Developing the Redeemer Chronicles

Developing the Redeemer Chronicles

Ted said I oughta do a post about how REDEEMER isn’t Buffy, and I thought that sounded like a cool idea. Also it’s a chance to show you something that happens when you’re trying to promote a project like this, in terms of story development. :)

Admittedly, although the first bedeviled creature Rosie meets in the REDEEMER proposal chapters is a vampire, my idea for these books is really *not* to get stuck in a Vampire Of The Week story but to get caught up with a wide variety of demonic creatures. Buffy’s vampires can’t be cured (save forcing a soul on them), but the whole point of Rosie’s gift is that she *can* save a damned soul–

–but there I was, typing up something like that for a Twitter post, and it came out “Rosie Ransom can redeem a damned soul with a touch–but will she lose her own in the process?”

and I was all like WAIT WHAT I DIDN’T REALIZE THAT WAS EVEN AN OPTION WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?!?!!

That, my friends, is the writer brain at work. And now I know that that’s going to be part of the long term story. Buffy’s always been in danger of *dying*. It’s also always been assumed in the Buffyverse that if you die, you go to some kind of Hell–but Rosie’s coming from the other end of the spectrum. In her world, if you die, you assume you’re probably going to some kind of Heaven…except, crap, if her talent leads to damnation…that’s a whole diffn’t kettle of fish. How far can Rosie go before the balance tips? What happens if and when it does?

So now I know why one of the later books will be entitled SALVATION. (Working titles right now: REDEEMER, DEFILER, TEMPTATION, SALVATION, and this could easily be an up to 7 or so book series, so I may need a few more in there…! :))

The truth is there’s a lot going on under the surface for why I want to write these books, too. Foremost–and this is a not-so-secret, at least to me, aspect of it–is that 1945 is a period of major social, political and economic upheaval, which makes it…a perfect lens for looking at today through. *Especially*, to me, the human rights/feminist angle, because Rosie’s part of the first generation of United States women who grow up with the vote. She’s held a job through most of the war. She’s a feminist–and she’s both proud and a little scared of that fact.

And she has friends who wouldn’t regard themselves as such, which is a good source of conflict. She also has–well, she has her Scooby Gang, guys, and one of the things I really want to do is tell a story with an ensemble cast. The Walker Papers are straight-up Joanne’s story, and the Negotiator Trilogy focused on Margrit and Alban. Rosie’s got friends: Irene, Maxine, Hank, Richie. They’re the Scoobies. They have–oh, man, guys, they have so many secrets and I’m kinda dying to tell them but I can’t. :) You can figure out Maxine’s by reading the chapters (but Rosie hasn’t figured it out yet!), and Hank’s will start developing straight off in…chapter four. :)

But even avoiding spoilers, there’s stuff with these characters, things I didn’t necessarily think about when I was writing them initially, that are still reflective of where we are today socially. Hank’s got a physical handicap in a world long before the American Disabilities Act started making the country a little easier for someone with a bad leg to get around in. There’s so much the-way-we-were versus the-way-we-want-to-be that I’d love to be able to quietly highlight in these books, and I’m really looking forward to doing it.

All I need is about 125 more backers. :) The clock is ticking; we’re down to 13 days and counting. I really hope it makes it!

The Redeemer Chronicles Kickstarter: REDEEMER is waiting for you! :)

REDEEMER: Halfway there!

REDEEMER: Halfway there!

Actually, more than halfway there in terms of funding, but today marks 2 weeks into the campaign, with 2 weeks left to go!  In honor of this, I’ve declared it Ask Me A Question day over on Facebook. Because it’s so hard to ask me questions any other time. :)
 
Still, it’s a fun thing to do (I hope O.O) and an ideal time to quiz a writer. :) So read the chapters, visit the campaign site, ask me questions, and tell your friends to do the same. :)
 
In the meantime my ears are popping like a goddamn bowl of Rice Krispies. I am sick. of being. sick. :p
 
Did I say I had to back up AGAIN and delete AGAIN on the frigging Nanowrimo? Maybe. Anyway, I did. It wasn’t quite as bad as I’d feared, only cutting 1K or so instead of 3, but sinc I’m now on the 5th draft and most books take 3 at the most to get to the end, I would really. really. like to get through to the end of the book now. :p
 
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand on that note if I’m ever going to get to the end of the book I had better stop writing a blog post and go write a book. The writing life, it’s so glamorous…

tollbooth comedy

tollbooth comedy

We were out for a drive the other day and had to go through a toll booth. Ted said to me “Do you have coins,” and I got a 2 euro coin and gave it to him, and he turned and threw it toward the coin basket.

