One of the most common and disliked questions readers ask writers is "Where do you get your ideas?" Quite honestly, we don't always know. Sometimes it's obvious--the germ of a story I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette under a different pen name, His Baby, Her Heart, came from a magazine article about in vitro fertilization I read in a medical office waiting room.
But most of the time, the line from idea to story is not so clear.
I wrote Queen of Shadow when I was living in Thailand. I was attempting to recover from a particularly traumatic time in my life. My father had died in 2002 after a two-year-long bout with cancer. My best friend and her husband killed themselves in 2005 in an incomprehensible double suicide. My eldest brother had died in 2006 after a year-long fight with, again, cancer. I now understand that I had experienced a nervous breakdown without knowing it, desperately flailing about to keep my life together as everything fell apart. But under the stress, my marriage had failed, also.
Some believe that "wherever you go, there you are," meaning that running away doesn't solve problems. But for me, it does. Physical distance often results in emotional distance, and leaving helps me gain objectivity, perspective and detachment.
I had seen a science fiction movie about ten years before that had posited a planet strictly divided into bands of light and darkness. It wasn't very good, but the concept had stuck with me, and I decided to write my own take on what such a planet would be like.
Thus was born Queen of Shadow, a full-length, 55K+ word novel. Here's the blurb:
Looking for the next GoT? Here you are.
|My little studio apartment in Chiang Mai, |
where I wrote Queen of Shadow
A brave queen struggles to control divided kingdoms on a terraformed planet thirty thousand years in the future.
Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.
Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a king to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos. Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.
Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?
And a sexy little snippet (NSFW) to brighten your day:
Although I believed I could trust Storne, I couldn’t stop the nervous flutters in my belly. I occasionally allowed myself to be dominated by Rall and Parron as a change from the norm, and because their loyalty was absolute. Each would give his life for me.
But Storne wanted the throne, wanted his blood and bone to rule even after our deaths, or so I surmised. He did not hesitate to kill in order to win; what stopped him from taking me against my will?
And my will was strong. After learning that someone that we had trusted had plotted to kill my family—and had succeeded—had seemingly strengthened my unwillingness to hastily make the choice that must be made.
My worries must have showed, for he asked, “What’s wrong, Audryn?”
He slid his fingers out of my pussy and laid his hand on my belly. His gray eyes were steady, his gaze fixed on my face.
I breathed deeply. “I want you, but—"
“I won’t take advantage of the situation.”
I sighed. “I hope you are not insulted.”
His brows raised. “Your decision is momentous and final. I can afford to wait.” His voice oozed confidence.
“You are sure you are the best candidate.”
“Yes.” He leaned closer and purred against my ear, “I’m bigger, stronger, tougher and I don’t look like your great-grandpa."
He chuckled, a deep, sexy growl of a sound and bit my lobe. His fingers again busied themselves inside my pussy.
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