I feel a little like rambling today, so perhaps you'll indulge me. You probably saw on FB that my initial proofs of Skeleton arrived yesterday. *Happy dance* I'm thrilled with how it turned out, because you never really know. Sometimes an image looks a certain way on your computer, and then you get the hard copy, and it doesn't have the "wow" factor. I always think it will stop feeling like Christmas, the arrival of a first proof, but it never does. To touch it, flip through it, smell the fresh ink - magic, always.
I'm reading it carefully now, doing line edits, and as per usual, the first time I read it in its bound book format, the story comes at me from a different angle, feeling less like something I've slaved over and more like something I'm experiencing as a reader. It's a fun book - that's what I'm going to call it. It has its own unique feel because Emmie is neither born of the club, nor seeking its assistance. And Walsh is quiet and thoughtful, but in a way so unlike Michael. I'm enjoying watching their story unfold from the outside this time around; theirs is a smart, punchy story, with some major Aidan and Tango teasers weaved throughout.
That's what I really wanted to touch on, with this rambling. The road ahead.
There have been some dissatisfied rumblings, readers wishing this book wasn't Walsh's, that I had gone straight to Aidan or Tango's book instead. The word "ugh" has been used. I understand the frustration, I do. They've been teased for a while, and there are deep histories and high emotions there that will make for wonderful drama. But for one, I've learned not to mess with the muse. Things don't go so well when I do that. The story has to come at an authentic pace, and the muse must be kept happy, or he clams up and won't talk to me. For two, Skeleton HAD to happen first. I promise you, on every level, Aidan's book could NOT happen without this book coming first. Not merely from a plot standpoint, but from an emotional standpoint. That leads us to point three - Aidan has had lots of growing up to do.
Confession time - I'm not attracted to young men, largely because they're not fascinating. To tell me that a man is young, hot, all muscled-up, and dirty-talking - that does nothing for me. I want to want to be inside his head. I want to feel for him. So the older, more mature characters with history are much more enjoyable to write. I wanted Aidan to get to a place where deep reflection, self-actualization, and a dawning maturity could lend some fascination to his story. I wanted his novel to be about him becoming a man in a serious way; I wanted it to be full of history and gravity, and so he's had to wait. But we're getting there, and it's going to be good, I promise you.
The next two books are going to be BIG. They're going to be dark, and heavy, and harken back to some of that Fearless epic-ness that I can't wait to dive back into. So it is my sincerest hope that you'll enjoy Walsh and Emmie, and that you'll hold on with me, because the wait will be so worthwhile.