I seem to be allergic to writing one-offs. It usually takes awhile for my characters to start talking to me, but once they do, they never want to shut up! I’d intended my first book, THE ARRANGEMENT, to be a standalone, but no sooner had I finished revising it than I was attacked by plot-bunnies for two prequels. And before I’d finished writing those, I knew I had to write yet another prequel PLUS a sequel to the first book. What was supposed to be a single novel ended up blossoming into the five-book Courtland Chronicles series, which followed a m/m/f ménage relationship over the course of twenty years. Never let it be said that I make things easy on myself!
Once I’d finished TRIAD, the final Courtland book, I swore I wouldn’t write another series – not for awhile, anyway. Then I wrote two novellas back to back – my m/m May-December story, ALLEGRO VIVACE, and THE FIRST REAL THING, an edgier, sexier tale about a male hooker who falls for a client. No sequels here, right? So far, so good!
But of course, the inevitable happened – I couldn’t get any of these new characters to shut up! First Matt and Aaron, my May-December lovers, demanded that I finish their story right NOW. So I spent most of the summer tap-tapping away on SONATA APPASSIONATA, with the Brahms violin concerto on an endless loop on my iPod. Then, not to be outdone, Mike, my hooker hero Cameron’s best friend, put on his best wig and high heels and sashayed in for his close-up.
When a drag queen demands equal time, what else could I do but comply? I already had Mike’s sassy Texas drawl firmly fixed in my brain – now all he needed was a soul mate, so I could give him his happily-ever-after.
Enter Ryan – hot, sweet and endearingly shy. Despite also appearing in THE FIRST REAL THING, Ryan didn’t give up his secrets quite so easily as Mike or Cameron. More than once I found myself telling Mike to pipe down and stop drowning out Ryan’s soft whisper. The one time I needed a character to be chatty, and he just wouldn’t cooperate! Characters, I’ve found, are a lot like cats. They do what they want when they want. Took a bit of wheedling and cajoling, but I finally got my unlikely couple their happy ending – high heels, feather boas and all!
Now I’m staring another spin-off squarely in the face. Aleksandr Petrovsky, the dark, charismatic conductor from SONATA APPASSIONATA wants his own book. It seems his wife, fiery opera singer Colette DuPlessis, has a handsome young lover she can’t get out of her system. And when Aleks and David finally meet, the sparks fly. Yup, it’s another ménage!
Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge keeping up, but as long as the characters continue talking to me, I’ll keep writing ‘em down. Something tells me they’re not going to shut up anytime soon!