My journey began as a challenge. In a discussion with my friend Jennifer, I was complaining bitterly about a vampire book we’d both read. We both loved the concept and the hero, but hated many other elements. I told Jennifer that even I could do better. With nothing more than forty plus years of being a voracious reader, I set out to write a vampire novel. I had an idea, I created a world, I had a conflict, and I had eight main characters. What the hell was I thinking?
Five weeks and 125,000 words later, I had my first draft. Jennifer struggled through it and informed me that I was way to “nice,” and I failed to deliver enough blood or bodies in my finale. But she loved the characters and the concept – except for my heroine. Apparently, my female lead was way to accepting, needy, and a wimp. Did I mention that she also thought it would be better broken into four separate books? Four books? The one I’d written wasn’t that good, how could I write four? I put the supernatural aside and decided to tell a different story. When in doubt, write what you know.
Protecting Parker started life as The Shirt’s Tale. Titles are not my strength. Parker is the story of a first sergeant who returns from a tough deployment to more trouble at home. It was based on an imagination fed by too much pizza and caffeine. The idea was “what if” we had deployed and “this” happened. While the first draft was loads better than my vampires, it still had a long way to go. Eventually, after a lot of work, self-edits, beta-reads, and patience from my friends and editor, Protecting Parker is ready to go and will be available next week.
In between the edits on Parker, I returned to my vampires. With more guts than brains, I have split the giant mess of a book into the four primary stories and gone back to work. The first book of my Blood Link series will premier later this summer. Jennifer has finally been satisfied that there is enough blood, violence, and sex.