Believe is Book #3 in the Brightside Series and though it picks up where Book #2, Blushing, left off, it is told from Boots’ perspective (as opposed to Olivia Bloom’s) and can stand alone. The book begins at a vineyard wedding in South Africa. My husband and I honeymooned in South Africa, and after some debate, I told him, “I’m going to give Mark and Boots the leopard.” Many of the events that take place while Mark and Boots are on safari were drawn from personal experience—our Land Rover really did break down while chasing lions at night, and on the last night of our honeymoon, we were the only two people left at the resort, and we really did conjure a leopard. It made me believe in magic.
Beyond the safari, I didn’t have much personal experience to draw on, so I spent months reading medical school memoirs and researching indie-rock band tours (though my husband used to be in an indie rock band so I in fact had some experience with that). The entire time I was revising Blushing I was researching and writing the first draft of Believe.
I worked closely with my anesthesiologist friend, Dr. Alexandra Conrad (to whom the book is dedicated) to get the medical terminology correct, and a big turning point for Boots’ character arch came when I was a guest on the Creative Confidants podcast where we were discussing Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space. During her senior year in college Mae was torn between attending medical school and pursuing a career in dance. She said, “I think that people sometimes limit themselves and so rob themselves of the opportunity to realize their dreams. For me, I love the sciences and I also love the arts.”
In the end, her mother’s advice determined her path when she said, “You can always dance if you’re a doctor, but you can’t doctor if you’re a dancer.” It echoed a sentiment that I’d heard from many friends who went on to pursue higher education, and as soon as I heard it, I knew Boots was telling me something about what she’d been raised to believe. It was a turning point for my manuscript. (Mae, by the way, became a physician, and then went on to become a choreographer, a producer, an author, an astronaut, and an actress on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Holy inspiration!)
I turned in the first draft of Believe in April of 2015 and promptly gave birth to twin girls two weeks later. The next several months were a whirl of sleepless nights and revisions, and here I am, eighteen months later, finally back to a normalish sleep schedule, with Believe ready to meet readers. It has been a long road, but I’ve treasured my time with Mark and Boots—I hope you enjoy them, too.
Happily Ever After. Redefined. My life begins now.
My name is Amanda Conrad and I. Am. Confused.
When my cousin Liv whisked me away to South Africa to be maid of honor in her super-secret celebrity wedding, I was about to begin a five-year residency at NYU. My plans definitely did not include a rock-star best man sweeping me off my feet.
But the passion we shared in South Africa needs to stay there—our lives are too different for “us” to ever work out. He must return to his touring, while I start my residency, with our fond memories of a whirlwind, fairy-tale week to sustain us. But now nothing feels right, and the replay of his fiery kisses and heated touch continues to ignite my every waking moment.
Suddenly I’m questioning everything…and wondering if I have the courage to believe I can have it all.
Find it online:
In Bloom (The Brightside #1) – Olivia and Berkley’s story
Blushing (The Brightside #2) – Olivia and Berkley’s story
Believe (The Brightside #3) – Boots & Mark’s story (standalone)
About Katie Delahanty:
Katie is a fashion designer turned novelist. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis induced career shift from lingerie designer to ecommerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.