This year has been very special to me, and I’ll hold it dear for the rest of my life. It’s the year when I kicked off my career as an author, when I told myself ‘hell, I can do this’, and just started writing.
I used to write fanfiction a long time ago, and that‘s where I learned to craft a story, (and some little grammar). I dreamt of writing something that was my own from start to finish, and publish it, but I never thought I had it in me. December 2017 changed everything. Nothing in particular happened, I just started writing again, after an eight year hiatus during which I missed writing as if I had lost an arm.
I began writing a story set in exotic Dominican Republic, with Sydney meeting Nathan, a chance encounter turning both their lives upside down. She’s your everyday girl, could be you or me, and he’s a professional hitman for some mysterious organization, on a mission to take down a local crime lord. Sparks fly, Sydney explores her sexuality, and Nathan realizes he has locked parts of himself away and that he doesn’t want to live like that anymore.
This tale, my first full length novel, went through a number of self edits, betas, rewrites, and it just never took off. I knew I had something good, but elements were missing and I didn’t have experience enough to find them.
Meanwhile I had begun writing a tale of Mia, having fled the world after a tragic accident, who has the great misfortune stumbling over escaped convict Martin, in an isolated cabin during a snowstorm. You guessed it: sparks fly. Hey, I write romance! I got great beta response, and I was pretty damn excited about it, because damn, this is a really good story. Something had clicked in my authoring mind. I had learned my lesson. The beats were there, the elements that keeps you on your toes. I submitted it to Blushing Books and they liked it so much that it will now be published through them on February 7, 2019.
I also produced a short erotica I still plan to expand on, and thoroughly rewrote an old novella about Bree and Roarke, two fundamentally disturbed people who find unexpected solace in dishing out as much pain they can toward each other. Both those are published, and I’m overwhelmed with the response. And humbled. To all my reviewers: I promise my future works are much longer and more fleshed out.
Blushing Books wanted me to add a little spanking to Mia and Martin’s already steaming hot encounters. I took on the challenge with great enthusiasm, and as I did that I suddenly knew how to fix the story with Nathan and Sydney. I slaughtered it. Rewrote. Cut and pasted. It turned out five shaders darker, and a helluva lot more exciting. All the beats fell into place and the big ‘oh no’-moment presented itself brilliantly.
Partners in Crime:
This story about 2018 won’t be complete if I don’t mention some of the wonderful people I’ve met and who have helped me along the way. Many have patiently answered my stupid questions when I was new and clueless. Plenty have given me brilliant insights as beta readers. Some has stuck around. Many have come and gone, as have I in their lives. It’s the sometimes natural order of things.
I especially want to mention the two ladies I work tightly with now. Carly, my alpha reader, sounding board, master of ideas, whip wielder, and friend. She has given me brilliant beyond brilliant input and has pushed me to new heights. And Kathi, blogger extraordinaire, lover of dark reads, and my beta reader. She kicks my ass, pokes and prods, and won’t let me leave even the tiniest stone unturned in fine tuning my work.
This year is ending on an extremely exciting note, a little something I’ve been planning and working on the last couple of months. My dear Carly who reads everything I write noticed a pattern. Bad boys, hitmen, fair ladies, enemies to lovers. Yes, I saw that too. It’s my favorite trope.
You can tie all of these together, she said. I moaned. What now? No, look, she said and pointed at Nathan, then at another story I haven’t even mentioned yet, about Anna and Eric, two poor souls getting stuck together in the most unfortunate circumstances and who are forced to cooperate. He is, wait for it, an assassin for some organization I didn’t quite spell out. Then she pointed at a behemoth of a rewrite I have yet to undertake, most of it already written, about Kerry and Christian, and guess what Christian does for a living? Kerry has the misfortune of meeting Christian at his worst, and the story takes off from there, spanning over six years. Look, she said, all these men can be part of a mafia family, you can make a whole new universe about this. Did I say I moaned? Then it took me three minutes, and the Russos were born.
The Russos came from Italy in the fifties, rooted themselves in Chicago and began building an empire that now spans from Chicago to San Francisco. In Chicago, Mama Bianca Russo is the capa of the organization, and in San Francisco her brother Luciano Salvatore is the capo of the mightiest network of organized crime on the west coast. Bianca has five children, Christian, Nathan, Matteo, Luca, and Angela. Tightly connected to Salvatore is Eric, his right hand man.
Eric, Nathan, and Christian have their books, Salvatore has his plotted out and he’s shouting at me day and night to get to writing it. The other Russos will of course get theirs, and I have plans for years to come for this universe. I’ve never had as much fun before in my writing. All the books are standalones, but there will be a natural order to read them and they will be released in that order. One doesn’t have to have read one book to understand the next, though. It’s intricate, tense, an emotional rollercoaster, hot as hell, and filled with naughtiness.
I expect to be releasing five or six books next year. If 2018 was the year that started everything, it looks as if 2019 is the year when everything takes off.