Story Behind the Story: 1000 Kisses by Jody Wallace

by EilisFlynn

Elizabeth Flynn, who writes as Eilis Flynn, is an editor and writer. Find her on social media.

March 3, 2021

Jody Wallace specializes in quixotic stories, mean kitties (but not really), and surprises around the corner. In 1000 Kisses, the second in her Fae Realm series, the unexpected is key in exploring a familiar trope of meeting your One True Love: You may have a destined mate, but what if you don’t like each other?

What’s the theme behind your story?

1000 Kisses is the second book in my Fae Realm series that has been on pause since I completed 1000 Kisses. In writing it, I was toying around with the popular trope in paranormal romance of “fated mates”—as in, what if you and your fated mate don’t like each other? What if your fated mate tells you no? What if there’s no biological drive toward a fated mate, but more of a philosophical one, and the mates in question can accept or deny it if they wish? I hadn’t seen that particular situation in paranormal or fantasy romance before, so that was all my brain needed to scooch off down the rabbit trail.

What’s the logline?

Magic might go by the book, but love doesn’t play by the rules.

How did the original idea change as you went along?

Well, the cat who plays matchmaker, kind of, took over and decided to be a major part of the story. Like cats do. And then the gnomes wanted a piece of the action, because they’re greedy little jerks, so the book did not end up where I thought it would. I am sure the cats guided me in the correct direction, though! 

How did you conceive of your characters for this story and how did they change?

The characters were introduced in Book 1, Survival of the Fairest. SPOILER ALERT: In Book 1, our hero of Book 2 thought his “fated mate” was the heroine of Book 1, so he was the driving force behind chasing her down when she went AWOL in the human world. Turns out the fiery, spontaneous Talista from Survival of the Fairest was NOT his fated mate—it was her quiet, calm twin sister Anisette. The book then explored how quiet and calm and thoughtful can be just as strong and brave, if not stronger, than more obvious trappings of courage, as the hero himself, Embor, is kind of a stiff, uptight, quiet guy.

Are you pleased with the results, or do you wish you had done anything differently in the story? Why or why not?

I’d have added more cats in Book 1 and sold more copies of Book 2 so it would be worth my while to finish Book 3! Does that count as doing things differently??

What else do you want readers to know?

To buy Book 2 and encourage me to finish Book 3? So far it is AMAAAAAAZING and also chock full of gnomes, cussing, kissing, cats, fighting, unexpected turnabouts, mystery, and adventure. The heroine is the sister of the hero from Book 2 and the hero is someone we haven’t met in the previous books. 


Jody Wallace’s 30-plus titles include SF/F romance, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. Her fiction features diverse protagonists, action, adventure, and humor. Her readers frequently comment on her great characters, suspenseful stories, and intriguing and creative world building. When describing her methods, Jody says: “There are two sides to every story. I aim to tell the third. And I add cats regardless.” 

Outside of her fiction career, Jody has employed her master’s degree in creative writing to work as a college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and all-around pain in the butt. You can learn more about her at

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