I didn’t actually intend to become a romance writer. In fact, I still hotly deny writing romance. Except that really, who are we kidding—relationship tension is at the heart of everything in life, including both my mystery novels: UnCatholic Conduct and Illicit Artifacts.
I love a good mystery, and to me, one of the most complicated mysteries of all is what makes people stay together when their lives pull them in opposite directions.
The inner workings of relationships fascinate me—what attracts people, what distracts them, and what they think is worth sacrificing for love.
In Illicit Artifacts, the door opens on a mysterious death, and a romance that’s recently cooled. Jil, a Private Investigator, and Jess, the high school principal at the heart of Jil’s former investigation, are trying to figure out how they’ll possibly stay together when their priorities are so different.
Jil has just suffered the loss of her foster mother, Elise, which is complicated by the fact that she suspects her death wasn’t an accident. Jess is cleaning up the mess Jil’s investigation made at her school while grappling with her own personal demons: a worsening physical disability and the life-altering realisation that she doesn’t want to be a principal anymore.
As Jil works to come to terms with everything she is learning about Elise’s secret life, Jess is struggling with how to stay in a closet that no longer fits.
It seems to me that all relationships eventually reach a point (or several points over time) when the partners question if separation would be easier than staying and struggling through. I thought it would be interesting to write about one such turning point happening early in a relationship. And thus the romantic subplot to Illicit Artifacts.