Related to: 'Black and Blue'

Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable’s story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 ― well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.

Andrés Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of his generation.After graduating from La Masia, the fabled Barcelona youth academy, Iniesta made his first-team debut in 2002, aged 18. He became a regular in the 2004-05 season and has remained in the side ever since, helping Barca to an amazing string of trophies, including eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.At international level he has well over a century of caps, and has twice won the European Championships. In 2010, he scored the winning goal to hand Spain their first World Cup victory.

Ben Stokes

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1991, Ben Stokes moved to Cumbria with his family at the age of 11. He made his debut for Durham CCC in 2009, and just two years later pulled on an England shirt for the first time.The highlights of his explosive England career to date have included scoring the fastest ever Test century at Lord's (against New Zealand in May 2015) and England's fastest ever Test double-century (against South Africa at Cape Town in January 2016). His bowling spell of 6-36 at Trent Bridge in August 2015 helped England to regain the Ashes. He has also played for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Big Bash League, and Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League.He has a partner and two young children.

Billy Vunipola

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1992 to a father who was a Tongan rugby legend, Billy Vunipola moved to Wales as a child before settling in England and gaining a scholarship to Harrow School.After a spell at Wasps, he joined Saracens in 2013 and has never looked back. His England debut followed that same year, and he has already won 34 caps at the tender age of 24. After a disappointing World Cup in 2015, England - with Vunipola as the spearhead - swept to their first Grand Slam for thirteen years in the 2016 Six Nations. Eddie Jones' rejuvenated side then recorded their first ever Test series in Australia, whitewashing the Wallabies 3-0, with Vunipola again very much to the fore, and then reclaimed their 2017 Six Nations crown.Vunipola was selected in Warren Gatland's British & Irish Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand, but had to withdraw due to injury.

Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton was born in 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland. He joined Manchester United as a professional in 1954 and made his first team debut in October 1956. He was voted European Player of the Year in 1966 and won the FA Cup, three Division One championships and the European Cup with United. He joined the board of the club in 1984, a position he still holds today. Bobby Charlton was a key member of the victorious England World Cup side of 1966. He was awarded the OBE in 1969, the CBE in 1973 and was knighted in 1994, the first footballer to gain such an honour since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1965.

Colin Shindler

Colin Shindler is a leading TV writer and producer. He was responsible for the series Lovejoyand Madson, as well as the film Busterand won a BAFTA for his production of A Little Princess. His first book, MANCHESTER UNITED RUINED MY LIFE, was a big bestseller and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize; and his second, FATHERS, SONS AND FOOTBALL, also hit the bestseller list. He is the author of two novels.

Dietmar Hamann

Born in Waldsassen in Germany in 1973, Dietmar Hamann played professional football for Wacker Munich, Bayern Munich, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Milton Keynes Dons. In club football, Hamann is much decorated, having won two Bundesliga titles, two UEFA Cups, two FA Cups and a Champions League winners` medal. At international level, he won 62 caps for his native Germany and has a 2002 World Cup runners-up medal for his efforts. In 2010 Hamann became player/coach at Milton Keynes Dons, and in 2011 he joined Leicester City as a first team coach. He has recently been appointed as Manager of Stockport County.

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness was born in Edinburgh in 1953. His career begun as an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur under Bill Nicholson, after which he spent six seasons at Middlesbrough and won a promotion to the First Division in 1973-74. His seven seasons at Liverpool brought incredible success, including three European Cups, five First Division championships and four League Cups. Skippering the team for much of his time at Anfield, he made 358 appearances and scored 56 goals before leaving for Sampdoria in Italy in 1984. He won the Coppa Italia there, for the first time in the Genoa club's history. He returned to Britain in 1986 as player-manager of Rangers, ushering in 'The Souness Revolution' and bringing with it four Scottish Premier Division titles and four Scottish Cups.Souness returned to Anfield as manager in 1991, delivered the FA Cup in 1992, then managed Galatasaray (where he won the Turkish Cup and Super Cup), Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn Rovers (where he won the League Cup and achieved promotion to the Premier League) and Newcastle United.Souness was awarded 54 caps for his country, and played at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals.He now writes a column for The Sunday Times and is a pundit on Sky Sports.

Jimmy Bullard

East London-born Jimmy Bullard joined the club he supported as a boy, West Ham, from non-League Gravesend & Northfleet in 1999. He never played a first team game for The Hammers and moved to Peterborough United on a free transfer in 2001, where he started to make a name for himself under manager Barry Fry. A move to Wigan Athletic followed in 2003 and Bullard played his part in securing promotion to the Premier League in 2005 and a League Cup final appearance in 2006. He left The Latics to join Fulham but his time there was blighted by injury, as was his spell at Hull City, the club he joined in 2009. Brief spells at Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons ensued, but Bullard brought his career to an end by announcing his retirement in October 2012. As far as international football was concerned, Bullard was called into the England squad in August 2008 for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia, but did not feature in either match.In September 2016 he was appointed manager of Leatherhead.

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson became England's youngest international for 71 years when he made his debut at 18 in March 1998. He has since won 70 caps for his country and is the leading point-scorer in test rugby. In the 2003 World Cup he scored the drop goal that won the tournament. He endured a succession of injuries that kept him out of international action for over three years but he returned to kick the England rugby team to the final of the 2007 World Cup. He has also won five British Lions caps. He was awarded the MBE in January 2003, and the OBE a year later.

