When I finished writing Carousel, for some reason I thought it was tamer, lighter, not as horror-ful as Fortune. Well, it’s shorter than Fortune (and 4k words even shorter after edits), but after reading through it, it’s still dark, just in a different way than Fortune. It’s darker than I thought it was. But this is a good thing, because it makes the series consistent in tone. I was worried it wouldn’t qualify as erotic horror romance, but nope, it still does.
Another pleasant surprise was that the story wasn’t as disjointed as I thought it was while I was writing. Things always feel more chaotic and detached during the writing process for the same reason I feel like the emotions are overwrought and overextended – because writing a scene takes longer than the scene in realtime. I can only experience the realtime effect of the writing through the editing. And Carousel works just fine in that respect. It’s tight, no scene is wasted, and everything feels connected the way it’s supposed to, a lot more controlled than I felt writing it.
There are some emotional aspects to it that hit too close to home, since some of the things Caroline’s going through, I am as well (not to the same dire degree). However, the best stories are the ones that came from the deep, dark guts of your heart, no matter how unflattering or unpleasant.
But the sex scenes are hot. Arcanium really stretches me to be inventive. There’s a reputation to maintain in a demonic circus! I will stand behind my sex scene with the steampunk killer clowns until the end. It’s definitely not for the coulrophobic, but even if you’re not crazy about clowns, as long as you’re not terrified, I think anyone would enjoy it. Arcanium is not just for stretching my limits.
Caroline was also a fun voice to write. She’s younger than my usual protagonist and less serious (disposition-wise) in general. She has a younger adult’s problems and a younger adult’s attitude and optimism as well as a younger adult’s aimlessness. She’s also really enjoyable when she’s tipsy, not to mention when she’s being wooed by two very attractive men.
I’m so happy Carousel was better and cleaner than expected.
Next, I submit Carousel and get started on Aerial edits so that Fortune can get processed for publication. It’s exciting!