Readalong 6

…the song had been cut straight from his soul.

So many favourite quotes from these chapters!! Cara and Javi are goners, falling in love while still thinking they are resisting. I love this bit of a romance! And maybe I should have got commission from the Colombian tourist board for this section, too haha. One song that goes with this section is La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives and Shakira. She even sings in one point about showing her husband (Gerard Pique) the Tayrona National Park and he won’t want to go back to Barcelona! The video shows scenes from Barranquilla, too!

La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives and Shakira

Everything felt ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ this December.

The line below was one my editor suggested cutting, but I loved it so much I pushed back and we kept it (I believe slightly toned down from whatever I had originally LOL),

The shirt looked soft on his shoulders. It made her imagine wearing that shirt herself – which was a weird fantasy.

Oh this confrontation on the beach at Tayrona is another of my favourite scenes! It’s one of those moments where they confront everything that’s keeping them apart and are so honest with each other, there are emotions flying everywhere. Cara is such a boss in this scene, too, which I love.

‘What are we doing, Javi? And what are we going to do when this is all over?’
‘Go home… and remember. And maybe write a song about stray bullets and bleeding hearts.’

The Colombian band Morat influenced this book quite a lot, too, although their music is more general pop than Latin pop. Their songs have a lot of interesting themes to do with love, and their 2018 album is called ‘Lost Bullets’, which may sound familiar, if you’ve read this far into the book! Here is the song that features that line, ‘Lost Bullets’:

No Se Va by Morat

‘I hate to think of you remembering everything I say.’
‘I hate to think I’ll forget.’

Ah, I love the early-morning swimming scene! Another one that lived already, before I’d written it.

‘I’ve been an obnoxious screw-up with you.’ His lips were in her hair and her breath had stalled. ‘But at least it’s real.’

The line about Crisobal Colon still makes me laugh. It took me a little too long to work out it was Christopher Columbus. I tacked that naivete on to Cara!

She’d spent ten years telling people to shut up and let her deal with things her own way.

‘I know I was an asshole to your mom for years and a shitty parent. But I want a chance at being more than the lousy guy who fathered you.’

I found a sensitivity reader for the anxiety aspects of this book, Laura McKendrick, and she was really helpful for checking my language around the mental-health aspects of the story and because I wanted to keep it as a positive thread, something Cara manages well. I initially had Cara ‘give in’ to the intrusive images, but Laura pointed out that was an unhelpful scene to portray, so I changed it to her managing better and using her medication and she was absolutely right it’s much better like that.

‘I know I was an asshole to your mom for years and a shitty parent. But I want a chance at being more than the lousy guy who fathered you.’

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