So as to not bury the lede
First things first: my next novel is called Sapphire Blue and it will be coming out (tentatively) on February 27, 2014.
In terms of genre, Sapphire Blue is definitely two things, and possibly three other things, and the two definite things it is are things you are probably not expecting from me. They are: Supernatural Erotica. (The three other possible things are romance, mystery and thriller.)
Now then. Before you start to wonder if I have either lost my mind or blatantly sold out, let’s talk about this.
Roughly three years ago I was engaged in a series of long conversations with another writer, and that writer’s specialty was erotica. At the time I was waiting for Immortal to debut, and while both Hellenic Immortal and Fixer were in need of rewrites I wasn’t in any particular rush to get to them, and I was bored.
I had also only ever written one sex scene. This would be the scene in Immortal in which Adam, the narrator, decides while in mid-coital narrative to discuss breasts and how, intellectually, he doesn’t understand why he finds them so fantastic. It is not a scene meant to get one hot and bothered, let’s just say. It was also perfectly in character for Adam to do this, so I got away with it, but to be honest I was actually embarrassed to write about sex at the time I wrote that scene.
I hated this. I like to think I can write anything if I really want to, but somehow writing about sex made me incredibly self-conscious, and that simply would not do.
So in the midst of this long conversation with my writer friend I got the idea of writing a short erotic novella, just to see if I could. The intent was to trade chapters and critiques, and maybe figure out exactly how to write a graphic sex scene in an environment where exactly one person was reading it and that was it, so maybe I wouldn’t have to worry about being embarrassed.
This worked pretty well. In about fifteen days I cranked out 15,000 words that included three sex scenes I was pretty happy with, and more importantly an actual half-decent plot.
Out of that learning experience I wrote the succubus chapter that turned up at the end of the later editions of Immortal (you can still read it here) which doesn’t actually have any sex in it, and the sex scene that now exists in Hellenic Immortal, which I had to rewrite several times because I kept making it too graphic.
That brings us to November of 2012. At that time both Immortal and Hellenic Immortal had debuted and Fixer was rolling out in four months. My next project was already set: the still-untitled Immortal 3. But I kept thinking of that little novella from a few years earlier. I’d never showed it to anyone else, so I had no idea if it was any good or not.
I decided to share it with a select few, and what I got back was: it is good; please turn it into a novel; what am I waiting for; how about now please.
So I put aside Immortal 3– I was stalled anyway–and got to work on Sapphire Blue instead. I really expected it to only take me a month or two, and then not only could I get to work again on Adam’s third book but I’d have something new to sell in the interim.
It didn’t take one or two months, though. It took four, and would have taken longer had I not used some vacation time. Granted this is not a tremendous lot of time, but for context my first draft of Immortal only took three months, and it’s 13,000 words longer.
Tomorrow: on pen names and why I hope you’re okay with all of this