Valentine’s Day Tigers was a hard book to write, but probably not for the usual reasons a book would be hard for an author to write.
Today, we’re going to have a look at Lance Lenkov.
You may have noticed I have a little bit of a theme in a few of my books. That would be anxiety. In These Immortal Vows, Tasia has severe anxiety. In Her Wild Wolf, Ava has severe anxiety. In The Lost Princess of Howling Sky, Aerre has severe anxiety. Well, in Valentine’s Day Tigers, Lance has rather severe anxiety.
Now, anxiety isn’t what defines these characters, and they all deal with their anxiety differently, but it does mean they could all relate on at least that one thing. That feeling. They are often high stress and extreme worriers.
Anxiety is something I deal with on a daily basis. It’s frustrating and can be crippling. In some weird and obnoxious way, it’s probably the reason I get books out as fast as I do.
I relate to Lance several layers deep. He has all of this anxiety, but he hides it and often comes across as cold and disconnected on the surface–though that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who know him KNOW. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.
So, all of that is fine. There isn’t some rule that says I can’t let one of my romance characters have anxiety. No. The thing that made Lance difficult is his asexuality. I designed Trinity to be a steamy shifter romance world. Each book has to follow that theme at the forefront. Yes, it has lots of fantasy undertones and stuff going on, but each book is always going to revolve around a “steamy” love story.
My characters tend to take me on a ride. They tell me who they are, and then they won’t bend for anything. I talked before about how I shied away from queer characters for a long time in Making 2019 Queer. If being queer is part of who I am and part of who a good handful of my characters are, then I decided it was time to stop trying to hide that. It’s a big decision, and one I’m still terrified of, to be perfectly honest.
Lance feels the pressure to fit in big time. As a whole, Trinity’s shifters are pretty sexual. He’s simply not. This adds to his anxiety. I had to explore that and stay true to story themes, “steamy” romance, and stay true to him. It was a challenge.
However, I think I succeeded. I’m very happy with how this book turned out.
And let’s not forget Yuri. The brothers added another element to this book outside of romantic love. The theme in this book is all about love, but in its different forms, and how things change, but love doesn’t have to. I’ll talk more about Yuri later, but for now…
Love is love.