This book has lived with me for a long time. I started writing the first draft in 2008, while I was querying a dark fantasy novel to agents. I was supposed to be working on the sequel to that dark fantasy novel, but space pirates had taken over my brain, and I couldn’t not write them.
I think we all write books we end up sticking in a drawer somewhere as we move on to the next story. This was not that book for me. These psychically Talented space pirates and their universe were the story that wouldn’t let me go. I blogged about writing it, posted snippets as I worked, and one of those agents I queried about my dark fantasy to responded by saying sure, she’d love to take a look – but what she really wanted to see was my book about telepathic space pirates, and when would that be done?
I was shocked. I blogged anonymously in those days. There was nothing in my query to link me, the author, to me, the blogger, unless she read my blog enough to link the two together. She said a friend had pointed it out to her as something she might like, and she’d been hoping to receive a query from me. I was over the moon! I finished up the draft, edited it, and sent it to her. A few weeks later, she spent a very generous three hours on the phone with me, telling me everything I should think about to make the book stronger. (Note: the lesson here is that you are NEVER as anonymous online as you think you are!)
I settled in to rewrite it, thinking I had a good grasp on what she wanted. I wrote most of a second draft, but during the last third of that I ended up going back to school and finishing my BA. Writing academic papers proved too soul-sucking for me to spend time writing creatively, and that lasted for the five years I went to school, three for my BA and two for my MA in education.
When I did finally come back to writing, it was with a new perspective. I scrapped that draft and started over. I also wrote a prequel novella (Pirate Bound), and that helped me get my writing legs back under me. I feel like those years in between gave me the time I needed to mature as a writer. I wrote a lot of words, even if they were academic, and I tutored other college students and edited for them. I definitely feel my writing is stronger now than it has ever been, and I can’t believe I am finally going to publish this novel after eight long years!
Since the prequel novella, Pirate Bound has come out, I’ve seen a lot of disappointment from readers that the first full-length book, Pirate Nemesis, deals with different main characters. This doesn’t worry me at all – it’s encouraging that people have attached so strongly to Sanah and Dem! As much as I love them, Mercy and Reaper have lived with me for much longer, and I truly believe people will attach to them even more powerfully. Reaper is Dem’s brother, so there will be some similarities between them, though they are very different men. Mercy is related to Cannon, the pirate King people met in Pirate Bound. You’re going to learn a lot more about the family they both come from, and you’re going to learn about who Mercy is, and why she’s been living apart from the pirates her whole life.
This is the beginning of a three book arc. I know that’s unusual in romance, but there was no way Mercy’s story was going to fit in a single book. I can assure readers, however, that each book will feature a very strong HFN ending, and as all romance, I am working toward the HEA at the end of her arc.
I also have several other books and at least three novellas planned, each of which will feature side characters people will meet in the main series. I hope it sells, because just like eight years ago, I’m not ready to let go of these characters and this universe, and I don’t think I will be for quite some time!
Oh, and a bonus: I’ve just finished writing a short story featuring Sanah and Dem, and their three-year-old daughter. It takes place four years after the prequel novella, and a few months prior to the beginning of Pirate Nemesis. It’s going to be available at the end of June, and people can follow me on Facebook if they want to find out more about it.
Carysa Locke is the pseudonym for writing team Carysa Locke and MaLea Holt, two best friends who have been creating imaginary worlds together for more than twenty years. The worlds they write in exist first as roleplaying games, where much of the bare bones of world building and character development take place. Carysa is a high school English teacher, and MaLea helps support families with special needs children. You might say, they work as super heroes in their day jobs!
Their obsession with pirates and adventure goes back many years, when they started another hobby together – costuming. They regularly attend Ren-faires and Pirate Festivals. They currently reside in the Pacific Northwest with their families, where they still routinely roleplay and costume together, when they aren’t too busy working on the next novel.
You can find them here:
Lots of exciting things happening, Carysa! Thanks for sharing your story and the update! Lots to look forward to. 🙂 So readers, are you obsessed with pirates, too?
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