I already wrote about the first book in this series, All Too Well. So, how did Lauren’s story come to be?
There are different tropes in chick lit (or contemporary women’s fiction, whichever term you prefer). One of them, which I really enjoy (as long as it’s done well and doesn’t read forced) is the rivals-to-lovers device. I wanted to connect this trope to Lauren’s profession and immediately thought about attorneys. Suits, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Laws of Attraction and What Rats Won’t Do may or may not have made me think there was potential for chemistry, rivalry, tension, denial, and fun. I also have friends who are attorneys and whose brains I picked for various reasons, although I’ll say right away I have no idea if the trial’s resolution would work in real life as it does in the book. I took some creative license in that specific part because it’s what I’d want to happen.
In any case, I already knew that the four friends were entirely different from each other: Darcy’s the slightly eccentric, creative one, Lauren’s career-driven, Zoe’s the sporty one with a complicated family history, and Beth’s the optimistic lovelorn one.
But I wanted Lauren’s profession to be grounded not just in her passion, but also in two different situations: her perfectionism and her need to please others (especially her family). And a rival wasn’t enough. I needed serious obstacles, like a husband. And a whole belief system—partially imposed on her, partially her own—that Garrett makes her question.
I wanted the trope to lead to positive changes and growth for Lauren, not just in romantic terms but also in terms of how she was living her life, why, and because of whom. In a way, Lauren fighting with Garrett isn’t so much as the main plot in the story, but it’s more of the catalyst that leads her to ask herself questions she’s been ignoring for quite some time.
I also kept thinking about U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” and the lyrics that refer to posing for or having our photographs taken. (I have no idea if I need anyone’s permission to quote the lyrics, so to play it safe and avoid getting sued because I’m not interested in that, I’ll just suggest you google them.)
So, while I Will Survive has a romantic background and a loving trope was the basis for it, it’s mostly a book about facing one’s present and future, questioning whether the current road is the one that wants to be traveled, and what lengths one is willing to go, to stay in a comfort zone.