We are well underway with our latest Pandora Project story. When it came to deciding what our couple would be like and the kind of romantic adventure they’d have in our story, we considered what we’ve written in the past for this setting. It’s mostly about new couples, attraction and even love at first sight. For this story, we wanted to both save time and have a bit of a change.
We decided to go with a relationship that had a past, a love lost. Rufus and Mato have a shared past and no future, at least when the story opens. What they share is painful and, worse, one of them has decided they’re going to have to deal with it alone. It’s not a fair or even logical decision and that can be a hard sell.
How can you push someone away when they love you so much they’d give up their life for you and you feel the same way? How does a person forgive their former partner for what’s nothing less than a betrayal? In a romance, those things seem counterintuitive, to start with the remains of a ruined love that had—at one time–seemed so perfect that even the rules couldn’t keep it from happening.
But if the characters are engaging enough, if their reasons are clear enough, we think it’s possible to make it work. We’re hoping readers will be as invested in the lovers getting back together as Rufus and Mato are themselves. If things go badly, in either their relationship or their adventures, everyone has had a glimpse of how much there is to lose. The stakes are high even if they seem to be starting with nothing.
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at @anahcrow and @diannefox.