Friday, October 02, 2009
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
It’s a big cliché in the writing business: “Believe in yourself.” Yet it’s true. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
I was thinking about my werewolf series today because the ninth book, DRAGON MOON, is out October 6 from Berkley. Nine werewolf books. Unbelievable. How did I get here?
It all started years ago when I read DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson. I was fifteen and an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. That book, about a man being guided into his werewolf powers, really spoke to me. Maybe it was that universal teenage angst. There were aspects of my life that I hated, and I wanted to be somewhere else. Williamson made me want to be a werewolf. It sure beat my high school feelings of inferiority–in and out of the classroom.
Later, after I was married and my own kids were in middle school, I saw a review of THE WOLF’S HOUR, by Robert McCammon, in the Washington Post. I chomped at the bit to read that book, so I ran out to Waldenbooks and bought it. Another peak reading experience for me. I LOVED McCammon’s hero. He was so much like the heroes of the romances I was reading. Only he was a werewolf, and it was clear that he wasn’t going to bond permanently with any woman.
At the time, few publishers were buying paranormal, but I kept thinking about a werewolf hero, and I wanted to write one. Yet I kept thinking, “Who would buy that kind of book from me?” For four or five years, I talked about a werewolf story. Finally a friend said, “Either stop talking about that story or write it.” As I always do when I’m working on a book, I came up with an outline. I was selling steadily to Harlequin Intrigue on proposal, but I knew I could never sell a werewolf book on proposal, so I wrote KILLING MOON while I was writing my Intrigues. In the middle of the book, my agent retired, and I had to find a new agent. I decided it had to be someone who would love my werewolf story. Lucky for me, I found the right agent.
Berkley was just starting a “dark paranormal line.” My new agent sold KILLING MOON to Berkley, who promptly closed all their “lines.” But they made my story a launch book for their new Sensation imprint. They wanted more werewolf books, and I found myself writing a series that I hadn’t planned.
The first books were fairly conventional, except for the werewolf element. But lately they’ve acquired more “out there” elements, like my alternate universe that runs parallel to this one. The heroine of DRAGON MOON is a woman named Kenna, a slave from my alternate universe. She’s sent here to help her ruthless dragon-shifter master invade our world. She meets werewolf Talon Marshall and desperately wants to tell him her frightening secret. But every time she tries to reveal her plight, excruciating pains stab into her head. Even as Kenna and Talon fall in love, he can’t trust her. And she struggles to break through the barriers that control her mind. It’s classic romantic suspense, with the paranormal twists I love.
I had a wonderful time writing about Kenna and Talon, but another character, Ramsey Gallagher, plays a big role in the novel. I fell in love with him, and lucky for me, I’m writing his story right now. He’s a dragon-shifter who’s been on earth for more than a thousand years and is trying to discover his heritage.
I want to urge you to follow your bliss–whether you’re a writer or you’re in some other field. The Moon series has been an awesome adventure for me. And Berkley pays me to write these books!
Have you ever wanted to write a book but were afraid it wouldn’t sell? Or have you ever wished an author would write a certain kind of book?