GODDESS WITH A BLADE Contest Day 7 – The Story

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 – 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!

28 comments to “GODDESS WITH A BLADE Contest Day 7 – The Story”

  1. Fedora
    June 5th, 2011 at 9:34 am · Link

    I love that this idea finally had it’s chance to have its day in the sun, so to speak! Congrats, Lauren, and hooray for us readers!

  2. Michelle Bledsoe
    June 5th, 2011 at 9:49 am · Link

    I am so happy that you finally got the chance to get this book to your readers. I am new to UF, but I am really enjoying the genre. I wish you much success with GODDESS WITH A BLADE. I can’t wait to read it.

  3. Rachel Riddles
    June 5th, 2011 at 9:52 am · Link

    Can’t wait to read it!! I’m sure it’s gonna be just as awesome as your other stories!! 😀

  4. Amy H.
    June 5th, 2011 at 10:17 am · Link

    Great week of contests and a perfect post to end it. I love the stories behind the stories.

    I can’t wait to read it! xoxo

  5. Jolene A
    June 5th, 2011 at 10:36 am · Link

    I can’t wait to read this and all your other work as well. I’m late to the contests, but it’s been so much fun 🙂

  6. Danielle W
    June 5th, 2011 at 10:55 am · Link

    Can’t wait to read all about Rowan!

  7. Sandi Morris
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:00 am · Link

    Looking forward to reading Goddess with a Blade, sounds like it is right up my alley.

  8. Viki S.
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:06 am · Link

    Wow, I really am anxious to read all about Rowan. I like that she appears to be real. Someone who has struggled and become a hard jaded person as one would be in life. Thank you so much.

  9. Marlene Breakfield
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:19 am · Link

    Congrats on the new release!

  10. Danny
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:24 am · Link

    Thanks for the inside information how you get the idea for the book. It’s always interesting to see where the authors get their inspiration.

    Big congrats to the release tomorrow! I know it will be another keeper.

  11. CrystalGB
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:47 am · Link

    Congrats on the release of Goddess With A Blade. Sounds great. 🙂

  12. SheriV
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:51 am · Link

    I’m looking forward to reading all about Rowan. I’m happy that someone else fell in love with your character I hope to love her too.

  13. Brandy Swain
    June 5th, 2011 at 12:27 pm · Link

    alot of great giveaways these past few days, I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I will get there soon! Goddess with a Blade sound really good!

  14. Estella
    June 5th, 2011 at 12:45 pm · Link

    Can’t wait to read it!!

  15. Raonaid Luckwell
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:07 pm · Link

    Rowan sounds like a character that I could like. Sounds like all the qualities I like.

  16. Chelsea B.
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:08 pm · Link

    Congratulations on publishing such a fantastic-sounding story!

  17. Vicky
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:25 pm · Link

    Sounds exciting, can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  18. Lindsey Ekland
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:27 pm · Link

    I know there is room for all sorts of heroines in my TBR (except maybe TSTL) and look forward to getting to know Rowen.

  19. Cathy M
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:48 pm · Link

    Angela has great taste! Congrats Lauren. I read all kinds of paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories and love all the varieties of characters there are. I am looking forward to reading Rowan’s story.

  20. Cindi Mitchell
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Always look forward to reading your books 😉

    Congrats on the release.


  21. Christine
    June 5th, 2011 at 3:50 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for tomorrow so I can read it.

  22. Sarah
    June 5th, 2011 at 4:02 pm · Link

    Great week of contests and loved hearing the back story!

  23. infinitieh
    June 5th, 2011 at 4:44 pm · Link

    Congrats on the new release! I love the cover and can’t wait to meet Rowan!

  24. APRIL S
    June 5th, 2011 at 5:05 pm · Link

    wow!! I love the sound of the back story and I cant wait for this book to come out!!! :mrgreen:

  25. Diane Sadler
    June 5th, 2011 at 5:22 pm · Link

    Perseverance pays off. Congratulations on your new release!

  26. Jessie
    June 5th, 2011 at 5:43 pm · Link

    congrats on the new release!

  27. Jen B.
    June 5th, 2011 at 7:10 pm · Link

    I am looking forward to reading this. I love UF.

  28. Julia
    September 14th, 2011 at 11:34 pm · Link

    Hey! The vampire theater wasn’t *that* dreadful…okay, yes it was. (Ta-da! Boobs! Then, ta-da! Boobs again!)

    So glad to see this story finally out there!