Monday, July 29, 2019

Dania Voss Guest Post

When I decided to try my hand at writing a short story, the origin story of Luke Stryker and Abbey Jayne from my debut novel On the Ropes, I didn’t realize what a challenge it would be. I was both excited and nervous to write Off the Hook, When Luke met Abbey.
I was excited because I wanted to offer Off the Hook as a free read to readers, to introduce them to my Windy City Nights series. I was nervous because I had never written a short story before and Luke and Abbey’s origin story took place when they were 18 and 20 years old. They were young adults, not older adults like in the debut novel, which took place ten years later.
I had quite a bit of research to do, as I do for every book I write. For writers, research is one thing we can get mired in that delays us from starting to write. Since Off the Hook was supposed to be short story, I didn’t want to and couldn’t spend too much time doing research, I had to get the story written!

But since the timeline placed their origin story in June of 2007, I had to be historically accurate on several critical things.
The World Series - Luke is a pitcher for his family’s team the Chicago Cobras so I had to research what teams played in the World Series in 2007 and make adjustments for the Cobras to play in the story.
Technology - I researched what the popular laptop models were in 2007, as well as the popular cell phones. The first iPhone came out in 2007, I didn’t know that until I researched it for the story.
Movies – I found out which comedies were out in the summer of 2007 and chose one for Luke and Abbey to watch in the story.
Online Universities – Since Luke was travelling with the team, I had to research which universities were offering online degrees at that time. He couldn’t attend regular classes like everyone else.
Since Abbey was 18 and Luke was 20, it was a challenge trying to get into the mindset of younger adults. Luke was Abbey’s first boyfriend. She hadn’t done much dating before she met him. Luke’s family is wealthy in addition to owning the Chicago Cobras. He’d led a fairly charmed life, even though he’d lost his parents at a young age.

I’m a plotter, not a pantser so as I’ve done with my full length novels, I created an outline for Off the Hook with word count limits for each chapter. In the end, I went over about 2500 words and ended the story with over 18,000 words, but I’m proud with the result of my first short story.

Author Bio
Born in Rome, Italy and settled in the Chicagoland area, Dania Voss is a lover of all things pink and a huge fan of 80's hair bands. She became a romance junkie in her teens. After decades of voracious reading, she published her first romance novel On the Ropes, the prequel in her Windy City Nights series in March of 2018. It was nominated as best Contemporary Romance in the 2018 Evernight Publishing Reader's Choice Awards. 

The Warrior's Whisper was released in September of 2018 and her current romance Hannah's Bliss, with Italian int'l model Luca Pantini on the cover, is the third installment in the series.

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