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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Venturing into new territory…

I have always read historical romance. I cut my teeth on "Gone with the Wind" in junior high. I discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss in college, and enjoyed her books for years afterwards. Finally, I was inspired to try my hand at writing because of Diana Gabaldon's Jamie and Claire.

It turns out that, after becoming an adult who didn't have to worry about a bunch of random dates and boring treaties, I really like history. I am fascinated by the people who came before us and the lives they lived.

Let's be honest, which one of us hasn't thought about time travel – going back into the past and experiencing what it was like to live during Jane Austin's time. Or Henry the Eighth's. Or ancient Rome. Now, by writing historical novels, I can immerse myself into people's lives during any time frame I choose. When I discover some interesting historical nugget, I send one of characters off to experience it, allowing me to do so vicariously.

But this month's subject is "near death experiences" and the reader must be wondering what writing historical stories has to do with the that. Bear with me. I'll get there.

I am going to be in an anthology next summer, consisting of very short stories which are contemporary in nature. I am very excited to be on board, but at the same time, I never want to write and publish anything which does not fall under my brand.

(Which is "Norway is the New Scotland" in case the reader didn't know. It's time for heroes who do not wear kilts.)

So, how do I write a contemporary story, with a Norse hero, and historical elements, in only two-thousand words?

I make it a paranormal, of course.

Which means very tight world-building. I still need to have an arc to the story and somewhat rounded out characters. I can't spend my precious and limited word count on explaining who, what, when, where, why, and how – it's more important to present a hero and heroine who are immediately likable and sympathetic. And in clear conflict.

While the challenge was happily accepted, I had no idea it would be such fun!

Once unleashed onto the virtual page, these two leapt to life. Quirky, damaged, confused, and thoroughly entertaining, my hero and heroine have far more questions ahead of them than answers.

As it turned out, extrapolating forward to complete the world that I had started building revealed an incredible construct; one strong enough to support these characters through a trilogy of their own, and beyond. I have to admit, I don't read enough paranormal, or actually any, to know if this particular idea has been "done" before, but even if it has, my story will be unique. Look at "Twilight" – sparkling vegetarian vampires. Who knew.

I don't want to give away the story before it is published, but I will say this (and here it comes): the story presents a twist on near death experiences. Boo-yah!

In a moment of shameless self-promotion. I would like t mention that this particular anthology will be released at The Dreams Convention 2015, and will only be available at the event bookstore, and only in print (early bird tickets are still available for $89 for the reader portion of the event, Arizona Dreamin'). What the other authors choose to do with their stories after that brief window closes is up to them.

As for me, I'll be entering a brave, newly created world. I can't wait.


Sarah Raplee said...

It's awesome that you've come over to the paranormal side, Kris! LOL

Writing short stories is a wonderful way to try new things. Can't wait to read your story!

Judith Ashley said...

I'm not a big paranormal or time travel reader myself (although I'm currently reading Lynn Kurland's "Roses in Moonlight". And I've read both Sarah Raplee and Diana McCollum's short stories in the "Love & Magick" anthology.

Interesting idea to have the book only available in print during Arizona Dreamin.

amber polo said...

Of course the Dreams will be paranormal.

Kris Tualla said...

This is definitely a new area for me. But I'm excited to get to it!