I've used this phrase a lot of times over the years, both in my life and in my writing. And yet, some of my stories exist only because I said I'd never write or do something or other.
The Fifth Son is a prime example of that. I read Storm Moon Press' call for what was basically gun porn, and my first reaction was to shake my head and say, "I'll never write gun porn." Of course, by that time it was already too late. The best thing for me would have been to not actually read the call. But... I'm not that smart, am I? So, I read the call, shook my head again, and closed the tab in Firefox. And... less than twenty four hours later, I found myself working on a story involving gun porn. Well... gun porn the Blaine way, with magic and a bit of bondage.
Or, what about Storm Moon Press's call for scarification? I witnessed a conversation on twitter between Storm Moon Press staff and some authors as they were chatting about scars and tattoos. It was an intriguing conversation, and I said so, but the scars part was so far out of my comfort zone I didn't think it was for me. Still, by the time the actual calls were posted, I was already researching scarification, because an idea for that had popped into my head, and Oren's Right was born.
Up until this year, despite having kids myself—all 19+ now—I kept saying I didn't think I could ever write young adult stories. I didn't think I could crawl into a teenager's skin and tell their story in a way that did them justice. So, guess what I did for NaNoWriMo this past November? Exactly... I wrote my first young adult novel. And I liked it. No idea where it's going to take me, but I'm not saying no to writing YA again. Especially since I already have a second YA plot bunny running around in my brain.
The Forester started innocently enough. Granted, it turned out to be a relationship between three men, instead of the planned two, but it was still a nice little solstice story.
And then came the 'requests' for a sequel. (You know... those little throwaway lines from readers and reviewers to cheer us on?)
But... sequels? I didn't do those, did I? I'd been saying it for years. I wrote stand-alone stories only. I thought the fantasy genre was too full of trilogies and series anyway—which dates back to my teens, when my local library had far too many incomplete series in its collection. The genre needed more stand-alone stories, and I was going to write those. But, the bug was planted, a little idea took hold of me, and in December The Forester II: Lost and Found came out, and I started working on the last part in that trilogy.
It's not all good, though. Writing that trilogy taught me that my cries of, "I'll never write sequels." was actually a valid one. Because while I love both sequels, they were the hardest I've ever had to write to date. Not because of the plot or the characters, but because even this far into writing the third part, continuity issues follow me into my dreams regularly. I have to keep re-reading the first two parts in order not to forget the details and to stop me from renaming things that already had names... It's annoying to say the least, and you can all believe me this time when I say that The Forester will be my ONLY trilogy, and that "I'll NEVER write sequels again."
That said, I still have many ideas for stories set in the same world as The Forester Trilogy and Oren's Right. I love that world. But... those will all be stand-alone stories. I NEVER want to suffer continuity nightmares again.
Of course... no doubt Storm Moon Press will find a way to make me break my promises again. They're a naughty publisher—in every sense of the word—because they keep putting out calls that push my boundaries yet intrigue me and spark my twisted brain into getting me to write stories I'd never thought I'd ever write. And they don't mind that I tend to drag their calls into the fantasy genre.
The Forester II: Lost and Found – Now Available for just $3.99!
"The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning."
One turn has passed, another Solstice is just around the corner, and having an illicit affair with not one but two lovers—smith Ianys and shunned Forester Taruif—is taking its toll on Truth Seeker Kelnaht.
If it isn't sneaking around to find some quality time with his lovers, it's heavy rainfall hiding traces of a missing stripling, or waiting for the elders to decide whether or not to set Taruif free.
And if that's not enough, Kelnaht fears that in gaining one lover, he might be losing another, as Ianys seems to be pulling away from them, and it looks like someone is, once again, trying to frame Taruif.
This post is part of Storm Moon Press' 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter both Blaine D. Arden's Giveaway for a copy of Forester II: Lost and Found and our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!
SMP's 4th Anniversary Rafflecopter Giveaway
Blaine's "Forester II" Rafflecopter Giveaway
Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay and trans* romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes, and the colours black, purple and red, who sings her way through life. You can find Blaine at blainedarden.com, twitter,facebook, and goodreads.