I love reading, and as a writer I like to broaden my scope by reading outside of my comfort zone, so that I can learn more about my craft.
My second secret? That is the inspiration that drove me to writing my first, real, MM romance.
I had always tried to make my characters diverse. I’ve always included gay characters in my stories so I can’t pinpoint the exact first that I wrote, but I will tell you of the first big one I remember.
Runaway Girl had just been published and I had all these background stories, cut scenes and notes left over that I wasn’t sure what to do with. Then I got this idea to write a story about a vampire who blamed his actions on Jack the Ripper. So I started writing and it became a couple of pages long. Then I thought, I’ll leave it as a short story for my blog. Great. Then I realised that I didn’t like the character’s name, so I changed it. A week later I realised that I’d changed it to the same name as a character who existed, in a minor part, in Runaway Girl.
I was going to change the name again when I thought – No, I can use this. So it became a side-along story. Then I got ideas for more and I kept writing them as the ideas came to me. Soon I had four or five different background, side along stories to the series. Luck just so had it that my publisher, Write More Publications, was looking for short stories based on Valentine’s day, to be included in an anthology (Novel Hearts). I thought I’d submit one of my short stories, but then I found they were too short. By a few hundred words.
I let the idea percolate and eventually I decided to combine them all in a sort of ‘Valentine’s Edition’ of background stories to accompany Runaway Girl. That is what ended up being published.
However, if you read Novel Hearts, you’ll find that Samuel’s story is not the original story I wrote. In my original plan, Samuel, the Elder fell in love with a school teacher Joshua. It was beautiful and romantic and sweet, but I had to change Joshua to a girl called Nisha, because the story was being included in an anthology. Politics, you know. Which I understand, but I do and will always love Joshua, the unsung romantic who never was.
If you want to read the original, it will be posted here on the 8th. ;) Then you can tell me which version you prefer.