Word count: 10,730/80,000
Summary: After her boyfriend’s foolish wish in a jealous rage, Maya DeLuca finds herself trapped in a traveling demonic circus at the mercy of a devious jinn, Bell Madoc.
Among the voluntary human oddities and the demons masquerading as humans, Maya joins the other tortured souls in the circus, caught in a perpetual purgatory under the curse of the wish and the power of the jinn.
It’s up to them to make the best of a cursed situation.
So. This is an attempt at erotic romance horror. Already I’m wondering whether I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.
At the very least, the subject of a freak show is an incendiary topic. Just like the subject of mental illness, there’s a lot of ways for it to go wrong, especially in erotica, because I don’t want to seem like I’m fetishizing or romanticizing human oddities or making out extreme human variation as a curse. On the contrary, I have a deep respect and love for human variety and want to include that in the erotic conversation. Come for the freak show, stay for the people, you know?
Once I get over the mind-numbing terror that people are going to get mad at me, I’m actually excited to be working with such a diverse cast, since physical and racial diversity isn’t all that prevalent in popular erotic romance. I actually did the white-washing thing again when I was creating my cast (something that I did in Winter Howl and something that I’ve worked to correct since then), so lost in the physical diversity was I.
But I think I caught it early enough. I mean, my main character is of Italian and Hispanic heritage, and she started out in my head as a pale blonde. I like her better this way. That’s how it should be. If you’re going to change things, they should fit even better than the original. That’s how you know it was the right thing to do.
I’m looking forward to meeting all of the Arcanium’s cast of characters soon. I’m also planning a subseries of erotic short stories with a good number of the supporting characters that will either be interspersed in the novel (which was my original vision) or sold simultaneously as a free anthology.
Anyway, I’m 10k in, so it’s too late to turn back now. I’ll just write it and figure out whether to keep it in the trunk afterward. I’ve already penciled in this novel for autumn, and I’m a stickler about schedules. At the very least, Stone and Chains is also on the docket for 2013 and it’s less controversial. Also, Cry Wolf has been edited and sent in and I’m optimistic about it. So the second half of the year won’t be completely for naught.
Point of interest: The week before I started this, I was completely between self-imposed projects, and the stars aligned so that one of my short stories being looked at by TEB was sent to me for edits. I seriously had nothing else to do, so it was a pleasure to take advantage of that perfect timing. I’ll tell you more about it when I get the cover to share.