Tuesday, August 25, 2009
One of the questions that shows up in every interview, every chat and at every live appearance is craft related. "How do you write? Are you a plotter or apantster?"
I'm a little of both. Depending on the feel of the story, I might draft a fairly elaborate outline or simply a cast of characters and run with it. When I started Bad Angels, I had an outline, and interestingly enough, the story simply wrenched itself away and went somewhere unexpected.
Initially, this book was a bisexual menage, boys meet girl and so forth. The opening scene had Rex and Rion cooking in a diner, and Noemi coming in, drawing their attention with her tightly controlled power. But after starting, I realized that I really needed an intro to the story. Here I had a fallen angel and asidhe...how did things start for them?
I began with Rion...Kokabiel...falling from Heaven and landing in a sheep pasture in 1860's Scotland. Well, that little prologue took on a life of it's own. My planned six pages grew and grew until I knew this was a novella specifically about the boys. Yes,Anahita shows up, and there's some m/f sex, but essentially Falling is the love story of Rex and Rion.
That left me with a conundrum: should I leave the book as it stood, or move forward? The readers love Falling. The reviewers have been very kind. Do I dare mess with the chemistry? And what about Noemi? Here I'd created these two men for her...she's the Fire to their Earth and Sky. And yet Rex andRion are so beautiful on their own. I tossed the outline, closed my eyes and wrote. It takes some nerve to throw it away and trust your muse, especially after you've put in a good deal of work on the project.
The outcome of that trust was Bad Angels: Burn. I haven't received the outrage that I expected, and as the story ends on a cliff-hanger, I did expect some angry letters. They haven't come. Readers have written to say they love it and can't wait for the final book of the trilogy.
Where does it go from here? Frankly, I'm not sure. I've got scenes in mind, but no definitive outline for the third book. In a way, I'm setting it at the back of the table, like the biggest present at the birthday party. Very soon, I'll sit down, open a blank page and wait to see happens.
Click here for excerpt of Bad Angels: Fallling
Just what exactly happens when an angel goes bad?
Stripped of his voice, his memories, and his divinity, Rion Hunter falls to Earth in a fiery blaze. After crashing into a muddy sheep pasture in Scotland, the disgraced angel finds himself face-to-face with an unlikely rescuer: a sidhe-born farmer named Rex.
Rex finds himself rapidly falling for the beautiful angel, which can be risky when the object of your affection just might be psychotic. And if that isn’t enough, the men find that they’ve come to the attention of a ravenous succubus, who has developed an appetite for Scottish farmers.
Falling isn’t so bad… it’s the landing that hurts.
Following an auto accident, Rex Clark lays near death in the rocky wilderness of the Trinity Alps. Just when it appears that things can't get worse, she shows up. Anahita... the succubus. She's been his frequent companion, and the bane of his lover Rion's existence, for well over a century. But it seems that this time she's come to help.
From the frozen villages of the Inuit to the cities of America, Dr. Noemi Gastineau has seen it all. When a fallen angel shows up at the reservation clinic with an injured Sidhe, Noemi takes everything in stride. Yet within hours, she's swept into an enchanted world she never imagined existed. So why are the men so temptingly familiar? And why is she suddenly so afraid?
A fallen angel, a Sidhe, a human and a succubus. Never mind the demons, these four are about to catch fire! The question is... who will survive the burn?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It’s week 2 of the Fast Draft writing challenge, and I decided to take a few minutes out of the routine to share a little of what’s going down on paper, so to speak. The idea of the Fast Draft challenge is to set a daily goal and work toward it without distraction, and without an inner editor for two weeks.
Yes, I agree, it’s hard to live life without distraction, but this is my second shot at doing the Fast Draft challenge, and I think my family is getting trained. Now I’ve got to train myself to not use my laptop to check my email.
Now taking away the inner editor is a challenge for me. I tend to work as clean as possible, that leaves less to do when its time to start the second draft, but I’ve got to admit that the first novella I completed using Fast Draft last month will release in September. Pretty fast turnover, eh? And I had an awful lot of fun writing it. The second novella…not so fun. I really had some angst with it, but there are other issues on the table with that book. It’s written in first person, and it’s my first m/m without a girl to fall back on for emotional support. It’s due to my editor on the 31st, and I shall prevail!
My projects for this round on FD were to include a novella for Changeling’s Sex and Chocolate multi-author series. That is in the can, all finished. The book is called Toxic, and the chocolate isn’t such a good thing in this book. My second project for last week was a gender-bending short for a charity project, its called Draggin’ in Phoenix. That’s finished too.
Here’s where things got strange…My novella for this week was to be a vampire novella for a workshop project, but I Had A Dream. Yeah, on occasion I dream my stories, and try as I might, I couldn’t grasp a good vampire concept. Instead, I’m writing this phantom book called Jared-143. It’s a story about a cyborg who inherits the emotional memories an ‘awakened’ cyborg. I have no outline, no clear story, but I know where it ends, so my characters will get me there. Eventually.
The kicker is, my vampire suddenly stepped onto the page. It was in the wrong book, but he’s here! Stinkin’ vampires never cooperate!
So here's what you can expect from me in the next few months: I've sent contracts to Changeling Press for Last Call Europe: Siberian Husky. Its about a drab, ordinary human who somehow makes it through the magical wards of the Last Call bar, and encounters a pair of shape-shifters who see Genie with much more than their eyes. That releases September 9.
Also at Changeling is Sex and Chocolate: Toxic. Dr. Briony Theale can't live without chocolate. She's in love with Rico Montgomery, who is dangerously allergic to the stuff. Bad things happen when werewolves eat chocolate, as Briony will discover. Release date is early October.
Draggin' in Phoenix is destined for a Changeling charity anthology. Jessica comes out of the closet as gender queer. She has a crush on a co-worker, and dresses just like him for the monthly Draggin' in Phoenix pageant. When she leaves the stage, she runs into the hottest redhead in a blue sundress. Oddly, the redhead looks just like Jessica! I don't know the release date for this.
Mad at the Moon is my Christmas short at Changeling. Merry is a postal worker who is worn to the bone on Christmas Eve. All she wants is sleep, but her neighbor's dog is keeping her awake! Furry meets Fairy on a magical night. This will release in December.
Leather: A Porn Star Fairy Tale. Pierce Wilder is a fading pornstar who wants nothing more to leave the industry behind. He wants to finish college, settle down with a wife, maybe have a couple kids. Thinking to sabotage his career and get out of his contracts, Pierce shaves the long hair that is his trademark, dons black leather and stars in internet BDSM films. Instead of failing, he becomes a cult hero, drawing some fans who will do anything to keep Master Pierce working. Leather will be available in December at New Concepts Publishing.
Its been a busy, and productive summer, and hopefully, I'll have more news soon!