Well, there’s not much to say about this week. I got sick. Really sick with this very nasty cold or flu or something. It started Monday. Tuesday I managed to get ready for my class and teach it. Wednesday I could hardly move. I spent the whole day lying in bed watching the seventh season of Buffy. Not because the seventh season is even a good season, but because that’s where my Netflix queue was, and I didn’t have the brain power to try to think of which season I’d rather watch. I was feverish, my whole body ached, my throat was sore, and I had nasty sinus stuff. It was miserable. Thursday was a little better, but not much. On Friday, my brain fog lifted enough that I spent the entire day catching up. I finished editing Bad Moon Rising, and then I listened to the entire thing with text-to-speech, and then I formatted and published the darned thing. Wasn’t done until after midnight.
Yesterday, I announced the thing, and then I promptly got depressed.
I mean, I’m not expecting much from Bad Moon Rising. By all rights, I shouldn’t have even written that sequel as there really wasn’t the kind of response to The Killing Moon to warrant more.
But… the heart wants what the heart wants and I freaking love those characters. Cole Randall is basically my favorite character I’ve ever made up. And I wrote that book for love—true, pure-as-the-driven-snow love. Sometimes you gotta write for love. Ideally, you would always write for love. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way.
Anyway, I got depressed for two reasons: One, the book didn’t sell a single copy for hours and hours. (It’s since sold seven, which is actually sort of crappy, but I’m very pleased with it, especially because The Killing Moon has also sold seven copies, and that means that I’m attracting new people into the series. I’m hoping that those aren’t the same seven people, and that the people who bought The Killing Moon will go on to read Bad Moon Rising.) Two, because now I had to write the last Jason and Azazel book, and I had no freaking clue what I was going to write.
Then I discovered that Richard Linklater had made another movie in the Before Sunrise series called Before Midnight. And I watched it.
And suddenly, it all clicked. Quake, Jason and Azazel #9 would be a book about staying in love. It would be about what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone for a really long time, and to keep at it even when you’re super annoyed with their faults (like, you know, murdering people). Anyway, I’ll save this for later, because I’m going to do a big post on J&A stuff once I get the outline firmed up. But I did get about 3K on the book yesterday, and it is agonizingly good shit. So, I’m really excited about that book now, and I’m so glad, because it’s an obligation, but it’s also going to be a love book.
(I wonder if people can tell which books I wrote for love and which I forced myself to write? Let’s see… This year, the hardest, most annoying damned book I wrote was Silas. The easiest book to write was Wuther. Could you tell?)
Finally, I wanted to end the post with some postmortem stuff on Bad Moon Rising, which should maybe get its own post, but… whatever.
So, first of all, if you read the book, it’s going to be obvious to you that I’m pulling pretty heavily from the Waco siege. It’s like Waco with werewolves. And that was a sort of interesting thing to try to tie into the storyline. I don’t even know where I got the idea…
Oh, yeah, I wanted cults in the second book. Originally, I was going to have Cole Randall be the head of this weird werewolf cult that was all gung-ho for chomping up humans, but then I got the idea for Cole to have grown up in a cult–for his father to be David Koresh instead. Because, let’s face it, David Koresh is not sexy. (Eeeeew….) Plus, Cole as the head of a cult was just too much like Between the Heaves of Storm. Which I did already. My biggest worry with all of this was that Cole was going to lose his teeth. I knew that I was going to dig deeply into his past and uncover a bunch of stuff about what made him so screwed up. And I didn’t want people to suddenly feel so sorry for him that he lost his edge as a dangerous killer.
Because… go with me on this? I think the fact that Cole is dangerous is part of his sexual appeal. The whole storyline does a lot of playing with lizard-brain kind of sexual appeal, where some primal part of the female brain is attracted to brute strength and violence. (For protection, you know? I guess the idea is that if you can get that guy to take care of you, then you and your young will totally survive.)
Anyway, I was worried about it, and it totally happened. But… I liked it. Cole started changing on me. I never meant him to ever become anything close to boyfriend material. I meant for him to stay as this sort of sexual shadow who was basically only around as a catalyst for Dana to discover things about herself and become a more balanced person. However, Cole refused to cooperate, and he started developing actual like feelings. He’s definitely not completely there yet. He’s still a dangerous man, and he’s deeply damaged somewhere in his psyche, and I don’t know if it’s fixable.
One thing, though–he’s not a psychopath. He’s never been a psychopath. The guy is twisted, and his empathy switches are maybe a little bit warped, but it’s definitely a nurture problem, not a nature problem. So, it’s possible that he could change even more.
That’s what the third book is for.
(Ugh. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I keep writing about things that don’t sell?)
No, you know what? It’s your fault. If you have not discovered the joy that is Cole Randall yet, you are really missing out.
(Go forth and buy copies of the book. Now. Do it.)
Um, I think that’s all I actually have for now. I’ve got to get started on outlining the last J&A book, so I can get that out post-haste. Hope your week went well!