing Bella” in part 6 of this Storyteller blog series.


-AJ

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