Readalong 8

Today is the día de las velitas in Colombia! I wrote a blog post about it back in 2020, when the book was newly published.

Feliz día de las velitas, with a picture of lanterns

She was going to write a whole album before this was finished and she wouldn’t be able to release it because it would prove he was right and a broken heart was what she’d needed all along.

  • The post-crisis scene is weirdly one of my favourites. It turned out funny, as well as emotional, which I later discovered is how I always write.
  • Separating ‘anymore’ is something I learned with this draft. Apparently it’s British style in publishing, although I had never noticed before. There were so many things I learned in the editing process of this book, including the use of single quote marks in British style.
  • In all my books, I love the men getting their sh*t together scenes! My absolute favourite is Piero in a Match Made in Venice (his lightbulb moment was so perfect), but I enjoy all of them, trying to resist going after the women they don’t realise they love (of course they don’t resist for long). But Javi and Jorge getting drunk together and Jorge going on about their balls is probably my second favourite LOL.

‘You’ll have to wake me if w-w-we’re number one.’ Oh, bother, she couldn’t even say the word ‘we’ any more.

I was asked in an interview once why Javi went to see his ex-wife at the end, which I thought was interesting, because I’d never questioned that part. It always seemed clear to me that, if he was to move on from the past, he needed some closure there, to set his relationship with Susana on a new path. I don’t think he could have committed to Cara without first laying things to rest with Susana.

He would have done anything for more time with her.

Ahh, Bea really does get all the good lines!

‘But, Dad, we’re catholic!’ The ‘duh’ was implied.

The ice-skating scene was a later addition to the manuscript, but I enjoyed stringing it all out!

‘I’m a tropical kind of guy.’
‘I know. I’ve tried your papaya.’

I keep forgetting I shouldn’t put any spoilers into these readalong posts, but I suppose everyone knows it has a happy ending! I will say the song at the end was a lot of fun to write and tied everything up nicely. I read one review once (before I broke my habit about reading reviews) that said all the song lyrics in the book were cringey. Even then, strangely, that didn’t sting all that much. If you look at the lyrics of a lot of pop songs, they are realllllly cringey. That was part of the point. Songs have a lot of cliche and tropes and all the stuff romance novels are often derided for. Perhaps it’s why songs are such good inspiration for writers and why I always want to write about music.

She’d known in August that this song had the power to change her life and this man would disrupt everything. She hadn’t realised how wonderful the disruption would be.

A big thank-you to everyone who’s hung around for the readalong, and to anyone finding these posts at a later date and ‘reading along’ at your own pace. There is a bonus epilogue out there, too, if you want to find out what happens on Colombian Independence Day the following year. I hope you’ve enjoyed your Christmas with Cara and Javi, exploring different traditions and discovering the shared sense of nostalgia at Christmas, as we remember the past, look to the future and hold our loved ones close.

Happy Christmas to you all!

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