You can ask any author and I’ll bet you’ll hear much the same story — by the time a new novel reaches the shelves, other work has become so mentally present that focusing on the new release feels like going backward in time. That’s one of the reasons that a new book arriving in the box from the publisher is so exciting for me: I get to recapture my original passion and love for the characters by sitting down and reading my own book, as close to the experience of a reader as I’ll ever get.
Both In Deep Waters 2: Cruising the Strip and The Kiss that Counted are being released while I’m hard at work on Warming Trend. Questions about the two dozen (and more) characters of mine that populate In Deep Waters can temporarily draw a blank stare. Huh? Who? Oh yeah…the femme romance writer who has a threeway with a power couple? How could I forget? Oh, of course any resemblance to any living femme romance writer or power couple is purely coincidental.
The characters in Kiss deeply involved me, especially CJ, whose choices as a teenager continue to haunt her, leading to not entirely sane choices as an adult. When the boogey man is real, and running has always equalled safety, it takes an extraordinary change in her life to make her turn around and stand her ground. Love is one of the forces that can create that kind of change — an idea I’m long familiar with. I just never foresaw that a character like CJ, with her particular history and extremity of self-doubts, would cross my desk.
Yet I stopped conversing with her more than six months ago, and moved on to all those women in Las Vegas and now to Ani and Eve. I guess that makes writers serial monogamists — and we do reruns — when it comes to our characters. So if you ask a writer about anything but the work she’s composing in the back of her head the entire time she’s conversing with you, the work that she’ll fall asleep thinking about and wake up with fingers moving as if on the keyboard, the work that percolates day and night–well, you’re liable to get a momentary blank stare as she accesses her mental time machine.
Okay, maybe that’s just me. But give me a few hints and all the wonderfulness of every story I’ve ever told will come flooding back. That day that it doesn’t is the day I’ll hang up my keyboard and take up Sudoku.