I've been tagged for a What Are You Working On meme by my friend and fellow author, Sonya Clark. It’s been ages since I updated my blog, so here it goes.
What am I working on?
Just this week I submitted the
sequel to Blood Gift from my vampire series, The Circle, to my Loose Id
editor. The novel is called Blood Gate
and features the London Circle of vampires as seen through the eyes of my
protagonist, Claire. This one was a roller coaster to write because in addition
to being an erotica/bondage novel, I decided to explore it through the lens of
possession. Not owning something, but
being possessed by something (or someone) and the fall out that occurs. I’m
anxiously awaiting my editor’s reaction, but if all goes well the book should
come out this summer.
I’m editing the seventh Wolf Within novel from my shifter series. This is like coming home again after a long
vacation with vampires. I haven’t been in my protagonist, Stanzie’s, world in
quite some time. The series is taking an exciting shift because it’s no longer
with Lyrical Press. Instead I've taken it to author-run Dark
Continents where I have
more creative and artistic control over which direction to take the
series. Instead of straddling the
paranormal romance/urban fantasy line, it’s going to go to straight ahead urban
fantasy. Stanzie is giddy with joy over this because now she can go on
adventures for Councilor Jason Allerton without having to be caught up in a
love story of her own. She and Murphy are solid and strong as a couple these
days. Of course, she’ll likely be instrumental in helping other lovers out, but
that can happen organically now instead of being forced into the story.
Here’s the scariest thing I’m
doing right now. I am about to plunge into my first contemporary romance sans
any sort of paranormal spin. This is challenging to me because I’m a cynic as
far as love is concerned. I don’t believe in love at first sight, and I’m
pretty sure that love lasts at most seven years before people get bored and
move on unless they care enough to really work at reconnecting. In my experience, there’s more of the former
and none of the latter, so working on this sort of novel will make me confront
a lot of my issues.
What good is writing
if it doesn't shake you up a little, right? And no matter the fact there will
be no paranormal creatures in this one, my readers can rest assured they will not
be replaced by cardboard characters labeled Hero, Heroine, Bitchy Ex
Girlfriend, Smart Ass Sidekick. Instead,
I am going to take a grieving young woman who misses her grandmother on a trip
to Ireland to explore her roots where she’ll meet a gorgeous young Irishman
trying desperately to save the pub his family has run for generations.
Side project number 1 is a
lesbian sci-fi erotic romance set on a planet based on ancient Greece. This is
my friend Kimberly Murphy’s brainchild, and she’s asked me to write the
priestess character. We’re going to explore gender roles and techno-magical
gizmos that grant wishes, and I’m super excited about this.
Side project number 2 started off
as a zombie apocalypse story and has since morphed into a more Old Ones
Lovecraftian modern horror tale. Do not even ask how we got here from there
because I can’t tell you. It just involved lots of strange angles and Skype
conversations. I’m collaborating with Nerine Dorman, the
woman who shoved me screaming from writing on my blog to writing for publication. She’s edited the Wolf Within novels in the
past and is editing them again and I’m pretty damned excited to be working on a
story with her.
These writing endeavors should
keep me busy for the next several months, shouldn't they?
2. How does my work differ
from others of its genre?
Let’s take this by series.
My vampire novels, The Circle,
differ in that my vampires are more human than supernatural creature. They live in a sort of closed vacuum without
much connection to the human/mortal world save for doing business and for
sucking blood once a week. They are far
more interested in each other and in what to do with their immortality than
scaring humans or seducing them or even much noticing them. It’s erotica so there’s plenty of sex, but
it’s with each other.
I’m not much good at coloring
within the genre lines, so I know that this series straddles erotica and
paranormal urban fantasy, so it differs there too. It’s told from first person
POV, so you only ever get to see the world through Claire’s eyes, and she’s
sometimes not the most reliable narrator and sees what she wants to instead of
what’s really there.
The Wolf Within series – wow.
Does it have a genre? I know I said I
was making it urban fantasy going forward, but I’m seven books in now, and I
haven’t had a real genre since the beginning.
I think the first book was the most paranormal romance than any of the
others, but even then I didn't end it with Stanzie and Murphy living happily
ever after. They weren't even in love yet!
This series is the story of one
woman coming back from losing everything. It’s also the story of the Pack and
the crossroads the species is coming to.
As of now mankind has no idea there are shifters among them, but many
members of the Pack want to change that. Just as many want to keep the status
quo. Who will win? Jeez, I don’t know myself and I just write
Where I bend the rules in the
Circle series, I shatter them in the Wolf Within. Paranormal romance should have a different
couple each book and center around their romance/drama. But I have Stanzie and
Murphy. Their courtship bounced up and
down over the course of the first five books. Book four even sees them separated. So there’s that.
Even when I tried to shift to urban fantasy, I
still had their romance center stage. I
pretty much ignored the rules because I didn't know the rules. I started out writing what I wanted to read
and never cared about things like genre rules. I've since tried to be more
mindful, but the Wolf Within will most likely always be an unruly child who
balks at rules. So be it.
3. Why do I write what I
Hope laced with lots of cynicism.
Okay, that’s part of it. I write the worlds I wish existed so I could live in
them. I manifest my fantasies and make them breathe. I write because I have
to. At first I wrote only what pleased
me and then wondered why I wasn't more of a commercial success.
These days I am trying to write
with an eye towards commercial success because I desperately want to make a
living writing. I don’t want to work in Corporate America much longer. So I
will gladly write the things that people want to read. However, I won’t ever write something I don’t
want to read. I will try my hardest to work
within the guidelines of the genre and promote and market my heart out for my
stories because I believe in them.
I want to balance commercial
success with artistic joy. Some say this can’t be done, but I’m going to make
4. How does my writing process
My writing process is an
ever-evolving thing. At the moment I get
my ass out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m. and sit myself in front of
my computer with a cup of tea. I write
for at least an hour and a half. This
allows me to finish a 200 plus page novel in two and a half to three
months. I do this every weekday. I hate
mornings. I am a grouch. But funny
thing, now I mostly can’t wait to get out of bed so I can visit my latest world
and my characters.
I’m about to start juggling three
writing projects at the same time. This
is terrifying for me. I get so wrapped up in one world; I am wondering if I can
switch between them. Can I juggle more
than one set of characters at a time? I
guess I’ll find out.
Here’s the part where I’m
supposed to tap two people to continue this. So I’m tapping Nerine Dorman and
Alyssa Breck. You two can kill..I mean
thank me later!