February 13, 2010

Character Haze.

I’m writing this blog before I sit down to do a read-through on Epiphany’s story. No, I’m not finished with it just yet, but the end is drawing near. I need to sit down and feel my way through it. Why would I need to feel my way through it? When working on a story I may hit a point where I'm too deeply involved to see things clearly. When I sit down to do a read-through it helps me to see past the character haze. Also, Epiphany has surprised me more than once. She’s not the most easily understood character that resides in my head. She has her moments when she’s very clear and when she’s incredibly frustrating. I’ve learned to sit back and ride it out, to trust my subconscious, my muse, and my characters. The more you fight, the less progress you make. Some times, you have to relinquish a little control.

In the beginning, I learned that Epiphany was a plot gobbler. What does that mean? It means that any predetermined idea I had about what was going to happen and how it was going to happen generally ended up flying out the window. She likes to do her own thing, my Epiphany.

Her book doesn’t write like Kassandra’s. I’ve noticed some unexpected differences. I’ve been able to listen to music while working on Epiphany’s story, from Lacuna Coil to Joan Osborne. Kassandra demands my full attention. I usually never write with music playing in the background with her. It’s more of a hindrance than a pleasure. One of the other differences is that I always feel more in the loop with Kassandra. There have been moments in Epiphany’s story where, instead of feeling like I was sitting in the passenger seat beside her, I felt like I was in the trunk wondering where the Hel we were going. Then, we would arrive at our destination (my ‘aha’ moment) and I would find myself pleasantly surprised (after being tense and frustrated).

Then again, should I really have expected a vampire (character or no) to lay all of her cards on the table? Probably not....

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It's time to go see which path Epiphany is going to choose.


Raven Mask.

“I stared down at the lifeless body of a boy whose face was all too familiar…”

Following the execution of Lukas Morris, Preternatural Private Investigator Kassandra Lyall told herself that she’d learn more about the local werewolf pack’s Alpha female. Just as she begins her investigation, she’s interrupted by a phone call from friend and ex-colleague, Detective Arthur Kingfisher. The body of a sixteen-year-old boy has been found. It’s not just any sixteen-year-old boy, it’s Timothy Nelson, a boy Kassandra knew was curious about the preternatural.

When Timothy’s body disappears during transport, Kassandra’s questions only increase. She realizes that Timothy’s death serves as a challenge, but it’s not a challenge directed at her. It’s a challenge aimed at her lover, the Countess vampire of Oklahoma, Lenorre.

While Kassandra tries to figure out if Timothy’s curiosity was his undoing, the biggest question of all remains unanswered. Is Timothy Nelson dead or undead?

The Second Book in the Kassandra Lyall Preternatural Investigator Series.

Visit Bold Strokes Books for more info.

February 5, 2010

Sunlight and Horror.

The sunlight tricked my body awake this morning. I woke partially, tried to roll over to go back to sleep, and opened my eyes to find that there was sunlight streaming into the room. It hasn’t truly been sunny for about a week now. We’ve had quite a few grey clouds. For some reason, the sunlight made me think it was later than it actually was. I rolled over to look at the clock, thinking that it was around eleven, to see it was only a little after nine.

So, here I am, once again armed with a mug of coffee.

I got some work done yesterday on Epiphany’s story. I am working on two books, the third book in the Kassandra Lyall Series as well as Epiphany’s story. Epiphany’s story is much different. Where the KL Series has strong mystery and paranormal romance elements, I describe Epiphany’s story as erotic horror and fantasy.

I have to admit, I have a hard time referring to my books as horror. There are a lot of people that consider any book with supernatural creatures in it such as vampires and werewolves horror, but it’s always hard for me to really look at the genre I write and think it’s something meant to inspire fear. And that is probably why I have a hard time acknowledging the label of horror when it comes to my books. I don’t intentionally set out to evoke fear in a reader. If it happens, it happens, but I’d personally rather evoke a deep-seated interest and a care for the characters than someone picking up the book and saying, “Oh, this is scary.”

That’s not to say there are not scary elements or grotesque things in the KL Series. Kassandra is a Preternatural Private Investigator that works with the local police department. She helps solve crimes that revolve around the mysterious preternatural. There are passages in the book that will make the squeamish squirm. Maybe, Kassandra rubs off on me when I’m working on the books and I overlook the fear factor involved, because she doesn't squirm.

If you're wondering, “Are the books scary?” My response to that is, “That depends on what scares you.”

So, why would I pin the label of Erotic Horror Fantasy on Epiphany’s story? Well, for one, there’s a great deal more erotic content than I had anticipated. I’ll start with that. The eroticism in the books is not like some sweet candy that melts in your mouth. It’s sensuous, but in a darker way. Like licorice, it has a sharper bite to it. Epiphany’s tastes aren’t what most people would consider, ‘usual,’ or even ‘normal.’ She’s a two-hundred year old vampire that has had plenty of time to work through and accept her own darker desires and cravings.

Epiphany’s story revolves around a clan of vampires. Some of those vampires are not ones you’d want to invite over for dinner, because they’d slit your throat without blinking and conjure a sincere smile while doing it. In a society with those types of vamps, Epiphany has learned to be silent and inconspicuous. She’s spent over a century living in servitude, playing the role of the submissive, and tip-toeing like a quiet mouse amongst a pride of lions. She lives in a world where the nasty bad guys are too close for comfort and watching her every move. It’s a world where one has a difficult time discerning friend from foe. The fantasy element just happened. Perhaps, it was my subconscious way of giving Epiphany a light in so much darkness, but it is there and plays a major role. There are ancient magics and powers that can work for Epiphany, instead of against her. Her story is one filled with love and lust, fear and betrayal. Yet, at the heart of it all lurks a different brand of redemption. To avoid spoiling any surprises - that's all I am going to say.

I mentioned in the last blog that I would have more news soon and I do. The Second Book in the Kassandra Lyall Preternatural Investigator Series, Raven Mask, is scheduled for release by Bold Strokes Books, September 13, 2010.

So, not only do you guys get Witch Wolf in June, but you have only a little over two months to wait for the release of the second book.

That’s pretty nifty, isn’t it?