Have you ever had a dream real enough to fight for space in your mind with actual, waking reality? Or had a fictional reality jostle and elbow for space in your head to the point that you got disoriented? Or is it just me?
Come to think of it, don’t answer. I’m not sure I want to know. But that’s exactly I’m going through right now.
I’m still riding the high of launching my first indie book, Right Through Me, Obsidian Files #1. It’s the first book of my brand new series, which is a slightly paranormal, super steamy romantic suspense. I say ‘slightly’ because one doesn’t have to suspend disbelief all that much in my new fictional world; nowhere near as much as one does with werewolves, demons, vampires, shape-shifting dragons and the like. The protagonists in my Obsidian Files stories have been profoundly altered in top-secret experiments, but their alterations are based on articles that I’ve found in my Yahoo news feed headlines about genetic manipulation, cerebral implants, nanotechnology, cognitive enhancement, etc. Real stuff that’s actually happening right now, and this is the watered-down version that’s trickled out into mainstream media. God only knows what arcane, dangerous experimentation they’re keeping a tighter lid on. Probably enhancements far more science-fictiony and potentially dangerous than the ones I dream up for my Obsidian Files characters. My imagination is the limit. (rubbing my hands together gleefully.)
It’s brain candy and I can’t get enough of it, but what I’m really hungry form is the magic that can sweep me away, make me inhabit another world so deeply that my own world fades in importance, which causes me to burn my family’s dinner. Problematic, but life’s full of trade-offs. I want to write stories that have that exact effect on people. Casserole scorchers, you might call them. So bring on Noah, Right Through Me’s smoldering, relentless hero. Enter Caro, my elusive and mysterious heroine. Add heaping doses of searing passion, mortal peril, heroism, self-sacrifice and true love. Heap it on real thick. That’s just like I like ‘em.
It’s the same kind magic I remember from my childhood. I had the great good fortune to grow up without a TV. I know now that it was good fortune, though at the time I felt terribly put upon. But the upshot was, books were it, for me. An escape from all the hurts and stings of life. Shooting up print, my snarky uncle calls it. If that’s what I’m doing, I never want to kick the habit.
I’ve been in a strange in-between place recently as I detach from the fictional world of Right Through Me, which has consumed me for months, and shift into the new story. The title I’m still pondering, too soon to reveal, but it will be Zade’s story, for those of you who have read Right Through Me! Each time I start a book, there’s an odd, disorienting time in which I feel like a wandering ghost, as yet unpossessed by a story in my head. I feel vacant, uninhabited, abandoned, and it’s not a good feeling. I’m bitchy and bad tempered, I don’t sleep well, and all the work I try to do feels flat and forced and stupid.
But just a few days ago I was grimly scribbling away on my daily word count on the new WIP, and I felt the first stirrings of the magic. The story was coming to life, starting to generate its own inner realities, vibrate with its own frequency. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein when he howls out “it’s aliiiiiiiiiiive!” My story is lumbering around and crashing into things, stitched together with basting thread, spit and baling wire and looking like all kinds of hell, but it’s alive! Hurray!
I’m having such a good time with this new series. I loved the McClouds and friends so much. They felt like family to me, and they will always live in my head and my heart. I was sad to say goodbye to them. But thank goodness, that magic is happening with The Obsidian Files, too. At least for me!
I’m so curious about what will happen to my new characters! Wild, wild adventures are in store for them, and I can hardly wait to find out what they are—but to find out, I have to chain myself to the computer for several months. (cue the sound of a huge, heavy padlock shutting with an uncompromising ‘snap.’)
But that’s OK. My servitude is my passion. I’m grateful for it.
Have a fabulous autumn, everyone. May the magic of books transport you always. Happy reading!
To win an ebook copy of Shannon’s latest just tell us in the comments below what book turned you on to the magic of romance and escape! We’ll choose two lucky winners!
Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of fifteen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series and the brand new paranormal series, The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at her website, http://shannonmckenna.com.