In less than three weeks my second book, Sweet Girl comes out. It’s still pretty amazing to me that I have a first book, let alone a second one. My family keeps asking me things like, so how does it feel to write your second book? In a word? Hard.
See when I wrote Party Girl I was writing a story I knew because it was a story I had lived. Southern girl moves to LA from a small town, starts doing celebrity events and meets the man of her dreams. That’s my story! Oh sure, I’m not blonde and my dream guy is a brunette studio executive not a blonde surfer, but still… I was writing what I knew.
Initially, I never thought this would turn into a series. I thought Party Girl was a standalone and then I’d go back to writing that historical time travel novel I’ve been working on for years. (PS – no I’m not making that last bit up, I’m a nerd, remember?) But as soon as Party Girl came out, readers started to ask about the other characters and Max in particular. I didn’t want to let readers down, and I certainly want everyone to get their HEA but deciding that Mackenzie “Max” Jennings was worth her own book came with one HUGE problem… I had no idea how to write her!
No idea because Max is nothing like me. I had created this tall, thin, grouchy, rude roommate with a pixie cut in book one because I needed the antithesis of Landon. Then suddenly I had to write a whole book from her perspective and I had no idea how to do that! I really battled to understand why she is the way she is. I mean, her backstory had to be pretty torn up for her to be so hard on herself, right? Then I finally figured out why she was so lost and it broke my heart so I spent the rest of the book trying to help her find herself again. The journey was funny and sad and awesome and I will admit, the first time I’ve ever cried while writing a scene. (When you read it, you’ll know exactly which scene I’m talking about.) But even though it was tough and it made me cry, I will admit I actually love this book more than I loved the first one. *gasp* I know, an author isn’t supposed to choose favorites right? It’s like children, you’re supposed to love them all equally. But Max was so much harder for me to write and her happy ending was so much harder for her to achieve than it was for Landon. Also, the love story in this one? Way, way better because it plays such a big part in Max becoming her own person. Odd that finding your love can help you find yourself but that’s exactly what happened here.
One super fun part about this book? In Sweet Girl, Max is becoming a pastry chef which means that I had to do a ton of research on working in a commercial kitchen. It also means that the book is filled with a thousand and one decadent descriptions of desserts and I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes here on the site so you can make them at home. I love them so much, these coffee cake cookies were included as one of Max’s specialties and that’s a dessert you should make ASAP!
I’m so excited to have something new to share with readers who loved the first book so much. I sincerely hope that you all like it and more than anything I hope that I’ve become a better writer since last time. But at the end of the day all any of us can do, is our best. I’ve worked hard to create something that I’m proud of and just like with kids, all I can do is introduce it to the world and hope that it finds it’s way.
I can’t wait to hear what y’all think. xo, Rachel