Today’s guest is the lovely and talented Mercy Celeste. I have told her on more than one occasion that she needs a warning label tattooed on her forehead. So here it is, a warning:
Do not drink or eat while reading this. Also, take a bathroom break so you won’t wet your pants. We’ll wait……… Alright, are you ready? Here we go. Take it away, Mercy.
I started writing when my third child was in diapers. My second child was too, my first was thankfully potty trained. I’ve written romance forever it seems like. Heterosexual vanilla romance, spunky heroine, to die for yet subtly damaged hero, you know the deal. What Nora writes. Yeah I write that. I’ve got a whole plastic storage bin of those manuscripts. A whole file folder on my computer.
I sold one. Just one, under a different pen name. Nope not gonna tell ya the name, that book and a short story are still available from Ellora’s Cave but I don’t wish to link my two pen names. Unfair yes I know. Sorry.
Last year I spent a great deal of time soul searching. My third child was about to turn fifteen. I’d managed to publish two works since she was waddling around in Luvs. Is this what I need to do? I write because I am compelled to write, but am I wasting my time pursuing publication? What am I doing wrong? Right? Anything? Should I get a day job and forget all this nonsense? Ohhh look a shiny.
I was failing at the one girl one guy gig. Most often my rejections read, we adore your hero but your heroine could be more______ pick a word any word to fill in that blank and my heroine could be it, spunky, brainy, strong. Never a word about the hero that wasn’t sparkling.
I do men very well.
Aha, divine intervention.
Well, no. Revise, resubmit, rewrite, and regurgitate, ad nauseum.
I said fuck it. Yes I said it. I say it. It’s just a word. Get over it.
I said fuck it and started looking at trends. What are the publishers begging for? Not contemporary heterosexual romance that’s for sure. I write contemporary heterosexual romance. Me and about a hundred thousand other romance writers. I don’t write vampire or shifter or bondage or ménage or…I can do ménage.
I did ménage. On paper, geez people I am not talking about my personal life here I really am too vanilla for that.
I wrote a category length ménage m/f/m that really and truly should have been an m/m/f. Trigger and Bullet in Double Coverage crossed the line, just barely. They kissed. And I liked it. Too much.
The reviews for Double Coverage are all in the four and five star range. The one thing that keeps coming up is my heroine. AGAIN.
I cannot do women!
Kailey was a great heroine, but I short changed her when Bullet showed up. I’m sorry for that.
Then after DC I got sucked into that NANO thing last November. I wrote another heterosexual romance with a little spanky, spanky thrown in. I haven’t sold it yet. As soon as I finished Wicked Game, yep it’s a football book, I love football, I had this nagging feeling that I was supposed to be doing something else. Bullet wanted me to do something else. Bullet was relentless.
I was seduced to the dark side. Yes, they do have cookies over there. Glorious gourmet cookies loaded with testosterone and cars and jeans and no fucking high heels. Okay so there are high heels but that’s a different genre entirely.
I wrote my first male/male romance. A short story. Just to dip my toes into the lovely water they have in the dark side. All nice and spunky heroines need not apply.
I was home. I could torture two heroes for the price of one. I don’t have to save a giggling girl. I can be as bad as I want to be.
I tortured and tormented Shelby and Deacon for a whole fifteen thousand words. It took a week. Two weeks later I sold the story. Just like that. The 51st Thursday was born. But it wasn’t enough.
I wrote another story. A long story this time. Two beautiful heroes. Both of them in mortal pain. I wrapped them around my little pinky and made them dance to my tune. Stunningly painful to write, In from the Cold was finished before I was ready to finish it. I fell in love with my heroes. I fell in love with Nathan in particular.
I sold In from the Cold faster than you can say Doritos are yummy.
So is this divine intervention?
I go from being a sweet little SAHM to a diva of gay romance. How exactly did that happen?
Is it because I would rather sit in a room full of men than women? Most likely. I’m terrified of women. I don’t understand them, and when a whole group of them get together I have no idea what they are talking about.
I like cars and trucks and sports and anything that doesn’t involve a trip to the mall or a pair of high heels. Give me a pair of jeans and a pair of high-top sneakers and I’m your girl.
Aha, eureka, it is divine inspiration. I now know why I can’t write a spunky heroine to save my soul.
I have no idea what a spunky heroine is. I know what giggling girls in high heels and too much perfume are. I know what ball busters in business suits are. The spunky romance heroine falls somewhere between the two in a zone I’d rather not delve too deeply into.
Spa days with girlfriends became basketball one on one with the guys. I can do that. It’s physical, not gossipy.
In the last few months I not only discovered what I write best, I discovered myself. The smart ass tomboy that I was as a kid is still here, she never went away. I don’t know one damned thing about clothes and make-up. I don’t care what the latest hairstyles are. I don’t like parties and will never plan one. I damn well will never plan anyone else’s either. I know about skateboards and horses and power tools and cars and football and baseball.
I’m damn well going to write about skateboards and horses and power tools and cars and football and baseball. And I’m going to do it through my men. My lovely alpha males who want nothing more than a good beta to settle down with. I love my men. So if that makes me unnatural, a traitor to my gender then so be it. I know what I am now. I am woman give me the damn hammer and get out of my way, there are things to build.
So yeah I went over to the dark side but guess what the cookies here are divine.
You can click the picture or name of her books to buy them. Also, her name will take you to her blog. Check it out. She has pictures of really hot guys (which might be even better than cookies).