"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Of pirate girls and dragon wings

The good news about being an author-entrepreneur is that I can write whatever I want. The bad news is, I can write whatever I want. This can be a dangerous thing if your mind tends to wander, as mine does. Do people know me as a mystery author, or a humor author? Where does the Snoopy book fit into all that?

And then there came the day when I was in the shower and I thought, there's not enough books about girl pirates. As usual, I thought I'd write a little diddy, perhaps a novella or a short story, about a girl pirate and be done with it. But we know that's not what happened. Not with my little lets-go-down-the-rabbit-hole, whats-behind-this-door brain.

A full-blown fantasy novel was born, a la The Count of Monte Cristo meets Pirates of the Caribbean. There was a strong-willed young noblewoman and a sexy, dangerous pirate. It was great fun, and yet...

There came a day when I was in the shower and I thought, if I'm writing fantasy, I should have a dragon. I never get to have a dragon and I've always wanted one.

Showers are dangerous.

Just when I was about to toss a dragon into the middle of things, my buddy Jeff Michaels showed up (talk about the winds of Fate!) and reminded me to make the dragon mean something to the story. As lovely as they are, dragons can't just pop into our stories, helter-skelter.

What I ended up with was the first book of a trilogy. Now what?

Now what is that I've been convinced by several pals to query this book to agents. Will I find representation? IDK. Will I find a publisher who will give me at least some of what I want from a publisher (knowing what I know from years of self-pubbing)? IDK. Will "at least some" be enough for me to take the deal? Triple-IDK.

What I will take away from the experience, even if I end up self-pubbing, is an idea of what the traditional world thinks of my work and what they're willing to offer me to get it. Sometimes you want that opinion, that yardstick to measure you. 

I'm getting my manuscript back from my editor in about a week (yes, I still paid a professional editor to polish my words), and I'll start the querying process. We'll see how it goes. Here's my query so far:

Lisette de Lille is not excited to be marrying a local nobleman, but she is shocked when he and his Spanish mistress sell her to the pirate Rocco instead. Rocco is ruthless and seductive, and holds the secret to an ancient curse involving dragons. Lisette will do anything to avenge her kidnapping, even if it means becoming as ruthless and as seductive as her captor. But will she pay the ultimate price, of becoming a dragon herself, to bring judgment to her betrayers, or will her love for Rocco turn her heart from revenge?

In the meantime, if you want to see some of my ideas for characters, dragons, ships and whatnot, I have a Pinterest board that might interest you. https://www.pinterest.com/gaylecarline/pirate-fantasy-novel-ideas/

No comments:

Proud Member of ALA!

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.