13 May 2013

When Old Ideas Turn Into New Books

For once, I'm able to contribute to this month's theme! The book I'm finalizing at the moment - Tales of the Were: Grif - started off as an idea way back in 2005 or so. I wrote a good portion of it - probably somewhere around 30,000 words or more - and then let it sit while I did other things.

Maybe I got "stuck". Maybe I just got busy with dragons or aliens or whatever. I can't really recall anymore. Suffice to say, the book sat. And sat. And SAT. Unloved. Unfinished. Unfortunate.

But always in the back of my mind, there were these characters and this situation. A werecougar Alpha who had just sustained terrible loss in his family, and his little sister, both seeking the solace of the mountains to try to heal. And a woman. A human who knew about shapeshifters, who had a debt of family honor to settle.

I wrote about them in other books. I used members of the werecougar family in other stories, all the while knowing there was this older brother out there and all this tragedy in the family's past. I knew these people. I wanted so badly to finish their story, but after so much time had passed, I really wasn't sure how to go about it.

Then, last Christmas, I started self-publishing some of my paranormal stories. The first was Tales of the Were: Rocky, a novella I had written for an anthology call years before. The story was ultimately turned down and my editor at the time wanted me to expand it into a novel. I never quite got around to it before that editor left and I had this great story sitting on my hard drive for years.

I finally polished it up and added to it. I turned it into the story I had really wanted to write originally, but was constrained by the terms of the anthology call to change. I gave Rocky new life and sent him out there, into the world, to see what people might think of my werebear creation.

The response was like nothing I ever expected.

I had figured on just self-publishing the story for my own enjoyment. And maybe for those few, die-hard fans who might like to know where Rocky - a character who had a bit of a cameo role in my book Lords of the Were - had come from and what had happened to him after we first meet him in Lords.

Rocky's book led to a new character. A mysterious shifter named Slade. I was enchanted by him and wanted to know more about him. I sat down and wrote his story in January and February, then published it in March of this year as Tales of the Were: Slade. He was an entirely new character who had come from that "old" book about Rocky.

And then I started to realize how I might circle back around to Griffon Redstone - the werecougar Alpha I had started to write about so many years ago. I finally understood how and where his story fit in among the others I had been writing all this time. Not only that, but I realized where his brothers' stories fit as well.

And now I've started work on a 5-book sub-series of werecougar tales revolving around the Redstone Clan of cougar shifters. The first story - the one I started work on all those years ago - will be out later this month and is called Tales of the Were: Grif (Redstone Clan #1). I know that's a bit of a mouthful, but I'm not sure how else to clarify that this story fits firmly under the Tales of the Were series, but is part of its own little sub-series of 5 stories - one for each brother in the Redstone family.

The first book is, of course, about Grif, the eldest of the five brothers. It is the same story I began so long ago, but I finally know how to end it! There will be other books, later this year, for Mag and his vampire mate, Steve, Bobcat, and the ever-popular Matt, who was also featured in my book Sweeter Than Wine.

It's been a long time coming, but I feel like I'm finally on the track to fulfilling the promise of that story I began writing so long ago. The old idea is new and the "new" ideas that helped me finally finish this story have made it blossom into something I never really expected. I hope you'll enjoy the ride as much as I will!

Tales of the Were: Grif will be releasing in ebook in late May on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. It will release in print in June. Look for it to arrive on iTunes, Kobo, and other fine ebook and print retail sites mid-June. For more information, please visit www.biancadarc.com.
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