Yes, Nikolas and Francesca are ripping along – and a pro cover reveal coming soon! I’m really enjoying it. I’ve got a big heterosexin’ scene to end the story, but I think this time I’m ready, unlike when I wrote “Angelina’s” attempt at heteromance. I felt really uncomfortable putting Tab A in Slot B in that case, but looking back, I think it was partly because the characters were fairly two-dimensional, so the sex was two-dimensional as well.
Niko and Francesca are real people to me, and they’ve got that same general kind of combative/attractive relationship that Marc and Jesse have. And, you know, “parts is parts,” and I’m not feeling the stage fright I felt about it last time.
This will be a short book, at 35k, but…it feels right. I know I need to go back and put in some more detail, things about secondary characters and show not tell more of Niko’s backstory. I think I skipped over that thinking, “oh this audience doesn’t want backstory,” but now I realize..hey. This is a Brad Vance Book now, and backstory’s my thang. Definitely reined in this time, not a Rocky and Dex level backstory, but still.
I think I’m seeing the difference between a book that “moves fast” and one that “feels rushed.” A story that feels rushed moves fast, but it’s just one thing piled on top of another. Nothing happens later that’s dependent on a little scene earlier, people change abruptly (instalove, insta-reform), everything suddenly works out magically.
I got a great review on Werewolves that talked about the interlocking parts, how all the things that seemed random and relative suddenly came together… That’s what I’m trying to do here, albeit on a less ambitious scale. I am creating a mythology, of sorts – two imaginary kingdoms, but based on real places that could have, with one little twist or turn somewhere around World War I, become real countries. Two people who change based on the influence of the other (not just “good girl waits patiently for bad boy to reform” ho hum).
It ain’t Tolstoy, but it ain’t Jacqueline Susann, either. It’s going to be veeeery interesting to see what happens with it in a few weeks’ time…