Writing Defiant Diva was a challenge–because the heroine of this romance novel is the villain of the previous book in the Singers in Love series. That’s right. The villain.
How could I get into the head of a destructive opera star and make her sympathetic and believable? They say a villain is the hero of his own story, so I started with that. Daylia Fedora knows her recent attacks on other singers have endangered her career, but she’s convinced she is not responsible–because a demon has possessed her. Daylia wants an exorcism. With the determination that made her an opera star, she sets out to get one.
Next I introduced a handsome new lover and a trouble-making ex, and mixed in details about rehearsing one of the world’s most popular operas, Carmen. And because I enjoy writing stories in which the courtship is the dance and the bedroom door is closed, I allowed Daylia to hold off her lover for a long time despite their instant chemistry. Which makes for some intensely romantic scenes. As the story developed, I liked it more and more.
Did I base my heroine on a real opera diva? Those who know opera will say I did. The kind of bad stuff she did–throwing another opera singer’s possessions out of a dressing room, criticizing other singers in rehearsal, and more–well, these have happened in real life. But I suspect that they’ve happened many times over the years, in many opera house dressing rooms. The stress of being a performer can bring out the worst in some singers. And so I combined the stories of more than one opera diva to come up with the larger-than-life personality of Daylia Fedora, the Defiant Diva.