Since it’s Fathers Day, I thought I’d talk about the theme of Girl In Trouble. This book is all about fathers – and their relationships with their daughters. After attending a talk about using theme to unify your story by the fabulous Julie Cohen several years ago (2013?) , I mapped out the main theme of Olivia’s story and then, as Julie suggested, looked at other ways to explore the same theme.
Olivia, the heroine in Girl In Trouble (as you’ve probably guessed) is a grown up tomboy. She has no intention of settling down. She is adamant that while men have their uses, she doesn’t need one to complete her.
When I sat down to think about it, I realised that the reason she behaves like she does is because of her relationship with her father. He left her (and her mother) when Olivia was a teenager. Olivia hasn’t forgiven him.
So I started with Olivia and her father who abandoned her. The hero, Walter, has a daughter and he’s heart-broken because his ex is moving to America and taking their daughter with her. Walter is a father who is being abandoned.
There’s also the relationship between Olivia and her step father, the guy who was there for her during her teens. Olivia’s biological father comes back and she needs to work out how she feels about him and whether she can forgive him. To complicate matters further, Olivia falls pregnant by accident – to a man who doesn’t want to be a father.
By working out all the different father – daughter relationships, I could make sure that Girl In Trouble held together thematically. I’m quite proud of that.
If you want to read more about it and see if I’ve managed to pull it all together successfully (or even if you just want to see where I’ve screwed up), you can buy Girl In Trouble from all the usual ebook vendors.