Saturday, November 16, 2019

I Write Disasters On Purpose

Our topic this week is one thing we think we do well as an author and one thing we’d like to do better.

I think I’m pretty good at writing the action and adventure in all three of my genres (scifi romance, fantasy romance and paranormal).

Personally I like disaster movies and my plots are kind of along those lines – stuck on the futuristic version of the Titanic, marooned on a deserted planet with the enemy aliens arriving, cruising on an intergalactic luxury liner when a mysterious disease breaks out, rescuing a hostage taken by interstellar pirates, fighting a crime syndicate that spans the stars, abducted by evil alien scientists and making an alliance with genetically engineered soldiers…

My main characters in the SFR novels never lack for challenges and daunting obstacles along the way to the Happy Ever After ending. I enjoy showing the growth of the relationship between my hero and heroine as they’re thrown together by the circumstances and come to respect each other’s skills and personality as they fight shoulder to shoulder to save themselves and others caught in the disaster with them.  I have more time in the pages of a novel to show the relationship developing than a scriptwriter has in a ninety minute or even a two hour movie, so that’s a luxury.

I have the structure of my Sectors interstellar civilization well established, which enables me to visualize the elements of the stories as part of a vast world I’ve already built.

In the ancient Egyptian paranormal novels, the problem usually comes down to some form of black magic, and/or someone committing a crime appropriate to 1550 BCE, like an official skimming grain from Pharaoh’s taxes…but the gods are involved too. Occasionally I get a little more cinematic, as with the lost and hidden city in Lady of the Nile where much of the action takes place but I based it on elements of the Sumerian culture to keep the plot anchored in reality to some extent. Sumeria at its peak was 3000 years or so before my Egyptians. But for those novels I’m not writing huge disaster movie type tropes. The key there is the fascination with the ancient Egyptian culture and how the gods would interact with the humans in these situations…as well as the strong hero and heroine finding themselves in the middle of a situation like a clandestine invasion by an enemy and again, having to work together to resolve the problem to save Egypt. Oh, and falling in love, did I mention that?

The one thing I’d like to do better would be to write big sprawling multi volume novels in a fantasy world where I had plot elements that didn’t pay off until late in the series, or where truths evolve over the course of the series and by the end the reader is marveling that “Oh, I never saw that coming but it makes perfect sense.” I have to mention our Jeffe Kennedy and her Twelve Kingdoms series as my example here – great, complex STUFF to keep the reader fully engrossed.

I am getting better at doing series with an overarching plot arc, as with my SFR Badari Warriors series for example. And I have a huge plot arc at play in my fantasy romance series Magic of Claddare but since I don’t plot in advance or outline it’s challenging to do the kind of writing where I have the young page say something casual in volume one that everything turns on in volume fifteen when he’s about to be crowned king and is now a seasoned warrior of thirty.

It’s not a burning desire of mine as a writer but I’d like to continue to grow a bit more adept at it over time.

I write the kinds of books I want to read and I’m happy with my mix of adventures, action and romance. As long as the readers are too, I’m all set!
(May I crow about my new release?)

Ex-Special Forces soldier and mercenary Flo Michetti is bored with her assignment as a pilot for the genetically engineered Badari pack in their fight against the evil Khagrish scientists. She jumps at the chance to take a dangerous undercover mission. She infiltrates a group of human prisoners on their way to a secret lab in the southern ocean, where the Badari believe many more of their own kind have been created and are being experimented on. Once Flo has located the lab, found the Alpha among the Badari there and sent a report back, the plan will be to attack and rescue all the prisoners.

Arriving at the island Flo learns the true nature of the horrific experiment for which the humans have been brought to this remote location. Time will be perilously short to escape before it’s too late for all of them. She has to locate the Alpha of this captive southern pack, who conceals his identity to escape death at the hands of the Khagrish, and get him to join with her and her allies.

Daegan feels an instant attraction to Flo when the Badari and the humans are forced together by the Khagrish scientists, but there are mysteries and questions surrounding her. Before he reveals himself as the incognito Alpha she’s seeking, he wants answers to allay his doubts. He also wants Flo in his bed…but can he risk his heart to claim her as his mate?

Complicating the situation is a dangerous rival for Daegan’s position as Alpha, an oncoming hurricane and Flo’s resistance to abandoning her life as a soldier of fortune…as the Khagrish scientists prepare to initiate the experiment, the clock is ticking for humans and Badari alike.
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