I just finished the first book in a spin-off series to my Bitterly Suite. Cape Maybe Book 1 of Bitterly’s Bachelors. I will freely admit, it wasn’t what I wanted to write when I got to the end of Waking Savannah, but I do love the story–all three I have planned–I was fully immersed in the characters, in the world. But there’s this other story…
Traegar’s Lunatics has been the novel in my heart of hearts since before finishing Waking Savannah. I wrote Cape Maybe not because I really wanted to write it, but because I thought it was wiser to ride the wave, both creatively and professionally. There was something not quite right about it. I sent it off to Penny the Great, and she gave me some feedback that made it better. Much better. I wrote up my proposal for it, as well as the rest of the series. Long story short, Seeking Carolina only just released less than two months ago. I got a “let’s wait and see what the first series does first.” Fair enough. I was a little bummed. Surprisingly, I was also excited.
Of the six published books I’ve written, only two have been so without a home ready and waiting. Finder, and Seeking Carolina. It’s a good feeling. A really good feeling. I work hard, but I know I’m lucky. There are a lot of hard-working writers who don’t get that privilege. But there was a reason Cape Maybe didn’t sit right in my mind. I didn’t realize it until just this week, but now I know–I wrote it for the wrong reason. It should have been the story in my heart, not the wise choice.
Traegar’s Lunatics isn’t fantasy, and it’s not romance, even if there are fantastic elements as well as romantic ones. It’s the story of an old man and a young woman, one dying and one damaged. Within a collective story written by all the beloved lunatics in The Pen–a home for elderly writers–they both find what eluded them through their lives. The edges between story and reality blur, creating a world within a world where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole and anything is possible.
This is not a book I can write in four months. More like a year. Creativity unbound of parameters and deadlines. This excites me in ways I can’t explain.
I published three fantasy novels with Hadley Rille Books. I will have published three romance novels with Kensington/Lyrical Shine by the end of next October. Whether I publish with the same press, a different one, or do it myself, I’ll write my Bachelor books. When they’re the stories in my heart and not the wise choice.
Writing to contract is very comforting, rewarding, secure, validating. Writing without that safety net is a little scary after getting used to it being there, but it’s time to take the road as yet untraveled.
Traegar’s Lunatics it is.