Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Story Behind the Story - The Other Side by Shawn Lane

Stats – Received contract in December 2008. Turned in manuscript December 2008. Published 02/07/09 by Amber Allure.

At that time in the history of Amber Quill, our fearless leader, Trace, asked for volunteers to write stories for certain Amber Pax collections (the method for Pax collections has changed). The theme for this one was opposites attract and the name of the collection was also Opposites Attract. The Pax was released in February 2009. The Other Side made the top 10 best seller list for Amber Quill in February. In fact, beginning in January of 2009 when At Long Last was number 1 on the best seller list for January, every book I’ve released at AQ has made the top 10 list.

Little known fact – I love the torso representing Nick in the story on my cover, especially the little badge pinned to his clothes, but the guy representing Ray looks too 1970s for me. He looks like he belongs as a teacher in Room 222 an old television show. Ray is supposed to be sophisticated, polished and well dressed. Definitely not my favorite cover.

Extremely little known fact – I never intended to continue the story after The Other Side. I did plan on a sequel/related story for Ray’s pain in the ass brother, Devon. But I planned to leave The Other Side as it was. Basically a strong Happy For Now ending. I got so many people commenting on how they never learned whether Ray got elected to the city council or whether Nick got his job back, and other details, that I gave further consideration to continuing their story.

How did I get the idea for the book – I really couldn’t tell you. The Other Side is one of those stories I agreed to write when I had absolutely no clue what I was going to write. I just thought, well, I can write an opposite’s attract story. Piece of cake. Well, not exactly, no. I do know when I did start to write it I wanted Nick to be pretty damaged and kind of scruffy cute. I wrote it with no real plan, though, and just let the words flow. Not very helpful I know. But honest.

If I could edit the book now, what would I change (if anything)? – I hate to echo Ava, but I was actually happy with the book as-is. To me, whether Ray got elected or Nick got his job back didn’t matter. It seemed irrelevant to the story. Since then I’ve realized how it could be perceived as incomplete though. The other thing I didn’t notice as I wrote it, but I once saw someone mention was that in their opinion I overdid the opposite thing, because I had one rich, one poor, one white, one black, one liked wine, one liked beer. But you know I know real people who like wine or like beer and not both so as I wrote it I never considered that someone might view that as over the top. I guess it’s true you can’t please everyone! I also know Ray came across as too arrogant to some, but I liked Ray. I thought he was a real person who sometimes comes across as an ass. Not intentional. I like writing non-perfect people.

Will there be a sequel – Yes. It’s next up after the current WIP. Unlike, the original, I have a plan for this one. And yes there will be angst and maybe some dislike of Ray again, lol. But Ray thinks with his heart and the mistakes he’ll make in the sequel are from there and fear. It will all end quite well though. It IS a romance.

Misc stuff – Besides the sequel, I still plan to write, Tempted to Taste, which is Ray’s brother’s story. It wasn’t clear at all Devon was gay in The Other Side, but you’ll find out more about that in The Same Side. Devon owns a restaurant and if you recall he called Nick a “skanky little white boy” so it amuses me to give him a little white boy of his own. His hero will be blond, pretty and hot, and happen to be the new chef Devon’s business partner hires. Look for that in 2011. Hopefully early 2011.


  1. I know I gush about this feature every time, but really, this is cool and fun, learning about this behind-the-scenes stuff. :)

  2. Thanks, Chris. I admit I enjoyed writing mine, too. I'm just glad others are enjoying them.

  3. I agree. This is a great series of posts. Thanks for sharing the info, Shawn.

  4. "skaky little white guy" ...Devon definitely deserves to fall in love with a pretty hot blond. LOL

  5. Shawn, I'm late to the party this time but this was a great SBTS. I love hearing about the little nuances that each author either realizes or doesn't with each story.

    You, Devon and Ava all write such fabulous stories - it's hard to know who to read first!! LOL. :)


    Both your interracial books are fav with me - but I do really love this one...

    All the things that niggle you about Ray are the things I love about him..

    Arrogant, pain in the ass and take charge... The fact you did the opposite thing was pretty cool for me...

    I for one am looking forward to the follow up book and nice touch on letting baby bro get his ...

    He was a right pain and a royal arse...

    I adore Nick - he was like a big cat - Just lovable...

    Thanks for the back info on the book...