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853190_97444239bymapeicI’m more active at my Facebook page than I am here, simply because I’m thinking more in the short form than long form these days. Novel-writing has been taking all my long-form brain cells. Namely, trilogy-writing. Did it start as a trilogy? No. It started as one of the three short stories I wrote in the attempt to satisfy a submission call for a werewolf/vampire MFM anthology. The first two were too long for the call. Intervention ended up working for it, and I sold Red Queen as a novella. But the project I’ve been working on demanded fuller investment. Little did I know how much fuller it would become.

So I started working on Nocturnal Creatures (formerly Tooth and Claw) in late June,  expecting it to be a single novel finished by the end of August. Turned out it wanted to be a trilogy to satisfy the threesome/moresome relationship arcs to more satisfaction, and I just finished the last book tonight, mid-February.

I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I’m way behind on my writing schedule, and I intend to throw this trilogy into the deepest, darkest digital trunk I can find and not look at or even think about it for at least a year. That’s how long I’ll need to recover from over six months working on one project. And no, it didn’t feel like three. It felt like all one book in three parts. For reference, I wrote each of the Arcanium novels in less than a month each because I was writing full-time. Six months more than pushes my limits.

The stories feel solid. I forced myself to take my time, go through everything now so I have less to work on later. But I’ve played and replayed this story in my head, and I can’t stand it one minute longer for now.

A teaser, though:

Longest Night (Book 1)—On the year’s longest night, out of the handful of eligible, unwanted women in the entire kingdom, Asha of the Gray is selected to marry the king, a monster who lives in the castle far above the civilized districts of the kingdom and who only keeps his wives a year. Word count: 73,386

Beasts (Book 2)—Leaving on a journey to unlock the mystery of the northern ghost kingdoms, the king leaves Asha in the care of his returned army of wolf warriors and under the watchful guardianship of his most trusted friend, the mercurial captain of the guard.  Word count: 74,286

Grayling (Book 3)—Upon the king’s return, the mysteries follow him and threaten to destroy everything he built as well as every connection Asha reluctantly forged with the demons, monsters, and beasts that surround her. Word count: 113,102

The total word count was 260,815, at around 406 pages of single space, size-12 font. The biggest challenge, aside from writing the whole damn thing at all after the first book, was that I wasn’t allowed to use the words ‘vampire’ or ‘werewolf’ once. Made things a little more interesting. It’s not the first time I played with high fantasy. I’d say it was set in a similar universe as Calling the Dragons Home, my first story published by Totally Bound. The whole election season riled me up. I suppose a took out a lot of aggression through the story. Romance it might be, it’s still got a heavy dose of Gothic horror in it as well, because I’m me and can’t help myself.

I’m taking a break to do some editing, because my brain’s ready to pop like an old toaster. As soon as I gather up my strength again, I’ll resume work on Spider, Arcanium’s sixth novel. At least the Arcanium stories are basically standalones. They really do feel like separate projects that way.