I originally got the idea for this book while writing Eye of the Beholder. I was intrigued with the idea of Tom doing everything he could to impress Jessica, especially when Jessica said, “He was so nervous around me. He’d keep stammering and tripping over his feet. I thought it was adorable that someone would put forth that much effort to try to please me. So I ended my engagement to another man and let Tom court me instead.” I wrote the book so I could find out more about this time in her life.
I wrote the original version of this book in the First Draft blog I used to have. I took the blog down when someone started stealing my books and putting them for sale on Amazon. That was unfortunate since I enjoyed the blog, but I have a responsibility to protect my books as much as possible.
This book had three versions to it. The first ended at about 18,000 words long. The last scene in the first version was when Tom gave Jessica the note from Jenny in which Jenny said that Tom was sweet on her. Then Jessica corners Tom in the parlor and finally gets him to admit he wants to be with her. In the second version, I continued the story until the wedding day. In the third version, I added the wedding night. The reason I added the wedding night was because authors of “clean” romances kept asking me to do mutual promotion with them, and I had to keep telling them my other books had sex in them so they really did not want to promote books with me. I was not a good fit for them. My audience was not their audience. So I finally added the wedding night in order to stop any more “clean” romance authors from contacting me for this reason. The method worked. I haven’t gotten a single email since.
In the first version of this book, I had created no plans for Margaret’s book. Then in the second one, I realized I wanted to write her story, which is why I had her post an ad for a husband.
Eye of the Beholder was the first Larson book I wrote. A Bride for Tom is the second Larson book I wrote. The Wrong Husband was third. Shotgun Groom was the fourth. Isaac’s Decision was the fifth. To Have and To Hold was the sixth. Her Heart’s Desire was the seventh. When I started writing, I wasn’t thinking of writing books in a series or even going in a chronological order. I just wrote each story as I wanted to, and this might be why those were my best stories. I didn’t force a story just because it came “next” in the timeline. I notice that chronological timelines are very important to readers, which is why I try to stick with them.
A Bride for Tom is one of my favorite books of all I’ve done because of the humor. This is the book where I developed the rivalry between Tom and Joel. I wrote Eye of the Beholder first, and this rivalry didn’t exist at the time. The rivalry officially started when the two were at the kitchen table. Joel grabbed his hair and pretended to scream. Tom, in turn, let the dog lick Joel’s utensils. That was the “ah-ha” moment which led me to use the rivalry in future books. Those are my favorite two Larson boys to put together, and I do it whenever I can. To me, the Larsons are more than characters on paper. They are my family. Granted, they’re imaginary, but the connection is there. Some of the best books written are those in which the author has a deep personal connection to the characters.
Peter is loosely based off of one of my ex-boyfriends who had an abnormal attachment to his parents. They dictated a lot of his life for him, and looking back, I feel sorry for him. He wasn’t allowed to grow up and be his own person. I’m also relieved I didn’t end up marrying him.
The argument Jessica and Connie had over what color the roses should be was based off of some of the ridiculous arguments the same ex-boyfriend used to bring up over things that didn’t matter. For example, he would make a big deal over whether you called something a paper towel or a napkin. I didn’t see why it mattered, but he could argue for hours over stuff like this.