A World, Revisited

Two years ago…more than actually…I wrote a book. It was to be the first of a series, and there was magic and fairy-tale sweep-you-off-your-feet type love. There was a big bad looming. One of the MCs was one I’d had in my head, in one incarnation or another for years. I was totally digging this book, this series, and then…it all fell apart.

I can admit now that because of some feed back I’d gotten, I let my confidence crumble. And I now know that the source wasn’t as trustworthy as I thought, that they probably didn’t have my best interest in mind. In addition to that, I don’t think it was a good match, reading-taste wise. So it was all around a bad situation. But the book went on the shelf because at the time I thought it needed all the work ever and I just didn’t have the energy to do that. I let the bad words I was given outweigh the good ones I was given from other sources. It’s easier to believe the bad a lot of the time.

But that book and that character have never been far from my mind. I’ve thought about revising it a dozen or more times in the intervening years. I’ve even gone so far as to pull it up and read through it. But I’ve never done much with it.

Last week, there was a name that turned into a whole thing and I saw a character rather clearly in my head. And his potential boyfriend. And he was magic and there was all sorts of story things popping up. And then, like a flash of lightning, inspiration so brilliant and clear struck. I suddenly saw things perfectly, to the point where I sat up straight, eyes unfocused, as it all played out so I could see if it worked.

It did.

That book I wrote so long ago? Actually book two in the series. The book I conceived of after the name inspiration should be book one. With two more to follow after that.

So I pulled out that book and I revised some things that I knew I wanted to change. And I outlined book one, with the hope of beginning to work on it soon. For someone who is totally linear in thinking and writing, this is a strange concept to me. I know I’ll have more changes to book two depending on what happens in book one. And then it will inform book three to get to the grand finale in book four.

I hope.

I’m always a little leery of making plans (you know what happens when I do). Especially after I just finish writing a book, because my muse seems especially fickle and flighty during that time. I often have “rebound” affairs with several ideas before I can settle into a new relationship with a book and characters. But I want this to work, very much so. So I’m easing into it, trying not to rush. I don’t want this one to fizzle out and be nothing. I want this to be a long term relationship.

So that’s where I’m hoping to go next. Wish me luck.

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Accomplished

I’m sort of riding the high of accomplishment right now.

I’ve finished the last of the edits on His Needs. Which is sort of a bittersweet thing because, you know, the guys are ready for the world and it’s time let them go. But I’m really proud of the story and I hope y’all love them too. There will probably be a few more wee tweaks but nothing substantial. They’re ready. And I’m pretty sure we’ll see them on the shelves in December. (details when I have them, I promise)

I’m ahead of my deadline for Want by, well, miles. When this one came together, it really took off. I wrote it in just over a month, which was faster than I anticipated. And then beta read it and got it back to me with notes fast too. And then the changes I needed and wanted to make flowed from my fingertips. I actually have leisure time with this one. I can put it away for a couple of weeks and come back to it with fresh eyes, really look at it and tweak as necessary there. When it goes to the editor, I expect a solid round of edits, and then to get that ready for the shelves.

And I’ve sorted out the next few things I’m ready to write. Again, that’s always subject to change. If I get into something and it’s not working, I’m willing to let it go rather than struggle with it. Two have gone by the wayside this year, because when I got into the nitty gritty, it was not working and/or it was unintentionally way too similar to other works out there. But I have the things I want to dig into next. The next one is one where I’ve had one of the characters in my head for a while, and I’ve finally figured him all out and found his story. The one after that has already changed from what I was certain it was.

So I’m on a writer’s high at the moment. And I’m going to ride it as long as I can. I’m almost ready to dive into the next one, which is a faster turn around than I’ve ever had. But I’m feeling good, and feeling like I’m writing good words. I intend to capitalize on that whilst I’m able. We all know it won’t last forever, my insecurity will come back to the fore, and I’ll feel like an impostor again. (Yes, even though I can think logically about it doesn’t mean I can keep from feeling that way)

At any rate, I’ve had some good accomplishments and I’m going to do my damnedest to keep it going!

The Final Countdown

I didn’t do much on the writing front this weekend. Haven’t, really, in the past week. Basically, I’ve been coming down from the high of finally finishing writing Want.

And then I got the final round of edits on His Needs. The hard work is done on that one, all that is left is to finish polishing it up. Make it as shiny as possible. Give it a thorough read through to make sure all the words on the page are the ones I want to use. I love these guys. Like really love them. And I love them together. And I love their story. This one is one of the few I haven’t had problems going back and reading again and again. Usually, I get to a point, when I’ve read my story for the zillionth time, that I’m like “bah! These words! Ugh!” But I haven’t reached that point yet with Travis and Noah. And that’s kind of thrilling all on it’s own.

