Flawless Dreams had been going pretty well for a couple of months. Slower than I would have liked and I knew it, but I was willing to go slow because I was avoiding writing a chapter. Then it just suddenly stopped. Nobody moved forward. Not even Aislinn who usually charges ahead regardless of what I have planned with the plot and trust me, she’d already taken a few weird twists and turns with my original idea.
The problem was the killer. He’s charming, similar to Malachi, meaning he can get the girls with his all-American good looks, farm boy appearance, and psychopathic sweet talk. I had been working on the problem, usually a word or two at a time for the duration of my entire time writing the damn book.
I have written sex scenes before, some of them very steamy. I have written some romance, very sacchariny sweet. I went back and read those pieces often and came up with a single line. At that moment, I was pretty sure Flawless Dreams was doomed. I even considered plagiarizing one of my unpublished books for the bits I needed. But it was real romance and I needed something not quite real, but looked real from the outside. What’s a writer to do?
I could shelve it or I could call in reinforcements. But who? I know lots of authors, I know lots of romance authors. However, it had to be someone that I trusted and thought I could work with. Someone who would understand my writing and not be upset if I made some changes to make it flow better with my style. And someone that would understand that my character was romancing a girl so he could have her lovely lovely bones.
That really only left one person…
I’ve read C. Patt’s book and I liked it. Kind of surprising since I have issues with most books that involve historical settings. Her willingness to listen to my suggestions on the history bits, made me fairly sure that she would be able to handle it if I made changes to her contribution to Flawless Dreams. Plus, we had done some “work together” on her book to make it more historically manageable for me and readers as a whole. The icing on the cake, she’s read the D&R books and understands that I can do blood, gore, death, destruction, etc, but I’m not so fond of quivering lips or sweet nothings.
I expected her to turn me down. The turnaround time was short (and I knew it). It was just part of a chapter, not a whole meaty storyline for her to run with. And I didn’t require seminal fluids and I know she is amazing at getting a reader to that part. By comparison to some of the stuff I’ve read of hers, this was boring and mundane.
Meaning when she emailed me back that of course she would write it, I was shocked. I’m glad she agreed because I didn’t have a backup plan in place. I wasn’t sure there were a lot of authors that would do it, after all, the scene was meant so that I could kill a girl. Not exactly what most romance writers want on their CV.
Then came the questions, to which I wanted to answer “Uh” on every one of them. The truth is, I didn’t know the crap she needed for her part except the physical description and the setting. Her thoughts had never once crossed my mind. I really just wanted to get to the stabby bits. I just needed to get a girl mostly naked so it was easier to stab her. I hadn’t realized there would be other stuff required.
I have also read some of her unpublished work and let me tell you, what I wanted was really dull compared to what she can do. Need a gallon of bodily fluids that doesn’t come out of stab wounds? C. Patt can do it. So her agreeing to do it made me a little giddy.
My giddiness was abruptly halted when she sent me a message asking me to call her. She wanted to talk, on the phone, like we knew each other? Uh, well, yes, hmmm, I’ma spazz in real life. I don’t do well with people I don’t know. I’m very shy and I tend to ramble. Sure, we’re Facebook buddies and we message each other and we read each other’s books, but that’s not a phone call. Before I could spazz out, I hit dial.
She had lots of questions and I had vague answers. I’m surprised she didn’t hang up on me then post on Facebook that I was impossible to work with and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. FYI: that would have been accurate. Somehow she managed to pull the details from me that she needed.
However, I was most shocked when a few hours later, I got a message telling me it was done! We had just arrived at the campground. Lola was busy playing with a Frisbee. I was throwing said Frisbee. The husband was making a fire in the pit and debating dinner plans. Now, we have a campground rule; until he goes to bed, I can’t actually work; post on Facebook, post on Twitter, send emails, read books, write books, etc. I can reply to messages and texts though as long as it doesn’t become obtrusive. There is a good reason for this; if I’m working and get interrupted, I become Satan-cranky. When I’m working, I want to work and everything else be damned. I would be cranky with Mother Nature if a storm stopped me from being able to work once I started.
So, I had to delay reading it. But I really wanted to… Especially since the email I used came to my phone. I kept trying to think of ways to slyly open it up and read it. Of course, I knew I’d get caught and that would lead to a fight and I hadn’t had dinner yet and fighting before dinner often means no dinner, because then we can’t even agree on dinner (this is a chore unto itself).
I did get to read it after the husband went to bed. And I liked it. Yes, there were a few things I disliked, but overall, it worked and my brain instantly started composing. Only, I didn’t have my laptop with me. I did have a notebook and jotted ideas down in it. When I got home, I was exhausted, too exhausted to finish the chapter. It took a couple of days to recover and get it done, but with it done, the story began to flow like good Scotch from a crystal decanter (lead free of course, no reason to ruin Scotch by infusing it with lead).
Now, it’s almost done. My time has been limited because of Jude being here every day – he leaves me exhausted and not wanting to write, even though the story is in my head. It’s like working two full-time jobs at the moment. But it is almost done. About ten more chapters on that bad boy and I can send it to the editor.
All because I had C. Patt write the kissy bits so that I could write the stabby bits…