First order of business: Well, I didn’t quite finish before the end of August, but that hadn’t been my goal – I’d been shooting for 40 days. Had the plague not hit our house, I might well have finished Blood War in the month’s time after things got going at the beginning of the month. Unfortunately, in less than a week at school, the Shrimp brought home the sniffles. The sniffles turned into a cold in my husband. Who turned around and handed it off to the Shrimpettes and mother-in-law. This was in the course of a week. Just as I thought I was in the clear…BAM – it hit me yesterday. Luckily, the symptons failed to manifest (or at least I didn’t notice them) until I type The End.
There are a few scenes missing, but that’s normal enough. I never get those kind of things in until the second or third round (I hate sex, just for the record – the writing of it at least).
Second order of business: Villanous Hero
This story came about in part because I never ended up satisfied with Marcelo as a romantic lead in Dreams. He was, to use a CP’s word for him, wussy. And, tragically, I agreed with that assessment. He sat back and let the heroine and the sociopath deal with the problems that arose. Add in the fact that the sexual tension wasn’t as good as it could have been, and there were problems. Especially when a certain blond showed up with more electricity with Chris than Marcelo ever had.
Ideas kicked around in my head for a long time, different things to consider. The main problem, as it turned out, was how I pictured Jordan – I never looked past his evil tendencies & oh-so-pretty face. And it is a pretty face, as you can see.
The very same CP who labeled Marcelo’s wussiness nailed my problem with dealing with Jordan. I never looked beyond the evil side, which was fairly well developed. And then I started developing him as a fully-rounded character. Instead of being a one-note player, he changed. Thankfully, unlike Anthony Caldwell, he hasn’t lost his evil side. Now, though, he has a sense of humor (good grief, he likes the play on words), a cricket team he cheers for and he sings. All while happily plotting to take over the world, or at least the vampire world.
Jordan, above all, is focused. He knows what he wants (a certain redhead dead for reasons not yet explained, a certain blond corporate giant dead or at the very least humiliated, control of the vampire communities, and so forth). To do this, he’s willing to work with anyone, even his rivals/enemies, when trouble comes to call. Even as he works with them, I learned it didn’t remotely stop him from plotting their eventual deaths.
I think he developed surprisingly well, considering I’d never been willing to let him stretch his wings out, as it were. He sums it up pretty well in the midst of a discussion with Chris who is, naturally, a bit suspicious of the man who buried her alive once.
Though I cringe at the thought of calling myself one, I’m as human as the next man, with likes and dislikes, hobbies and a cricket team that I cheer for. It just happens that a great many people look on some of my hobbies (author insert – murder, torture, etc are hobbies to him) as distasteful. They expect to see a monster when they look at me, and since I’d rather not be bothered, it suits my purpose to encourage that very view.
Blood War is not a romance, though there is a definite emotional connection between the two main characters. I learned more about Chris, Anthony, and the Aristocrats which are plaguing all the non-humans through the series (as envisioned). I think it’s the best thing I’ve written, even though it needs a lot of work before I even think of shopping it to agents. I know where many of the problems lie.
So, for a character who was originally only supposed to show up as a one-chapter villain, Jordan’s come a long way. Except for the whole dismissal of women as an intelligent species and tendency toward killing, he’s actually personable. And he doesn’t care who knows what he is and does, provided no one can prove he’s done anything since in my world, vampires are out of the closet and held accountable to human laws (if they’re caught breaking them). As Chris thinks at one point, it’s not what you know; it’s what you can prove.
How about those of you writers out there – have any of your secondary characters simply refused to shut up and leave you alone until you paid them their proper due, a la Senor Psycho Jordan? Hope you have a great holiday weekend!