When I first got the twinkling of a storyline for my contemporary romance novel, Going Cowboy Crazy, it had nothing to do with cowboys or a small town in Texas. It started with twins. And not just any twins. I wanted my twins to be identical females who shared the same womb and genes, but who were raised in completely different environments.
So Faith Aldridge and Hope Scroggs were born, two women who couldn’t look more alike and yet be so different. Faith’s a shy introvert who was raised as an only child by older intellectuals, and Hope is a controlling extrovert who was raised in a large family by young country folks. The twins turned out to be such opposites that I probably could’ve made up a fairly good story using just their reunion as a plot. But that just didn’t seem like enough fun for me. So I took a page from one of my all-time favorite childhood movies, The Parent Trap (the Hayley Mills version not Lindsay Lohan) and did a little switch-a-roo.
That’s where Bramble, Texas, and hot cowboys came in. I mean, what could be funnier than having shy, reserved Faith step into her sister’s homecoming queen/hog-calling life amid a bunch of good-hearted but meddling Texans? Suddenly, she finds herself doing things she’s never dreamed of—nasty shots, homecoming parades, country line-dancing, and driving around town in a monster truck covered with a bunch of blatant bumper sticks and more flags than a war memorial.
But all these things pale in comparison to being thrust together with Hope’s childhood boyfriend, Slate Calhoun. And since Faith has a limited amount of experience with men, I wanted to give her the sexiest, hottest cowboy either side of the Pecos. Image, if you would, a mixture of Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, and James Dean. Get the picture? Yee-haw!
Sorta makes you want to have your own identical twin to switch with, doesn’t it? Someone who has a life a little more exciting than yours? A movie star? A wealthy mogul? A star athlete? The woman down the street who gets to stay at home and work in her pajamas? (Wait a minute, that’s me.)
If I could have an identical twin and switch for a day, I’d want my twin to be Oprah. Oh, the power of your OWN network! Or maybe that would be too much stress. How about the Olympic snowboarder Shaun White? No, I might bust a hip—freaky-deeky, dude. Angelina Jolie? Nope, I’d embarrass myself by snapping photos on my iPhone as soon as Brad disrobed.
Okay, so maybe it’s safer to just be ourselves and get our twin fix in movies and books.
Faith, Hope, and Bramble are waiting for you.