Over the past two weeks I’ve agonized over how (and if!) to include a little of my fiction online. Someone warned me that I might have copyright issues if I don’t own the domain; I paid to register AmyBethInverness.com, and I mapped UnderLochandKey to that domain. I’m moving forward with the idea that anything I put online whether it’s a blog entry or facebook note or whatever, might be stolen. Hopefully not. I’ll try to remain positive, but not naive!
I was extremely naive as a teenager, and even a young adult, especially about sex. Some of my high school classmates reminisce and say “Oh, everyone was doing it…” but, no, really not everyone was. Nor were we all drinking. The closest I got to a real kiss was in the ninth grade when I was “going with” Greg, and after school at his house I put on some lip gloss and playfully gave him a peck on the lips. An insane amount of awkward giggling followed, and we broke up not too long after. He’s quite happy living out west with his boyfriend now, and I was glad to see him briefly at our twenty year reunion.
So now, why am I afraid my mother will read this? Even though I just turned 40, with two kids, and about to celebrate my sixteenth wedding anniversary, a part of me still pales at the very thought of mentioning the word “sex” in her presence!
My mother is a very sweet lady who led a very sheltered life. But that was quite normal for her generation. She has always enjoyed romance novels, although I have to say I didn’t get my love of the genre from her. I was always a science fiction fan, like my father. It wasn’t till years later, hopped up on fertility drugs and shedding brain cells left and right, that I read my first romance novel. It was candy. It was good. I knew that the characters were ensured a happily ever after, and there was just the right amount of spice to help me through the hormonal tirades my body and brain were enduring.
I also started writing more. A science fiction story I’d begun as a “coming of age” book found a new life as a short story based on the song “Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum. (I like Sarah Brightman’s version even better.) It was about an AI who had a brief brush with love, and my English teacher (I was attending VTC at the time) included it in an anthology of stories from various people at the college. Hmm… I should find that story and put it Under Loch and Key…
Later, I took Whiter Shade of Pale and continued it on by having my FMC (That’s “Female Main Character in twitterspeak) feeling the effects of fertility drugs. It was no longer a coming of age story. It took a brief turn into adventure, then romance, then erotic romance, and back to romance before I lost any sense of plot and had no place to end the story. The characters had lives, and those lives continued on in interesting ways, but as a marketable work Big Country was a mess. It may never see the light of day, but it was a great exercise in writing, and an appropriate outlet for me.
Fertility treatments worked after ten and a half years of trying, and we welcomed one child via adoption and another child via birth in 2007. Pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding brought a whole new host of hormones and emotional swings, and I started writing the first Kingdom Come story. I’m not exactly sure why I chose at that time to write about a group marriage; I have a list of inspirations and influences. The first Kingdom Come story centered on Charity, the Violet Duchess of Drakeshead. I began the story just after the wedding of eight people who hardly knew each other till they received the offer to become the Dukes and Duchesses of Drakeshead, which meant that the first few chapters described her honeymoon week, where she was paired with each of her seven spouses in turn for seven days and seven nights before they all finally came together on the eighth night. Now, reading and writing sex scenes might be fun (and embarrassing if you know your mother is going to read it) but eight in a row becomes simply ridiculous. If Charity’s story ever sees the light of day, it will have to be reorganized, perhaps not told in a linear format. For now, she makes brief appearances in the background of the other stories.
Before NaNoWriMo last November, I had written quite a bit about Charity. I also wrote Undone Fantasy, and I had several unfinished novels set on Kingdom Come. When I took up the NaNoWriMo challenge, I began a brand new story set on Kingdom Come, and for the first time, I finished it! I dove directly into a second novel, and am now almost done with a third. I have several other novels and shorts outlined, and I can’t find the time to get the words out fast enough.
I’m going to take April to do Script Frenzy, as I promised friends at both Star Trek: Excalibur and Star Trek: Phase II that I would try my writing hand at a Trek script, or at least a story treatment. Hopefully in that time, my reader will be done looking at the first draft of the first book, and I can spend May editing the book, and then send a query letter to an agent, and then… maybe eventually I’ll be published!
And then my mother can read it.