I realized today that I haven't blogged since Valentine's Day. Sheesh. A bad blogger am I. And even then it was just a chunk of the book, so that probably doesn't even count as blogging.
This past weekend, I had the chance to present my books to a local audience at an author luncheon. And you know long-winded me: rattling off that elevator spiel in five-minute intervals isn’t always my strong suit. The event went really well, though, and it turns out dusting off the spiel was personally helpful. One of my marketing points was this: I like to write the kinds of characters you probably shouldn’t like, but whom you can’t help but love.
I’ve been thinking about that line in particular the last few days, and it’s true not only of my writing, but of my reading as well. I tend to become attached to the sorts of characters who have some explaining to do. Who don’t slot neatly into the win or lose column. When I write, I like to dig into the minds of characters with hang-ups, phobias, dark pasts, or problematic viewpoints. Whether it’s Luke, or Sly, or Mercy, my favorite part of writing is diving into the heads of characters you can’t imagine befriending…and asking readers to love them anyway.
For me, holding hands with that character makes the journey worth taking.
I’ve also been thinking about my new series. The one I intend to start this fall/winter. And I’ve been wondering how I can talk you all into taking the journey with me. I realized I’ve gotten the approach all wrong. I was looking at the journey…and not the most important part. That hand reaching out. Because it doesn’t matter if we travel through history and see impossible and dazzling things, if you don’t want to take hold of that hand, then it’s all for naught.
I’ve been itching to start sharing teasers the last few Teaser Tuesdays, but that would be really premature. So I wanted to tease without teasing. And maybe reassure.
First off, never fear, the Lean Dogs aren’t going anywhere. I have some Legacy books I promised (Fox, Albie), and Hellhound is spawning more stories. So Dartmoor is going to continue going forward. The new series won’t replace it; they’ll run along at the same time. So think of it as gaining something new without losing anything. I really hope everyone will give it a chance. It’s a new genre, yes, but it’s going to be a wild ride.
Speaking of. This new series (currently titled the Sons of Rome Series) is full of those questionably loveable characters I mentioned before. It has a big and varied cast. Intrigue, action, romance, steam, heartbreak, friendship, angst, history, flashbacks. Bad boys, and tough girls, and lots of pushing the envelope. It’s a series I’ve toyed with, scribbled notes for, and wanted to bring to life for a long time now. It’s got everything you guys love about Dartmoor, and the potential to continue book-after-book.
Originally, I thought it might be best to publish it under a pen name, to create some separation between the two series. But, in thinking it over, that’s a flawed idea. Sometimes, stupidly, I allow the publishing business’s preoccupation with genre-adherence to bother me, and that’s a mistake. I’m only a one-trick pony if I allow people to label me as one. And I’m not. Or maybe I am – but the trick is in the characters, and not the setting.
On that note, I can’t wait to start sharing teasers when it gets closer to time. And a title, and the cover, and all the requisite goodies. It’s going to be a busy next few years, guys, and I for one can’t wait.