Thursday, September 6, 2012

Uncharted Territory

The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley, or so the saying goes. We can add writers to the list. We can definitely add this writer, because my twisty mind took another turn down a bumpy side road, and now I’m dealing with the consequences.

A couple weeks ago I explained how I ended up as a writer of M/M romances: by accident. I had ideas and ran with them, and happily it paid off. I also suffer from a bad case of sequelitis. One idea sparks others, and next thing you know I’m writing a series. It’s how I wound up writing my first ménage, something else I’d never done before. The ménage sparked an idea for a second sequel, which I swear I’ll get to eventually.

Then the ménage fooled me by sparking—well, I can’t exactly call it a sequel. Let’s call it a follow-up. It’s an outgrowth of the first two books, but with different characters … and in a whole other genre.

Suddenly I find myself contemplating the creation of a young adult novel.

It’s like this. At the end of Legacy, human Jeremy, vampire Wallace, and human/vamp hybrid Colleen have formed a household. In the last chapter, we learn Colleen is pregnant. She and Wally will soon be proud parents, with equally-proud co-parent Jeremy helping out as the nanny. HEA, over and done with, on to the next book idea.

Except … I couldn’t let go of the characters. Colleen wanted a lot of kids, and she was sleeping with both the men. I decided they ended up with four kids. Kid #3, a son, is Jeremy’s. He grows up to look just like his dad, height and all. In high school he falls in love with the Drama Club. Instead of going to college he gets his first role and goes into acting. He ends up on the cult-hit TV show Slayer for Hire, about two guys who travel around the country killing monsters. Yes, I’m still milking That Show.

Then I got ideas for a plot and characters, and now I’m writing the thing.

It’s not erotica. It’s not even a romance, though it has romantic elements. The girl’s 19, the boy’s 22. There’s no sex. They hug and kiss a bit. It’s a lighthearted romp, in spite of the vampires and a couple of grisly murders. Right now it looks like the overarching theme involves rabid fangirls, fantasy versus reality, and the dangers of getting too caught up in a TV show. Might as well write what I know.

I figure it’ll work best as YA, given the ages of the leads, and the girl’s struggle with figuring out her place in the new-to-her, confusing world of responsible adulthood. This means I’ll have to learn a whole genre’s worth of new rules. Brain, what have you gotten me into this time?

I’m not sure where or how it’ll go. I’ve only got the first half plotted. I’ve figured out who kills the bad guy vampire, and how. Foreshadowing is fun. I suppose if I finish it and do try to market it, I’d better ask Siren’s permission first, because of that one paragraph in the contracts. It’s not a direct sequel, but it does use concepts and characters from books Siren published, even if they’re only alluded to. I figure on using my P. E. Cunningham byline for this, the one I keep for my SF and fantasy work as opposed to the romance books, or maybe come up with a new one. I’ve heard some YA authors are using grown-up versions of their characters to write erotica works and cash in on that market. I don’t think anyone’s ever gone in the other direction. I doubt if the Belonging and Legacy readers would be interested in YA. I know I’d rather not have any teen readers looking at my source material.

That’s where I stand right now, mired hip-deep in a whole new genre and trying to write myself free. Well, it’s always good for personal growth to try new things. That’s how I ended up writing romance, paranormal and M/M. Maybe I’ll finally learn how to draw and go into comic books next. It never ends …


Savanna Kougar said...

It does never end... it all spirals into new stories... that's why my books end, but they don't... because life doesn't end.

I know nothing about YA. For one thing, it never caught my interest.

Although, I have to say a 19 year old and a 22 year old, and no 'getting together'... unless they're just buddies... I don't understand. Is that the ages they use in YA?

Savanna Kougar said...


Pat C. said...

Thanks. I'm not sure, but I think it was listed on Google Images as preproduction art from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

I don't know what ages they use in YA. These are the ages I decided on for my characters. There's no sex in the story itself because she spends half the book obsessed with another guy before she finally realizes the hero's the one for her. By then they're being stalked, attacked and kidnapped by vampires, so there's no time for sideline activity. At the end, though, they do make arrangements for cohabitation, so I imagine sex will take place soon after the book ends.

Think of those live-action comedies Disney used to make in the '60s and '70s. There wasn't any sex in Herbie or The Shaggy Dog or That Darn Cat, unless it happened during commercials.

Pat C. said...

Dammit, now I want to watch "The Moonspinners" again. Was that Hayley Mills? I remember the little Italian (or whatever) kid telling Hayley and her boyfriend, "No time make love!" That line was hilarious in context. Especially to a bunch of sixth graders wathing the movie in a class assembly.

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, I watched all those Disney movies, back then. And particularly liked Hayley Mills. Shaggy Dog was great! What about the Over the Hill Gang? However, they've faded into the background as far as my memories. Probably would be easy enough to revive.

I have a sexless sweet romance I wrote titled, Sherry and the Big Bad Bear... however, it's reminiscent of the 30/40s romance-comedy type of films, where the heroine has a real sassy attitude... of course, it's set in another timeline. I doubt it would make a good YA book.