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Annabel K

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Everything posted by Annabel K

  1. 1) Story statement When her 9-year-old son is nearly abducted by a predatory male the child believes might be his absent father, resolutely single mum Jen realises that she must find a face to put to the name so her son stops wondering. 2) Antagonistic force Max Henderson is a prominent politician who's chiefly interested in furthering his own career. Married with three boys, he's a serial cheat but works hard to maintain a public image of the perfect family man. He's charming, he has swagger and, unfortunately, he's the only man who's ever set protagonist Jen's soul on fire. During a short affair with Jen nine years ago, Max got Jen pregnant but wouldn't stand by her for fear of a public backlash. Now split from his wife, Max reappears in Jen's life to offer her everything she thinks she's ever wanted - at exactly the wrong time. 3) Breakout titles The Stand-In Project Rent-A-Dad Color Him Dad 4) Comparables Never Fall For Your Fiancee by Virginia Health: A British man hires a fake fiancee to get his matchmaking mother off his back. Also set in the UK with comparable real estate as the setting. The Dating Plan by Sara Desai: This explores similar themes, covering a fake engagement, first love, second chances and how far you'd go to keep your family happy. The Grown-Ups by Marian Keyes: This is also a tender story about people just trying to do their best, and a reminder that even adults don't always have the right answers. Messy but heart-warming family drama. And Now You're Back by Jill Mansell: The life of a happy character is turned upside down when an old flame returns and old secrets come to light. A heart-warming and emotionally intelligent romance about how things rarely work out the way you think you want them to. 5) Logline With her young son desperate for a father figure and no-one to offer him, resolutely single mum Jen asks an acquaintance to pretend he's the dad. But, when the boy's real father unexpectedly re-enters her life, Jen is forced to admit the truth and give up everything she's growing to love. 6) Inner conflict and secondary conflict: a) Primary conflict: Jen is perfectly happy as a single mum to nine-year-old Ollie and feels no need to find a partner just for the sake of it. Ollie's real father, Max Henderson, is out of the picture - when Jen decided to have Ollie, she vowed she would never burden him with news of a child he was adamant he didn't want. But now Ollie is nine, he's realised that he has to have a biological father somewhere and is desperate to know who it is. Jen's friend suggests that she hire someone to play the part - just an actor or a man who can meet Ollie, say he's his dad, then disappear back to his job 'overseas' - but Jen refuses. She's an honest person and the idea goes against all her values. However, when Ollie is nearly abducted after thinking that a predatory male hanging around the school grounds might be his father come to see him, his need to put a face to a name reaches crisis point and Jen, convinced that Max Henderson is out of her life forever, is forced to consider her friend's crazy idea. b) Secondary conflict: Ollie's father, Max Henderson, is the local MP for Jen's parents. Jen's mum idolises him. When he reappears in Jen's life, wanting to get back together with her, Jen is forced to admit to her mum that he's Ollie' real father, and her mum - thrilled at the thought - advises her to get back together with him rather than chase her fledgling feelings for the less suitable man she's hired as a stand-in. Jen's core wound is that she never feels she's good enough for her prim and proper mother, so she's pushed towards making a bad decision for all the wrong reasons. 7) Setting The setting is a fictional semi-rural spa town in south-west England, loosely based on Cheltenham. Beautiful Regency architecture, sandstone villas behind high hedges, quirky cafes, independent shops and businesses, quaint pubs, tree-lined streets, a big town square where festivals take place, including a vibrant food festival where Jen visits a clairvoyant - and several boutique hotels that are perfect for clandestine affairs. Jen herself lives in an apartment in the old stables of a grand old house which, has been converted into smaller units for communal living centred around an edible garden. In contrast, Jen's parents live in one of the big, aspirational Regency villas that line the town square. At the mid point of the story, Jen attends a wedding in an old country house hotel deep in the heart of the Cotswolds. With sunken ornamental gardens, a maze and a carp pond that reflects the autumn Moon, this is a dreamy setting for the first spark of romance that Jen feels for the stand-in dad.
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