Growing (Up) with Lucy Adams

Meet Lucy Adams, the heroine and central character in my latest book with writing partner Kim Bowman.

The12StepProgram 500x750Lucy Adams is a serial romantic. Or rather, she’s made a habit of falling in and out of bad relationships that always start with her finding the man of her dreams and ends with her kicking him to the curb. After her latest breakup, her best friend and neighbor Tom Henson bets her she can’t go thirty days without a date. Nothing like a friendly wager to make things interesting. But when the game changes, all bets are off…

SPOILER ALERT – some people might consider this blog to contain story spoilers…



Keith Richards and Mick Jagger wrote:

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need.

Life holds no guarantees, especially not when it comes to affairs of the heart. Life is not a fairy tale offering us an ending dreams are made of. Romance novels and movies, on the other hand, do tend to offer happy for now (HFN) or happily ever after (HEA) endings. When someone messes up one of those endings, the romance is tainted for the reader/watcher.

Take, for example, the recent remake of Dirty dirty dancing originalDancing in a made-for-TV movie. It was much promoted, but when it hit the airwaves, it turned out to be a dud for many fans. Of the many things viewers complained about, one that stood out as particularly disliked was the new ending, the one that showed Frances (Baby) seeking out Johnny Castle years later, after they had obviously split up and gone their separate ways. In the original movie, the ending was dirty dancing remake enddefinitely HFN, and fans could dream what they wanted of the hero and heroine. Being given proof that they didn’t remain together against all the odds… fell flat for a lot of those who watched the remake.

Sometimes in fiction, the couples we think should get together Pretty-In-Pink-Movie-DVD-Coverjust don’t. My daughter insists that Andie, Molly Ringwald’s character in Pretty in Pink, chose and ended up with the wrong guy. My daughter preferred Duckie (John Cryer) over Blane (Andrew McCarthy), because Duckie loved her and was loyal all the way. But apparently, that’s not how Andie (and the writers) felt. Still, my daughter calls herself a member of “Team Duckie” to this day.

This scenario plays out in real life as well. The highly public relationship and then breakup of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had fans reeling — to the point of wantingbrad-pitt-jennifer-aniston-angelina-759 the couple to get back together the whole time Brad was with Angelina Jolie, and when they split, the fans were certain he would reunite with Jennifer Aniston. And again… disappointment.

When Kim Bowman and I started Lucy’s story in The 12 Step Program, we had one basic thought: telling Lucy’s story about Lucy. While there were a few elements of romance in her story, this is not a romance. Some call it women’s fiction, some might call it coming of age. Ultimately, the story is about Lucy and how Lucy is growing. This growth begins to visibly happen over a few short weeks in The 12 Step Program, but growth never stops. In life, and even in fiction, there is no magic pill that gets a person from point A to point Z without touching on other facets of growth in between. And characters don’t always (or often) get exactly what they want. Writing about one character, Lucy, was a new undertaking for both of us. In the past, as single authors and as co-writers, we stuck to the tried and true romance example with a happy ending. And it’s been an incredible adventure learning and growing along with Lucy Adams.

The12StepPlan 500x750Lucy’s ending in The 12 Step Program is really just her beginning. HER beginning. Some readers might not be satisfied with how the first part of her new journey ends. Lucy is not particularly happy with that ending, either. But she grew, and will continue to grow as we all do. In the meantime, Lucy needs a plan… We hope that readers will follow her on her journey to finding herself. And her story does continue in The 12 Step Plan.

Will there be even more 12 Steps in Lucy’s future?

I’d count on it.

Find The 12 Step Program:


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