WIP Me Inspired: Nicole Murphy
The inspiration for the Jorda books comes down to one woman: Princess Leia Organa
I was seven when I first saw Star Wars, and it blew my mind. To this day, I can still remember feeling like I was reeling as I came out of the cinema. My brain felt big, like it never had before. My life was never going to be the same.
I started writing at the age of 11 and when I was 14, I started writing my own ode to Star Wars, featuring my very own feisty, fabulous space princess – Cassandra Wiltmore.
It took a long time to find the right story for Cassandra and her full-on family annd handsome suitor. But finally, last year I hit upon the story needed – and luckily, Escape Publishing not only loved it so much, they wanted two more books!
This caused me somewhat of a dilemma. I’d always, since way back when, intended Cassandra’s twin sister Diana to have her own story. Diana is a great character to write – not as rigid and narrow-focussed as Cassandra, but just as determined to have things go her way. But who should be the heroine of the third book?
A chat with Kate Cuthbert from Escape ensued. At first Kate thought Cassandra’s cousin Hera might make a good romance heroine, but I dismissed that. Hera is selfish and mean and doesn’t have any of the qualities that make a good heroine. I knew that – I’d lived with her in my head for 30 years. But then Kate suggested Plissa Waltric.
I was immediately intrigued. Plissa is Cassandra’s nemesis and the view we’re left with her via Cassandra’s point of view in the first book isn’t a nice one. But Plissa was a new character in the world – only entered my head in the last couple of years – so I didn’t really know her that well. I could see that while turning a woman like Plissa into a romance heroine would be a challenge (and I do love a challenge), there were depths to her that I didn’t know yet and in exploring them, maybe I’d discover that Plissa deserved her happily ever after as much as Cassandra had.
Since the books sold in January this year, I’ve written both Diana and Plissa’s story. Diana’s was fun – very action packed, and there was a lovely growth in both Diana and the man who initially rejected her but then found he couldn’t live without her. Plissa’s turned out to be every bit the challenge I’d thought, but not because I didn’t believe she deserved a happily ever after – within a few pages of working on the book, I was convinced Plissa deserved it. But Plissa being Plissa, she fought me the entire book.
But at the end of book three I have three happy couples, and peace has come to the planet of Jorda. I don’t know if I’ll go back there again – but I’ve had a fabulous time visiting there and I hope you all will to!
The Jorda Series – from Escape Publishing
Book 1 – Loving the Prince (August 2014)
Book 2 – Winning the King (December 2014)
Book 3 – Saving her Heart (May 2015)
Loving the Prince
Cassandra Wiltmore is the heir to the throne of Rica, but it’s unlikely she’ll be stepping up any time soon. So she spends her days managing and building the Rican Balcite Mining Company. The company has made her family wealthy beyond imagination, but that kind of power needs careful control, and Cassandra is just the Wiltmore to control it.
When a new bid for the mining license is announced, Cassandra is determined to squash it. Then the thefts and threats begin, and every step she takes seems to be wrong. Taking on a new protector seems like an indulgence Cass can’t afford, but she equally cannot afford to be caught off-guard. If only the best man for the job wasn’t also the best-looking man she’s ever seen.
Kernan Radaton has ambition, and as protector to Cassandra Wiltmore, he’s well placed to reach all his long-held goals. If only his new all-business boss didn’t make him think of only pleasure. With the company, the heir and the family under attack, the last thing anyone needs is a distraction. But once everything is safe again, Kernan is developing new ambitions — ones that involve a lot of very personal time spent getting to know his boss on a very personal level.