Kieron Dyer

In an 18-year career in professional football, Kieron Dyer played for Ipswich Town, Newcastle United, West Ham United, QPR and Middlesbrough. He won 33 caps for England. In 2015 he was a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

Lawrence Dallaglio

Lawrence Dallaglio has been a Wasps player all his club career, signing in 1990 and becoming captain in 1995 for 12 years until his retirement in 2008. He has won a hat-trick of Premiership titles and was also a member of the triumphant England Sevens team which won the World Cup at Murrayfield in 1993. He has captained his country and is regarded as one of the world's greatest ever back-row forwards - he was the only player to play in every minute of every match during the victorious 2003 World Cup campaign. He has won 85 caps for England and 3 Lions caps.

Oliver Holt

Oliver Holt worked on the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo for three years before moving to The Times in 1993. He was Motor Racing Correspondent, Chief Football Correspondent and Chief Sports Writer. He joined the Daily Mirror as Chief Sports Writer in 2002. He is now Chief Sport Writer at the Mail on Sunday. His previous books include Miracle at Medinah and GoodFella, with Craig Bellamy.

Paul Canoville

Paul Canoville was born in Hillingdon, London. Starting out playing for non-league Hillingdon Borough, Canoville signed for Chelsea in 1981. He made his debut against Crystal Palace in April 1982 aged 20. He joined Reading in 1986, where his career ended due to injury. He now lives in London, he is an ambassador for the 'Kick it Out' campaign and regularly talks to schools about his experiences.

Paul Gascoigne

Gazza made his league debut for Newcastle in 1984-85, moving to Spurs in 1988 in a huge £2 million deal. He was one of England's key figures in the 1990 World Cup, and moved to Lazio in Italy in 1992. He then played for Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley and briefly in China. He won 57 caps.

Phil Tufnell

Phil Tufnell, aka "Tuffers", played 42 Test matches and 20 One-Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 1997. Following retirement in 2002, Tufnell became a hugely popular TV personality. He was the winner of ITV1's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" in 2003, and enjoyed a long run in BBC1's "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2009. Current broadcasting commitments include being team captain on BBC1's "A Question of Sport" and regular features on BBC1's "The One Show". He remains a star turn on Radio 4's iconic "Test Match Special" show.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez began his football coaching career at Real Madrid before going on to manage Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife. But it was at Valencia where he really made his name, managing the club to the Spanish La Liga title twice - in 2002 and 2004. Appointed manager of Liverpool in 2004, in Rafa's first year in charge he delivered the Champions League trophy, courtesy of an astonishing second-half come-back against AC Milan that came to be known as 'The Miracle of Istanbul'. His time at Anfield also brought four consecutive seasons in the Premier League top 4, the European Super Cup in 2005, and the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2006. But it was the Champions League record which marked him out as an absolutely outstanding operator - he won it once, finished runner-up once, and reached another semi-final and another quarter-final. Benitez left Liverpool to join Inter Milan in 2010, where he won the Italian Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, before he departed Italy in 2011.

Rio Ferdinand

Born in Peckham, Ferdinand signed for West Ham as a schoolboy, turning professional at the age of 17. He played 158 games for the Hammers before transferring to Leeds United in November 2000, with whom he reached the Champions League semi-final in 2001. Following his star performance in the 2002 World Cup, he joined Manchester United. He made his England debut in November 1997 and was one of the team's best performers in the 2006 World Cup. He has won 72 caps.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce was born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1954, and supported Wolverhampton Wanderers as a boy.Between 1973 and 1992, he played for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Limerick.His coaching and managerial career has been even longer. As a manager he has served at the helm of Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland, England and Crystal Palace. He kept Sunderland and Crystal Palace in the Premier League in season 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. He resigned from Palace in May 2017.As a player, Allardyce won the Second Division with Bolton in 1978. As a manager, he won the First Division in Ireland with Limerick in 1992, the Third Division with Notts County in 1998, the First Division Play-off final with Bolton in 2001 (where he also reached the League Cup final in 2004), and the Championship Play-off final with West Ham in 2012. In addition, he has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award on six separate occasions.

Sir Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart was born in Dumbarton. In the early 60s he dominated the British club and European F3 racing scenes and in 1965 he partnered Graham Hill in F1. At Monza that season he scored the first of his 27 Grand Prix victories. Teaming up with Ken Tyrrell in 1968 he went on to win three World Championships - 1969, '71 and '73. He retired from the circuit after competing in 99 F1 races. Since then he has built a hugely successful international business career. In 1997, Jackie entered the Stewart Grand Prix Racing team into F1, securing second place at Monaco in its fifth race and in September 99 a win at the Nurburgring. He was awarded an OBE in 1972 and a knighthood in 2001 and is actively involved in numerous charitable trusts.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is Liverpool FC's most talented player for a generation, and one of their all-time greats. He has clocked up nearly 600 appearances for the Anfield side he supported as a boy, the club he joined as an eight-year-old.During his illustrious Liverpool career, Gerrard has won the Champions League, the League Cup three times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup, as well as being awarded the PFA Playerof the Year (2006) and FWA Footballer of the Year (2009). There's also the small matter of nearly 100 caps for England.