Saturday, February 22, 2014

Updating a Classic


When a former editor asked me to try writing a sexy contemporary romance series, I struggled to come up with an idea I could follow through on without getting bored. But I took a note from Hollywood’s playbook and decided to update a classic.

I’ve always loved the musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, so it wasn’t hard for me to imagine what life would be like for Adam and his brothers in the 21st century. Using the basic idea of seven brothers looking for wives, I took the liberty of updating a few details (like switching Ethan for Ephraim and changing the last name of the brothers to Kelly) and fleshed out seven very different men. Some of the brothers were easier than others. Adam, the eldest, slipped into the same role of running the family business and looking out for his younger brothers. Frank, with his hair-trigger temper, was the perfect candidate for an aggressive linebacker. And Gideon, being the baby of the bunch, was ideal material for a Hollywood leading man.


I struggled more with the quieter brothers. In the movie, they were back up dancers and filler. But at the same time, I was free to create them into whatever I wanted them to be. Big Ben became my quiet goalie. Caleb, the ax-ballet soloist in the movie, turned into a fighter pilot with a love for classic cars. Dan morphed into a geeky surgeon who always consulted his twenty-sided die, and Ethan became a soulful musician with inner demons to battle.

And thus, the Kelly Brothers were born.

What classic movie would you like to see updated as a contemporary romance? If you could’ve cast the seven Pontipee brothers in 21st century roles, what would you have them doing?

BREAKAWAY HEARTS

Can he melt her frozen heart? 

Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night. 


Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he’s out to sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice? 

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12 comments:

  1. Growing up, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a favorite of mine and my sister. Wouldn't it be nice to see some of those old Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back) be updated? We had lots of fun watching them.

    Looking forward to reading your series.

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    1. Oooh, Pillow Talk might be an interesting one to update. Instead of a phone/party line, it could be an internet chat room...

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    2. Oh, now you're "talking." Our imaginations would be dangerous together:)

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    3. LOL - I'd love to update come old Cary Grant movies, too, like The Philadelphia Story or That Touch of Mink

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    4. Be still my heart! Cary Grant!! I think you and I spend some time on AMC and TCM:)

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    5. LOL - I did before kids. Now, my TV's constantly on Nick Jr and Disney Jr

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  2. Great post Crista! Loved the story behind your story & the insight into how your creative mind works!

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    1. Thanks, Rashda! Have you ever teased something out a classic movie and used it in your writing?

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  3. Loved the movie but the 3 books in the series so far have been so awesome. Can't wait to read the rest

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I hope the next 4 books are as good the first 3. :-)

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  4. What an interesting idea. I loved Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and will have to check out your series.

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    1. Thank you, Haley! I'm glad there are so many people out who loved this movie as much as I did. :-)

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