The love interest and love story is always going to be at the heart of any book that I write. When I come up with an idea for a book (or series), the first question I ask is what’s the love story going to be like and what obstacles am I going to throw in their path. For example, that big thing that happens at the end of Override was one of the first parts of the story I figured out when I was coming up with the idea for the trilogy three years ago!
I think of love interests as interlocking puzzle pieces – each character has needs (whether consciously known or not), that the lover fills. So I’ll make their characters very different, but so that they compliment each other.
For example, in Glitch, Zoe is trying to figure out what it means to feel emotion, and Adrien is a super passionate person. She’s so attracted to his passion because it’s everything she’s wanted since she started glitching. For Adrien, Zoe fills up all kinds of needs—being in the Resistance had worn down his spirit, that is, until he began seeing visions of Zoe. Seeing her as a leader gives him hope again when he needed it most, and then when he gets to know her, he realizes that he personally needs her too. He’s been alone for years, first with his mom, then in the Rez. But here finally is a girl he respects, who is a glitcher like him, and who awakens parts of himself he’d let go dormant. The passion for ideas and beauty and truth that Zoe is so attracted to only comes bubbling up to the surface because she is there to draw it out.
Through knowing each other, each is able to become their best selves. In Override, they meet different needs as each of them grows. This is something I’ve found true in my own life and marriage as well. My husband and I each have strengths that can counter and compliment the other’s needs. We are certainly not the same kids who met and got married at nineteen, but as we’ve both changed, we’ve managed to move together so that those interlocking puzzle pieces don’t come apart even in difficult times.
I think the best and most believable love stories follow this basic guideline. Think of Jack and Rose in Titanic. She’s longing for escape and for something that feels real and honest, and for Jack, she’s this beautiful rare thing that’s exploded into his wandering life. He sees a kindred spirit in her even though the confines of her society have tried to smother that spark.
And I guess that’s really the other necessary ingredient—spark. Chemistry. For whatever reason, even if it seems incomprehensible to others, two people have to click. Exploring that spark, that click, for me is one of the most fun parts of being a writer.
Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi novel, GLITCH (St. Martin’s Press/Spring 2012). She recently moved to Minneapolis with her family, and when she’s not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café.
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
My review is going up on Thursday. It was amazing!
Feb. 11th – Paranormal Reads – Review
Feb. 12th – Books of Amber – Guest Post
Feb. 13th – Paulette’s Papers – Review
Feb. 14th – The Book Belles – Guest Post
Feb. 15th – IB Book Blogging – Interview
Have you read Glitch? What did you think? I loved it when I read it last year, and Override is also excellent! Loved it. I can’t wait to share my full thoughts on it later on this week.