Under the heading of “Having Fun Storming The Castle”. I don’t have a Holocaust cloak, but I do have one made of Apocalypse, and that’s pretty close, right?
*trips over wheelbarrow*
I love book launch day, even more than cover art day, I think. Cover art is the first tangible proof an writer has that their book actually exists, that is a really real thing. But book launch day is when this Really Real Thing has its coming out ball, with all the anxiety and excitement implied.
Today, BRIGHID’S MARK (Keepers of the Flame #2) is, indeed, a Really Real Thing. HUZZAH!!
It was a long time coming. Last year, when this book was officially contracted by Samahain Publishing (aka Publisher Amazing), my Countdown widget started at 9 months. Last week, it had counted down to 9 days. As I’m writing this, the day before release, it says “9 Hours”. COINCEDENCE? Well, yes, okay, probably.
Let the celebrations commence!
First, an Unleashing Anecote, also known as the Author’s Note (which I tend to read as soon as I’m done with a book, because I love learning what research and stories what went in to a book).
BRIGHID’S MARK began as a completely different novella several years go. At the time eBooks were at the point that self-publishing is at now. Basically, a few forward thinking necromancers were caressing the beautiful potential of the dark portal that was the Internet and fingering out how to perform the Rites of Ash Kente so its strings might be pulled and its secrets thus revealed. These cultists may or may not have summoned Cthulhu, by pure accident I’m guessing. I’m almost certain the smoking fezzes were completely unrelated.
Meanwhile, everyone else regarding the entire eBook tidal wave as pure black magic and generally unholy. The sky was falling, and, also, we are all doomed. Much of this Chicken Little mentality came from traditional publishing, much as it is now. eReaders were never going to take off, etc. It’s all a fad. Fingers were being poked into both ears with such vigor it’s a miracle there weren’t more inadvertant labotomies as a result.
Now, of course, eBook publishers are considered as respected, list-sticking members of traditional publishing, even if their distribution models are still considered ahead of the curve. Harlequin was one of the first to don the Necromancer robes and show the rest of the cultists how it was done. They launched several novella lines, one of which was for paranormal and urbany fantasy, called Nocturne.
This was right up my alley. The novella length and the kind of content the Nocturne line was meant for was exactly where my interests lay at the time–I had tons of stories in my head that were considered too short for full novels and way too long for short stories. BRIGHID’S MARK began, then, an urban fantasy featuring vampires, a snarky sidekick for my hero, and a title I no longer recall (probably a good thing). It was eventually rejected (probably also a good thing), and I went on to other stories.
Then Samhain Publishing came along with their anthology calls for submissions. I missed the one for Angels and Demons, but that was okay, because what I ended up writing (BRIGHID’S CROSS, Keepers of the Flame #1), and the heroine from that early vampire book was reborn, personality-wise, as Aika Lareto. I rounded out my Irish-pathenon based mythos, shoved the timeline to a near-future, pre-apocalyptic era, and switch the location to London.
But I still really wanted to write an Urban Fantasy, action tale in New Orleans. So I kept a couple of the characters from the original manuscript, including my hero, but I needed a heroine who would stand up to a Great Demon and own her talents as well as her destiny. Then an opening scene of flashlight circles tracking through a train yard, and the questions started coming. I ripped apart the original story that was (rightfully) rejected from Harlequin, pulled out the main storyline and the bits that worked, and retailored it to the new mythos I’d built for the series. Callie is a character completely different from the reluctant Aika, and I think she’s resonate with readers. She’s the kind of girl that other girls look at and say “Theeeeeeere’s my new drinking buddy.” She’s the kind of girl that’d be a BLAST to take partying in New Orleans.
Of course, you may end up coming to in a jail cell–but it’d TOTALLY be worth the bail money.
Speaking of New Orleans and bail-worthy exploits, in celebration of BRIGHID’S MARK’s release, the Tech Monkey whipped up a genuine Big Easy feast to make the pickiest of the Loa proud:
That last one is a rum drink we discovered at a Landry’s in Huntsville, Alabama called an “Outlaw”, and almost entirely comprises of rum: one shot each of Bacardi, Bacardi Gold, Bacardi 151, and Meyer’s Dark. Add both orange juice and pineapple juice, followed by splashes of Apple Pucker, Grenadine, and Triplesec. And it. Is. DIVINE. After four of these I woke up in the passenger seat of my then-boyfriend’s 1995 Mustang Cobra in time to see the first New Orleans sign of our trip the Halloween of 2000. Then-boyfriend is now the Tech Monkey, and my husband of over ten years.
Is it any wonder that New Orleans is a city so close to my heart, liver, and stomach? 😀
On that note, I hope you all enjoy reading BRIGHID’S MARK as much as I enjoyed writing it–in both incarnations. It’s been a wild journey, but I’m so glad I did it.