What Happens Next?
Last time I visited Pauline, I bared my soul and shared what happened to me to lead me to writing My Name Is A’yen. Today I’m here to tell the next chapter of the story. When I started A’yen, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea there was a lost king, much less that A’yen was his descendent and destined to rule.
I finished the first draft of A’yen about six weeks before leaving for a writers conference. I had intended to set aside A’yen’s Legacy (then called the Lokmane Chronicles, so glad I changed it) and go back to writing my historical romances. I was about 25,000 into my second historical romance, but I was bored with it. Nothing was flowing like I wanted it to, and I knew pieces were missing but I couldn’t figure out what they were.
Because of what I learned at the conference, when I got home I decided to ditch the historical completely and throw myself into The King’s Mistress. I had to know what happens next, what new things A’yen would find, and how it would impact his relationship with Fae. He hadn’t dealt with all his demons yet, and still needed to learn the value of forgiveness.
As I watched A’yen develop on the page, embrace his new life, and have a lot of his hurts healed, I started doing it along with him. Fae’s journey in the first draft mirrored where I had been for all of 2010, and the latter half of 2009. In that draft she was angry and shoving everyone away from her to try and keep from being hurt again. Frankly, she was a bit of a bitch.
But writing that draft, and watching Fae go through all of that, was the next step in my own journey to wholeness. She’s not a bitch anymore in the final book, and in fact her arc was completely rewritten. At the time I wrote the first draft, I guess I wasn’t in a place yet where I could write Fae the way she needed to be written.
I also wrote it because I had to find out what happened next. I write by the seat of my pants, which means I have no idea what happens until I get there. I also met some new characters. One of them, Ro, stole my heart. Everything A’yen went through in the first book is nothing compared to the life Ro has been forced to live. I wanted to see Ro through all that darkness and show him happiness is possible.
The title of the book, The King’s Mistress, is most definitely a play on words. Fae plays a bigger part in this book than she did in the first one, though she by no means is the main character. After all, I write romance for the hero lover. She’s married to the king, and afraid the Lokmane will never accept her as anything other than the king’s mistress.
So of course I had to prove her wrong. Which meant fleshing out characters I’d never intended to even name, let alone have them talking to me. I also learned more about the farm system mentioned in the first book, and now things are there. Readers will learn it too, because A’yen is kidnapped and taken to one.
A’yen and Fae have found their happily ever after. Now they’re fighting to keep it. As for me, I’m still single. And I’m happy. I’m doing what I’m meant to do with my life, and it’s awesome. I’m continuing to write more books in A’yen’s Legacy so I can find out what happens next! I hope you’ll join me.
Rachel Leigh Smith writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family and a half-crazed calico. When not writing, which isn’t often, she’s hanging with her family, doing counted cross-stitch, or yakking about life, the universe, and everything with her besties. There may also be Netflix binging…
She’s a member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and Romance Writers of America. She blogs sporadically at www.rachelleighsmith.com, hangs out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RachelLeighSmithAuthor, and can sometimes be found at http://twitter.com/rachelleighgeek. You can sign up for her newsletter here.
Freedom has a cost. Can A’yen pay it without losing his soul?
Liberation of the enslaved Lokmane begins with the king. A’yen and Fae agree to visit the Hidden, a group of escaped Lokmane, to protect his identity while the Shadows make their move with emancipation acts. But he’s not prepared for the prejudice rampant in the Hidden, or their lack of patience for him. And his new linked bodyguard is unstable to the point A’yen fears for the young man’s sanity.
Upon returning to Titan, A’yen is kidnapped and taken to the largest breeding farm in the galaxy. This time he’ll be himself even if it kills him. His resolve to unite his people grows as he wonders if he’ll live long enough to do it.
With A’yen kidnapped, Fae returns to the Lokmane homeworld seeking the final pieces of what happened two thousand years ago when they were conquered and enslaved. Getting as far away from her father as possible is the only way to keep her from disappearing too.
Separated by light years, A’yen and Fae have to stand alone and fight for their right to live in freedom. No matter the cost.
I’d like to thank Rachel for visiting again! Another intriguing look into the process! If you have any questions for Rachel, please post! I love it when visitors show my guest authors some love and your comments get entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). I announce the winner the first blog post of the new month.