Word count: 20,042/80,000
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 jinni, 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 weight of their wishes.
It’s up to them to make the best of a cursed situation.
I’m two chapters and one “Behind the Curtain” short story down. As of this moment, I think it would be ideal for the stories to be integrated in the larger story. I think it gives it color and makes the supporting characters more than just supporting. That, and it’s some really hot, diverse erotica, which is apparently the problem – it’s just too damn diverse that marketing becomes an issue? I guess we’ll see.
I’m still trying to get a handle on Maya as a character, as a voice. What I have so far, she’s sarcastic, inwardly sensitive, not nurturing but can be encouraging, a little aggressive, but insecure enough to be prone to knuckling under controlling and dismissive men. It probably doesn’t help that she’s a middle school teacher. All of you middle school teachers, I deeply respect your abilities. It’s a hard age to teach.
I’m still hoping for an 80-85k word story here, especially since the “Behind the Curtain” scenes are pretty short, vignettes really, but I’m still terrified it’s going to bleed up into 100k, which I’m trying to get away from. It’s not that that length isn’t okay, just that I want a greater variety of lengths for my stories so that new readers aren’t so intimidated by the scope (and price) of the longer pieces.
And let me tell you, walking the line between horror and erotic romance is as hard as I thought it was going to be. They’re diametrically opposed genres, but I guess the challenge is nice. Most of my writing thus far, in the larger story at least, has been more horror than erotica. I’m looking forward to the erotic side of things starting for my larger story. That should really be fun. The only problem is that it will mix a little sex and death. That’s what happens when you bring sex demons to a circus. But it won’t be my main characters, and they won’t be turned on by the death, so… okay? The complicated webs we weave…