Welcome to this week's MAGIC THURSDAY GIVEAWAY!
You know that saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."?
Well, as an author who can't seem to write anything without adding a paranormal element, my take on it was slightly different: "Hell hath no fury like a Felinoid demon scorned." Or to be even more precise, "Hell hath no fury like those secondary characters who want their own darn story!"
You see, when I started writing my first published novella, Even Demons Get The Blues, I had the hero, Rez, and the heroine, Leisa, firmly fixed in my head. I knew exactly where their story was going, and how they'd finally get their Happy Ever After -- despite interference from Lucifer, Sentinels, Destroyer demons and pesky little things like Destiny-with-a-capital-D.
Here's my thumbnail of Leisa:
She sure looks like an angel but she’s on a slippery slope straight to Hell. Under the influence of a Destroyer demon, she was provoked into committing a terrible crime. She’s lost everyone she loves and she’s filling the empty space in her soul with alcohol and casual sex. And those morning afters, when she wakes up next to some guy and can’t even remember his name, sure ain’t pretty.
Rezon is the sole surviving Drakon demon, and the most badass demon in Hell. He spent the last 4000 years as his king’s enforcer. And no one kicked demon butt better than Rez. But he got fed up with all the gory bickering and back-stabbing, and much to King Asmodeus’s disgust, Rez opted out and took up Beguiling. When he can be bothered fulfilling his quotas, Rez is the quintessential poster-boy of the Beguiler Unit… until he cops a glimpse of Leisa.
So I'd envisioned the characters, I knew where the story was going, and I wrote it. No problem. Easy peasy, right?
Um, not exactly.
What I didn't know was that I'd end up with such vivid secondary characters. In fact, they were so vivid -- not to mention mouthy and sarcastic and just plain fascinating -- that I had real trouble scaling them back and letting Rez and Leisa, take centre-stage.
Heck, this aforementioned Felinoid demon, Naamah, even tried to take over the entire first chapter! She was the hero's sometime lover. She'd had a crush on him for centuries, ever since he'd saved her from being eaten when she was a mewling wee demonling. Her talent was Beguiling, and by crikey, she was gonna continue to beguile Rez -- whether he liked it or not! She was sooo not impressed when I was forced to inform her that this story was not all about her. The shrieks and tantrums when I cut her scenes were enough to make even my dead-straight hair curl.
And don't even get me started on Asmodeus, the Demon King. That amoral, sarcastic, painfully handsome devil could quite easily take up 100 pages or so, just on his own. He was so much fun to write. Little wonder that one of my editors would go on to comment that my novellas were novels trying to break free, LOL.
I got there in the end and managed to keep to the word-count and make my secondary characters toe the line. Go me!
But although Even Demons Get The Blues was most definitely Rez and Leisa's story, I kept dwelling on poor Naamah. She'd lost Rez to Leisa. She'd managed to, excuse my language, royally piss Asmodeus off. She had all the self-esteem of a flea and didn't believe herself worthy of being loved. And it broke my heart to leave her that way.
So what's a broken-hearted writer to do?
Well, folks, that's what my Blubber.doc file is for. Every time I cut a scene I really love, it gets pasted into the Blubber file. My theory is that the characters you're forced to scale back in your current work-in-process won't hate you and haunt you quite so much if you don't consign their scenes to the trash. They'll just lurk and prey on your mind for a while instead. And then, KAPOW! They'll pounce on your unsuspecting muse.
Hence, when it came time to write Let Sleeping Demons Lie, the second novella, I had a few really great scenes for Naamah already good to go. Not to mention a few spotlight scenes to keep Asmodeus happy till I get around to writing his HEA. But that's a whole 'nother story ;-)
Well, that's it from me.... except for the giveaway of course!
So to thank you all for being patient while I rambled on, I'd like to offer a giveaway to a commenter who can tell me:
1) what kind of demon Rez is, and
2) what kind of demon Naamah is.
From those who 've answered correctly I'll choose one commenter at random.
And the prize?
A choice of either an electronic copy of Even Demons Get The Blues or Let Sleeping Demons Lie -- feel free to note your preference when you leave a comment.
BTW: Both these novellas are standalones, although there are recurring characters. And if you can't decide which one to choose, you can read the blurbs for both books (plus there are links to excerpts) on the My Books page of my website.
I'll draw a winning commenter next Wednesday (24th November), so check back then.