Thursday, September 6, 2012
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 …