As my 2nd book is about to be released mid-December, I wanted to chat about how this series came about. As usual, it certainly wasn't straight forward. Years ago, I started getting ice pick headaches in which I thought I must have brain cancer because this certainly couldn't have been normal. With each shooting pain, an idea took root that maybe I was possessed and some crazy demon was trying to crack through my skull.
I also had help from a favorite song I was listening to at the time: Seabound; Poisonous Friend. (Click the link if you are curious to find out what kind of music brought about Bequest of Blood.)
Okay, I didn't really believe a demon was trying to surgically alter my brain, but it helped my paranormal fantasy story become real. I began to research serial killers and remembered learning about Elizabeth Bathory. This woman was crazy insane and the perfect spirit baddie. So, I wrote. When it was finished, I decided to self-publish it because I was burned from my previous publisher getting arrested by the FBI and wasn't ready to trust anyone in the publishing world quite yet.
The book did okay and readers were fascinated about Elizabeth and her involvement in the story. I started writing another Wizards book and completed it but didn't go the self-publishing route with that one.
Fast forward a few years later and I was a panelist at an seminar and sitting next to a local publisher. We started chatting and I pitched my book, not expecting much interest, but it was worth a try. Reluctantly he told me his wife and him ran the company and they were very selective on the material they published. I went home, sent the manuscript and waited for the expected rejection letter.
They contacted me and said they were interested in a 3-book deal from me. I sent them book 1 which was written AFTER book 2 but takes place before book 2. Confusing, I know! But it makes sense. Each book is about a different wizard and the heroine. My girls are spunky, contrary sometimes, insecure at other times (because you're supposed to write about what you know.) But my stories also involve romance. I kid around with people my women deserve love after all the trouble they go through.
Book 3 was written on a first-ever deadline - which was most exciting. I was a bit concerned because all my novels take about a year to write. I had 9 months to write this one. But I really didn't have trouble keeping to the timeline, as I had been writing for many years and used to some sort of schedule.
That is my story how my single self-published book turned into a 3-book deal. I have a new, fancier cover for Bequest and I realize there might be some people that have the original they bought from me at local selling events. But with the addition of two more stories with my publishing contract, I'm not sure they would have come about without getting picked up by Seventh Star Press.
Wizards of the Vatican - paranormal fantasy:
Book 1 - Ritual of Blood is available now on Amazon and other retailers
Book 2 - Bequest of Blood is on eBook pre-sale now with official release *ebook and paperback December 16, 2022
Book 3 - Tentative, not official title Traces of Blood - release date TBD
If you're looking for a strange, fun read, I hope you keep me in mind when your shopping!