Thursday, December 17, 2009
By A.J. Llewellyn
Current mood: adventurous
Category: Writing and Poetry
A little over a year ago, I went to meet my editor Heather, who is a huge Sherrilyn Kenyon fan when she came to Los Angeles to attend Sherrilyn's book signing. It seemed a great time to finally meet the woman with whom I had wrestled over edits of my literary babies. She came armed with friends, I supposed, in case I punched her lights out, but a real friendship was forged over pie and coffee.
I formed my strongest and truly cherished friendship with Heather's sister-in-law Rosie, who not only reads all my books but has a true understanding of story. We have spent many hours over dinner and lunch together since then discussing stories - not just mine, but her observations are always acute - and one rainy afternoon, she'd just bought my book Hanalei Moon and told me that she loved it.
It was a non-series book and one of which I was proud, because the idea came to me many years ago. The premise was this: a world champion surfer takes his dog to the beach for a surf after an argument with his boyfriend. He wipes out badly, comes back to the surface after fighting the ocean for survival.
His dog, his car keys and his car are all gone. Gaby soon finds out these are the least of his worries...he has somehow, inexplicably lost 12 years of his life.
I loved writing this paranormal, erotic, romantic adventure and Rosie, who is a great critic as well as a fan of M/M stories suggested a sequel.
"Why don't you make Gaby wipe out again and he finds himself back at the starting point, 12 years ago, knowing everything that he knows now?"
I could hardly concentrate on my mother lode chocolate cake after that. My brain was firing with ideas.
In truth, the sequel, Blue Moon, which came out today is a much better book than Hanalei Moon. As I cross-referenced the original in writing the sequel, I saw so many places where the original could have been so much better. I wrote it over a year ago and like to think I have improved since then. But I also think, giving a character I love the chance to go back and love his dog, his mother, to maybe prevent his best friend's battle with cancer...and to reunite with the love of his life kept me on the edge of my seat as I wrote.
I feel it's a stand-alone title in spite of being a sequel, but I also feel I got to address some issues I often think about - that maybe we ALL think about. Can we change the future? Can Gaby, who jumps back 12 years change the things he knows will happen?
Would anyone listen if he told them JFK's plane would crash or that terrorists will fly planes right into the World Trade Center towers?
Once in a blue moon, writers have conversations that inspire better work and better stories and I will forever be grateful that I battled the rain one afternoon to drive all the way to Valencia to have lunch with my lovely Rosie.
She gave me so much to think about and I hope, a book my readers will enjoy.
Currently listening: Ki Ho'alu Christmas: Hawaiian Slack Key GuitarBy Keola Beamer;Ledward Kaapana;Moses Kahumoku;Cyril Pahinui;James "Bla"Pahinui;Barney Isaacs & George Kuo;Dennis Kamakahi;Ozzie Kotani;George Kahumoku;George Kuo;Cindy Combs;Joanie KomatsuRelease date: 1996-09-19