No, not the end of the world. I'm talking about Unrivaled, book 4 of the Unlikely Lovers series. I'm about forty pages from the end of the book as it now stands. Of course, there's no telling what I'll do with those forty pages. I might even trim it down to thirty.
A rewrite of an early work is ongoing proof that my writing skills have improved since I first wrote this story about seven years ago. It's always been one of my favorites, and it's also the place where I left every inhibition in my writing behind. Some of my friends didn't like the hero. Others didn't like the premise. But there are still others who get all dreamy-eyed whenever the original title (The Boy at the Bar) is mentioned. It is for those people that I'm putting in so much time on the rewrite.
But they aren't the only ones I'm writing it for. Perhaps the best advice I took away from RWA Nationals was that you have to write to please yourself. I have always written what I wanted to read, and if it didn't fall within the mainstream, well, that's just too freakin' bad. I grew up reading Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels and Georgette Heyer's Regencies. After I'd read them so many times I had to buy new copies, I began branching out. I tried some of what a friend called her "Lust in the Dust" books. They left me thirsty for something better. I tried various Harlequin lines and found a few keepers, but most were exactly like the one that came before it. Many of the heroes were so unlikeable, I couldn't help labeling the heroine as too stupid to live for falling in love with such a jerk. I read a bajillion Regency romances and never found another Georgette Heyer. Many came close, but although her writing stands the test of time, nobody writes like that anymore--not with the humor and flair for the period that she possessed.
It's been said that I created my own genre when I wrote the Cat Star books. Maybe I did, and it struck a chord with a lot of readers. My readers have been loyal throughout a very long series. They've watched me change from first person to third, from rookie author to someone with a bit more experience under her belt, and now, from paranormal to contemporary.
I hope you're all enjoying that last change, but after Unrivaled is finished, I'm heading back to the stars.