I started writing about this band in college. Their first stories spun out in the margins of my notebooks during huge lecture classes, but the singer was always a bit elusive. Mostly, I was focused on Jason and Brian. When I sat down to write novels about them Marc and Bear gelled, taking on personalities, but Ty kept himself apart. Determined to get to the root of him, I decided to start writing his story from the very beginning. The beginning before the beginning. When he was in high school and auditioning for the band. I planned to jump around and write scenes as they occurred to me, editing it together later. The first scene I wrote was Ty shopping for new clothes to audition for the hot local band and meeting Candy. Candy had been around in the other books. These guys and the people around them are very tight. Candy gave Tessa advice in Not Second Best, she had her kids at the office in Waiting For a Girl Like You when Marc came in looking for support, and she had those same children at Brian and Suzi’s wedding at the end of Let Me Be the One (which is also the beginning of Not Second Best.) She’s been moving around in the background of the whole series and when I wrote this last book I found out why.
I didn’t write the way I planned, a scene here, a scene there. I started with “Candy leaned on the cash desk and studied the burnout roaming her section.” and kept right on going to “’And you didn’t think you were qualified.’ Sandy kissed her hand before standing to hug Alex himself.” (which comes after Sandy announced that he’s handing the reins of the Touchstone empire to Candy and Marc has announced that Alex is pregnant.) Every moment of Touchstone’s rise to fame and Candy and Ty’s tumultuous relationship enthralled me. They watched all their friends find their destinies, unwilling to face the fact that they had found theirs already.
I’m sad to see them go, though I don’t think they’re ever going to leave me alone. Candy plays a big part in the second book of my next series and Maureen appears in the third. I am thrilled to have found each member of Touchstone their perfect mate.