I hope you all like them as much as I do.

I also heard back from the beta with Want. A few tweaks and finessing there and I’ll be good. The consensus, from the two who have read it, is that it’s a very enjoyable read. I’m rather pleased with it myself, though admittedly that might be partially because it’s been such a long time coming. So I have a few revisions to make there, some clarifications, and then it’s ready for the editor. (Though I’m not on her schedule for a bit, which is fine. Gives me time to settle in and play with it a bit. And I don’t have to worry about not having the finished MS when it’s time to send it in. *relief*)

So both those stories are in the final leg, one further along than the other, and pretty soon they’ll both be in the world. I’ll release Want when it’s ready (end of Octoberish) and His Needs is slated for a Decemberish release (more details when I have them from the publisher).

And now it’s time to start something new. I’ve updated my WIPs page because it wasn’t at all what I thought I’d be working on next. In fact, I hadn’t even popped it in there yet. Things have shuffled around there again, because, as the disclaimer says, it’s subject to change at the drop of a hat. Until I really dig into a story, anything is possible. And some times even then.

The Series Thing

I’ve waxed poetic before about how much I love series. So I’m not going to do it again. Other then to say, yet again, I love them with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

The Something books were the first series I ever wrote. Not the first I conceived of, sure, but the first that actually made it onto the page. To be honest, I’m sort of surprised I managed to get the second one written, let alone this fourth one.

The way I see it, there are three kinds of series. I’m speaking in broad, general terms here.

The first is the direct sequel series. The stories that follow a particular couple/person as they navigate life and the obstacles in it. There’s a overarching metaplot that spans all the books, but each adventure is tied up, at least mostly, within one book. These stories don’t work as standalones; you have to read the series in order if you want to have all the pieces.

Then we have what I’m calling linked series. I’ve heard the term spin off used for this one, but I’m going to classify that as something else. What I’m talking about here is (and I’m going to relate this one directly to romance) are books in which a new couple gets their story. These stories are linked by the world, and often they have a group of some sort (family, friends, comrades in arms) all finding their relationships. Characters are introduced in previous books, and as the series progresses, there are cameos from the previous couples. These books often worked best when read in order, as there’s sort of a build up as each new person finds their love. There’s a history there that works better, usually, when it’s read in order. So while these books are often billed as standalones, they aren’t entirely. This is where I classify the Something books. Yes, they can be read on their own. And I worked hard to make sure all the pertinent information is in every book so that the reader has everything they need. But truth of the matter is, it works better, there’s a better build up, if you read them in order. (Incidentally, this might be my favorite kind of series. I love watching these sort of stories unfold)

And then there are spin offs, or what I’m calling spin offs, and here’s what I mean by that. These are books/stories that are only tangentially linked. As in it’s the same world, maybe, or there’s a connecting theme. The characters from book to book don’t know each other, or maybe it’s only in passing. Maybe there’s a mention of a character that, if you’ve read the previous books, you know who it is, but you don’t have to know in order for the story to work. So there’s a common thread, but they work completely as standalone stories.

Where I’m going next with my next series is somewhere between options two and three. These stories will have cameos, yes. But they are linked by world (they take place in the same city) and work as standalones. You won’t have to read one to understand the next fully (though of course, I’d hope you would read them!) The first two are a little more closely linked, but my goal is that they work entirely on their own. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway.  So while it’s characters we’ve seen before, ish, the story is completely contained, and now prior knowledge is needed.

The End

I don’t actually type those two little words once I finish a MS, but the sentiment is still the same.

Last night, I wrote the final words and finished writing Something Like Want. In fact, I’m 109% done. Just check the word meter.

!!

I did a happy dance, crowed about it a little, wiggled and cheered. I love when I finish writing something. There’s an insane amount of satisfaction in it. This one especially feels good, as for so long it was a complete struggle to get any words on the page at all. But in just over a month, I managed to write all the words.

It’s not done by any means. Now I need to go back through it and tweak and fix and polish. And then off to the beta to give it a practiced eye and more fixing, tweaks, and changes. It’ll be a process over the next several weeks. And then! Then I’ll send it off to the editor, and she’ll help me really make it shine. I’m still thinking it’ll be ready for release at the end of October, but I’ll keep you updated when things firm up a little there.

I love the crap out of these guys. I mean, yeah, of course, I love all my boys. Some more than others. But these guys really mean something to me. I don’t know if it was because it was such a struggle, at first, to get their story on the page. It could be, perhaps, because enemies to lovers is something I’ve never written before. It could be because the story takes place in Oak Harbor, and I loved “revisiting” Vincent’s house, the town, my mental image of the place. It could be all the things combined. I adore Spencer, I love Alex, and together the make my heart happy.

