Just sent off final edits for Illumination, my book with Riptide that’s coming out September 30th.
What? you cry. TWO books from the glacially slow pen of Rowan Speedwell within just a few months of each other? Is the Apocalypse nigh?
Well, hopefully not. I wouldn’t know, not being in the confidence of the folks who manage that sort of thing. But it’s true. Less than two months after Love, Like Water (with the beauteous Nicko Morales on the cover), I have another book to promote.
I’ve mentioned this one before. Probably several times. Probably accompanied by swear words, because I have to say this has been the most difficult book to write. It took me over two years to write the first draft, then another three or four months for the second. And it went through FOUR rounds of edits. Blood, I tell you. There was blood.
Really, though, this is a lot less angsty than Finding Zach or Love, Like Water. All of the angst happened outside the book. There is less crying than in Kindred Hearts (thank God!), although there is some. There is romance, misunderstandings, drama, and two very stubborn heroes. There is what I hope is very, very funny stuff.
They always say “write what you know.” Well, I’m a fifty-five year old straight chick raised in a middle class family, so I’m already out of my league writing gay romance about young men, let alone rock stars. And my phobia is claustro, not agora. But.
J.P. Barnaby, who has been along for most of the ride with this book, says that Miles is me. We have a lot of similar issues, similar hangups, similar weird OCD/perfectionist behaviors. I like to think that I put a little of myself in all my characters, but Miles is probably the closest.
He has a temper, like me. He obsesses over details, like me. He’s bright and competent on a lot of levels, but those levels do not include technology. Like me. His taste in music runs to classical and show tunes, and is clueless about modern music. He’s impatient. He’s socially awkward. He’s messy (yes, you can be both messy and OCD). He can go happily for days without talking to anyone but his parrot. (For me, it’s my cat.) He’s a better artist than I am, but we share the art form. I cope a little better with people.
I think if were to meet Miles in person, we would either be soul mates or loathe each other.
Adam has some of my quirks: he’s self-indulgent and kind of lazy. I think he’s a Libra, like I am, but with more of the good qualities. He’s social, extroverted, and charming, which I can be for short periods of time. He tends to take the easy way out, sometimes simply because he doesn’t like to disappoint people; he’ll “go along” just because he wants the people around him to be happy. He’s vain and fussy about how he appears to people, but it’s not that he is obsessed with his image; it’s more that he wants—needs—people to like him. Hm. I guess maybe he’s more like me than I thought.
Which is kind of funny, when you think about it, because Miles and Adam are two really different people. But then again, we all have contradictory bits in our personalities. It’s what makes people human.
And I think that might be why it took so long to finish this book. Because Miles and Adam are the closest things to human that I’ve written. And like most humans, they have their own ideas of how things should go. I fought harder with these two than I have with any of my other characters, and that includes Tristan from Kindred Hearts, who was an absolute bastard.
But Miles and Adam’s story is done now, and I can honestly say that they’re probably my favorite couple. Even if I want to smack them hard enough that their ancestors are bruised.