Today I am so pleased to welcome Jenn Burke to Joyfully Jay. Jenn has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Dragon CEO’s Assistant. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I love the amnesia trope. There’s something so compelling about following along as someone rediscover themselves…or maybe who they used to be. It’s the ultimate mystery, because if the character never regains their memory, chances are no one will ever be able to truly solve it.
So when I had the idea to write the amnesia trope for my second Dreamspun Beyond book for Dreamspinner Press, I dove right in. It was going to be so much fun! It was going to be trope-tastic! It was going to be…
A hell of a lot of work.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised by that, but I was. This book fought me every step of the way. I’m really proud of the end result, however! And I thought I could share a few tips I learned the hard way.
This was something I struggled with, and a big part of that was probably the sheer number of mysteries I had going on in the book. First and foremost was the mystery of where Aidan disappeared to for four days and what made him lose his memory. But then there was the mystery of who Aidan and Nassim were to each other, and the mystery of Aidan’s true identity (times two). Sometimes I found it difficult to remember that Nassim didn’t know everything about Aidan.
If I were to do another amnesia trope, I’d write down a chart of what each character knows regarding major plot points or pivotal moments to make it easier to keep track.
Why I decided to write the book from the point of view of the character with amnesia, I don’t know.
….Okay, that’s a lie. I did it because I wanted the readers to be as surprised as Aidan when there were reveals about certain things. Also, the Dreamspun Beyond is a category romance line, which means books have a word count limit of 50,000 to 60,000 words. So, with all of that taken into account, I think I made the best choice for this particular story to go with the one narrator.
Next time, though, I’d go with more than one point of view. It would allow readers to get a better handle on the non-amnesiac character and give more opportunity to tug at heartstrings as that character struggles with the “new” version of their partner.
I started writing this book without truly knowing who Aidan was. I did that on purpose—I wanted him to evolve as a character as he faced challenges, and I didn’t want to presuppose how he would react based on who he might have been before the amnesia. In retrospect, I think it made it more difficult to get a handle on how much he might have changed from pre-amnesia Aidan to post.
If I were to tackle amnesia again as a plot, I think I’d incorporate a scene or two pre-amnesia into my planning process. They would help me understand the character a little better, and bonus…they would make great blog posts!
Are you a fan of the amnesia trope? Please share your faves…I’m always looking for more books to add to my ever-increasing to-be-read pile!
The heart remembers.
When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.
His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.
Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.
Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.
She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.