Only he smacked his hand on the closed window and the coin bounced off into the footwell, which pretty well reduced us to hysterical laughter, because it was just so perfectly slapstick. Ted rolled down the window and tossed the coin in and could hardly drive from giggling and was gasping, “I swear I rolled it down! I could have *sworn* I rolled it down,” as we pulled away from the toll booth.

Then, from the back seat, Young Indiana said, “Daddy? Why is my window rolled down?”

Automatic window switches for the win!

things post

things post

I’ve had a constant headache for days. I can’t tell if it’s the lingering effects of this cold (that’s certainly part of it, as my sinuses are not yet clear and my ears are popping and by evening my throat is raw, apparently due to mouth breathing I’m not even aware of) or if it’s my hair, which is at the length that seems to start producing headaches and which I have found myself *particularly* hating during this god-forsaken cold. I should probably not summarily whack it off until the cold, at least, is gone, and I am able to determine whether it’s the hair or the cold causing the headaches.

Work on my Nanowrimo is going very slowly, again in large part thanks to this cold. Also because I’m in a hard stretch of it. Theoretically once I get past this particular bit it’s all downhill from there and it’ll get easier, but since this is the fourth attempt at the middle stretch of the book, I’m disinclined to regard anything about it as likely to follow theory. It’s profoundly unlikely, but I’d *really* like to have a draft of it done by our celebration of American Thanksgiving, which we’re holding on the 22nd. I’d like to spend the last week of November working on MAGIC & MANNERS.

Young Indiana has a rocket toy. For the past two days he’s been landing it on meterorites and comets. ♥ :)

And not to bury the lede, but REDEEMER has passed the halfway mark for funding! And I’ve got a copy editor lined up for the project now, which makes me happy. It’s starting to seem real!

Mikaela’s making me write now, so I’ll stop blogging and actually do my job.

Redeemer milestone!

Redeemer milestone!

EEEE Redeemer has hit 100 €10 backers! EEEE that’s so cool!

Did you see the new reward levels? Hardbacks! Fudge! Random signed CE Murphy books! :) Check out the Redeemer Chronicles Kickstarter! (Actually, check out the sample chapters, too! :))

(Actually, it’s heading for another milestone of 150 backers, which is really cool, too. I have such great readers. ♥!)

In the meantime, I’m watching a bunch of rocket scientists prepare to land a spacecraft on a comet, because I live in the future and I can *do* that. Wow. O.O

Dad dropped by the cafe to say hi today while I was working, and had a cup of coffee, which I said I’d buy for him. He said, “I raised her right,” to the barista on his way out. *laughs*

This morning I tried to set up an email sig for my phone. It came out “debt grim my phone. please expose autocorrect”

I left it like that. :)

Oh, man, speaking of phones. SPEAKING. OF. PHONES. I’d almost talked myself into the Samsung Galaxy 5 (for the value of “talked into” which involves “not actually going to buy unless a very large money frog comes along,” but nevermind that) when the Note 4 FINALLY arrived in the shops. I have so much phone lust. So. Much.

Recommended Reads: Hunter, Tzavelas, Sperring

Recommended Reads: Hunter, Tzavelas, Sperring

The other day on Twitter someone said she’d just finished all the Walker Papers, and now what was she going to read! So I made some suggestions, and not only she but several other people were delighted. So I thought maybe I’d try to make Recommended Reads a regular blog feature (in so far as anything is a regular blog features these days @.@), separate from the Recent Reads I generally try to do.

I figure the point of this isn’t just to list names—I could do that for weeks—but to give a few more in-depth reasons as to why I’m recommending these particular writers. So I’ll start with the three I recommended on Twitter the other day, and we’ll go from there!

Faith Hunter: I specifically recommended Faith to this reader because she’d just finished the Walker Papers and I figured if she liked one 6′ tall, Cherokee-heritage urban fantasy female lead she’d probably like another. It’s shooting close to the mark, and if you’re recommending books to people it’s nice to have one pretty sure fire hit in the list.

I obviously like Faith’s work very much: so much, in fact, that we ended up writing a crossover novella, EASY PICKINGS, which features both Joanne and Faith’s main character Jane. Faith is insanely good at sensory detail—I invariably get hungry for Cajun food reading her books—and she’s got that knack for romance that plays at a level both intriguing and not embarrassing.

Chrysoula Tzavelas: I specifically recommended Soula to this reader because it’s staying within the urban fantasy realm, but straying a little farther away from the Walker Papers: her protagonists are younger, so her books skirt the YA field. She shifts points of view from book to book, making her Senyaza series a much more ensemble cast than the Walker Papers, although it shares some of the more metaphysical qualities (the 3rd book, for example, takes place almost entirely in what Joanne would call the Lower World, although it’s nothing at all like Jo’s Lower World).

