New Ransom covers and how it all began

We’re getting so close to the release of the next Ransom book! A bunch of people have sent me messages to let me know they’re rereading the series to prepare for the new book. That makes me BEYOND happy! Before writing this book I did the same thing and reading all of those books just reminded me of how much I love this series and these characters. And my reread got me totes hyped for the new covers I’ve been working on with Paper and Sage Book Cover Designs! I am absolutely in love with these covers—I think they express the feel of this series perfectly! So without further ado, here are the brand new covers for Ransom books 1-5!

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Aren’t these amazing?? I love them so much. Next week I’ll have the cover for The Ransome Brothers ready to show you!

Speaking of The Ransome Brothers, today I was editing a scene featuring Daisy and Daltrey, and it got me thinking about the beginning of this series. When I get an idea for a new book, I’ll usually start thinking about the characters before I decide anything about the plot. Ransom was a little different—I had an idea for a character and within just a few hours I pretty much knew what was going to happen in the entire series. That’s never really happened to me before! It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Daltrey was the first character I thought of (even though his name was originally going to be Levi!) The second character might not be as expected—I actually thought of Rose before any of the other brothers or even Daisy!

The day I decided to write the Ransom series I was out in LA to do setting research for Lovestruck in Los Angeles. I knew I wanted the Lovestruck characters to go to Disneyland so I was visiting the park with my friend Jon (sometimes my job is SO HARD!) We were heading over to Space Mountain when we passed a younger guy holding his daughter, who was probably around four or five. This guy had longish hair in a ponytail and tons of tattoos—he totally seemed like a romance novel bad boy! He was so cute laughing with this adorable little girl as they walked by, this tough looking guy having a sweet daddy-daughter outing. I only caught the briefest glimpse of them, but I couldn’t get them out of my head for the rest of the day.

I’m TERRIBLE company when I’m stuck on an idea for a book because I can’t really think about anything else! Luckily, my friend Jon is a huge rollercoaster fan—and I am mega terrified of heights. So while Jon went to ride California Screamin’ a bunch of times, I got in a long line for Radiator Springs Racers. I pulled out the notes app on my phone and spent the next hour and a half plotting the entire Ransom series while I waited for the ride.

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Part of the original notes on Ransom, jotted down in line at Disneyland. This is the moment I had the idea to name the boys after rock legends and started to brainstorm options.

By the time I left the park that day I had decided on most of the main plot points for the whole series. Some of that changed over the months as I wrote the first four books but a lot of those original ideas ended up in the series.

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When I got back to the hotel that night I had decided on the main character names and descriptions. I scrawled out this note on a scrap of paper–which I ended up spilling something on. I’ve kept it pinned up over my desk ever since I got home from LA, stains and all 😉

I think about that dad and his daughter a lot. I hope they still do fun things together like visiting Disneyland. I hope they’re still as happy as they seemed when I saw them laughing for those few seconds that day. I’m so grateful that I caught a glimpse of them all those years ago because the Ransom series has given me more joy to write and share with you guys than anything else I’ve ever worked on. People always ask me what has been my favorite part to write. I don’t know if I have a favorite, I love a bunch of the scenes so much, but I can say my most emotional writing was the scene where Daltrey introduces his brothers to Rose in Rescue. After all, it was those two characters who started the whole thing!

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