Summary: With all her worldly possessions in one bag, Caroline runs away from home to join the circus. Even though she’s far from the oddity or performer for which Arcanium is better known for, the fortune teller and owner Bell Madoc grants her wish to become a part of his circus and assigns her to work the carousel. It’s a little repetitive and the quarters are cramped, but Caroline feels it’s a perfect job while she figures out what the hell she’s going to do with her life.
But then some of the creepy carousel mounts – the ones that look like human men, bound and chained and tortured – start coming to life at night. Caroline not only has to come to grips with the shady motivations of her new employers, but with the driven desire inside her for Riley and Colm, two lost souls of Arcanium begging for her to help them, yet also desperate to atone for their sins.
Word count: 26,386/100,000
This was not on my schedule to write right now. But a slew of health problems have cropped up in the last month, postponing my ability to look for and participate in a job, and often getting in the way of my ability to work on a more mentally demanding project.
So I shelved that project that I’d been scheduled for and desperately trying to work on, and I took on Carousel instead. It’s not that the erotica side of my writing is necessarily simpler or that I treat it less seriously. It is, however, less mentally demanding than my other project. I think it’s because I had a much better idea of the whole story of Carousel before I started writing it (in fact, I know exactly what the stories are for all the planned Arcanium novels), whereas there’s a lot more problem-solving and work for my other project.
No matter how I got here, I’m here now, and it’s flowing marvelously. Carousel was actually a novel born on a whim when I was considering turning Arcanium into a series rather than a single standalone novel, and I knew immediately that I wanted to write Carousel next instead of some of the other stories slated for the series that I’d considered while writing Fortune (previously called Arcanium).
Carousel is one of four additional Arcanium novels that I’m supposed to write in less than a year. It’s intimidating, especially since I don’t know how long they’re all going to be. But while I’m between work, limited to not a lot of activity, and cursed with an excess of time, I’m going to try to get Carousel and maybe even the next novel, Aerial, a prequel to Fortune, done as quickly as possible. Not sacrificing quality, of course. But I never know when I’m going to get a bad physical health day, so I’m taking advantage of feeling better most of this week to get a lot of words down.
I’m enjoying Caroline. She’s kind of the straight girl in an arcane world, even more so than Maya, which is fun to write. She’s younger than most of my characters, mid-college-age, so she’s got some youth to her motivations, a lot of ambivalence about what she’s supposed to do with herself. It’s something that I can relate to, so I’m drawing on a lot of my own insecurities of being in-between (which is a little less fun).
One of the downsides to writing a series of interconnected standalones, where people can jump in whenever they want to, is that you have to repeat exposition. The good thing about Arcanium is that it doesn’t like to stay the same. So even when I’m introducing the same characters and their acts, they’re not an exact copy to another novel. Also, you’re seeing it through someone else’s eyes, so you get different reactions to the same stimuli. I think I’ve managed to get through most of the exposition interspersed with action and dialogue and can move forward with the supernatural sexiness and darkness.
Actually, Carousel is probably going to be the lightest novel in the horror series, so take advantage of the respite. The angst and darkness returns for the next two novels, Aerial and Ringmaster, although Contortion will also be a little less dark.
As you can tell, I’ve got plans for this series. Five novels first, then we’ll see about the next four (potentially five, but that last one is a bit iffy). Between the Arcanium series, the Meridian series, and the Forces of Nature series, these next few years are going to be busy. All the more reason to write fast when I have the opportunity.