Thank you Claire for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by with a guest post.
For almost every novel I’ve written, I’ve been asked, “What was the most challenging aspect?” IMMORTAL HOPE is probably the only book where I have a ready answer and haven’t had to spend a lot of time thinking about the question.
As the first book in what I went into knowing was going to be a multi-book series, IMMORTAL HOPE posed some difficulties – what to reveal when, how much, and how to keep the elements hanging without giving off a feeling of ‘baiting’. In otherwords: How do you begin a series?
Compound this with the fact that I’m a history buff, drawing on historic aspects. Now it was, “How do you begin a fictional series, as opposed to a nonfiction series?”
I confess, there were several areas I had to edit, and reedit, to condense the historical information I presented. Some of those my editor had to condense as well J
But the other aspect, the larger challenge took a little thinking. I had to remain focused, fore-most on the fact IMMORTAL HOPE is paranormal romance. With several romance titles published, I knew where my emphasis had to be – the hero/heroine relationship and the emotional impact of that involvement.
Which meant their relationship had to be resolved come the very last page of the story. Romance expects a Happily Ever After. Which loosely translated to the fact that the subplot (the series aspect) needed to impact each h/h pairing per book. Directly impact. Not just circle around them.
So at that point I began digging for, ironically, black moments. The place where one of my heroes or heroines does the wrong thing and leaves the reader wondering if the couple will ever resolve things.
Once I had the black moment, per projected book, I was able to work backwards, applying the different aspects: the particular relic, the impact the relic had on one or both individuals, how that relic played into their relationship. Then, when I’d gone from the near-end back to the beginning, I was able to plot the conclusion.
Unlike several other series that I’ve worked with, this is a case where I can say I know exactly what happens per book, through the end of the projected works. In my other series’ (Inherited Damnation, Black Opals (as Tori St. Claire), Three Kings) I might have the next book plotted while I’m writing one, maybe three in a proposal situation, but I don’t know how the series itself might conclude.
But in The Curse of the Templars, detailing everything out became the only way to keep from putting too much into one book and overwhelming the reader. I was still able to layer in subplot, introduce key players as necessary, but the strongest influence remains on the hero/heroine relationship.
Now, I’m curious – how many of you skip to the end of the book to see how the characters work through the black moment?
About the Author:
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“Merrick, wait,” she called softly.
“Nay,” he answered on a hard swallow. “Nay, Anne. If I stay another moment, I will have you in that bed.” He shoved a hand through his hair and reached for the doorknob.
“But that’s where I want you,” she whispered.
He nodded once, a sharp dip of his chin. Pulling the door open, he answered, “I know.” Another protest, and he would turn right back to her waiting arms, cart her off to that oversized bed. When he finished with her, he would hate himself.
He entered the hall and shut the door.
Determination narrowed his gaze as he descended the stairs. He trained his thoughts to his cousin, focused on the oath he swore to Fulk. The very moment Anne discovered her intended, he vowed to leave. No sacred nail, no protected relic, no other oath would he honor until he fulfilled the promise to his kin. In so doing, he would free himself from this torment and lift his blade in Azazel’s name. It was a price he no longer feared to pay
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