I’m on the home stretch of the Death’s Lover writing marathon and all I can think is “It’s about damn time!”
Since I’m uber-excited to be nearing the end of writing this book and start on the edits so I can hopeful get it out this summer. I thought I’d post some questions I’ve been asked about Death’s Lover over the last few months. I also what to thank those who gave me suggestions to help out along the way. Love you guys, you know who you are.
When did you start writing Death’s Lover?
The idea has been there since I finished writing My Lord Hades in 2009. I needed to let the ideas percolate and there were so many other stories I wanted to write at the time. It was a fan letter in December 2012 that really pushed me to think about Thanatos and what type of woman would be his love interest.
I almost made it Penelope, the goddess Thanatos liked to tease in My Lord Hades, the heroine but the idea didn’t set well with me. She didn’t seem to be his type.
It wasn’t until I figured out the two main characters and more of their personalities that their story fell into place and the actual writing of the story could start. I gathered what I needed and started writing the book in October 2013.
Why was Death’s Lover so hard to write? And didn’t you have the same problem with Loving the Goddess of Love?
Yes and no. Loving the Goddess of Love was hard to write because I was fighting myself on how to do the characters and get them right. I’m not really sure if I managed it as very few people have ever told me what they think of Loving the Goddess of Love. Death’s Lover is harder because I had to write within a set timeline and the characters kept changing things on me.
I knew the climax point of the story would be the uprising in the Underworld. I knew I had to write in that direction and get both of them there. It was starting the story so that it headed toward that end point that frustrated me as I had to go back further into their past. I also had to be very aware of the timeline already set in My Lord Hades and Loving the Goddess of Love that would affect them.
The other difficulty was them. I started where they knew each other. Then I decided that they didn’t and started a little further back in time, but that wouldn’t work with who they are. So I went back to them knowing about each other, or more precise he knows who she is, she sort of remembers him but she didn’t know who he is. This worked better.
Then everything went to Tartarus in a hand-basket and a heft shove. A child was introduced (within the first chapter), and he became a pivotal player in the conflict. A jealous, dead husband entered the picture to make more trouble for the couple who really don’t have much conflict in their relationship for reasons you will have to read the book to know. And lastly a war lord from her past entered the picture (because he was in My Lord Hades) to become one of the leaders of the uprising. (Interested yet? 😀 )
With all that happening, the characters decided that their personalities didn’t fit the story, and switched everything on me. They ended up being more complicated than I gave them credit for.
In My Lord Hades, Thanatos is a jokester. He doesn’t appear to take anything seriously or even care about anyone. Though there are the occasional glimpses that let us know there is something else behind the mask he shows everyone. We saw it a little more in Loving the Goddess of Love. In this book I finally understood why, but it took me about 3/4s of the book to figure out.
Then there was his love interest Lilith who shows up in My Lord Hades near the end during the uprising in the Underworld. She’s small, dressed like a courtesan, and appears to be a shade. She isn’t what she appears to be and the story she tells Persephone reveals only a small part of the whole story. Death’s Lover fills in more of who she is, but there was always something missing from the story that I didn’t figure out until now (when I’m 68,000+ words in. Go figure.).
Six months for a book doesn’t seem so bad, why are you so tough on yourself?
It’s not bad. It’s more than what some can do. But I know I can do better. And that is what counts.
To give you a glimpse into what I’m talking about, here is the numbers I see when tracking my total word count for 2014. In January I wrote 8 of the 31 days and produced 11,747 words. In February I wrote 10 of the 28 days and produced 9,904 words. In March (this is the month I started The Rancher’s Wife and His Brother’s Wife with Ruth so it’s included in the word count totals. However, I only count the words I write, not what she does.) I wrote 15 of the 31 days and produced 23,547 words. In April I wrote 22 of the 30 days and produced 30,468 words. For May I wrote 11 of the 14 days so far and produced 24,569 words. My yearly total is 100, 235 words.
Since I’ve been tracking my word count and hours that it takes me to get there, I found that I can write an average of a thousand words an hour. If it’s really flowing I can manage 1,500 words in an hour. I usually average 2,000 words on most days that I work and because of my schedule that’s just 2 hours each day. Now that I’ve decreased my client workload for the upcoming Summer months, I have more hours in the day to write and my word count total of 2,000 reflects it. I managed 5,000+ words Thursday and 4,000+ Wednesday on Death’s Lover alone, and I wasn’t pushing myself all that hard to reach those counts. I spent far too much time at Ruth and Janet’s Facebook Party talking to people and working on some formatting problems for a clients print book.
Using my word count average of 2,000 words and the days I work to figure out what I can do, I found that I should be able to write one book or two novellas every 2 months. Even if it still takes me 6 months to release a book, if I overlap writing and editing like I do, I should be able to increase my book releases from 1-2 books a year to 3-4 in 2015, 4-5 in 2016, and 5-6 in 2017, if not sooner. And that is novel length work, nothing smaller.
When I see what I am able to accomplish and compare it to what I am accomplishing, it makes me wonder what I do all day that I can’t reach the goals that I want. 😦
If you have a question for me about writing, co-authoring, books, or Death’s Lover that you’d like to ask, I’d love to hear and answer them. Just comment below. 😀