I have a book releasing today.
(Excuse me a moment while I bask in the glow of Release Day.)
Over the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of release days, and one thing I know is that they are aptly named. Because I truly am releasing my book out into the wild. I’ve tended it, nurtured it, and tried to make sure it has evolved into the best book version of itself, but now I have very little say in how well it survives in the world. It’s off on its own, going forth to either live a quiet life or make a huge splash.
I’ve had books that turned out to have big celebrity-style personalities who ended up all over the place, and other books that are shy and liked to hang around closer to home. Books that never seemed to find their way in their brave new world, and books that slid right into their new book life and kept chugging along.
I love all of them the same. And the really wild thing? Like kids, you can’t look at them and know how they’re going to fare once they’re released into the world. You hope you’ve done your best by them … but you just never know.
This particular book is special to me in a lot of respects. Not only does it feature one of my favorite couples to write, but I also wrote it differently than I’ve written any other book in my career—and had a blast doing it.
Here’s what happened:
The book features Jamie Archer and Ryan Hunter, characters that first appeared in my bestselling series that started with Release Me.
Jamie is one of those characters that just burst onto the scene, pretty much taking her “role” of the heroine’s best friend, and turning it into a major role in the series. (Much like James Marsters did for Spike. Fun fact, he wasn’t supposed to continue all the way through Buffy. But I digress).
Bold and brash and utterly open with her sexuality, Jamie became not only one of my favorite characters to write, but a fan favorite as well. And I was excited to write her romance with Ryan in novella form—Tame Me. Well, those characters wouldn’t leave me alone, so a second novella followed–Tempt Me.
I figured that would be the end, but those of you who know me (or who have read my first column for Frolic) know that I like continuing characters, continuing series, and lots and lots of revisiting everyone.
So when readers said they wanted more, I was game.
But I didn’t write a book.
Instead I wrote raw chapters that I posted unedited (and unplanned) as bonus content in my newsletter. It was so much fun, because I just went with it, not planning the story out in advance at all, but just writing, sometimes not even until the morning the newsletter was scheduled.
I got to have fun and readers got a peek at what early drafts look like.
Ultimately, the story ended at a respectable novella length.
But then I talked with my publisher, and when she suggested I clean it up and expand it for publication … well, hell yeah!
And that, gentle reader, is how I got to spend extra time with some favorite characters.
And how Tease Me came to be a book instead of just content in a newsletter!
And how I discovered how much fun it is to do raw scenes as newsletter bonus content!
**I’m still doing that. The idea for the current bonus story sparked when I accidentally locked myself out of my Florida condo late at night and had to be rescued by the guy next door, who I’d never met. And, um, I was wearing sleep shorts and a thin tank top.
Cute meet, anyone?
You can get in on that by subscribing to my newsletter. You’ll be taken to the first installment!
Until next time…