Friday, March 9, 2012

Work In Progress: Tangible Taffy, Backstory

(Keep in mind, this has not been read by anyone, even beta readers. Or editted. Or revised. And it's backstory so some of it may never appear in Tangible Taffy.)

Taffeta Holly Darrow, aka Taffy, and Brocade Jocelyn Dykstra, aka Kate because she got tired of correcting people who couldn't seem to grasp the nickname Cade, were sisters whose mother loved formal balls. Or rather, reading historical romance novels that involved formal balls since her life seldom led to her attending one. While Charlotte Dykstra's mind conjured up castles and elegant affairs, her body preferred big men whose work left them sweaty and who attended ball games rather than functions that landed on the society page. She married three such men and between those three marriages, had fun with numerous others.

Charlotte's first husband, the girl's father, Blade Darrow, was a soldier who died while deployed overseas when Taffy was seven and Kate was two years old. The Army had settled a large amount of money on Charlotte. Kate was too young and Charlotte too stupid to live but Taffy adored her father and began to withdraw from the world, grieving him.

Not so coincidentally Charlotte ran out of money at the same time that she agreed to marry husband number two, Van Dykstra. Van owned a waste management company with a string of garbage trucks. He came home smelly and sweaty but he was obsessive about being clean any time he wasn't working.
Van was a good guy who became father to the girls. He and Kate were inseparable, both loving professional soccer. Kate even insisted on taking Van's last name. Kate proved to be a talented soccer player herself but Taffy was definitely not athletic preferring to stay home with a book.

When she was 23 years old, Taffy's boyfriend of 8 years accidentally drove his motorcycle over a cliff and died. Shortly after his death Taffy learned that her younger sister, 18 year old Kate, was pregnant with her boyfriend's child, having gotten that way under manipulative circumstances not yet determined. Taffy took off, never planning to return.

Shortly before the baby was to be born, Van came to find Taffy and bring her home. Charlotte had run off with a large sum of his money and his business partner after Van beat the crap out of him when finding him in bed with Charlotte. Van was sentenced to serve 8 months in jail for assault. Charlotte was gone and Van would be in jail leaving no one to help Kate with her birth and the first months of her childs life.

Van got Taffy to agree to return by reminding her that while she was angry, Kate was her sister and the baby would be the son of the man/boy she'd loved for 8 years. He sweetened the pot by offering to deed over a duplex that his mother had left him. He knew Taffy loved the duplex. And he offered to help her with a start up for the bookkeeping business she had planned for when getting her college degree.

After jail, while rebuilding his life and his business, Van took over care of the girls and became grandpa to little Carlos, Kate's son and Taffy's nephew, named, of course, after famous soccer player, Carlos Tevez.

Five years went by before they heard from Charlotte. An envelope arrived in the mail with a clipping from a newspaper with a wedding announcement. She had apparently married husband number three who was not the business partner she ran away with. If she expected the girls to take her return address and try to reunite with her, she'd been disappointed. The announcement and envelope it came in were stuck in the middle of an old Webster's Dictionary which currently was wedged under the leg of a work table in the basement of the house where Van, Kate and Carlos all lived.

Taffy lived in one side of her duplex. The other side of the duplex was rented out to a crotchety elderly woman aptly named Etta Grumble. Because she did. Grumble.

Taffy retreated within herself, becoming an avid reader who had better relationships with characters in books who had never betrayed or hurt her, than with any real life person except her nephew. She tolerated Kate for the sake of her son and Van as the only father she'd known.

She also loved her houseplants and made one of them, Agnes, an asparagus plant named after her favorite Jennifer Crusie character, her confidant.

She convinced herself that she was content with her life and her serial-monogamous-fuck-buddy-only relationships with men. But she was actually out of sync with the world outside her home or books and rarely present in her day-to-day life.

She would need to arc accordingly to have any real connection with another real human being, hence the title, Tangible Taffy.


  1. Wow. That gives you so much to work with! (or with which to work) I can definitely see you going somewhere interesting with this.

  2. Very nice. I don't think I quite plumb the backstory depths the way you do.

  3. Now, those sound like some great characters! Sounds like you're well on your way to a great book. :)

  4. :)Thanks ladies. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated!

  5. Awesome job. All your characters are wonderful. So much to work with. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I love the main character. She came into my head when I was reading refab blog and Anne Stuart mentioned her sister's name, Taffy. I was actually planning to write something else and I just put everything down and met Taffy.

  6. Excellent. This is a good working outline, and you've really given your characters depth even in this small section. Great crunchy stuff to work with. Will this be women's fiction, or contemporary romance?

    1. Contemporary romance all the way. Unless it turns into romantic suspense. There is an element of that in the plot.