I’m not done with them yet. There’s work to be done. But the drafting stage is finished, and after so long, that feels particularly amazing.

Flash Fic Friday

**Let’s revisit Matt and Alex, from Hero Worship. Because I can never get enough of them. Enjoy!**

I didn’t normally sleep on my back, but sometimes in the act of turning over, the position felt so good I stayed there for a while. Of course, that invariably was the time Buffy hopped up on the bed and decided to get comfortable on my chest. I hated to move her, avoided it at all costs in fact, so if she jumped up I ended up staying in that spot until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’d already been lying on my back for several minutes when I felt the mattress dip as she climbed up. Quickly, I turned onto my side, and Buffy waited patiently for me to be done before she stepped up onto me, turned around several times, kneaded my hip with her sharp little claws, and they finally settled down.

I gave a tiny smile, and breathed out, relaxing under her warm weight.

I felt Alex’s hand creep up my back, over my side, and then gently but firmly, nudged Buffy off of me. She moved only when she had to, then jumped off the bed with a loud thump and padded away. Alex curled is arm around me and pulled me back into him.

“Don’t know why you let the cat in here,” he muttered against the back of my neck.

“She’s used to sleeping with me. You work nights more often than not.” It wasn’t an accusation, just a statement of fact. Even still Alex stiffened for a moment before relaxing. I didn’t love sleeping without him, but he loved his job, and was a damn good paramedic. I would never deprive him of that. Even if I’d rather have him home with me at night.

Alex pulled me in even tighter. “You have me tonight. You don’t need her.” He growled a little, playing at being possessive, and nipped the back of my neck.

I grinned in the darkness, arching back, making sure my ass pushed against his groin. “She’s less bitey.”

His chuckle was wicked. “You like the biting.”

“I like to do the biting,” I corrected, breaking his hold so I could turn over and face him. He hadn’t been prepared, so even though he was slightly bigger and heavier, I was able to gain the upper hand. I had him pinned to the mattress below me in seconds, and his body when lax in my hold. I could barely make out his face in the very dim light shine through the crack int he curtains, but what I could see was full of love and lust. Just like I liked him.

I bent my head so I could get my lips on his throat. Kisses first, then biting.

Alex breathed out, tilting his chin back so I could have all the access I wanted. “Love you, Matthew Edward Carter-Sullivan.”

I moaned as I ground my hips against his . He knew how much I loved hearing my full name, hearing our last names linked together. “Someone’s looking to get fucked.”

He grabbed my face, pulling it down to his. “Always,” he said, and then kissed me hard. When he pulled back for breath, we were both panting. He kept his lips close as he added, “Doesn’t make it any less true. I love you.”

I grinned, reached for the lube, and said, “I love you too.”

The Wrist Thing

I should have really expected it, because the way my life goes at least 60% of the time, it’s not surprising that something came along and messed with my plans. I had things that needed to get done and things I wanted to get done and my wrist, or possibly the universe, decided nope.

I’ve been joking for years that I’m working up a nice case of carpal tunnel syndrome. My job has been a whole lot of typing for the last 11 years. Add to that the writing on the nights and weekend, which is even more steady typing. And then there’s the fact that on the side, I’m an avid knitter and crocheter, so even when I’m not typing, I’m using hook or needle to twist yarn into pretty thing. So yes, my wrists get abused, my dominant right hand in particular. It’s not the first time my wrist  has gotten achy and sore, a little numb and tingly. It was, by far, the worst time though. There was all out pain this time. So much so that I couldn’t even ignore it and continue to work. Nope. I had no choice but to splint it, ice it, painkiller it, baby it from Thursday on.

This on a weekend where I needed to finish knitting a baby sweater AND I wanted to finish writing Want.

It’s better today. Yesterday it was almost there. I barely get a twinge now. I finished the baby sweater last night (which was the priority because the shower is this Friday). I want to get a couple of hats done (she’s having twins) too, as she knows about the sweaters and I’d like for there to be surprises. And with that, coupled with the wrist set back of this past weekend and the fact that I’m probably taking a day trip this upcoming Saturday, I’ve decided to give myself some extra time. Originally, I’d wanted to finish the story, get all the words on the page by the end of this weekend. But it’s good now I have such a big cushion, because I need another couple of weeks.

I’m anxious to see it completed because truly, I love these guys even more than I thought I would. And I can’t wait for their happily ever after. But life got in the way a bit, and Alex and Spencer have waited this long for their story to be told. They’re good at patient. A few more weeks won’t hurt.