I write across several genres and heat levels. I love the variety. I love being able to tell different kinds of stories with different kinds of characters. It’s one of my very favorite things about this job.
Sometimes a story calls for a lighthearted approach with lots of humor and warmth. I don’t know if there are enough of these books out there these days and I love to write them.
Other times, well other times there’s a darker story to be told. With CHAOS BURNING, I wasn’t even aware of just how dark the story would be until I got about a third of the way in. I’d started out to tell the story of a group of witches dealing with the threat of magickal theft they’d been confronted with in HEART OF DARKNESS. But in the middle of a scene, the Magister popped out of my head and onto the page.
The Magister, this ancient evil that had been spoken of very rarely and only then in whispers and half truths—took my story from dark to very dark. The enemy changed from something the witches knew about, could see and wage war against to a big, giant unknown of epic, world ending proportions.
The entire flavor of the story shifted. My characters, who’d been confronted by one sort of enemy, now had an entirely different sort of challenge, which ended up changing their dynamic and their relationship on the page as well.
I don’t really have a muse or anything like that. I have three kids and a busy life and a husband who also has a busy life and so my house and my life is managed (barely) chaos. But one thing I’ve found to be totally true for myself, over and over, is that there are aspects to writing a book that are wholly organic. Each story grows as I write it. I have a basic idea of what I need to write, but I find out new things about my characters and their story all throughout the process.
LAID BARE, for instance was NOT originally meant to be a ménage. There was supposed to be one scene with Cope, not Ben. But as I wrote, Ben just became more integral to the story. His friendship with Todd deepened as did his feelings toward Erin.
I try to ride the line between not getting distracted by shiny things (I’m so bad at this, like a freaking magpie) and listening to my gut, because my subconscious is working on the book too and it’s good to let a book take its own lead sometimes.
And so I did with CHAOS BURNING. It’s not the book I’d planned on originally, but I believe it’s a far better book than my original idea. I think the story is dark, but it needed to be. And in the end, I’m thrilled. I hope you all are too.
One winner will receive a signed copy of CHAOS BURNING chosen from the comments ?