Saturday, October 04, 2014

Write the book you want to read

That was the best piece of writing advice I got and I no longer remember who gave it to me: Write the book you want to read.

That's why my current work-in-progress is a fantasy. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed writing erotic romance, and I may go back to the genre in the future, but my first choice, go-to books have always been fantasies. J.R.R. Tolkien, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings, Diana Gabaldon (which might be more historical fiction than fantasy, but then again, the whole time-travel thing...). My son's turned me on to Brian Sanderson and my daughter to Tad Williams. It's what I read when I want to escape and find adventure.

My first novel was a fantasy. It's called Discoveries and is sitting on my computer at just over 95K words and isn't finished. It's close...probably another 45-50 thousand words will do it. Why haven't I published it? Because it was my learning novel. It needs a rewrite. Badly. If there were mistakes to be made, I made them.

I also didn't finish it yet, because Ellora's Cave bought Secret Submission. That was a book I wrote because I really wanted to explore the idea that a Master/slave BDSM relationship could also be a loving one. At the time, EC wasn't publishing anything but erotic romance, so...that's what I wrote. Yes, I read it as well, but they were "beach reads" - books I could read in an afternoon. I liked them, they made me feel just a little bit naughty and writing them was fun.

But the books I wanted to read, first choice, were still fantasies.

I started writing another one, the Companion series, about ten years ago. The pitch line:

Stuck in a partnership neither wanted, an Earth Mother and her Companion discover a pillaged farm and must find a way to work together as they defend their country from an invader who has powers they don’t understand.

Avon was interested in it at one point, but ultimately passed. Probably a good thing. I didn't have the story structure down then. I do now, thanks to Lynn LaFleur who let me bounce ideas off her long-distance and who has suffered through reading the first draft of the first third of the story.

There is some sex in it, but it isn't the primary genre at all. There's action, adventure, themes of the greater good and of Power vs. what's right to do...all the components of a good fantasy. Now that I finally have the story's structure down, this is the book I'll be working on for the next several months. It's the story I want to read.

Along the way, I'll be republishing a few stories that have been out of circulation for a while as well as putting together a new anthology of short stories (just in time for Christmas!).

Oh! And the current free stories of the 12 Days of Christmas (the even numbers) are going to be 99 cents, just like the others, come November 1st. It'll still be cheaper to buy them bundled together into one volume (that book price will remain the same).

Off to write! Play safe,

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