I wrote a blog piece a while back about the story behind the story of Sandpipers’ Secrets. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to explain why an author that writes predominantly science fiction and paranormal tales would suddenly stray into the world of contemporary fiction. And of course the big question, would I do it again? I thought I might include it here on my website for anyone that was interested in the tale.
Prior to sitting down to write Sandpipers’ Secrets I’ve penned stories about unfamiliar worlds and galaxies, aliens, mages, vampire, various species of shifters and everything in between that may or may not choose to go bump in the night. Anything but (*gasp*) the real world, unless it was as a convenient patch of dirt to pop said vampires, mages and shifters. I love putting my imagination to work and dreaming up worlds to put my characters in. I lie awake at night thinking about what characteristics I might be able to give said characters to make them unique and interesting. I adore being able to solve my problems with a quick alien abduction. In all seriousness, I never actually thought there would come a day when I couldn’t find a way to tell any story that came to mind within the seemingly limitless scope of fantasy and science fiction. Then I met Brody, Lark and Zak and their slightly twisted tale.
Not only are these guys thoroughly normal and completely human, but their story grew from the very human propensity to judge without thought or consideration. To jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts. Their story is about assumptions, deception and the secrets we keep—both out of fear and sometimes with the very best of intentions. Put quite simply, without the framework of ‘the real world’, the complication Brody, Lark and Zak face in this story lost its strength. It just didn’t want to be told outside the real world. What a dilemma, at least it was for me. No alien space crafts, no magic, not even an astral portal or demigod to help me out.
So I shelved the idea. Terribly cowardly of me, and in the end not particularly practical, because Lark, Zak and Brody are very persistent men. They wanted their story told. Finally, encouraged by friends and needing to offload some insistent characters in my head, I sat down and started writing…the second chapter. Then the fifth. Then chapter seven came out. Slowly, the characters personalities, already pretty forceful, started to really take hold and become more and more demanding. The story evolved and so did the setting. At which point I had to get real.
Not only did I have to seriously work at getting the story together into a logical writing sequence with a cohesive plot, but I needed to hit the books. Research. It’s the backbone and key to telling a good tale. But, as I quickly discovered, requires a completely different approach and dedication in contemporary and historical fiction. I’ve found a whole new level of appreciation for the writers of contemporary and historical fiction since writing Sandpipers’ Secrets.
And speaking of appreciation, there are a lot of people to thank for getting this story to the point it is today. They say writing can be a lonely game, and at points that’s true, but so many people helped me on this project. Charles Edward, my friend, fellow author and amazing beta reader made so much difference to this story. There is just not enough words to say thank you. If a beta reader is worth their weight in gold, Charles is solid 24 carat goodness! There is also the Pie In The Sky Critique group to thank, for whipping my writing into shape each week. My brave editor, Andrea Grimm for all the catches and supportive suggestions and Lyn Taylor for the amazing cover I have today. And these are just the people I know were involved in helping me. There’s a myriad people behind the scenes at Total-E-Bound that worked hard to get this story out there. Publishing is such a collaborative effort, there is no way I would be able to release this story without all these people. All are definitely part of the story behind the story of Sandpipers’ Secrets.
So in the end, while there were plenty of late nights and frustrating re-writes involved in writing Sandpipers’ Secrets, I’m very glad I did. I enjoyed telling Brody, Lark and Zak’s tale. And I’m pleased with how it turned out in the end. I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to publish it. Will I be doing it again? Well, it turns out I did and will more than likely do it again. February 14th , 2011 saw the release of 'Another Little Secret'; a free short story featuring these guys (and one of their little secrets). And as I finish this post, I’m in the process of writing the next book in the series, Raven’s Mark.
Sandpipers' Secrets available now from Total-E-Bound!
Happy reading all!