When you write a series, or in my case have two ongoing series, this is the email that arrives in your inbox just about daily. Questions about characters you never expected would incite readers–take poor dead Orlando Danvers from Once Tempted or Kit from One Night of Passion for example. Then there are the characters who you just know, from the moment they step on the page are going to be interesting, going to make a great hero or heroine. Even if you don’t know all their secrets . . . yet.
Rockhurst, from His Mistress by Morning is just such a character. I knew I would never be able to leave his mysterious story untold–and since he was the object of Hermione’s affections, I also had a built in heroine. So, curious readers and wandering by blog readers, that will be my next book. (Well, the one after Love Letters from a Duke, which comes out at the end of August). Actually the book is already written and sitting in New York awaiting an editor’s perusal. Has been since the first week of April. Such a long delay in getting a story edited isn’t the norm, but my editor, bless her heart, is on maternity leave, so some things have been shuffled around. Poor Rockhurst! But don’t worry, that won’t delay the book’s arrival into a bookstore near you next summer.
I’d love to tell you it is the most fascinating, wonderful book I’d ever written, but no one but me has read it, so my opinion isn’t really worth much. And there it is sitting in that weird sort of limbo, unread, quietly waiting for another set of eyes to say, “yeah” or “nay”. Or, “Boyle, what the hell were you thinking?” Or “Get new meds!” (As an aside, I don’t take meds. I have writing for those issues.)
As for the story? Rockhurst is carrying around a deep, dark ancient secret. The book is dark. A lot dark. Probably the darkest book I’ve ever written. But also with some very fun moments of humor. I mean, Hermione’s wish turns her invisible. Can you see the love scenes? No pun intended. But that’s me. I can’t resist the humor, even when the story turns really serious. I tend to see the world with that same warped sort of “how could that be funny” sense of humor. In novels that’s great. In real life, it can get you into trouble. As for Hermione and her unseen dilemma, when she discovers just exactly what Rockhurst is doing during his long nights, the ones he’s supposed to be out whoring and gambling and all the usual rakish pleasures, she isn’t amused. Believe me, finding the newest, most outrageous gown is going to be the least of her worries.
So what have I been doing since April? This is the time when an author tends to pace a bit and bite her nails a lot while she awaits the editorial verdict. As April gave way to May and then June, I remodeled two rooms in my house with all that nervous energy. But because the delay in editing started to stretch past my need to paint and sort out closets, I gave up the nail biting and have gone back to writing the next book.
Which is Griffin’s story . . .
And all you Pippin and Dash fans will just have to wait until after Love Letters from a Duke comes out to heckle me about when I’m going to write their story . . . Actually, I have it all plotted out, and boy, is it a doozy.
So my question is: What makes a character story worthy to you? Why Rockhurst? Or any other character?
So what’s up for this week:
Wednesday: I’m an Idiot!
Friday: The New Website Update