“Behind the Scenes” of Right Where I Belong

My third book, Right Where I Belong, was released yesterday! I am always excited about my book releases, but this one was especially special. I actually came up with the idea for this novel right after I wrote First Date. I love the story of Ruth and wanted to tackle that, and I also wanted to address the struggles, frustrations and humor that moving to a new country creates.

When I first pitched this idea, my editor wasn’t sure about it. First Date has more “glitz” and she felt I needed to have more of that in the second book, to maintain reader interest. Plus, we both agreed that we loved Kara and wanted to see more of her. So after some serious brainstorming on the phone in the Dunkin Donuts’ parking lot, Starring Me was born.

After I finished that one, I once again pitched the idea for Right Where I Belong. I wanted to break away from the “girl on TV” element because I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as the writer who only writes about girls on TV. My editors agreed that this was the time to tell Natalia’s story. I couldn’t wait to dive in!

At the time, I had a contract for three books, and this was my third (I have since signed a contract for three more — more on that later! — but I didn’t know that when I was writing RWIB). So, in case this was my “swan song,” I wanted to throw in everything that is important to me: Places I love, like Spain and Costa Rica are in there. Learning to live in a different culture is in there. Serving in ministries and the frustrations of being related to a pastor are there, as are dealing with divorce and watching someone battle depression. And, of course, seeking to discover  what you are meant to do when there are so many voices telling you what they think you should do. And beaches, shopping, an arrogant boy, paella, demolition, and stepping in dog poo.

I enjoyed writing this book, I enjoyed “living” in this book. Of all three, these characters seemed most like friends, and these situations are closest to my heart. Books are like kids – authors love them all. But, unlike kids, we do have favorites. And this one is mine! I hope you enjoy it, too!

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