My NaNo Novel

Two years ago at this time, I wasn’t going to do the National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) thing again. It’s this fun little thing where people from all over the world, signup to write a 50K word first draft of a novel during the month of November. In 2012, I got a nice jump on Return to Cooter Crossing. I finished the 50K but still had a lot more story to tell. I would end up working on it for the next three years. So when November 2013 rolled around I thought no way. I had a book to finish.

But my muse knew what he was doing. I needed a break. I needed to build up more of my Bennett Bay and Big Cypress County world before I could finish Aidan and his family’s story. So I was sitting in a 24 hour Starbucks on Halloween night and the idea came to me to just take a break. Write something silly and fun that I wasn’t so invested in. I had a lot invested in the Cooter Crossing story by that point.

I always said, I’d never write a paranormal story with vampires. Not that I don’t love me some blood suckers, but you know, everywhere now. And I was annoyed with the direction the vamps were taking; all emo and sparkly. I decided to take a poke at the paranormal genre. My close friends know I have a pretty twisted sense of humor and I decided to give the vamp thing a tongue in cheek twist from a gay perspective. Because I’ve always maintained blood isn’t the life giving body fluid that the undead would really need. There is a better and more fun option and no one has to die!

I signed up for NaNo as the clock ticked over to November 2013 and started to tell the story of Dieter finding a box of dust—ash in his great uncle’s old barn. A funny thing happened in writing that silly throwaway story. I met some characters I really loved. Bennett Bay got fleshed out. The Spanish Quarter was born and I really want to hang out there more. The story also deepened and darkened.

If you’ve read any of my stuff you know one of the meta themes I deal with is family. How we deal with the family we are born into and build new family as we become adults. One of the hard things about families is they break. Love ones leave through death, breakups, or just lives moving in different directions.

Dark Love became a story about the love kept in the dark for too long. Love doesn’t like that. It wants to be free. To run in the sun and giggle with joy like a child on the beach. The dark and humorous story with the poke at paranormal turned into a series that continued to explore family and relationships in the midst of some fun witches, fairies, and a shifter or two.

Dark Love is free on Amazon for the next few days. And as always, if you sign up for my newsletter you can have any one of my ebooks for free. The best part of all of this was people were willing to go on this little ride with me and really seem to like the book! Sometimes it’s good to take a break and see the world from a different perspective, even if it is an imaginary world that only exists in your head.

Have a happy Halloween!
–Stephen


 

Author: Stephen del Mar

Stephen del Mar lives in the Tampa Bay area and writes in the Southern Literary tradition. His stories are character driven with rich settings. They often have a touch of the paranormal, supernatural, or magical realism.

Although he writes about serious subjects, they are sweetened with humor and wit. He says, “It’s a southern thing.”