Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Story Behind the Story - From Afar

Stats - Submitted manuscript 7/9/09. Received contract offer 10/3/09. Published 2/23/10.

My bad luck when it comes to timing submissions to Samhain continued with this book. My editor left Samhain a few weeks after I submitted From Afar. I was assigned a new editor who got a bunch of new authors and new responsibilities, so it took her some time to read the book.

Little known fact – The final cover took five different drafts and one change in cover artist. Oh, and a final tweak. I swear, I’m not one of those super picky authors, but I didn’t think a sunny afternoon backdrop would fit the feel of a vampire book that takes place at night. I do love the final cover – that guy is simply yum!

Extremely little known fact – I started writing the book in January 2008, back when I was an unpublished author, and entered the first 20 pages in Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight contest for unpubbed authors. Rafe and Aleric got 3rd place in the Novella category. *pats the boys on the back* I put the book on hold to start Bound by Deception, then landed an agent and sold a book to Berkley and got distracted by revisions and edits for that one. Then wrote Bound to Him and Convincing Arthur. So it wasn’t until the summer of 2009 when I turned back to From Afar and finished it.

How did I get the idea for the bookStephani Hecht gave me the nudge to write a vampire book, and Raphael popped into my head. Even though everything I write is set in the Regency, I love the Georgian era. The clothing is just so gorgeous. Dangerous Liaisons is one of my favorite movies, though Valmont (with yummy Colin Firth) is also a favorite. Since the book was a paranormal, I couldn’t resist making Raphael old enough to have been born and turned during the Georgian era. I had great fun dressing him, too ;)

If I could edit the book now, what would I change (if anything)? The ending is rather…abrupt. A part of me wishes I would have added more to the book. But honestly, the current ending is how I had originally planned it. If I had the chance to change it today, I probably wouldn’t.

Will there be a sequel – I’m on the fence about a sequel. I’ve hopped onto the ‘sequel’ side of the fence then jumped over to ‘no sequel’ a few times since I’ve finished the book. I even have outlines done for both a sequel and a prequel of sorts featuring Roman and Grant. My main issue is time – there are 10+ other books on the ‘want to write’ list and you all know I’m not a hare when it comes to writing. I do have a short free story idea for Raphael and Aleric, so maybe I’ll go that route. Raphael deserves an ‘I love you’ from Aleric. One way or another, I want to make sure he eventually gets to hear those 3 words.

Misc stuff – Aleric’s age in the book was very deliberate. He’s 27, and has been cut off from his family for 3 years for refusing to become a vicar. During the Regency, men had to be at least 24 yrs old to be ordained. I figured his father wouldn’t have made a big huge stink about taking the living at Barton Hall until Aleric was old enough to actually do it, hence why Aleric is 27 in the book.

That's the story behind the story for From Afar. Any questions? Ask away *g*


  1. Yes, you really think Colin Firth is yummy? lol. I just don't get the appeal to that guy.

  2. Shawn, me neither! Sorry, Ava. :)

    I haven't read From Afar yet, but I love these stories behind the story that you do.

    Oh, and I'm eyeing the top of your right sidebar: is it March 8th yet? I still have a few of your other books to read, but I can hardly wait for Bound Forever!

  3. It's good you held out for this cover. Can you imagine all the "WTF - sunny for vampires?" comments you would've gotten?!

  4. Shawn - he's Mr. Darcy. How can he not be yummy?? ;)

    You, too, Janna? I guess it just means I don't have to share him. :) And thanks!!

    Chris - my editor almost didn't send me the sunny version to review, because she knew it was way off. It was a pretty cover, just wasn't the best fit for a vamp book. 'cause yeah, I'd have gotten tons of comments about the beautiful sun shining down on my vamps who should be burning to a crisp. LOL

  5. I love these behind the scenes :)

    And Colin Firth is they yummiest of the yummy!! ;)

  6. Thanks, Mandi!

    *nom-nom* @ Colin ;)

  7. I love these Story Behind the Story posts! It's so interesting to read about the background of your books.

    This one is still on my TBR and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. :)

  8. Thanks, Lily! I'm gald you enjoy the posts :)

  9. I agree, the model on the cover is definitely yummy. I say go for the sequel ;)

  10. Hey Barbara - his mouth, his eyebrows, his jawline...*sigh* ;) He doesn't precisely look like Raphael (his hair is all wrong, though is mouth is spot-on), but he's got Raphael's vibe.

    Nudge received. LOL.

  11. I like this series of posts. From Afar was my first Ava March read evah. I think my first vampire orgy too. *taps chin thoughtfully*

  12. Glad to be your first vamp orgy, FV *g*

  13. Hi honey...

    Just passing through and found some interesting facts...

    Hope things are good with you...

    Little known fact - My mom thinks you have the hottest covers, she uses your book thingy as book markers... I keep leaving them in the kitchen...

    Have a good week...

  14. stupid blogger ... me again just to follow comments..


  15. Hey E.H.!

    Things are going good here. Hope they are going good with you.

    LOL @ your mom! Glad she likes the covers, and thanks for randomly leaving the postcards around the kitchen. ;)