Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spires who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.
Pull up a seat. I'm just reflecting on the things that brought me to where I am right now.
Per the count down box on your left, we're 15 days away from the release of The Treasure Hunter's Lady. And I'm more than a little nervous. I couldn't be more nervous if you asked me to sing the national anthem naked in front of a huge crowd.
I started writing THL in April of 2009 while working on a historical romance. It was whim, brought on by re-watching The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. I told my husband I'd like to write a story like that some day. "Like what?" he asked. "With Sean Connery?"
Well, okay, who doesn't want a character like Sean Connery in their story? But that's not what I meant. I was referring to the technology they used in the movie. And other movies like Sleepy Hollow (let's don't even take the Wild, Wild West route, okay?), Hell Boy, Around The World In 80 Days (granted I've only even seen previews for it), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sherlock Holmes, Jonah Hex, et cetera.
What I put down on paper and what I saw in my mind amounted to two very different things. I got through the first draft in record time and was pleased as punch at this wacky world I'd created full of airships and laser guns, legendary creatures and two strong characters. I sort of stuffed it aside, thinking no one would really want to read it because it was pretty far-fetched. I had some critique partners look over it and they loved it, (you know who you are) but I didn't really intend to do anything with it.
I worked hard at my first novel, until I was convinced it was sucking the soul right out of me. That was in late 2010 and I just couldn't manage it anymore. By then I was working on the follow-up novel to The Treasure Hunter's Lady, which was going way better than my first novel. That quirky little critter I'd played with expanded into something bigger.
Upon reading The Sky Pirate's Wife to my husband he said, "I think you found what you're supposed to write. You're never going to stop writing these kinds of stories." Mind, this after he said he wanted to strangle the heroine from my first novel. Yeah, it was that bad.
But he was right. It felt good (writing steampunk, not strangling the heroine).
I know The Treasure Hunter's Lady is a little strange. It involves myths that most people have never heard of. It tosses true Victorian value out the window and throws history a curve ball. I've had a great many people look at it with questions in their eyes and find it wanting.
I just wanted to tell a story that was different. So as the time ticks down to the release date, I hope if you're looking for something off the beaten path, if you're willing to disbelieve what you already know for just a few hours, that you might take a look at the pages between the virtual covers of The Treasure Hunter's Lady. I'm not asking for Pulitzer, just a chance to take you out of the norm and into something that's special to me.