Most girls go through that ancient rite of passage, the boy band crush. Posters on the wall, lyrics to every song memorized and jotted down in a journal or in the margins of their textbooks at school. Dreaming of that one band member that they swear looks right at them in music videos or live on stage. I’m so going to marry him someday! We’re going to have the cutest babies. I certainly can’t judge. I was well past my teen years when I dragged my husband (oh, the poor man!) to an *NSYNC concert in downtown Los Angeles.
Being a writer, I took my boy band obsession to a whole new level. I started writing fan fiction. At the height of my fame (did I mention I had quite the following?) I had my own website dedicated to my stories. I had a page for each boy band member. I had long stories, short stories, holiday-themed stories. You name it. And pictures to go with each one. I had every CD on repeat as I wrote. It was bliss.
So we know what it’s like to be the crush-er. But I was curious. What would it be like to be the crush-ee? Would the money and the fame be worth the lack of privacy? Would you wonder if your friends were only your friends because of who you were in public, and not who you were in private? Would it be one huge party? Or would it be surprisingly lonely?
Thus, Dean Patterson was born. And I got to play around in the head of a boy band member, all grown up. Because this was my story, I took Dean out of the swanky LA scene and dropped him in Scallop Shores, ME, completely out of his element in a small New England town and freaked out about being recognized to the point of hiding away in his huge house on the bluff.
Writing about boy bands is okay when you’re an idealistic teenager. Writing about them when you’re an adult and should probably have moved on to more mature interests is…risky. What can I say? I’ve always written whatever strikes my fancy. And I’ve never apologized for it. Now putting it out there – in front of the world? That idea terrified me. Until I pitched the idea at a writers conference. Another writer approached me later on in the day and told me “You had me at boy band.” At which point we had a long discussion about the evolution of boy bands and just which members our husbands would have to stand in line behind. ;) She gave me the courage to submit the story and Five of Hearts became a reality.
This book is the closest I’ve gotten to anything boy band related in a good many years. But I was out to lunch with my family over the weekend and an *NSYNC song came over the music system. I looked at my nine year old daughter and thought it might be time to break out those old CDs. She might enjoy them, and I know I would. I hope Dean and Shannon’s story helps my readers reconnect with that exciting time in their lives, crushing on a boy band member and starting to figure out this crazy thing we call love.
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