Leopold: Evolution of Story
Originally posted at kittenwylde in October 2018.
Good day folks!
Thanks for joining me to celebrate my newest release, Leopold (Saga of the Bold People 1). It is an m/m romance sci-fi epic, and it’s the first book of a 6-book saga. I am super excited to finally release this bad boy that’s taken me around eight years to revise and edit.
Believe it or not, I have been working on this story for around 8 years! Not consistently, mind you. About once or twice a year I’d bring it out and look through it again. The last two years saw my greatest push to polish it up and set a release date.
I can’t even say how many revisions and edits this puppy has endured. I wrote it when I was an itty-bitty college student without a published work to her name. I wrote it during either July or August. I didn’t have classes and neither did I work at the time. All I did was eat, sleep, and write. Then, suddenly, I had a massive novel at over 200k words! No joke. It was a masterpiece to my mind (it was not), and I insisted my mom read it over and tell me how great it was. My poor, sweet mom tried to find a way to tell me it was a good beginning but certainly not a finished story yet. You see, it was a piece of crap. I will admit that now. I was still learning the tricks to writing and while the bones were solid, I needed to let it simmer before publishing. That same year, in December, I wrote the sequel, which was, likewise, crap. Then I put it away and worked on other manuscripts.
And so the process began. As I grew as a writer and received suggestions and tips on other books from fellow authors, editors, and betas, I would go back and tweak the story. I realized as I messed around with Leopold that he deserved more than one book, or even two. I soon discovered I needed to have freaking 6 books to tackle all I wanted to tackle. His story kept expanding, and he was never far from my mind.
You see, this entire project started with one little scene that Leopold beamed into my brain one day. No joke, he seriously dropped it into my mind fully formed. From that one intriguing scene grew this monster. He feels like an old friend, one that regularly irks me and makes me laugh, or roll my eyes in exasperation.
As I said earlier, during the last two years I’ve been focusing more on the story and now I know how to remove myself emotionally from a MS, so I stated the slashing and burning of some scenes and characters. I managed to shrink and streamline the story to around 170k words. Unfortunately, that still wasn’t short enough for most small ebook publishers. So I decided to go the self-publishing route. There was no way I could cut more without losing vital pieces of the story, especially Leopold’s growth.
This story is truly about Leopold and his evolution from an assassin with emotional issues and a survivalist complex to a fully-rounded man who can love and laugh and find some joy in life. I didn’t set out to tell that story, it simply formed around that one scene. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
Leopold needed to learn how to be human and that there was no shame in being one. It took an alien’s love and affection to show him who he could be.
I am currently working on four series simultaneously (because I am a glutton for punishment, apparently) and several stand-alones with plans for a couple of trilogies.
I have three stories contracted with Dreamspinner Press for 2019: a vampire story, the latest shifter book (#13), and the prequel to “On Wings of Thunder.”
Until next time,
May dragons guard your dreams,