First off, a big thank you to Rebecca Royce for her invitation to guest blog today. Rebecca is a great critique partner and awesome writer in her own right and it's a pure delight to get to visit with you today!
Only a handful of stories that I have ever written have struck story gold while I was writing them. These tales are ones that quickly become all consuming and the words just flow onto the paper. The first drafts are together in anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Last year, during a weekend immersion class with Margie Lawson, Margie said "Heather really loves her words." I'd never thought about it before, but she was right.
I love to write longer, complicated stories. But since that weekend, I've actually focused on not writing the long stories, but the sharper stories, the more focused tales that tell the whole story, but not necessarily the long, wordy ones.
The first book I applied this to was an exciting caper of thieves that I adored, the second was a casual romp with the fae in the real world and the third was a novella that would become 13th Night, released in an anthology last January. I wrote that novella in 3 days and discovered something about myself.
I really like novellas.
So what was my wordy four paragraph (I told you, I like words!) all about? It's about my second novella, Soul Girls, which released this week in the Spells, Slots and Sirens anthology. This is another novella that I wrote in five short days, but one that just exploded to life from the first sentence to the last.
Fun and Loving in Las Vegas
The tension in this story isn't about a cruel villain, but a love story with a twist. The heroine lost her soul to a debt more than sixty years before and every night she dances and every night it's the same, until the night the hero walks in. The first meeting between these two sounded okay in my head, but turned to magic on the page. Writers talk about falling in love with their characters all the time, but I've never fallen totally in love with a pairing as I did with these two.
His desire to save her coupled with her almost sensuous innocence made this vignette into their lives all the more sweet. I do admit, that I have a favorite scene in the book, places where I burst out laughing even as I typed it, but it was everything about the journey to the Arcana Royale, the time spent with the soul girls to Malcolm's focused intensity while negotiating with the Overseers to the quirkiness of the Arcana Royale's patrons and employees – it really resonated on the page with me.
To read the first chapter of Soul Girls head over to my website and don't miss out on two more great stories in the anthology: Howl by Lisa Pietsch and Dissolve by K.F. Zuzulo. As our editor said: Werewolves, vampires and djinn – what's not to love?
In honor of the Spells, Slots and Sirens: Stories of the Arcana Royale release, tell me about your favorite Las Vegas experience whether it happened in real life, a novel, film or television! One lucky commentator will win a free copy of Spells, Slots and Sirens and their pick of one book from my backlist!
Tell me your story, I can't wait to hear it.
About Heather Long
Heather Long lives in North Texas with her husband, daughter and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.