Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Current State of Things

It occurred to me earlier this week that I hadn't updated this blog in many a moon. A handful of times have passed since my last entry when I finally devised a topic about which to babble a bit, but each time I've found another blogger who's said just what I wanted to say, and probably better and more publicly, so I've let them slide. I'm a firm believer in not wasting people's time by telling them things they already know. :)

Writing has not come easily to me for the last few months. I've been busy and undergone a rather significant life change with the birth of my son and subsequent return to work, so time has been at a premium. But my classes are going well so far, my new schedule is actually rather nice, and I could not ask for a better baby.
Who could be upset with this face?

I have a new cover to show off for those who haven't seen it yet! My vampire Snow White story was submitted and accepted for Less Than Three Press' Proud to Be a Vampire collection, and it will be available October 23. In the meantime, I have to finish wrangling it into the story I think it deserves to be. Admittedly, I rushed my initial draft because I  first got behind schedule and then had to hurry to make up for it before my baby was born (who then had the gall to be nearly two weeks late, the little stinker). But I've had the story rolling around in my head for quite a while, so the first draft consisted primarily of alternating between transcribing what I'd already written a few times in my brain and trying to figure out what should go in the parts I'd cast aside with nothing more than a mental "then some stuff happens here" marker. I'm very nervous that the story is not going to be as good as I think it should be, but that's usually a sign that I actually have a good story on my hands. I'm hopeful it will cooperate and come out well.

This story is also a little out of my comfort zone in that, as much as I enjoy reading the occasional fantasy novel, I tend to avoid writing things set entirely outside of the real world. Part of that is my tendency toward obsessiveness with world-building (I need to know all the details and all of the whys behind the way things are; Halloween Trick gave me kittens, because I needed to know how Robbie became a ghost, why he was still lingering on earth, what it would take to banish him, etc., even though none of that was even remotely necessary for the story I was writing) and with making sure that all aspects have logical consequences, and while that's a fun mental exercise, I also find it a little exhausting to sustain. And while the titular kingdom is very much a normal fairytale place and not at all unlike the real world in most aspects, Prince Erik discovers that there is much more to the world than he realized, and part of the plot revolves around the removal of his ignorance of things like vampires and dream demons and magic mirrors. Which is another uncomfortable thing for me--I don't do sinister very well. I don't even do unhappy. (I had a middle school student once point out when his class was misbehaving that my "face looks weird when [I'm] not smiling" since he'd never seen such an expression from me before.) I like my characters, like myself and my real life companions, to be calm and logical and make things work. But in this case, the darkness comes from an external source Erik can't control, and so I've had to face it head on. I think that, more than anything, is the aspect of the story I fear ruining. So I've tried very hard not to make my villain too purely evil and entirely unsympathetic, but not to be afraid to let the Evil Stepmother character be worthy of her fate.

I'll post again about the story when the release date is a little closer, probably about the Snow White aspects that inspired me to write a story involving my least favorite paranormal creature and what elements of the fairytale I've tried to keep. In the meantime, enjoy the pretty cover. :)

Goodreads Link