After trips to my local B&N and BAM stores seeking the right balance of mysterious intrigue and noir romance, I left empty-handed and irritated. Nothing quite captured my imagination. I’d find mystery and suspense, but no romance. I’d find steamy dangerous alpha males, but paranormal. Where to find human alphas, powerful females, romance and crime in one place? Where was the cure for what the repressed reader inside me was seeking?
There’d been another time I’d asked that question. Years ago. The Don’t Close Your Eyes series was born from my frustration as a reader tired of devouring paranormal serials to get that dangerous romance fix. I was tired of predictable plots and mysteries I solved before being halfway through a book. In short, I longed for intrigue and complexity that I could believe. I wanted twists and turns so great, even I, a reading detective, couldn’t predict, but that would also be a joy to read. An adventure with flawed characters I could admire but didn’t always love. Realistic yet superhuman in their endeavors and abilities to overcome obstacles.
Rather than throw a frustrated tantrum, I had an impulse I’d been running from as a scorned author avoiding a life she’d been forced to walk away from. Instead of turning on the TV for an escape, I grabbed my Kindle instead.
For the first time in years, I thumbed through my unpublished series while the rain poured outside the window. Every invitation was there. Klive and Kinsley sucked me into a world I thought I’d put away forever after intense stalking and life issues from my previous stint as an author forced me into hiding.
I’m not an idiot. I’d written the story for my reading mind. MINE. I’d never intended to share. DCYE was a fun suspenseful romance. Mysterious and steamy.
Others fell in love, too, but after I left the publishing world, pulled all my manuscripts, erased my presence, I put my effort into earning a copy editing certification. I devoted years to learning what I hadn’t known when I’d initially written the series. With new eyes, I expected to cringe with disgust upon opening the manuscripts for the first time in years. I was facing a great fear of failure.
Five books later, I’m cringing only at grammatical errors and common mistakes, yet sucked into this hypnotic underworld of a story that seems so real, you come out of the pages and remind yourself that – oh, yeah, there’s life out there. The content was great, even if gratuitous erotica needed toning down to romance or cut entirely.
The original plot is there. The updated version contains new supporting cast and situations blending with the familiar. I’ve raised the bar on character traits, redeemed previously shallow ambitions, crafted dynamic elements into an actual setting I know, love, and have lived in.
Writing the new/revised version is as much fun as reading for the first time.
Once upon a time, I was defined as prolific by my writing peers. For years, however, the scars of life blocked my creativity. Now, the time is right. The block is gone. I am prolific and healed once more. Overall, very blessed and enjoying every minute of the craft again.
Between Jase, Klive and Kinsley, I feel like I’m coming back into the presence of old friends I’ve missed for far too long. Redemption is now.