This is a big day for me, Bellas, cause the woman whose book inspired the obsession that inspired Romance: B(u)y the Book is here today. Please welcome the always entertaining, often naughty, and forever unrepentant, VLT!
If there’s such a thing as a cruise bunny, that would be me. I love everything about cruising – the ship, the hunky deck hands, the water, the hunky deck hands, the midnight buffets, the hunky deck hands . . . . they’re not so far removed from that pirate fantasy we all love, are they? Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, anyone?
Obviously sex and ships go together in my mind, so what better spot to set my latest nerd book? I pictured a sort of Love Boat Goes Nerdy scenario, and voila!
Okay, it didn’t go quite like that. What really happened is this – my editor came up with the title Nerds Like It Hot and asked me to write a story to go with it. Yikes.
Forget all that stuff about a plot that wouldn’t leave me alone or characters that intruded on my dreams. This book started with a title. There was precedent for that, because Nerd in Shining Armor, my first nerd book and the one that Kelly Ripa featured on her book club, started with a title, and that worked out fine.
Because the new title came from the golden oldie Some Like It Hot, I thought it would be fun to echo some of the elements in the movie. For those who’ve forgotten (I had to re-watch it, myself), Marilyn Monroe’s a singer in a girl band, and Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon disguise themselves as girl musicians and head to Florida with the band in order to escape the clutches of the mob.
So in Nerds Like It Hot, my mousy heroine Gillian is on the run from the mob, disguises herself as a Marilyn look-alike, and hops on a Mexican Riviera cruise in August. Believe you me, it is HOT in Mexico in August. But hot means you wear less clothes, so I didn’t have to spend paragraphs undressing my characters. A couple of snaps and buttons, and they were good to go.
I also put Tony Curtis in the book as the hero’s sidekick Dante, but for my hero Lex, I needed somebody way sexier than Jack Lemmon. (Sorry, Jack.) The name’s kinda close . . . does Hugh Jackman fit the bill for most of you? I thought so. There’s also a cross-dresser, and much more sex than in the movie, which had like zero sex except for one make-out scene between Marilyn and Tony.
I have to say that starting out with a title and no story wasn’t as scary as it seemed when my editor first threw it at me. She also saved me the angst that comes when you’ve finished a book and still don’t know what to call the darned thing. Unfortunately, out of the eighty-something books I’ve written, I’ve only managed to think up about three of the titles myself.
Anyone know where I can buy some shiny new titles?
C'mon, Bellas! Give Vicki some of your best Nerdy ideas!
Get nerdy with Vicki at VickiLewisThompson.com!