Blog Post: Origins of ‘Hearts Unfrozen’

With the upcoming June 5 of Hearts Unfrozen, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the behind the scenes stuff from writing this book, along with exploring the origins of the story. Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers. Just some insight into the writing process and some story ideas that ended up on the cutting room floor.

What’s in a name?

The original working title of the book was ‘Melting The Ice Man’s Heart’ which was in reference to a minor plot point that was dropped from the final version of the story.

In my early notes, main character Jarod, who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident years earlier, acquired the nickname “The Ice Man” from his work colleagues because of his emotionless persona. In the early drafts, Jarod was a lot more abrupt, rude and abrasive as a result of him not being able to experience or recognise feelings, but I decided to tone this down significantly as I wanted him to be more likeable as a character.

I also felt the nickname was a bit mean (after all, I’d given the poor guy enough to deal with!) so that plot point was dropped entirely. The working title was then briefly changed to ‘How To Thaw A Human Heart’ but changed this almost immediately, as I thought it sounded like the title of a cookbook for cannibals! Eventually, I settled on ‘Hearts Unfrozen’ and the rest was history.

The Origin of Paul Kincaid

The character of Detective Paul Kincaid was first developed while I was part way through writing my first novel ‘Chasing The Cupcake Boy’ and got momentarily distracted with the idea of a story involving a police officer who was unlucky in love.

Since ‘Chasing’ was already going to have a detective character (in the early drafts, this character was unnamed) and this newly-formed idea kept coming to mind, I decided to plant a few seeds for his story in the book I was currently writing. This left the door open for me to write his story, in either a standalone book or another volume in the Men Of Melbourne series, at some point in the future. Those seeds would eventually grow into ‘Hearts Unfrozen’

Just Add Murder…

Originally, ‘Hearts Unfrozen’ was supposed to be a straight-up romance novel, but as I began writing the chapter outline, I realised quickly that the story was a little thin and it needed a bit more meat to it.

Having been a long time fan of the whodunnit genre, I decided to try my hand at turning my story into a murder mystery. It seemed simple enough at first, but I soon discovered how much more complex this genre was to actually write. I made numerous notes, charts and diagrams outlining each of the characters, their backstories, motivations and even their physical locations chapter by chapter – all so I could just keep it clear in my head where everyone was and what they were supposed to be doing at any given point.

Add to that a healthy sprinkling of red herrings and me changing my mind about who the killer actually was (twice!) and ‘Hearts Unfrozen’ was certainly my most challenging writing project to date.

‘Hearts Unfrozen’ will be released on all major eBook platforms on June 5, 2020

You can preorder your copy here:


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