Out of This World and into Three Others
This week marks the release of DARK WARRIOR UNBROKEN, the second book in my Talions series from Pocket Star. I loved writing Sandor Kearn’s story, watching him evolve from the sort of slick diplomat that he was in the previous book into a warrior determined to protect his people. I liked that he was able to face up to the darkness he encountered in himself and others, deal with the self-doubt, and move on. That he had a beautiful woman help him do that was just icing on the cake.
Right now I’m working on the third book in the series, which won’t be out until fall of 2010. Then it’s back to the world of my Paladins, with the occasional foray into time well spent with the sexy vampires I’m writing for Harlequin. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Seamus Fitzhugh and Ambrose O’Brien when my Nocturne and my Nocturne Bite are released next May.
Yep, just in case you’re counting, that’s three separate worlds that I’ve been playing in lately. It’s funny. Whenever I tell people that I’m working on three different series for two different publishers, they look at me as if I’m crazy. Well, I won’t dispute that particular assessment, but my writing isn’t the reason for my odd way of thinking that results in worlds populated with Paladins, Talions, and Vampires. I prefer to think of my storytelling as keeping me focused, productive, and happy. I’m blessed to be able to do something I love and make a living doing it.
So, how do I juggle three different worlds? The simple answer would be “carefully.” What does that entail? Thanks to Storables, one of my absolute favorite stores, I have these great bins, one for each series. In them, I keep character worksheets on each character in the stories, any pictures I’ve used as inspiration (funny how Liam Neeson, Russell Crowe, and Kurt Russell keep showing up in those files, but that’s another topic), and house plans for the places where my characters live.
I also hand draw the layout of important installations that impact my character’s daily lives. For example, I’ve sketched out the lab where the Handlers take care of wounded Paladins, the house where the Grand Dame of the Kyth lives, and the medical facilities where Seamus Fitzhugh practices medicine in Vampire Vendetta.
Did I start out this organized? Oh, heck, no. But then when I first started writing Dark Protector, the first Paladin book, I had no idea that it would lead to a series, with the sixth book coming out in March and three more under contract beyond that. Once I realized it was going to go on for longer than the three books I originally envisioned, I knew I had to do something or lose total control. Starting the second series only underscored the need for some sort of organization. My system is definitely a work in progress, but so far, so good.
And best of all, I’m having a great time sharing my worlds with all of you. If you have questions about what I do or how I do it, ask away. One lucky person will be getting an autographed copy of DARK WARRIOR UNBROKEN, hot off the presses!