Writing creates some weird social moments. I was at my doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago, the doctor I’ve been with for over twenty-five years, and he happened to ask, “So are you still at [insert company name I won’t specify here]?”
“Nope, I semi-retired.” Me with a big grin. “I’m writing full time now.”
“That’s great! What are you writing?”
Uh-oh. The dreaded question. What do you write…? I stumbled through something about science fiction, ebooks, no, probably not in the local Barnes and Noble, hahaha. But it’s something I do have to confront sometimes. I’ve been doing this long enough and I know what I don’t write. But what do I write?
Interestingly enough, March this year supplies a microcosm to answer this very question. I write science fiction and urban fantasy, serious and humorous, for adults and for all ages audiences. Though not all at the same time. There’s a scary thought.
While I don’t have any active new projects on the humorous side of the house, Brimstone represents the funnier side of science fiction, with ongoing Brimstone Journal ficlets every Tuesday, while Offbeat Crimes fall on the humorous side for the urban fantasy rooms of my author house. (The OC stories are currently undergoing expansion for re-release through Pride Publishing later this summer.)
So that leaves the three stories with actual dates this month – two for release and one pre-order—that represent the other rooms in the house. So where do these things come from? Why don’t I just write one thing? Clearly, it’s for reasons:
Kellen's Awakening: AURA 3
AURA is urban fantasy, serious flavor, adult content. You can’t get much more urban than New York or more fantasy than rips in reality through which anything can fall at any time. There are funny moments and character snark, but AURA is serious stuff. Bad things happen. Sometimes Really Bad Things.
A tandem writing project, AURA came from brainstorming sessions with Bellora Quinn, one of the driving forces behind me being a writer at all. This was something that could only have happened with our brains bouncing ideas off each other – and it’s been a wild ride so far. Kellen’s story is darker in many ways than the previous two AURA novels, though. Sure a lich queen is pretty dark, but the overall plot line has larger personal obstacles for characters to overcome.
Meteor Strikes: Serge and Een
Serge and Een’s story is science fiction, serious flavor, adult content. The notion of aliens has always fascinated me. How much would they look like us? Would we recognize them as life at all? What if they appeared superficially like us but really weren’t at all?
Where did this one come from? Direct result of a Kris Jacen lure. She had the idea for a group of stories set around a series of meteor strikes. “Maybe it's not meteors but aliens landing?” Kris said in her email. Like she didn’t know that phrase would echo in my head into infinity. Like she didn’t know that like a super-Angel-specific piece of writing prompt crack. (Yeah, she knows me.) I do love Serge and Een as characters, when it’s all said and done. Writing about struggles across communication barriers and about accepting things that are truly alien are some of my favorite things.
Rediscovery: Anchorage 6
Rediscovery is science fiction, serious flavor, all ages content. I feel the sudden need to draw a Venn diagram. Anchorage is the story of a lost Earth colony, how they eventually reconnect with the universe at large, with seven novels set over several decades.
The first draft of the first Anchorage novel, Marya, was written in the late 90’s and was originally a story for my son, who followed the story from the time he turned eight or so to, well, now. Some of the themes are difficult. Life is hard sometimes. But my son has always encouraged me to get this series out there, no matter how many setbacks it had along the way. Emily has a special place in my heart, just because she is who she is. She’s not the badass with the guns. She’s not the sultry, super confident siren. She’s not even the robotic intellectual with the ginormous brain. But she’s smart and dedicated, excels in her field and has a great deal of empathy. I love her because despite lacking badass credentials, she stands up for what she knows is right.
There you have it. March. Three stories, different kinds of story arcs and inspirations. All from the same source. I love the rooms in my story house, all leading one into the other, all interconnected. Not giving up a single one.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.