What’s in a Name?
a Behind the Book piece for Hidden Away written by Caroline Bradley
Like a lot of people, music is a big influence on my life. Not that I can perform it, mind you. In church, I was once told, “God loves you even if you don’t sing, dear.” My local grocery store turns off the Muzak when I walk in because if I start singing along—supermarket karaoke, anyone?—it tends to turn off people’s appetites and they buy less. Not good for business.
My favorite kind of song tells a story. I’ve often said if I could write books like Diane Warren writes songs, I’d be the happiest girl on the planet. The biggest moments of peoples’ lives takes place in just those three minutes while the song plays. Doesn’t that sound like magic?
One New Years Eve, I was watching a fireworks display. The TV station played a simulcast to go with the show; a soundtrack, as it were. When the song “Battleships” came on, I was paralyzed. In just the few seconds it took to hear that sound byte, an entire story formed in my head. A few weeks later, I wrote the book to go with it, Heated Competition.
My newest book, Hidden Away, was also inspired by a song. Originally titled “Save the Best for Last”, it seemed to me that Scott knows from day one that Lia will be his last love. He’s losing baseball, after all, and he loved that first, but as the quote on the first page goes, “Being someone’s first love is great, but being someone’s last love is beyond perfect.” In loving Lia, he’s saved the very best for last.
Alas, the working title didn’t fit the feeling of the story, since there’s a suspense element to it. In searching my imagination for a new title, I went back to my favorite place and lit up my iPod. It played for me the Josh Groban song, “Hidden Away.” We won’t get into my mad crush on Josh Groban, but any man who can sing like that and make me laugh when he’s not singing? He’s younger than my car, but…yeah, okay, there’s that.
The song has this fantastic line:
“I want to free your heart, I want to see your heart
Please, don’t keep your heart hidden away”
It seemed to me it covered the three main characters in the story. Lia has been hiding from Maggie for years. She’s hiding her heart from Scott. Scott, meanwhile, is hiding his true feelings for Lia because he knows how scared she is. They’ve both been hiding something that they shouldn’t, and in the end, they can’t. Not if they’re going to survive.
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Hidden Away is available for pre-order from Loose Id. Coming February 23, 2016.