Sometimes when I need a break, I like to reminiscence over how a story came about or the influences of the characters. I think people and readers like that. I love to know about what it took to create a novel. I’ve done of few of these before, so here is my background of THIRTY-THREE.

Originally, the story was called 44. I changed that when I picked the half-written story back up. It went to 49, but ultimately ended up at 33 and that is because of a hand gesture given by the fans at one of the baseball games. 44 would have been good but there were too many historic baseball players with that number. 55 would have been horrible because people would look like they were praying. 22 would look like peace signs. 33 was perfect.

I essentially started writing this, or at least the concept of a baseball love story after a week-long road trip with my wife. We hit Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Chicago Cubs. Road trips always ignite my creative juices. I think a year later, we took a trip to Florida and had the opportunity to watch a Tampa Bay Rays game. That sealed the story.

I spent time with some people who inspired characters, not because I wanted to write a romance about them. The family banter between the exhausted adults and the typical attitudes of children gave my characters’ voices. Obviously, there is a need for visions. I used what I knew. For my male main character, the mother’s love interest, I pulled from different sources. The most blatant is my love for Buster Posey. I’d turn straight for that man.

For those of you who don’t know, Buster Posey is the catcher for the San Francisco Giants. While Buster is hot, he doesn’t have anything that makes him special. My male characters tend to look roughly the same and are based on a singer/actor/model from Mexico, who I think might be the hottest man on earth, Victor Noriega.

If you ever want to know what any male character of mine looks like, he is it. All romance writers use a person as their inspiration. Victor has always been the poster boy for hot and steamy sex scenes.

When I initially started writing it, I stopped about halfway through. The second half was outlined and there was a clear progression to the finish line but it took years for me to continue. Since I put this on hiatus, I wrote four novels, a novella, and a few short stories. I was on a roll and decided it was time to jump back into this love story. In less than a month, I finished the first draft. I went from approximately 30K to 75K words by the end of the draft.

Because I was so invested in the story, I decided to go right into editing instead of letting it simmer on the back burner. THIRTY-THREE is the first novel that I am using ProWriting Aid as my editor. It is pretty powerful and has made me aware of my weaknesses. While I am going forward with the posting on the new edits, I am paying attention and rewriting some of it as I edit.

In the past, I would have just posted the story after tossing it through the free version of Grammarly and living with all my errors. I know there are still errors and my vocabulary is weak, but it is 10x better than before and I am proud of it. I think that is what is most important. Be proud of your work.

Chapter 1-4 (of 33, if I keep it to my plan) are now available to read on Kindle Vella, with new chapters posted regularly.

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