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Love in the midst of a murder investigation! Sounds intriguing! Was it difficult to keep the romance believable while juggling a murder investigation plot?
It's no secret that domestic issues bring about heated and often times dangerous situations. Given that Jerri is working on a divorce case, and her boss winds up dead, it makes the reader, well, me, wonder if the situation between the divorcees escalated into a crime of passion. Of course, I could be way off base here, but either way, it's interesting. What made you choose this type of storyline, and was it difficult to write?
I took this story in two parts: the investigation and the romance between the main characters. I did the romance first. I have done many romances so I figured I would work my strong point first. I wanted Jerri and Felix’s relationship to be different and their roles for each other to be different as well. The idea itself came about with a simple conversation with my girlfriends. Someone asked, why do men always have to be the aggressor? I want to be the one in control of the relationship. The question launched a whole a night of laughter and drinking and when I went home my brain was on overdrive. Jerri and Felix’s relationship had begun.
The investigation part of the story was a little harder. I had to do some serious research to get it to where I was happy with it. I had the idea in mind, but I wanted to make sure I saw accurate and the story flowed well in conjunction with the romance. If the two elements didn’t blend smoothly it wouldn’t work.
I know a few police officers and a couple of lawyers that go to my church. I asked them if I could interview them to gather some info and they agreed. My biggest fear is for someone to read my story and say, ‘man, that’s not true. The law says…” Also, I use the internet often, read books, people watch and steal personality traits from family and friends to build different personality types for my characters.
I don’t know if Releasing the Baggage was any harder to write than any other romance I have written, but I definitely learned more than I ever knew about the laws in my state and city and that men aren’t always the bad guy. LOL
Jerri Ivory was over divorce cases, but when your boss asks you to do him a favor...
During the important case, her boss is killed and she becomes a suspect all while she is trying to get to know Felix, a man her friend Linda hooked her up with. With all the mayhem going on in her life can Felix slow her down long enough to show her they were meant to be?
Linda nodded. “Yes, ma’am, Pumpkin. Her mother was a flower child back in the sixties so she ended up with a name no one can say without practice. Pumpkin is just simpler,” she explained.
Bob and Helen looked at each other, then nodded a greeting to her.
Pumpkin waved at them. “Hi.”
Felix chuckled. “Then Pumpkin it is. Hi,” he said, offering his hand.
Frieda barely nodded at the older couple then pushed Pumpkin out the way to shake Felix’s hand.
“How are you, Felix?”
“I’m fine, Frieda. How are you?”
“I’m doing much better now,” she said, flashing him a smile.
Linda bumped her out of the way, breaking their handshake. She pulled Jerri in front of her. “And this is my friend Jerri.”
“Jerri? I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman name Jerri. Is it short for something?” Felix asked.
“No. My mother had a major crush on Jerry Lewis when she was young. When she found out she was pregnant she announced to my father that whatever the baby was she was naming it Jerri.” She shook his extended hand and shrugged. “Needless to say my father was not happy about it, but here I am anyway, Jerri Ann Ivory.”
Felix laughed. “Does he call you Jerri?”
“Oh, no. He gave me my middle name and always called me Annie.”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you, Jerri.”
About the author:
Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Indianapolis, IN her home for over 10 years. Her love for writing started as a young girl in junior high school where she discovered her first romance novel. Falling in love with love she started writing her own ongoing story in weekly installments to entertain her friends as they passed it around the lunch room.
When she became an adult she put her love for writing on hold to do the start a family, but in 2003 with encouragement from her husband she picked up her pen again. This time she has no intention on putting it down. To date she has written 3 full length novels, 11 novellas, 36 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies under her own name and a pseudo for another genre.