As I prepare to release Portrait of Gray in late April, I have to admit that my mind has been wandering in a non-Baxter direction. Actually, that’s not completely true; one is a completely non-Baxter direction and the other is an off-shoot of the branch of the family tree I have referenced but not touched.
It started with me getting up with this strange name in my head. It felt powerful, exotic, and even a bit dangerous. I also had no idea of his origins but I knew his was a name I wouldn’t soon forget. His name is Sandro. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
So while I’m writing about Grayson and putting the pieces together for Book 3 (Yes, I already have the title but I’m not sharing it yet 🙂 ) I had to ask, how exactly does he fit it? Well as it turns out, Sandro’s link is to Quinn, the one I dub, “The Forgotten Baxter” but she won’t be the focus of the story and in some respects, neither will he.
So who will be?
I love cartoons especially Superman, Justice League, Batman, X-Men, Transformers, Bugs Bunny…and some others. But of the ones I named, the common thread is that element of drama. The series back in the 90’s of the X-Men sucked me in and the movies to me were just great. But this one story in one episode of the cartoon got me. It was a brief conversation between Superman and Lex’s henchman Mercy. It hit me and sparked a story that started with that “What if…” thought process. I was recently on Behind the Words with Lori Hays and she reminded me that my female characters tend to be strong. I am honored because I do think that this kind of strong woman is underrepresented in romantic fiction. Another reason, and this is just a character flaw or what have you, I honestly don’t knowing associate with any weak women anyway if I can help it. Seriously, I tend to avoid the whimpering, woe-is-me damsel-in-distress types anyway, so there you go.
For Mercy and Sandro I do have a few things written out but right now…to be continued (and yes, I already have the title 🙂 )
Now this next story takes me back in time…waaaaay back. I have always said that I am a huge fan of the Starz series Spartacus: Blood & Sand, Gods of the Arena (haven’t seen this one yet but I will), Vengeance and finally War of the Damned. There is a very tragic and triumphant history to the show and that’s one of the reasons I loved it. Also, it took me by surprise because it’s gritty, salacious with a plot and you can’t help but have a visceral reaction to some of the scenes and the plot twists you just didn’t think they would dare do. I like the idea of pushing the envelope off the table, over the cliff onto jagged rocks. I want to write stories that aren’t exactly going by the book; it keeps me entertained. I’m still learning but it’s a goal.
There is this love story in War of the Damned that, in my head, took on a life of it’s own; the love of Kore and Crassus. It inspired me and I came up with something. Now, when I wrote this out, it was a few lines talking about the plot, etc…Then when I put it in word, those few lines were 2 pages where I practically laid out each section. I was shocked but happy.
Now will this be a new series or a standalone? I would love for it to be a series but I have to write it out first to see if it will pan out. Suffice it to say, I plan on penning it before the end of the year as well as Book 3 so which will come first, is anyone’s guess.
Right now, I have Grayson on the brain and I’m looking forward to sharing his story with everyone. So stay tuned as I will be sharing my release plans on my Facebook page and my mailing list will get sneak peeks of some rough drafts of the book.