Well I'm about to experiment on you, my dear blog readers. Amusingly, I'm pretty sure that doesn’t surprise any of you :D.
|I'm so grateful for my friends who suggested this idea when I had to figure out cover art quickly. I enjoyed making the art for "Gates of the Garden: Book Two" and I'm enjoying the process as I go on.|
So a quick summary of the history of "Vala's Story" for my new readers who haven't gotten this story yet:
I wrote the very 1st of draft of the story as a birthday gift for my dom Tom, who I was involved with before my current Master of 13-ish years. What I had maybe lasted across "Out of the Night: Book One" and part of "Gates of the Garden: Book Two." Somewhere in the time of that relationship ending and begging my Master's collar, that bday gift morphed into Vala's training with 16 weeks of training planned by The Queen. At the moment, this has been realized in 9 planned novels, "Night" being the only published yet.
Now as to what those 9 books are- I had thought series. In talking with one beta reader, I'd discussed a lot about making proper cliff-hanger endings and if the books were true "series novels," able to stand on their own. In reading Patricia Logan's "Masters' Boys" series, including her 7th book "Secrets" as well as talking to her, I seriously started to re-think this notion. I believe what I have is really a "serial" like her "Master's Boys." Sure it's possible to read books after "Out of the Night: Book One," but there's plenty you won't understand, won't enjoy as much. Of course, working with another beta reader will be changed by this.
So now, I'm inviting Patricia and my beta reader, Annikka, to add their thoughts.
|Nope, this isn't the cover art for "Trick," but for "Kaden (Masters' Boys Book 3)." I'm such a fangirl that I had this cover art on my blog when I invited Patricia to guest to talk about shibari (Japanese rope bondage).|
Here’s my two cents to add to Joelle’s. When I started writing the Master’s Boys, I knew that there would be six books. I had them somewhat outlined and I knew that they’d all tie up neatly with little bows. It’s just how I do things. I do write series, but each has their own happy ending and each can be read as a stand alone, though they are more enjoyable if you read them in order, in my humble opinion. This is because characters from the previous books appear in the later books so the reading experience is enhanced when you read them in order.
I had no intention of writing the Master’s Boys as a serial but when I was discussing the main character Trick in the first book, by the same name, with my best friend Jeff, he told me that I shouldn’t give him a happy ending. He told me to leave a cliff hanger, “will Trick ever find happiness?” The thought was absurd to me. I’d never done such a thing. The closest I could ever imagine was a book that GA Hauser wrote where she gave two characters a happy ending and then had them cheat and break up in a future book. I was so pissed I threw the Kindle across the room. I couldn’t do that to my readers.
Well, in the Master’s Boys, I did just that. I left Trick without his HEA (Happily ever after) and left it as a HFN (Happy for now) book. Boy did I get slammed for it in the reviews. I’m used to getting my fluffy reviews, praising the love that they found… but NO, people were pissed that I didn’t wake Phoenix’s ass up and have him down on one knee, proposing to Trick. One of my favorite readers, a man that gives me nothing but 5 star reviews on every book, left me a 4 star and titled it, “where’s the rest?” That shook me to the core.
Now, finished with the series, I have found that it is my best selling series/serial ever! After book two, people got it. They still lamented poor Trick’s fate throughout the books but eventually, they got it and sales began to shoot skyward. I loved the response to the serial and I intend on writing the new one, Invitation Only, exactly the same way but in the opposite. Instead of having a heartbreaking hero that FINALLY gets his man in the last book, I will have a bad boy who people will start out hating and grow to love by book six. Another experiment. We’ll see. It worked for me once. Maybe I can catch the golden goose twice.
|And this is Annikka's beloved Reidar- whose antics amuse me as I'm struggling through one thing or another with Vala's Story.|
I was first introduced to Vala's story with “Out of the Night”. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I read it. I was just offering a different set of eyes, one coming from someone who has no experience in BDSM or any real knowledge of that world. I wanted to see if I could get into the story.
I must say that I'm up to reading book 5 now and I'm not at all stopped by the fact that Vala doesn't get her HEA in every book. I love the build up of the suspense that you find as you read each book, learning more as you go about Vala, the other slaves, and their dynamic with The Queen. It's not your traditional erotica/erotic romance, that's for sure. And it shouldn't be treated as one. Vala's story is dynamic, fluid, and the writing needs to be able to shift and flow accordingly. Trying to write it as a classic series would seriously damage the structure of the stories.