Lucky in Red is my first release from Passions in Print, MLR’s traditional romance imprint, and I’m just thrilled to be there for several reasons.
One, the publisher is Laura Baumbach. ‘Nuff said.
Second, it’s an anthology with two of my favorite authors and people, Belinda McBride and Jianne Carlo. If you haven’t read their stuff, you should. Go ahead. I’ll wait. And if you’re not lucky enough to know either of these ladies personally, it’s a shame. Both of them are creative, funny, professional, and just good people.
Third, it’s the first time I’ve ever…er, colluded…with other writers. We had the bare minimum requirements for the anthology and Laura, God love her, let us run with it. And we did, oh boy! We came up with what we hope is an original twist to a story about werewolves who meet their mates (and their matches) in three women with stained red dresses.
Now, I’m the first to tell you I’m not sure I could ever write with a partner. I’m just too anal… (stop snickering, yeah, I said anal. Yeah, I said it again.) and a control freak. Just thinking about the arguments over whose name is first terrifies me. So this was a great way to get a taste of working with someone else, sharing a story and working through a process to get to a final work that is consistent and works as a whole.
Not easy, but these ladies made it a dream. We chatted on Skype several times and as each of us finished the first chapters, we sent them back and forth to read and edit. It was great! I loved having two sets of eyes on my chapter, and seeing what they had that I could shameless steal….er, incorporate, into my story.
One of the town’s wild and crazy characters came from Jianne’s first chapter. Belinda and I saw her and said, okay, she has to be in all the stories!! She’s one of the only people that appear in all of them.
And oh my God, we had so many decisions to make, decisions a single writer makes without having to ask anyone any questions, such as….
We decided that the brothers would only exist in the other stories as a presence on a cell phone or email, but not physically appear. We decided on the location, Sleeping Dog, Texas, and that the weres would own a dry cleaning store. We decided they’d be Hispanic and each of us grabbed our favorite names – Maximilian, Diego, and Antonio – and because they’re brothers, what order they were born. That led to if he’s first, then he’s alpha and act like this, the middle brother would act like this, and the youngest, the baby, would be like that.
So many decisions, right? Catch your breath, cuz there were more…. Hair color, style, eyes, body build, characteristics, and speech patterns. And that was just the guys!
When we got to the women in the stories, it was the same thing, only different. What would their names be? What would they look like? I wanted to write a BBW story, so how could I incorporate that into my guy’s character? Jianne’s alpha male needed a sweet sub, Belinda’s middle son needed someone to set him straight, and my younger son, a geek, had to find his inner alpha.
Then we tackled the dresses. What stains would each one have? How would they happen? What would each woman’s dress look like? Red was the only decision we didn’t have to make when we started.
It was an amazing experience. I think it worked well, story-wise and writer-wise. I’ve heard more than one author say they’d never co-write again, and even though we didn’t really co-write, I think this is a close as I might get and still be in my comfort zone. (yeah, there is comfort food in my zone, and a recliner, and a remote control) We’re hoping it’s successful, because once we finished, we started thinking of other anthologies we wanted to write together…. The mind boggles!!
Once it comes out, I hope you’ll agree that these three werewolves and their mates are a perfect fit and that as writers, Belinda, Jianne, and I are a perfect fit too.