When I set out to write Analog to Digital, I wanted to accomplish three things with the story. First, I wanted to write a feel-good short/novella that would leave smiles on readers’ faces. It needed to be sweet. I tend to infuse most of my stories with some degree of angst, but this was intended to be fluff and sweetness.
Second, I wanted to write about an established couple so obviously in love, but who still need to work out their existence beyond their initial HEA. I love writing established couples! I was a couples therapist, after all. I love the genuine struggle they have to navigate in the real world.
The third thing was very hard for me. I wanted the story to not be a surprise or to have those unexpected moments I’m known for. I started writing because I wanted unpredictable stories that yanked my emotions around, but I know a lot of romance readers flock to this genre because of their many unexpected, real-life entanglements. They crave a book that feels like a warm blanket or a hot cup of tea or coffee. So there’s not going to be a huge moment of shock in Analog to Digital. At least not for readers. For Ethan, yes!
Ethan and Toby belong together. They have a deep relationship and I think it’s easy to see they’ll grow old together, but marriage is off the table. Not long after they got serious about each other, Toby made a statement about never marrying no matter what. As I was writing this, I was thinking about some of the gay and bi men in my life who, after Prop 8, were so hopeless about marriage equality ever being a reality, they rebuffed the entire institution. I didn’t get into all that in the book, but that’s where Toby’s head was when he said he’d never marry. So Ethan has been going on that assumption for years, even if he desperately wants to be married to Toby.
I begged the teen in my house to find me the perfect song for Ethan and Toby that would show off their adorkableness and that communicated how they belonged together. She suggested Auburn’s “Perfect Two” and played it for me.
I cried when I first heard it. I still cry when I hear it. I love the sentiment, even if it’s a little syrupy for my usual musical tastes, but it fit for this story, for Ethan and Toby. So it became their song, even if they both refused to sing the line “You’re the one I want to marry.”
I wanted to share the song with you, in all it’s sweet, adorkable glory.
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