Since the first moment, Dean Jacobs stepped onto the page in Deal Maker, I’ve been inundated with requests for his story. Something about the amiable ex-stoner struck a chord with people, and I’ve had so many messages and emails campaigning for him to get a book.
I always resisted because Dean wasn’t anything more than a side character in my head. I adored him and wrote him into several short stories, but he never crossed the gap to be a main character like so many of my other side characters did — Jude, Henry, Malachi, Felix and Charlie, to name just a few.
Then two things happened. I wrote a short story about Mal and Cadan that featured Dean, and for some reason, he lodged in my head this time and I started to think about who his man would be. Then I started Model Clinic, which is my newsletter exclusive series that centres around an advice podcast run by Mal, Dean and Pip (Let’s not get into Pip yet. He’s another character who was only intended to feature in one episode, but instead has become a very demanding voice in my head)
Anyway, back to Dean. He’s very different from Mal. He’s kind, gentle, and unassuming, and I grew to love his voice every month because it always contained reason. Pip and Mal may snark to their heart’s content, but it’s Dean who gets to the heart of the problem.
So, I had a character I liked and a snappy monthly serial he featured in, but I still didn’t do anything. And then Jonas appeared on the page. The modelling agency boss is controlled and focused, and Dean’s direct opposite. But I loved him, and if you look back on the episodes, you can trace my fascination as he grew from a one-line boss to taking up more and more page time.
My initial plan was to write Dean and Jonas a novella. It would be a thank you to all the readers who’d loved Dean, and to my readers’ group, Lily’s Snark Squad, who’ve remained loyal and steadfast Dean fans. I began to write. And write some more. And then some more. The novella grew and became a book – a romantic comedy that moves from the frenetic atmosphere of Fashion Week in London and Paris to the sleepy South of France as Jonas falls hard for Dean.
Not bad for a tiny side character.
The novella grew and became a book – The Sunny Side. A romantic comedy that moves from the frenetic atmosphere of Fashion Week in London and Paris to the sleepy South of France as Jonas falls hard for Dean.