My thoughts about my Paramourtal story and being in the book.
While I had written a paranormal horror novel and short stories before (still looking for publishers for them), I had never written paranormal romance prior to co-editing the anthology Paramourtal for Cliffhanger Books. In fact, it wasn't my idea to adapt that genre for the book. It was mostly Evelyn Welle's, my co-editor. She is a huge romance fiction fan and even wrote a novel that won second place in a contest held by the Romance Writers of America. Yet, while I consider myself a fairly romantic person, I wanted to do something with more of a darker edge than just pure romance. So we ultimately agreed on paranormal romance.
That decided, I was faced with the one thing that terrifies most writers: coming up with an idea.
But then, to my relief, I suddenly remembered I had already written a story about thirty years ago that contained para-rom elements. Since, fortunately, I have never thrown out any unpublished story I ever wrote (I hate wasting my hard work), I still had the original hand-written tale stuffed in an old box in my attic. So, like the undead buried for centuries waiting for the chance to rise again, I dug it out, dusted it off and typed it into my Mac.
I initially wrote the story not long after I began dating the woman who would become and still is my wife (Hi, honey!). While the basic idea was still sound (a man staying in a mountain cabin meets his soul mate in the woods, only to discover that she is not…quite…normal), it needed some drastic revisions. For one thing, it was just too…sweet. So I watered down much of the sunshine and sugar I pumped into it years ago, and made it darker and scarier. Why? Because that's the kind of stuff I love to read and write. It also gave the two main characters, Kyle and Reanna, more hurdles to overcome in their quest for true love.
Oh, and I saddled Kyle with a very cynical attitude toward the world. In my original version, he was a happy-go-lucky guy who grew even giddier after meeting the "perfect" woman in the woods. But in the revised story, he is in the midst of a very bitter divorce, which is why he journeys to the cabin deep in the mountains in the first place. That change in attitude was something I felt he needed to give him more emotional depth.
I could go into more details about the changes, but then I’d spoil the story. I will say that the new ending I attached has sparked some heated debates amongst people who have read it. Some people love it, while others truly hate it. But as I wrote the story, I felt it was necessary. I didn’t want a typical "happy ending." I'm not saying they don’t end up together (SPOILER ALERT!). They do. Just not the way some people wanted — including Kyle and Reanna.
As for my overall experience of working with paranormal romance, I had a blast. Not only did I enjoy writing the story, but also co-editing the book. It was a wonderful experience working with Evelyn and the other extremely talented authors. Plus, we were all very excited when Paramourtal was nominated for Best Romance Anthology by TheRomanceReviews.com.
Currently, I'm getting ready to co-edit the second volume of the Paramourtal series with the help of K. Stoddard Hayes, one of the authors in the first book. That, of course, means I'll need to write a story, too. Problem is, I don't have another para-rom tale sitting in my dusty old box. So, now I'll have to come up with an entirely new idea.
And that is more nerve-wracking than any paranormal story I could ever write.
Describe your thoughts on being a romance writer.
To be honest, I don’t consider myself a "romance" or even a "paranormal romance" writer. I also don’t consider myself a an author of science fiction, horror, adventure or even young reader fiction, though I have written those type of stories. In reality, I prefer to just think of myself as a writer period. I love trying my hand at various forms of fiction, no matter what the genre or the format.
I even wrote one story last year called "Cure" that was only 25 words long. It was included in a book of 250 stories entitled Hint Fiction. Recently, I was excited to learn that my story was one of only ten chosen from the book to be included in a Hint Fiction Film Contest. Those stories will be used as the basis for films running one minute or less. All of the entries will then be shown at the 2012 Vail Film Festival in Colorado. I am thrilled to be part of the event and I can’t wait to see what they do with my story.
A couple of years ago I made the decision to become an editor in order to help other writers unleash their talent into the world. But I'll discuss more of that and the process of editing Paramourtal in an upcoming post.
