The title is a bit misleading: as I CAN cash said checks but…WHEN. And if you’re wondering what the ever loving fuck I’m going on about, it has to do with my writing schedule and trying to handle all these releases. In previous posts I’ve always blathering on about how much I have written and what’s in this stage of edits or what’s in that stage of draft or where my fucking head’s at while I’m trying to come up with another story idea…
And now, this week, we were told we NEED to get something written for Harlequin because not only do they need content but I CAN write for them. An author friend of mine pulled a switcharoo on her writing and it’s landed her in a mess of enough money to live on while writing. Her expenses are low, like mine.
And to be honest, I’ve been trying to write for Harlequin for YEARS. The beginning of my career was predicated on the concept of someday submitting to Harlequin so I could have my name on several of those pretty mass market sized books, just like my heroes. And honestly, while it’s currently not doing shit but sitting on my harddrive as an out of print e-book that’ll eventually get a NICE cover (and maybe an update), A Christmas Favor WAS written with the contemporary romance market in mind. At the same time, I was in the middle of writing Mistress Kitty and all the trials and tribulations of her pet, Trent, for the now defunct Males In Slavery Stories website, I had grand designs of having a budding author career. Hell, my first novel (which eventually became Paula’s Craving) was a contemporary because I couldn’t fathom the paranormal realm in romance yet. Shit, I was sixteen!
Before I moved to California, I had started working on a Harlequin novel targeting their now defunct BLAZE line. I had a powerful CEO who came from nothing, controlled a lot of money and power, and a heroine who was struggling and hated the rich because *insert bullshit beliefs about money here* so conflict wasn’t a problem.
I wrote the damn thing. Finished it even. Then the e-book industry exploded and I found myself chasing calls for submissions from eXtasy, Totally Bound, and anyone who I thought I could write for, plus? I quickly discovered paranormal AND thanks to my *coughbitchcouch* ex, got caught up on Paranormal movies. I’m ashamed to admit (not really, I don’t understand words like “shame” but whatevs) that I didn’t see Lost Boys until 2006. I STILL haven’t seen Interview with a Vampire. But she caught me up to speed on the important movies and music, fiction, all the good stuff.
Attempt number two sometime between 2009 and 2011, and literally, the same story, told from the same point of views, with the same characters, only updating ‘magazine’ because those things don’t exist anymore. I get 5k to the end, realize the last 3k I wrote was total SHIT, and I lose my own shit to a friend in a cigar spot, get drunk, then come home, lose my shit to said ex for like…the first time, and table that project.
Here, it’s almost 2023 and I’ve been told as of last year, “get your ass in gear, they want you, they want content…you can do this.”
You all know about the (mostly) self-imposed bullshit in my life the last few years. And even as of last year, I tried to write two novels at once. I’m not sure that’s the way I can work. As it is, I hate editing something and then writing something at the same time. Managing my time with what’s on my plate, including finding ‘real’ employment for the time being, isn’t easy. But, I looked at the release schedule I set up for myself based on what I could afford from my awesome cover artist Glowing Moon Designs. And it’s not like writing for Harlequin is difficult for me.
In the middle of August, I came up with a loose plot to replace what I had started last year. I realized I needed to redo the first ten thousand words, I needed secrets to help with the conflict, AND I needed to keep in mind that this story needs to fucking MOVE. It won’t have the same heavy, slowness that ENDANGERED has, or the downer notes of the Opeth Pack Saga.
I’ve got my hero. He needs either a dirty secret that would crush him if it got out, or something really stupid that still leads to conflict with our heroine. And I’ve got a heroine. She HAS a secret that would crush her if she ever found out, and once she does, she only doubles down on her stance against our hero, but not because of said secret. I simply need to put pen to paper.
That’s the goal this week. Put that plot together firmly in place, and get those first 10k words written. They can suck. It’s okay. I’ll target HQ with them once I speak with my friend over there. Oh, then come up with a series idea – which I’m pretty sure I have in my head based on some older novels I have in my backlist that have yet to see the light of day. Two of which were written for #OwnHerHeart and BOTH of them need revamping, seriously. My contemporary needs more conflict and I need to dig more into the Romantic Suspense aspects for that first one. The second one? Seriously, I know we were kinky, but I’m stripping the hardcore BDSM out of the book. Unless she tells me otherwise (and we’ve covered my witchy ways…she can), I’m making it more of a contemporary romance. BUT, the idea for a series involves Second Chance at Love tropes. I love the idea of having hot passion, sparks flying, but being young and retarded, only to regroup some time later and get it right both in the sheets and in the hearts of our characters. I have some strong ideas that would fit for a series at Harlequin…And I do have a 30k piece involving a 2nd chance long distance love involving a beautiful Romanian woman who was once an exchange student in the high school where our bartender soon to be down on his luck (maybe?) in San Francisco works…
Then I still have this third novel in the Covenant of Wolves series to start this week…so, dual plotting!
Oh, and fuck me. Last night, as I was going to bed, realized that maybe puma shifters and ex spies Derrick, Max and Roman should all be fucking brothers…
Fuck my life, right? LOL!