The Glorious Messiness of Writing Female Sibling Relationships

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Honestly, I don’t understand how some romance heroines have two best friends when I struggle to have one. This is obviously a personal gripe, and likely me being salty about friendships. But since I can entertain my personal gripes in my writing, I chose to do just that with the ONE DAY TO FOREVER series.

I wrote about what I know.

I have three sisters. I know messy relationships between siblings. I especially know the messiness that exists between female siblings. And I know that the way romance novels portrays these relationships can sometimes be too simple.

Either the heroine hates her sisters and never speaks with them or she adores them and would die for them.

In this series, I wanted to show something more nuanced. I wanted to show how hate and adoration often combine into something complicated and messy, yes, but can also create something beautiful and powerful. If I had to describe it simply, I’d say the ONE DAY TO FOREVER series is about sisters who would die for one another, but would argue and complain about it the entire way.

The series follows the Roux sisters as they stumble into feelings for someone over the course of a day.

It also shows how they have to navigate their sibling relationships to become the people and sisters they’ve always wanted to be. Since each of them become better versions of themselves as the series progresses, I had to carefully balance the have-it-together siblings with the in-progress siblings. But their distinct personalities and complicated history made writing each interaction between them fulfilling. Take this example from ONE LAST CHANCE:

Out of the corner of her eye, [Zoey] saw Sophia. Turned.

‘You told him I was here? After I told you what happened between us?’

‘You told her?’ Sawyer asked. At the same time, Sophia said, ‘No.’

‘Then what is he doing here?’ Zoey asked, not answering Sawyer.

‘I was heading to my family,’ Sawyer offered. ‘Since you were alone, I thought it would be a good time to talk.’

‘She’s not alone,’ Sophia said, stopping slightly in front of Zoey.

Seconds later, Angie joined, effectively forming a shield in front of her. A massive lump grew in her throat. Her eyes began to burn. She should have taken allergy medication that morning.

‘Full disclosure,’ Angie said easily. ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but I agree with Soph. Zoey isn’t alone.’

 

In the span of a couple of lines, Zoey goes from accusing her sister Sophia to being emotional that Sophia and her other sister Angie are protecting her from facing something hard. That’s what having sisters is like. Nothing compares to it. It’s messy and complicated, but there’s also the joy of having their support and seeing them grow. It’s protecting them when they put themselves in situations where they need protecting, and it’s celebrating their layers even when their mission in life is to push your every button.

Angie, Sophia and Zoey’s stories offer you the full spectrum of female sibling relationships. I hope you’ll find them gloriously messy to read ;-)

About One Last Chance:

ONE LAST CHANCE by Therese BeharrieOf all the charity events in all of Cape Town, Zoey Roux had to bump into her husband at this one

Six years ago, Zoey Roux secretly married her best friend Sawyer. But all that did was destroy the best relationship she’s ever had. They went their separate ways, but Zoey never could go through with a divorce. Seeing him again at her sister’s charity event is a shock, but also enlightening: no matter how much she still loves him, it’s time to let him go.

Zoey was Sawyer Wilson’s first love. She broke his heart, but his feelings never died. Love was never their issue—only timing. Seeing her again is a shock: in a perfect world, she would run back into his arms. Instead, she’s asking for a divorce.

But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours: old wounds can heal, first loves can be reunited. And a second chance might just lead to happily ever after.

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