Thank you for hosting me here at Erotica for All! I’m excited to be a guest on your blog today.
Appearances aren’t what they seem, so we’ve been told time and time again throughout our lives. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There’s more than meets the eye. Looks can be deceiving. While all these sayings are true, somehow we tend to forget them. Appearances—at least initially—always tend to carry more weight than anything else when telling us about a person.
As a writer part of the fun of creating a character can be to slowly unravel bits of pieces of their past, revealing there’s much more to a character than one might’ve originally believed. Creating those layers adds a richness and makes for a more believable and realistic character. It also adds to the story itself.
Depending on what I’m writing about, those initial appearances can really set the tone of a book. For instance, when writing a rich or famous character, there’s definitely more emphasis on appearances of both the character and the world they inhabit than with a more ‘normal’ character.
Writing about the realm of celebrity is both a challenge and a lot of fun. While it can be glamorous and thrilling to visit certain aspects of the celebrity world, I don’t think it’s a place I’d like to permanently inhabit. There are a lot of things one gives up in order to be a celebrity and call me crazy, but I’m not certain it’s a fair trade off. Nope, just not for me. I’m happy to remain just an ordinary non-celebrity person. However, it’s a fun escape to both read about and write about a character inhabiting a world vastly different than the one you exist in, regardless if it’s about celebrities or if it’s literally about a different world, like in a paranormal or sci-fi book.
In my latest release Life of Privilege I write about the ups and downs of being one of the most well-known superstars of the fashion industry. Now, I’m no fashion plate, but I can only imagine the sort of pressures that models and those in the fashion industry must constantly be under to keep up their groomed and picture-perfect appearances.
I know that in the celebrity world, outward appearances are supremely important, but they’re not always an accurate depiction of a person or a situation so that was something I really wanted to explore in this book. There’s a sense that to be a superstar, one must look a certain way and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of wiggle room to deviate from that established look.
When readers first meet Katherine Dawson, she is a judge on a reality TV show, a clothing designer and she’s also the face of her family’s apparel line. On the surface, she’s the It Girl of the fashion and entertainment world. Since she’s engaged to a handsome reality TV mogul, Katherine’s also the subject of envy for women everywhere.
Although her life looks perfect, just like so many other times with appearances, things aren’t what they seem.
The excerpt I’m sharing today is actually from the opening scene of the book. It begins with Katherine preparing to walk down the aisle but she has a change of heart. There’s a poignant moment where she’s looking at her wedding bouquet and the realization hits her that in a way, she’s very much like the beautifully arranged flowers in her hand.
Excerpt from Life of Privilege:
Katherine Dawson’s voice echoed off the stone walls of St. Patrick’s cathedral. As one of New York City’s oldest churches, the structure had enough prestige and beauty to hold Sunday service, memorials, and it provided the perfect setting for storybook weddings.
When her father didn’t answer right away, Katherine gathered the heavy material of her wedding gown in her hand and walked the few steps to reach her dad. She looked down at the enormous bouquet of flowers in her hand and almost lost her nerve. Yet the longer she stared at the arrangement of white roses, calla lilies and orchids, the more it reinforced her gut reaction to this day. Like the stunning flowers arranged so perfectly in the bundle, she was also trussed up and made to look pristine. She too was arranged at her peak, the moment in her life when she was likely most attractive. She knew if she went through with this decision that just like the flowers, soon she would wither and lose her beautiful essence. Through the heavy wooden doors, she heard the faint strains coming from the fifteen-piece orchestra. They were preparing to play the wedding march. It was now or never. If she had any chance at escaping the glamorous affair, it was in this moment.
“Daddy.” She stood in front of her father and knew she must look as panicked and frightened as a wounded animal. “I have to get out of here. I can’t go through with this.”
Tears welled in her eyes, but she blinked fast to push them away. Once the waterworks started, she didn’t know when they might stop. She dropped her hold on the dress and reached for her father’s hand.
“I’m leaving. If you want to stay and deal with mother’s temper tantrums when she finds out I left Nathan at the altar, so be it. Daddy, I just can’t do this. Well, won’t you say something?”
Her father cleared his throat and it was then she noticed the tears that had formed in his eyes. She hated that she’d let him down, but she couldn’t go through life with such a momentous lie hanging over her head. She stood on tiptoe, wrapping her arms around him for a quick hug. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you, but I have to stay true to myself. You won’t see me for a while. I’m going away, but I don’t know where yet. I’ve got to go find out who I really am without all the pressures of being Katherine Dawson hanging over my head.”
Blurb for A Life of Privilege:
Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.
Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.
When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.
Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.
Like the sound of Life of Privilege? Buy it here.
About Amanda Bretz:
In addition to being the author of contemporary, historical and erotic romance, Amanda Bretz holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. She is a multi-published author of several books and short stories and has worked as a journalist in both print and online news. Amanda writes romantic stories with happy endings and invites readers to experience the rush of falling in love.
When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book.
She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Brandon.
Enter Totally Bound’s Life of Privilege competition for the chance to win a copy of Life of Privilege as well as three more titles from the What’s her Secret? Imprint.