Monday, February 9, 2009
Today is my day to squee about Addicted, my erotic historical from Harlequin Spice. It's here!!!!! Okay, really, it was released Feb 1, but hey, it's never to late to squeal about a release. This is my first large press release and the glitter of it all hasn't faded yet. Thus far, it's been getting good reviews and it made its way onto the Barnes and Noble romance bestseller list. #28 the second week. It was a top pick at Night Owl Romance, and will also be All Romance e-Books Feb book club pick (so, if you want a chance to win Addicted, sign up for the book club because they're giving away a code for 50 copies--check their My Space page for deets) or you could hang around here for the next couple of days for a chance to win a copy.
Now that the official pimping is done, I have no idea what to talk to about. What do you as readers want to know? I have had numerous emails from readers asking if this is a) a romance, and b)has a happily ever after. Yes on both counts, with some tears and trials in between!
So, I was thinking last night, after filling out some interview questions about Addicted, why don't I tell you a bit of the 'behind the scenes' on dits about Addicted. I as a reader like to know all the little nuances that go into a book, so maybe I'll share those with you guys.
Addicted was written in the spring of 2006 and it took the better part of eight months to write. The only other eyes to see it were Kristina's. She was incredibly supportive and helpful during the writing process. Many of her suggestions are in the book. Addicted landed me an agent, and sold to Susan Swinwood in Oct 2007 (yes, it really does that long for a book to be published!)
It's original title was Obession, but Kayla Perrin already had a book coming out named Obsession. We rattled around other titles like, 'A Sinister Beauty', 'A Heavenly Demon', 'Red Smoke' but finally settled on Addicted. My editor suggested it, and we both liked the edgy feel of it, as well as the fact that it could also reference something sexual.
I had revisions. Revisions I was afraid of. I had edited out quite a few of the opium scenes, fearing editorial disgust. She wanted those back in, which, I was thrilled about because I thought some of those scenes contained my best writing. However, my editor was very keen about having me put in a love scene while Lindsay is 'using'. I was terrified of reader response. Amanda and Kristina will vouch for this. I bugged the hell out of them for days, mulling this over, brainstorming scenarios, and generally whining like a three year old. Amanda was very helpful and most creative during this particular session of brainstorming. The result is one of my most favorite scenes in the book, because it allowed me such freedom with Lindsay. It also allowed me to explore the world of addiction, and the subsequent 'detox' parts. I really was afraid of what readers would think, but in the end, it served the plot and the characters well. I was true to Lindsay, and ironically, the scenes which I feared most, are the scenes that readers have emailed me to say were their favorites.
One of my very favorite scenes was a late 'almost didn't make it into the book' additions. It's the scene where Lindsay is withdrawing and Anais is taking care of him. He's in utter ruins, broken physically, emotionally,spiritually. Anais takes him into the bath and shows him the physical love he is crying out for. I really felt that Anais needed to do this, to take an active role in Lindsay's healing. It just felt right, and I pleaded and begged with my editor, trying to convince her that this scene was crucial to not only Lindsay, but to Anais as well. The trouble was, I decided I needed this during the copy edit stage, a stage where nothing gets changed except typos and the odd word. She agreed to read it, and emailed me with an enthusiastic 'yes, it MUST get in there'. So, the scene made it into the book, and I'm thrilled by it. It adds another emotional dimension to their healing, and I think it's beautiful.
Which leads me to my favorites. I have a scene or two which are my favs, but I have some lines as well. Besides the opium love scenes, I love the scenes where Anais stays with Lindsay when he quits using opium. These scenes were a challenge to write. I wanted them factual and raw, while balancing romance, eroticism and emotion. My background is medical, so I was afraid of coming off like a textbook, but in the end, I think it was a good balance. I'm proud of those scenes.
Other favorites are lines that I remember writing and feeling 'something' while doing so. They are...
"He was beautiful, the very epitome of a brooding poet, but with his hair worn long, and the sinful curve of his mouth, which was usually shadowed with a night beard, he reminded Anais not of a poet, but a fallen angel, the sort who would tempt any woman into an indiscretion with a smile and a flash of his eyes."
"Rise up from this bed and walk to me amidst the smoke. Crawl atop me, just like the smoke does, Anais."
"Innocence and wonder. It was all lost now, save for the times when the opium ruled him. More and more, he allowed his mistress to govern his mind and body. He was dependent upon her to take the pain away. He needed her, not to die, but to live-- or at the very least-- exist. Gone was the shining knight, replaced with a tarnished dragon chaser."
"He hadn't bothered with the women at the opium dens. Instead, he concentrated on his visions of Anais and pleasured himself in the temporal plane while the physical plane withered away."
"Don't she begged through a choking gasp. "Please don't say anything. Just...go away."
"I don't think I'll ever be able to leave you, Anais."
Her heart squeezed as she listened to the hope, the longing in his words. Her own hope flared, thinking of what-if. Then she looked at him, a shell of a man he once was, an empty husk that had once held so much potential. "You've already left, Lindsay. You just don't realize it yet."
"She was as high as he now, drunk on the passion, the pleasure he was giving her."
"Why can't you see?" he raged, "that the only thing I could possibly quit for is you?...The truth is, the only thing that could possibly bring me out of the darkness is a chance that at the end of the tunnel I might find you waiting there in the light."
"He thought he might have been weeping, knew he was when she kissed the corner of his eye, taking the droplet away on her lips. She knew what he needed, knew what that one broken word-- please-- meant."
"The world looks different to me now, Anais. The future is bright. I can't wait to to start it. It was so beautiful this day, to awaken and find you at the end of the tunnel standing in a ray of light. I have hope now, where I only ever had fear."
And there you have it, some of my fav lines. I have some naughty favorites as well, but this is a PG site, so I'll have to keep mum about them. They all mean different things to me, but they're the ones that I recall moved me when I was writing them.
If you've read Addicted, what were your favorite parts or lines? And if you haven't, in the comments section just write 'Addicted Contest' and I'll randomly choose a name to win an autographed copy of Addicted. I'll announce the winner on Wicked Wendesday
Thanks for letting me share the memories of writing this book, and thank you for all the support you've shown to me, as well as Lindsay and Anais!
Posted by Charlotte Featherstone at 9:22 AM