Tomorrow, Goddess With a Blade will release from Carina Press. Goddess is a bit of a departure for me from the world of romance into urban fantasy and I had a great time!
Usually a book idea is sparked by something related to the world. GWAB was no different. I went to Las Vegas with Anya Bast, Megan Hart and my friend Julia in 2006 and we went to this dreadful vampire theater that sparked the idea, just a sort of what if moment. Vegas is a surreal place, a wonderful, perfect setting as character and as I waited in the airport to go home, I started sketching an alternate Las Vegas filled with a whole supernatural life just beneath the surface.
But in this one, it was the main protagonist who really resonated with me. I love mythology, especially Celtic mythology and I loved the idea of a woman with all these mixed up allegiances who has a higher path to walk â€“ so Rowan is the human vessel for the Celtic triple goddess, Brigid. She has a mission. A holy mission of sorts and despite all Rowan’s many flaws, she never loses sight of that.
One comment I heard over and over was that Rowan was too hard. It’s true. She is hard. Jaded. Wounded. All that stuff you’d be if you were an assassin raised by a predator.
I never softened her because I never felt that it was true to her character to make her anyone other than who she was. She’s not a fluffy bunny. Nor do I think anyone in her circumstances would be.
It enabled me to write a female character who’s darker and with more jagged edges than my romance heroines in a story that is far more gray than usual (though I already love to write in the gray anyway). And it enabled me to write a world about balance in a totally new way.
Not that this was easy.
That trip to Las Vegas was in 2006 and I wrote the first draft that fall. Turns out, no one cared about an erotic noir novel about a messed up vampire slaying human vessel for a goddess raised by the head of the vampire nation who also killed her parents. Go figure. The book went to acquisitions several times as an erotic romance and then as a straight urban fantasy with romantic elements. Vetoed. Over time I was fortunate enough to get some excellent revision suggestions which I did finally incorporate into a book that settled in as a sexy, dark UF with romantic elements and two main characters who came alive for me every time they were on the page together.
I began to wonder though, if I’d ever sell it. I moved on, sold other books. Created other worlds.
And then Angela James saw it and wanted it. Not only did she let me write a morally iffy murderous main character, but she loved it. She did an amazing job editing it and making me make the book even better.
Goddess With A Blade was a nervous thrill to write, but in the end, success or not, I know what the book is. I know I worked my butt off on it and I know it was edited by someone I have nothing but respect and admiration for. And in the end, I got to keep a hard ass bitch as my main character who threatens to kill the man she ends up romantically entangled with. More than once. And I got to write the man who while seemingly opposite from her on the outside, is more alike than she understands at first.
Five years later, I hope people enjoy Rowan as much as I do.
This afternoon at 5 pm pacific time I will choose a winner from ALL the comments over the last week – for the grand prize. Thanks for playing along this week, everyone!