Wednesday 23 April 2014


Okay, look, I'm allowed to have temperamental artiste changes of heart as long as they happen in the pre-production phase, right?

So after my last blog post about the novel I planned to work on after finishing Broken Moon I've since reconsidered my stance on that particular project. It's not scrapped, but it's on the shelf.
Why, you ask?
Because I realised it was just a collection of ideas that sounded neat. There was no emotional drive behind the project. I had perhaps one or two scenes in mind that I figured might be fun to write, but beyond that it was a vague mess of "maybe I could do that" and "wouldn't this be neat".
The kicker was that none of my enthusiasm came from the characters I was writing about. It's storytelling 101, and I feel like a dumby for not recognising it sooner, but if I didn't really care about the characters in the novel, how the heck was I going to enjoy writing it, much less make it enjoyable for others to read?

This realisation hit me as I was away visiting relatives over Easter (and getting some much-needed thinking space!), when an idea sprung into my head for a story that just kept getting more and more exciting until I ended up writing down several emails worth of notes to myself. This was a story that I was seriously passionate about, with characters who sprung into my head right off the bat, conflicts and plot lines that practically wrote themselves, and a tone and setting that's very close to my heart in literature.

Not to mention, it was something far closer to my current work than the project I had in mind before. There is a very specific kind of setting that I absolutely adore in fiction, and a kind of story that I've been longing to write for years, and I think I've finally gotten an idea that can work with it (without diverging too far from my current stuff).

I've blogged in the past about my favourite novels Maia and The Clan of the Cave Bear, and for as long as I can remember since reading those books I've wanted to write something with a comparable setting/tone for myself. My love of developing societies, tribal cultures, and archaic social structures in fiction is something I've tried to work into my werewolf serials to a degree, but it's always been difficult given that they are, ultimately, contemporary stories featuring characters who have a pretty modern understanding of the world.

What I want to do in this new novel is get rid of that modern element entirely and, sticking with the theme of paranormal shapeshifters, go way way back into the distant past, to a world where the tribal culture of werewolves isn't so different to the burgeoning human societies springing up around them.
My current plan is to tell a story primarily from the perspective of a human girl this time, one who becomes entangled with the werewolf pack threatening her village, and has her eyes opened to the way her people's enemies live their lives. Unsurprisingly, her love interest will be the alpha of the werewolf pack, and the heroine will have to deal with the animosity of both her own people and the werewolves as she begins to live a life caught between two worlds.

I have a whole bunch of details figured out so far, but they're not quite tidy enough to explain in detail just yet. I have several characters outlined, pretty much the whole first chapter loosely planned out, and lots of juicy conflicts ready to unfold as the story progresses.
I'm really excited about this one, and it's been a great little learning step for me as an author to realise what the big difference is between a project like this, and the one I had planned out beforehand. It's pretty much as mind-bogglingly simple as write about what you want to write about.
I'll be sharing more details as time goes on, and finishing up Broken Moon in the meantime!

The Wild Instincts box set is still coming along (urgh, it's taken a gross amount of time, and for that I'm super sorry!), and I've gotten back to doing re-edits on that whole serial when I have the time to. Chapters 1-3 should be available in their slightly more polished form on most retailers by now, and hopefully I can get the rest done before too many months slip away from me again!

Also, a long-overdue mailing list is in the works!

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Broken Moon Part 6 published, and the next novel! (again)

Two thirds of the way through now! Chapter six is all ready and available to purchase on Amazon and Smashwords! This one's a little longer than usual again, and things are starting to get dramatic as we head towards the climax of the novel.

As the leadership of the Highland Pack becomes more and more unstable, April and Cyan's relationship begins to slip through their fingers. With Cyan's revelation about his past shaking April's faith in him, and her responsibility to her pack weighing heavily on her, she has little time left for love; especially not with a man she cannot trust.
The time may have finally come for Cyan to make a choice. When a disturbing discovery in the woods spreads further dissent through the pack, he hatches a plan with the human girl Lisa to draw a line under their worries once and for all.

So! With only three chapters of Broken Moon left to go, it's high time I started crystallising my plans for the next novel I'm going to work on. I mentioned last month that I had an idea in mind for something with a paranormal/BDSM theme, significantly more erotic than my current project, but still nice and romance-driven. It's still a very vague and loose idea, but I've given it enough consideration to have a few thoughts worth sharing. All of this is completely subject to change before I get started, of course, but here are the main pre-production notes so far:

- It's likely to have a period rather than contemporary setting, though the details and specifics will be vague. Right now I'm thinking of something in the ballpark of 18th/19th century England, set in both rural countryside and upper-class city areas.
- The paranormal theme will be to do with magic, though it will be vague and low-key. Less Harry Potter and more Game of Thrones. Much like the werewolf theme in my Wild Instincts books, it will not be something that the characters involved fully understand; a secretive and dangerous power that causes just as many problems as it does solutions.
- The heroine will come from a superstitious rural setting, where it is not uncommon for people thought to be practising witchcraft to be lynched or ostracised by their communities. Naturally, as a budding young witch, this causes a lot of problems for her. I'm planning to do some research on historical witch hunts (and how the laws in England began to change on them during this time) to dig up some juicy ideas for this one.
- The hero will be a young upper-class gentleman who is far more knowledgeable and adept with witchcraft than the heroine. His task will be to train and educate her, though it will be an obligation that is forced on him against his will.
- The central theme (for the heroine, at least) will be a coming-of-age/pauper-turned-princess story as the hero educates her and opens her eyes to the world, both socially and sexually.
- Much like in the original Wild Instincts and His Darkest Desire, the sexual themes will revolve around control and trust, along with independence, reliance, and an opening of the mind to new ideas and possibilities.
- The perspective will likely be the same as Broken Moon -- third person with multiple viewpoints.

Right now those are the main points that I've given consideration to. I've got a few fun scenes in mind that I'd love to write, and a handful of main characters ready to be fleshed out. There's still a lot of work to do (particularly on the hero), but I'm starting to get excited for the possibilities of this next novel.
I've no idea what the title is going to be yet. Probably something black magic-y, involving words like wicked or Master.

But before that, there's still a hefty amount of Broken Moon to finish! On to chapter seven!