I write historical romance. That is the core of my career. Historicals set in the Regency era. Historicals set in China. Historicals set wherever my muse and the market wander. And then, because it’s fun, I’ll write contemporary sexy (as with my Blaze books) or paranormal (as with Crimson City or These Boots were Made for Stomping!). But those are just fun books and come along when someone offers the possibility to me, not because I go out searching for them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good books, but they are written because the opportunity found me, not the other way around.
As you may imagine, the above keeps me very busy. So the last thing I needed was a fantasy romance series. Sure, I grew up reading Tolkien like everybody else, loved the Thomas Covenant chronicles (talk about an anti-hero!), and wrote my undergraduate thesis on Narnia. I have adored fantasy for years and mourned the absence of a decent love story in all those coming-of-age-with-magic books.
But…and I’m going to put this in bold here…I am a professional writer. Here’s what professional writer means to me: I get up every morning, I drink my coffee, and I write to my core audience. It is my job, and as such, it needs to have a clear career focus and goal. No other worker would decide to be a welder one day, a plumber the next, and then a month down the line say, hey, how about carpentry? That’s not a professional, that’s a hobbyist or a kid looking for a career path. Well, I’ve got a hobby (racquetball) and I’m well past the kid stage. I am! (she says stomping her foot.)
So what the frick was I doing writing a Fantasy Romance???? Dragonborn was this cool idea I played with in my spare time. It started when I was a kid. I thought of a girl (my age–whatever age that was) who carried a dragon egg in her belly, bound mind to mind with the unborn dragon, and eventually hatched the egg and deposed the evil baddy. Woo hoo! Coming of age at its finest (but notice the girl-centered plot). Then one day–as an adult–I realized that she had a boyfriend. Not just a boyfriend, but a dragon killer boyfriend who was using her to find the egg. They fall in love, but then he discovers that she’s got the egg. Oops! What a tortured love story!
Wow, did I love that! So…eventually, I wrote Dragonborn. Why? Because it was such a cool idea and I didn’t have a contract at the time. Why not? I wrote it…hmmmm…five years ago? Yes, it took that long for Dorchester to finally read it, buy it, and publish it. Great. It was a fun lark, but it’s over. Good book. They’ve deposed the evil baddy, fallen in love, and are going to live happily ever after…probably. Because it’s always “probably” in fantasy.
Then I realized that I had a problem. ….