“Queen of the Hollow”
So what’s going on here?
To have taken so long to come to light, “Queen of the Hollow” is short. Really short. Too long to be flash fiction, not long enough for novella status. I wanted it to be longer, I truly did, but sometimes you just have to let the story make the decision. Actually - and please don't tell anyone - especially my publisher - but that’s what I always do. The stories and the characters make my decisions for me.
Plotter? Pantser? If forced into a corner, I’d have to go with Pantser, hands down. Excel spreadsheets and I have a hate-hate relationship. I looked into various and sundry approaches for story-telling like free form, balloon, spider webbing and even the snowflake method, but I finally had to come up with my own description I call Char-Lab (pronounced “care lab” for you obsessive articulators out there), and stands for “character collaboration.”
Which pretty well sums it up. I collaborate with my characters on what happens next. I will may have an idea or The Situation, and then I’ll find a character in my head who lends herself to this idea, and then I put the character and all her friends into The Situation. The characters either go and do things, or talk through things, and I generally just listen. I may have an idea of where a story needs to go, or how it needs to end, but the really good stories never end up where I thought they would when I started.
Whenever the end of the book looms, then I might have to tie aforementioned characters down so I can get to The End. Because they are normally not real happy about that. And really, who can blame them? The End usually means, well, the end for those characters. They continue living in an endless loop within the pages and never get to adventure beyond that single tale, or experience growing in other directions. So I promised them I would try to have “Queen of the Hollow” the first book in a series. We took a vote and decided we all really liked the name High Lonesome for the series. It also happens to be the (fictional) West Virginian town in which their stories take place.
Below is the blurb and a short Excerpt from it. (A short excerpt for a short story.) I hope you enjoy!
Calla is a young shifter, the only female within miles of High Lonesome, her small town in southern West Virginia. Her mother has managed to keep her safe from the bounty of mountain lion males in their hills, but now Calla finds herself alone, without a protector, and the moon is full.
Haben hasn’t been able to get close to Calla since their meeting right around Valentine’s Day a year before. When he shows up at her house, he finds the wounded spit-fire determined for him to keep his distance - despite his instinct to keep her safe.
Calla has to trust an outsider in Haben or fight off every male mountain lion between here and Charleston with just her wits and a shotgun. With sheer numbers against her, the stakes are higher than she knows. And when the fight is over, she has to face the last cat standing as he succumbs to the raging Heat himself.
She wouldn’t lie down. She told him she had no idea if she’d be able to get back up or not. Which was true. But she wouldn't put herself in that position of submission with a tom here so close and her in her Heat cycle. That was just asking for trouble.
He kept his attention on her injuries, on wrapping them securely, on looking for her a crutch or a cane to help get up the stairs. She focused on his eyes and his lips. His eyes were the most beautiful she’d ever seen. They’d been dark brown in the store. Here they were the color of creamy caramel and it made her heart beat in her ears every time they met her gaze. His lips were dark and shaped with a stern current underneath, which looked positively suckable when he bit the bottom one in concentration. She wondered if maybe God had made them so dark so his teeth would shine all the more white when they flashed a quick smile. She bet his teeth were long and sharp when he shifted.
Video trailer bonus:
Western Paranormal Romance Writer