Friday, February 24, 2006


Okay, I admit it. It started as a joke. I was at the Romantic Times Conference, and all I heard was that nothing was selling but erotica and paranormal. Well, I was in a mood(my family can tell you all about those. They cover everything from trying to shoot the TV during a particularly improbable CSI episode--even though I don't own a gun--to painting the inside of my house orange because winter is just too dull.) This mood was because I'd just found out that my suspense career was in temporary hiatus, and, as usual with my books, no one who publishes knows quite how to market them. So when I heard about all this erotic paranormal business, I reacted with what I consider to be a great amount of restraint and elegance. I may have finished my cosmopolitan in one slurp(did I mention that this happened in the lobby bar) and snapped, "Fine. You want paranormal? You want erotica? I'll give it to you. I'll write a book about a woman with paranormal powers. She's a shape-shifter. Problem is, every time she has an orgasm, she changes....into the guy's mother." I got a laugh and forgot about it.
Until the RWA conference a couple of months later. There I was trapped backstage at the marathon Rita Awards ceremony(the only good part of which was Jen winning her Rita) with alcohol and Sister Krissie. I told her my joke. Then I said we should do a book together, make it three sisters, all having different paranormal powers they can't control. Krissie, glassy-eyed from being back stage for three hours, nodded and muttered something polite, I'm sure just to shut me up.
It might have ended there, if I hadn't finally escaped back stage to find Jen in the lobby bar(do you sense a theme?) celebrating her Rita win with friends. Flushed with success, she listened to my idea and told me it was great. I, of course, forgot about it when I got home, because I have ADD, and I can never remember anything I did at a conference when I get home--especially calls I've promised to make or appointments I set up in a frenzy of enthusiasm. Besides, I was in the middle of a set of outlines I was trying to sell without much success, and a tour for my latest suspense novel, which took me across the US.
But the idea just wouldn't leave me. So I thought, oh what the heck? and emailed Jen and Krissie. And much to my surprise and eternal delight, they both said yes. The moral being, boys and girls, never throw out an idea, no matter how far fetched. You just might find two other souls brave--or crazy--enough to help you realize it. As for me, I couldn't have imagined I'd be lucky enough to be caught in a novel with those two. We're having such a whale of a time, we may just do it again. I really hope so. Next book it's Jenny's turn to come up with the layout for the fictitious town.



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