Thursday, February 10, 2011
Building a World in One Million Words
Okay—so Yearning is available today and I’m really sort of nervous.
See, the thing is, the cover SAYS it’s Book 1 of the Green’s Hill Werewolves. (Yay!) But everyone’s going to think that makes it, you know, Book the First. And it is. But it’s not. And that’s where things get tricky.
Seven years ago I wrote a little book called Vulnerable. (Available right here) And the thing is, it wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. The editing was HORRIBLE, and no one in my family thought it was what I was supposed to be writing, and no one where I taught thought it was what I was supposed to be writing, and generally, it had to be for kicks or I would have to admit how very much the story of one alienated, potty-mouthed gas-station clerk who was more than met the eye really meant to me.
A whole lot. She meant a whole lot to me. I wrote another book. And another. I wanted to write a fourth but I paused (because at that time, I was still pretending that this whole writing gig wasn’t my heart and soul) and wrote a two volume series of epic fantasy, which sold bupkiss but still made me proud.
And it was when I was writing those two volumes that I wrote the first Jack & Teague story—Yearning.
See, Yearning is the story that should have told me, when I wouldn’t admit even to myself, what Urban Fantasy, ménage, and m/m romance really meant to me. I couldn’t not write it. I was writing epic fantasy, and there was sex, and some risqué ideas, and some serious pain—but nothing like the rawness of a modern story, where the fact that we should be more afraid of the monsters walking around in human skin than of the werewolves we all suspect are out there is well-documented fact. We see it on the news every day. I wanted to write about survivors of these monsters. The walking wounded who rise above the pain and save us all.
And thus, Teague Sullivan was born.
Now people who love me will see a major nod to my favorite television show here—forgive me for it. I wanted that gritty feeling of Supernatural, the idea of two guys with nowhere to go but each other. But once I set myself in the modern world, with modern problems, I found (and he shows up on page one) that Green, the leader of the Northern California Fey and Undead, who was introduced in Vulnerable, absolutely must make an appearance. And when there’s Green, eventually there is Cory, and the sadness of their beloved’s death at the end of Vulnerable, and the Arthur/Gwynyfar/Lancelot triangle that their lives become with Bracken and… and…
See, when I wrote Vulnerable, and the three books (there will be more eventually) that followed, I set up this really rich place—Green’s Hill—for unlikely pairings and triplings to occur. And they have occurred. In surprising places even, like deserted back lots
and the anteroom to heaven.
And, in the case of Yearning, they take place in a crappy apartment, a really hot car (my husband used to have a red and white Mustang—they show up a lot in my fiction!) and, as ever, on Green’s Hill.
So, when Yearning comes out on Friday, February 11th, it’s not just a short novella, and not even just the launch of a series. It’s another installment of the self-published book that hasn’t quit yet—of a success story that is still in the making. Vulnerable still has the shitacular editing that it started with (although, thank heavens, I think that’s going to change in the next month—I’m finally going to be able to afford the re-edit that the self-pub company offers after five years) but it also has a whole lot of fans. Sure, there are a lot of people who couldn’t get past the editing, but there are a lot more who loved the book from the beginning, who have loved the two novellas released by Dreamspinner, and who have been rooting for Jack & Teague (& Katy) to come out and shine since before they were even introduced.
There are over one million words involved in the creating of the world behind Yearning—and I know for a first time reader that could be a bit daunting. But just look at that wolf on the cover. Doesn’t he look powerful? Doesn’t he look proud? Doesn’t he look worth it?
Trust me. He’s worth it.
(And everyone-- it wouldn't be a book without it! Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let it Not Suck!)