Monday, September 01, 2008

The Story Behind The Story: Fangs and Fur

FANGS AND FUR actually started out as just the first story - Unnatural Bonds.

Back when SAWA (Sexy Authors With Attitude) was around and Jamie Hill first introduced me to Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, I looked over WCPT's calls for submissions. Two of their calls caught my attention: the one for the Celtic Love Knots series and the one for a duet of anthologies they were putting together - Summer Solstice Scorchers and Samhain Scorchers.

I was looking to give a new pub a try, and expand my writing style a bit, and the call for the anthologies gave me that chance.

WCPT wanted sexy paranormal stories for both anthologies, and I started tossing ideas around. The first thing that came to me was the classic hero to the rescue theme, but I wanted it to be a bit different. I wanted the hero to be stronger, faster, more capable of taking care of himself than a normal man, and I wanted the heroine to be the one to ride to the rescue.

Which is how Unnatural Bonds came to be. Kali, a mere human, had to save the vampire Riordan. So I had an idea for the Summer Solstice Scorchers anthology. All that was left was to write it all out, which I did.

But I also wanted to do a story for the companion anthology, Samhain Scorchers. So I started tossing around more ideas, and when I was working on Unnatural Bonds I had also toyed with the idea of a stronger female, a shifter, and a human male. I wanted the guy to be a bit geekier than the normal hero, less alpha male and more adorable. I wanted the heroine to be small yet fiesty. And her animal soul couldn't be a big bad-ass either. I toyed with ideas, and then I went to the Zoo, where it hit me just what Shaylee turned into. : ) And her and Garrett's story - Laws of Nature - was born.

WCPT accepted both stories, even though the 'themes' of the anthologies were months apart in time, and the stories themselves only had about a day or two difference between them.

After they were accepted, I moved on to other things, but I always felt the story was only half told. I mentioned the 'problem' of the evil scientist being taken care of, but not the means by which it happened. That called for at least one more story. It wound up being two - Bound In Blood - and - Nature of the Beast. During Laws of Nature I mentioned that Shaylee has two unmated brothers, and I couldn't decide which of them I wanted to pair up, so I split up the tasks needed to be wrapped up, and gave them each a mate - two very different types of vampires who match them perfectly.

Since my contract, as most normal contracts do, asked for first look at any follows ups done with the ame characters/universe, and I planned to put all four stories together into one collection anyways, I emailed the publisher at WCPT and asked if they would be willing to look at doing the anthology with all four stories, or if they would only consider fresh material. She emailed back and told me to submit it and she'd take a look.

When I finished the stories and got them all edited and cleaned up I dashed off the email. When I got the acceptance I was thrilled. Finally the full story would be told as it was meant to be - and that story is FANGS AND FUR.

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