Editing The Husband Diet

For some time I had in mind to write about a BBW- big, beautiful woman  with a messed-up life but it wasn’t until I was at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, that I realized exactly what the story would be about. After three days I went home and pounded out 120 k in three months. It was September 2010.

When you’re trying to depict the helter-y-skelter-y life of a woman such as Erica Cantelli and the words come faster than you can type them, it’s no wonder you begin to sound like her after a few chapters. Talk about empathy.

Just like she pours out her feelings, I wrote and wrote, trying to do her justice and vindicate her. Only I ended up burying my beloved heroine under tons of secondary clauses, redundant after-thoughts, leaving her to waddle in self-misery and loathing, not to mention needless bouts of cruelty from her absent mother. It was like she couldn’t find a way out as it seemed I’d simply made a long list of the worst things that can happen to a woman in love.

Luckily, my editor Emily Ruston had us both figured out. She knew exactly where Erica was going and gave her (and me) a gentle nudge in the right direction. And that’s when Erica became almost real, steering the story where she wanted it go. The second book practically wrote itself, while The Husband Diet was definitely the most difficult to write as Erica had many issues to solve and get her life into gear. Emily Ruston weeded out the nonsense and put Erica on the right path.

And then Julian – the breath of fresh air she desperately needed.

When I was on my laptop writing away, my husband could easily tell whether I was working on a romance or my Erica series because I’d be snickering to myself. Erica feels like the good friend who knows you inside out.

I am presently doing last-minute edits on The Husband Diet while finishing up the third book of the series. I have plenty more Erica stories and I hope you’ll follow her along her journey and laugh and cry along with us.
Nancy Barone.

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