Another milestone…

Posted by October 13th, 2013 3 Comments »

Late last week I submitted my latest novel, The Companion, to Toby Johnson at Lethe Press. He’d said earlier this year that he wanted to see the full when it was ready, so off it went. I can attend GayRomLit in Atlanta next week with my desk clear (figuratively speaking only!)

Jim Frey, whose workshops I’ve attended for several years, is adamant about having a clear premise for a novel. I’m a believer. Somehow, having a one-sentence cause and effect statement describing the story keeps me on track while I’m writing. It’s my litmus test as to whether a scene is superfluous or relevant to the story: does it support the premise? If yes, then it belongs. If no, then I need to cut it out.

For The Companion, which is a metaphysical mystery/romance (how’s that for an obscure niche?! It seems to be the one I’m wired to occupy) I settled on “Courage leads to self-understanding and love.”

The story is about Shepherd Bucknam, Shepherd a daka (erotic coach) living in current-day Los Angeles. He’s haunted by recurring nightmares he believes predict his violent death. When his protégé is murdered he becomes involved with Marco Fidanza, the investigating officer. The trauma of his friend’s murder and the heat of his developing relationship with Fidanza plunge Shepherd deeper into his spiritual journey, forcing him to face the terrors following him from a past life before he can break free and love fully in this one.

I’m feeling pretty good about the story. I’ll find out whether Lethe feels it’s a good fit for them.

This year has been one of unprecedented productivity for me, and I’m thrilled about that. Two fiction titles in 12 months: Enigma, and The Companion. It took me nine years to complete The Darkness of Castle Tiralur, but that included about five years when I ignored it, first in favor of drinking and then in favor of recovery. Then Traveling Light took about five years from start to finish, writing in my spare time. After I retired from day jobs it took me only two years to write Blood Royal, and now these two titles in one year.

I don’t really think I want to produce faster than that, but if I can write one solid novel or a couple of short stories a year, I’ll be satisfied. I know some authors write a lot faster than that, and more power to them, but I’m not in a race with anybody.

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3 Responses to “Another milestone…”

  1. Elizabeth Nunn
    October 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Nice momentum you are honoring while acknowledging your own pace. I especially like “break free and love fully” aspect of this one.

  2. October 15, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I really believe in the powerful organizing force of a premise or thesis. It’s like having a magnet under the page and throwing a handful of iron filings called scenes on it–watch them pop into formation!

    Now that I’m thinking of source imagery, I am interested if you feel you love to return to ring changes on certain images, scenes, issues or actions that seem to be drawn from your deep interior well?

    I am remembering you asked if I would be an early reader of The Companion, and by the time I remembered to say YES, I am having to buy it! And that’s the sweet smell of success, my friend!

  3. B. Snow
    October 15, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Two novels in a year sounds like a lot to me! Good luck with the submissions process. Your story sounds very unique.

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