A short excerpt from "Rain" (from Paramourtal):
Startled by the whisper, Kyle Waite spun away from the deformed tree. No one was there. He stood still, listening. But all he heard were rain drops spattering against the forest floor.
Then he spotted something across the clearing. It was a white form standing amongst the trees. Stepping closer, he realized it was a young woman. And she was staring at him.
“Hello?” Kyle called. When she didn’t answer, he said, “Are you lost?” Then he mumbled, “Join the club.”
Instead of answering, she motioned to him gracefully. Curious, Kyle approached her. As he did, he saw that she was incredibly beautiful. No, she was gorgeous. Shoulder-length honey-tinted hair framed her fair-skinned porcelain face. And her green eyes seemed to reflect bright sunlight even though there was none.
Then he noticed she was only wearing a thin white ankle-length dress that flowed slowly in the cold mountain breeze. It was so sheer he could clearly see she wore nothing underneath.
Why would she be dressed in such skimpy attire? In fact, why was she wandering the woods anyway?
Reluctantly, Kyle pulled his gaze away from her near-perfect figure and focused on her face. There was something oddly…familiar about—
“Hello,” she said. Her voice was gentle and soothing, like the rain falling around them.
“Hi. Are you…aren’t you cold? Would you like my jacket?”
“No, thank you,” she smiled. “I’m fine.”
Kyle nodded. Not sure what else to say, he introduced himself.
She was silent a moment as she gazed into his eyes. Then she whispered, “Reanna.”
“A beautiful name,” he said, and then grimaced. It sounded like a cheap pickup line. He indicated his jacket again. “Are you sure about—?”
“I appreciate your thoughtfulness, Kyle,” she said, and he smiled at the way she spoke his name. “But, I really don’t need it. I love this weather. It makes me feel alive.”
She did a graceful pirouette and muted sunlight glinted off her hair.
He began to ask what she meant, then blinked when he noticed something incredibly peculiar: She wasn’t wet. They both stood in the midst of a cold mountain rainfall, yet she wasn’t wet. Not even damp.
“I don’t…understand,” he said. “You should be soaked. Why are you still dry?”
She didn’t reply. Instead, her eyes again captured him. Oddly, the fact that she wasn’t wet slipped away. He was still aware of it, it just didn’t seem as important as it had a moment before.
“I don’t mean to be forward, Reanna,” he said hesitantly, “but you are absolutely incredible.”
More possible pickup lines, but he didn’t care. It was true, and he felt compelled to tell her.
Reanna laughed softly. “Thank you.”
She began walking away from the clearing, so Kyle followed.
I am an author, editor and cartoonist. My short stories have appeared in several publications, including two Star Trek Strange New Worlds anthologies (Simon and Schuster), Hint Fiction (W.W. Norton) and the sci-fi magazine, Beyond Centauri. I also co-edited and wrote stories for two anthologies published by Cliffhanger Books. The first was a the afore-mentioned paranormal romance collection entitled Paramourtal, which was nominated for Best Romance Anthology of 2010. The second, a collection of superhero stories called Gods of Justice, premiered at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con. My short story, "Cure" (from Hint Fiction), will be filmed by contestants for the 2012 Hint Fiction Film Contest. The films will premiere at the 2012 Vail Film Festival in Colorado. Visit him at www.kevinhosey.net.
Current and upcoming works:
My previous work can be seen at kevinhosey.net. Currently, I am putting the finishing touches on a horror novel and getting ready to begin co-editing Paramourtal 2, the second volume in Cliffhanger Books' award-nominated para-rom series. If any writers are interested in submitting a story for consideration, we invite you to visit the Cliffhanger Books website for details: http://www.cliffhangerbooks.com
Author Website: http://www.kevinhosey.net
Paramourtal Buy Link: http://www.cliffhangerbooks.com/books-paramourtal.html
Publisher Website: http://www.cliffhangerbooks.com
Come back for more from Kevin tomorrow.