Chrysoula uses analogy, metaphor and description beautifully, like, to the level that I was recently enthusing at her about us maybe doing a crossover and then I read some astonishingly beautiful bit of writing in WOLF INTERVAL and was like “except if we do a crossover you will totally show me up as a fake and a charlatan…” :) She also writes terrific stories of female friendship, which is practically unheard of.

Kari Sperring: Kari writes epic fantasy, so I was shooting wider of the mark by recommending her to this reader, but I feel pretty confident that if a reader likes the lyricism of Chrysoula’s writing they’re going to find something to love about Kari’s. I can do, to some degree or another, what Soula and Faith do. Kari’s writing is outside my skill set, and that’s part of why I love it so much.

The pacing of Kari’s writing is very different from the above two writers. Urban fantasy tends to be pretty ruthlessly action-oriented with no space for breathers, but what Kari does is set the reader into a slow current that runs very deep. These aren’t books that throw the stories at you: they unfold the story with beautiful, inexorable strength, and it’s a wonderful journey.

man flu

man flu

Judging from the series of pathetic sounds I was making earlier, I have Man Flu. :) (I feel that if my husband moaning and moping around like I was doing means he’s got the Man Flu, it’s only fair that I should too.) Anyway, it’s sick in this house. Poor Ted is actually the only one who isn’t sick, and he was driven out of our bedroom last night by my snoring, out of Young Indy’s by his snorting, and out of ours AGAIN by my snoring, only to end up on the couch, where nobody gets any good sleep. Poor guy.

For my own part, at 1:30am I remembered the presence of Vicks in our house, and spread it liberally beneath my nose and got a whole three hours of practically uninterrupted sleep before it stopped working, even with further application. We’re all pretty pathetic here. @.@

Less pathetic is the Redeemer Chronicles Kickstarter, which I suspect my friend E thinks I should be promoting harder. :) It’s approaching the midway mark, which I have fond hopes of it reaching by tomorrow, 1 week in to the campaign. :) I’ve added three new reward tiers. One of them involves fudge!

*laughs* Last Thursday or so Ted read the REDEEMER teaser chapters and said “OMG. I hope this thing funds, because I want to know what happens!!!!” Ted doesn’t usually read my works in progress, so this was something of a triumph for me. :) :) :)

Ted made red beans & rice last night. Today I’ve got a crock pot of ham & bean soup, using the left over juice from the red beans, as the flavour base. I bet it smells really good. I just can’t tell. :)

3…2…1…REDEEMER!

3…2…1…REDEEMER!

It is *surprisingly* nerve-wracking to launch a Kickstarter, even if you’ve run half a dozen or more crowdfund projects. But we’re doin’ it, ladies and gentlemen!

First! Let me invite you to read the Redeemer Proposal Chapters and submerge yourself into the world of the Redeemer!

Then when you’ve just gotten invested and find that the proposal comes to an end, dash over to the REDEEMER Kickstarter and help make it happen as a project! Go little Kickstarter go!

(I will now gnaw my knuckles for the next 30 days. :))

(holy shit, there’s already a pledge and i haven’t even posted this anywhere!)

Kickstarter Ahoy: The Redeemer Chronicles!

Kickstarter Ahoy: The Redeemer Chronicles!

Guys, I TOTALLY CHANGED MY MIND, okay?

I kept trying to work out the reward levels for the Old Races project and just couldn’t. It just wouldn’t work without knowing how long the main event, KISS OF ANGELS, was going to be, and I couldn’t bring myself to write it right now, so I wibbled and wobbled and flopped around and went through all of my “I wish I could do this” projects and finally landed on REDEEMER, which is what happens when I mash up Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Rosie the Riveter in my head and set an urban fantasy in 1945.

The war is over…but for Rosie the Redeemer, the homefront battle is just about to begin!

It’s July 1945, and handsome young Johnny B. Goode is home from the war. Reportedly shattered by his experiences, he takes a night shift job at the local factory. It’s no surprise that the girls there are smitten with the handsome young soldier, but as they start to leave their jobs–and no forwarding addresses–Rosie Ransom begins to suspect there’s more to Johnny’s homecoming than believed.

When Johnny tries to turn a vampiric bite on her, Rosie kills him in self defense–and sees his soul, pure and uncorrupted, rise into the ether. Within hours, she’s approached by handsome, dangerous Hank Turner, who believes her to be a Redeemer–a rare talent who can save a lost soul even after demonic possession has taken place.

Rosie, facing the loss of her factory job as men–and her fiance Rich Thompson–come home from the war, is eager for any future that grants her the independence she’s come to cherish as a working woman. If there are monsters to slay, she’ll embrace the opportunity. Because without Rosie’s help, the scare started by Johnny may turn into a full-fledged nightmare…

(This *is* your grandma’s urban fantasy!)

Tomorrow there will be sample chapters. There might even be a Kickstarter link. O.O :)