And before I get bombarded with this question after you see what I am working on, let me answer it in advance of the emails. Yes, I intend to keep writing romances containing older characters. It is very rewarding and I adore my readers. I do get tired of the same flavor of ice cream and have to change up occasionally, but Bruce will attest to the fact that it doesn't take me long to start longing for that standard carton of Breyer's All Natural Vanilla. So don't hate me for having weird cravings now and again. Okay?
Books that will definitely happen
- In the Never Too Late series, I will be writing Dating A Shrew (Book Five) which will be Lydia Carmichael's story. For those of you who might not have read Dating A Saint (Book Three) yet, Lydia is Lauren's mother. She's 67 in this book.
- In the Art Of Love series, I will be writing Covered In Paint (Book Five) which will be Brooke and Drake's story. I will also be writing Carved In Wood (Book Six) which will be Jillian and Joseph's story. There is a separate blog post on this series.
- I am also currently working on a book whose working title is Weighing All The Options. It is Book One of the next series which I am thinking about calling the Divorced And Dating series. The third series is set in California and starts with three 40 yr old college friends who are all divorced. There are lots of characters, light fun story lines, and loads of humor. It is turning out to be more like the Never Too Late series in "tone".
- UPDATE: Paranormal series coming for sure and I have moved it into this section of the post. I have dubbed it the Forced To Serve series which you will see is apt after you read the first one. So far there are four books The Demon of Synar (in edit/rewrite), The Demon Master's Wife (95% finished), The Siren's Call (planned), and The Healer's Kiss (planned). The first two will launch in late February and early March. The others will be summer probably.
Books that will probably happen/might happen
I have to preface this list with an explanation. Back in the mid-1990's when I aspired to be a romance author, I was writing paranormal romances more than contemporaries. I am a long-time science fiction fan and it was very natural for me to bring those interests into my romance writing. I was never into vampires and werewolves much, though of those two, I do still read "Were" books. I'm not opposed to biting, but the whole blood-draining thing just doesn't do it for me. (I will give a nod to vampire romance author Tina Folsom for Samson's Lovely Mortal.)
Instead, give me a dragon, an elf, a witch, a wizard, or an alien and I will have a great time getting lost in the story. Just don't be skimpy on the details of the situation. You have to at least attempt to explain your mythical world to me. My editor turned me on to Firefly recently which I am watching on my Kindle Fire as a Amazon Prime Member. Honestly, it would have been impossible not to have been influenced by 45+ years of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Green Lantern, Batman, X-Files, and anything else like those shows that contained the strange and unusual. Science Fiction is what sent me into Philosophy in college, but that discussion is for another post.
- Shaman's Mate, a paranormal themed book, is the first book of my heart that I ever completed. It is about all kinds of things, but mostly an investigation of death and dying and spiritual ascension. At its core, the book is a romance between a partially ascended Shaman of another dimension and the still non-ascended human she has been told is her mate. It contains an exploration of "sacred sex" that will earn this book a high heat rating, but it is also about missing Native American tribes (which I knew a little about and loved researching more). My family is primarily Scots-Irish-German, but there are also some Cherokee natives in my background. Where I live, it is common to have native ancestry and almost everyone born in my area of Kentucky can make a similar claim.
- Healing the Healer is another paranormal themed book, but contemporary in its setting. Sadly, I lost the last five chapters of the ending in a hard drive crash in Nov 2010, so it needs some rewriting. It is about a reknown brain surgeon in her mid-forties whose only child dies in surgery while she watches unable to prevent it. A few months after the child's death, her husband of many years commits suicide. Alone with her grief, she has a personal meltdown and leaves her job intending never to return to her medical practice. She has a repetitive dream about a Native American man saying he could help her. Not knowing what else to do, she travels to Taos, New Mexico trying to find healing. It is a romance between two unlikely characters, a woman coming to terms with herself, a traditional healer finding her natural healing power, and an investigation of what "healing" entails. The setting is contemporary, but the book is mystical--as most true healing is when you think about it.
- Defective is a multi-genre book that could fit well in Romantic Suspense/Intrigue, Paranormal, or Contemporary depending on who classifies it. As an Indie author, I get to classify my books in most places, so I will be listing it as all three. Of all the books in my creative wishlist, I am voting this one as "the most likely to happen" because it is a fun book to work on. I stopped working on it to do other things in 2011, but now and again the storyline pulls me back. The heroine is a genetic scientist (in her 40's) and the hero is a former military man (in his 40's) who along with five other military men sign up for a genetic experiment that goes awry. He's being hunted when the book opens because he's considered "defective".
I plan for Defective to be the first in a series of similar books. My current plan is for each book to be another botched experiment. The second book is about a 55 yr old female retired CIA agent who ingests a drug that makes her younger, but the effects don't last. They are testing the viability of someone of her advanced training and wisdom being under 30 physically. They pair her with a younger agent and send her out on a job to see how it goes. He thinks she's a young woman, but can't figure out how she knows so much. This book is going to need lots more research. LOL. (Did you see the movie "RED" with Helen Mirren? Rough movie for violence, but I loved the premise of older retired agents with problems adapting to normal life.)
One thing I have learned this year is that a "stereotypical" romance reader is an urban myth, or at least it seems to be in the age of ebooks and free books. I couldn't be happier. I loved a mixed audience, but romance and love will always be at the core of my stories.