The Dirty Details

Aria Donaldson:
Why Taylor Swift?

A lot of people might say that I chose Taylor Swift as Aria’s look alike because I was trying to maximize on the hype involving her bigger than life relationship with Travis Kelce. The truth is, Deception & Consequences was published on KDP in August, which was way before all of this crazy publicity. My reasons for choosing Taylor were far more complex than just wanting to ride the current uptick of attention created in the media.

At first Aria was going to face the trials and controversy generated in the book alone, all the while having a forbidden and dangerous affair with Simon. When I started thinking about how to get longevity out of my characters in a series, my idea changed. Aria needed a strong, smart, loyal, and sexy man to share her life with, and Simon just didn’t fit that mold.

When the details of Aria’s love life changed, so did certain aspects of her character. She was no longer the rebel, blinded by the rush of danger and great sex. She was an ordinary woman who found herself in extraordinary circumstances, and part of her process was adjusting. She was smart and independent and stunningly gorgeous, but she had no idea how special she was. Aria’s unassuming and sweet nature just pulled me to Tayor Swift.

Naturally, her prime love interest, Mac, had to be a diehard Swiftie, making Aria all the more alluring. Mac’s love for Taylor and Taylor’s music seemed in direct contrast with his rugged personality, but that contrast became part of Mac’s lovable character.

Once the comparison was made, I then had a common thread attaching Mac and Aria. I made them both extreme Swifties and let that commonality be a base for their budding romance. Not to spoil anything, but their infatuation with the ultra famous singer continues in Book II, titled, Seduction & Revenge. Again, this common trait between Aria and Mac was a handy ‘go to’ point several times in the series.

And there’s one more reason my choice was obviously Taylor. I saw Aria as a woman who grew in strength of character from each brush with danger. She grew from a typical, jilted lover to a fearless (yes, that reference was intentional) woman, determined to discover the truth and ward off the bad guys while doing it. It’s that growth to fearlessness that also took me to Taylor.

I wouldn’t say I spent a ton of time making Aria fit a mold because, after all, she’s Aria Donaldson, not Taylor Swift. But by somewhat modeling Aria after such a strong, talented, and beautiful icon, I gave her instant popularity with my readers. Isn’t that the gold standard for a female protagonist? It’s all worked out very nicely.

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