Writing romance into a thriller, without letting it take over completely, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Romance is addictive, we all know it, we all live with the need for it, we all want it for ourselves, and we all want our favorite heroine to get lucky, get happy, and get connected in every way possible with her soul mate. Or her Mister Right Now. Am I right?
And yet, pacing that into a long-running series, letting a number of guys (several to choose from is always better, yes?) appear and grow, and then letting the right one develop into Mr. Right, isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when this Mr. Right needs to be able to survive all the havoc of a rogue-vampire hunter’s life. Lemme tell you, this has been hard. HARD!
My character is a Cherokee Skinwalker, a rogue-vamp hunter currently living in modern-day New Orleans, who shares her soul with a mountain lion she took inside her body during accidental black magic when she was five years old. Back in the 1800s. It’s a lot to take in, I know. My mom asks if I was on drugs when I came up with Jane Yellowrock and Beast. I think she’s worried about me.
Back to a long running series. Penguin/ROCs/theHouse just released book seven in the series, BLACK ARTS, with eight more to go. Well, assuming things continue well and readers and fans keep buying the stories. On Jan. 7, BA hit number 16 (tied with 15) on the NYT bestseller lists, so there’s hope for all eight more books. If I get the romance right.
Jane is very picky when it comes to men. Her Beast not so much. Jane wants (in some secret part of her heart) the white picket fence, the human family with the 2.5 kids (and that is sorta scary, that people want half a kid, but that’s for another post), the dog and cat, and the life of peace she has never known. Beast informs her, regularly, that “Big cats do not mate for life.” Beast just wants to get laid. Often. By the strongest predator (or predators) around. There is some major internal conflict there, which is only going to get worse, I fear, though so far Jane is charge of the mating rituals.
I don’t write erotica. I can’t keep up with all the body parts in a wild sex scene. (Where did that extra hand come from? Wait. Which one is wearing the corset?) And I don’t really write romance. I write thrillers set in modern world with magic, vamps, weres and witches and various other magical beings. And romance. Slow building romance. And in the work in progress – BROKEN SOUL – yeah. Some sex. Jane finally gets lucky. On page. I’m giving my mom heart palpitations.