Meant to Be Mine
Q&A with Becky about her latest novel, Meant to Be Mine
What is the inspiration behind Meant to Be Mine?
I was inspired by a classic romance novel storyline known as the “Secret Baby”. In the case of Meant to Be Mine, Ty and Celia get married in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment (after dating one another for four days). They realize the next morning that the wedding wasn’t such a good idea and they part ways. The story picks up five and a half years later, when Ty tracks Celia down in order to inquire about a divorce. What he discovers? Celia has a daughter -- his daughter -- that she’s kept a secret from him.
Secret baby plot lines never fail to capture my interest! I’m always so eager for the father to discover the baby and then to watch the characters navigate the drama that follows. I’ve wanted for some time to try my hand at this sort of story and am extremely glad to have been given the chance.
What did you enjoy most about writing this story?
The banter! Ty is the funniest, most charming, and most confident hero I’ve written so far. When I put Celia into scenes with him I realized right away that she was going to have to be even spunkier than I’d originally realized. I had a ball writing the dialogue between the two of them. There were times when I could hardly type fast enough.
What was the greatest struggle you faced with Meant to Be Mine?
Revisions. The first time out of the gate with Meant to Be Mine I made a rookie mistake for a romance writer. I didn’t give the hero enough romantic conflict. My editors quickly spotted the problem (plus several others) and I spent an entire summer rewriting the book. Thank God for good editors. Their advice isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s invaluable to receive.
What I learned: Some books simply come together more quickly and easily than others. That doesn’t mean that as the author you end up loving the end product any more or less.
What I learned again for the thousandth time: this business is humbling.
What is the theme of Meant to Be Mine?
From the beginning, before I’d written page one, I knew that Meant to Be Mine would be about forgiveness.
How was the title chosen?
Funny you should ask! When I was brainstorming titles for Undeniably Yours, I came up with Meant to Be Mine. I liked it so much, that I used it as the book’s working title and submitted Bo and Meg’s story to my editors with that title. As it happened, my first book was called My Stubborn Heart and the team at Bethany House felt that the ‘Mine’ in Meant to Be Mine was too similar to the ‘My’ in My Stubborn Heart. They asked for a list of additional title ideas and Undeniably Yours was one of the ones I submitted.
When it came time to settle on a title for Ty and Celia’s story, I resubmitted Meant to Be Mine because I still liked it and because I felt that it suited this novel just as well as the previous novel. The second time around, they liked it!
How would you describe your writing style?
Romantic, humorous, heartwarming. I’m interested in writing about imperfect, flawed people who are nonetheless loved by a perfect God. Thus, my books all have a strong faith storyline. I strive to write authentically. I like to laugh. I delight in writing about modern-day people and places. At least one of my two main characters is always ‘larger than life’ in some way. And my books are very romance heavy. My readers can count on a hunky hero who’s going to fall madly in love with the heroine.
What aspect of your career do you find most challenging?
The writing of the rough draft, which is somewhat unfortunate, since I spend MOST of my year writing the rough draft. The first one hundred pages are particularly difficult for me because I’m still sinking into the new characters.
This is your first series of connected books. What are your thoughts on writing a series?
I’m both thoroughly enjoying writing a series and thoroughly challenged by it. Novel writing is difficult work! Penning a whole series of novels is extra difficult because I have to weave together an ever-growing cast of characters. That said, part of what I love about writing IS the challenge. Also, there’s something so rich and charming about revisiting the same town and the same characters over the course of four novels and several years. The Porter family begins to feel like your family and Holley, Texas begins to feel like your place.
Any advice for other writers?
I think it’s incredibly valuable to take time to learn the craft of writing via writer’s groups, non-fiction books on the topic, conferences. While learning the craft, I recommend practice. Write one manuscript through to the end. Then another! As you go, try out different sub-genres and cultivate your own unique voice. In the end, it’s critically important that you take the knowledge you’ve gained, and write your book the way that you love it best.
The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood.
Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?
Celia Park moved to Plano, Texas the summer before 9th grade and furious was the way to describe how she felt being the new girl in town once again. With her father's job the family always relocated to a new town every few years, but this time with her just starting high school it seemed much worse. Ty Porter was a year older than Celia, but with his bubbling personality, good looks, and kindness it was easy to become infatuated with him. Of course Ty thought Celia was one of the nicest girls around, but a romance never developed.
After graduation Celia moved to Oregon to attend college and hoped to fulfill her dream of opening up a coffee shop that served homemade baked items. Just after finishing school she was overwhelmed by all the decisions to make so she lets her friend convinces her to take a break and join her for the weekend in Las Vegas. Upon arriving who does she run into, but Ty Porter who's there to compete in the bull riding aspect of the PBR. Their friendship easily resumes and spending time together sparks old feelings for Celia. After a whirlwind 4 days together Ty proposes they get married in a rinky dink chapel on the Vegas strip. Celia doesn't think Ty will go through with it, but when he does suddenly she feels as if all her dreams have come true.
Unfortunately with the rising of the sun so does Ty's regrets. Ty has never wanted or tried to hurt anyone, not Celia or Tawny, his girlfriend back home. He realizes that in one reckless act he had hurt both and he plans to rectify his mistakes. He informs Celia when she wakes up that he's in love with Tawny and wants to marry her and apologizes for getting them into the predicament their in. Angry, hurt, humiliated and her heart in shreds Celia returns to Oregon to put these 4 days behind her.
Celia realizes that some dreams are just that dreams and forges ahead to make a life, with one exception putting Ty Porter behind her is not going to be as easy as she thought. Several weeks after her whirlwind relationship with Ty she finds out there are complications in the form of a baby. With the birth of her daughter and the change in her careers, needless to say, life is not always easy and she feels that God has given up on her.
5 years later during a particular stressful time with bills adding up who come back to haunt her, none other than Ty Porter. She is determined not to reveal her secrets and to keep her composure when talking to him. Unfortunately when her secret is revealed the life Celia has forged for herself and daughter is turned upside down and life becomes ever more difficult.
She promises not to let Ty break her daughter's heart, but can she protect her own?
Ty Porter, the all American boy, has been a successful bull rider in the PBR for years, but his love life has been on the rocks for a while. 5 years ago after a breakup with Tawny her runs into Celia Parks. After a whirlwind weekend together they decide to marry. Unfortunately that was a huge mistake and when he confesses to her the realization of how much he had truly hurt her hits him in the face. Deeply ashamed of his actions he returns to Texas and confesses all to Tawny, but she is not as forgiving as he anticipates and ends their relationship permanently. Ty has since become successful in his career, but knows time has come for him to think of retiring. There's one think long over due and that is to find Celia to give her his heartfelt apology and obtain a divorce. Finding her proved no problem, but getting her to take his call was a problem. After finally getting Celia to meet him he feels like finally he's getting his life on tract until he finds out she has a secret that will ultimately change his life forever.
Can Celia forgive Ty for his cruel words 5 years ago and the heartbreak? Will she be able to protect her heart from being broke again? Can she allow him to become apart of her life again? Will Ty be able to forgive Celia for not telling him about his daughter? Can he find a way to make a place in his life for a family?