I have two deadlines to meet in the immediate future, but once those are past, I guess I need to decide on how to handle the follow-up to Complicated, my story for the Love Has No Boundaries event.
When I originally created the world of Pax and Stone Mountain, the plot revolved around Aidan Forester and his relationship with Emery, the female werejaguar. It was supposed to be a straight paranormal romance, in every sense of the word; the tale of their adventures as Aidan came to terms both with the genetic changes forced on him and his attraction to Emery—which touched on a lot of personal issues for Aidan. Not much different than a lot of other stuff out there. Then I created the character of Blais DaSilva, and the whole thing went to hell. Mind you, this was long before I wrote any M/M romance, and before the genre was as popular as it is now. Blais was originally intended to be Aidan’s mirror image, what Aidan would have been if he’d born a werejaguar. I even made their birthdays a week apart. And Blais, like every other male werejaguar, was bisexual, although the more I wrote him, the more I saw that his preference was for males.
No matter what I did, Blais wanted Aidan and vice versa, despite the deep feelings between Aidan and Emery. And Emery didn’t help things any, because it was clear early on that she had no issues with Aidan being with males. The more I tried to keep Aidan heterosexual (and Blais out of their bed), the more forced things seemed, and even though I finished the novel (all 140,000 words of it), it never felt right to me.
Fast forward a bit, and I started playing around with the story of Danny, Aidan’s much-younger brother. By now, I had a far better handle on the jaguars, and Danny was, at the very least, bi-curious. He also didn’t have half Aidan’s hang-ups/issues or Aidan’s PTSD. In order to understand the jaguars even more, I wrote a chunk of backstory regarding the original jaguars captured by the government back in the 1950s. All of that made me rethink the Blais-Aidan-Emery triangle, and I began to see how I might make that work. I already had snippets/chapters about Blais, and now I’m starting to think I can re-work the original novel to get the three of them together earlier on—or at least start them on their collision course.
Fortunately, self-publishing means I can play with releasing this in “episodes”, rather than trying to wrestle their whole story into one volume. I guess my biggest concern is that the story will have both M/F and M/M elements, as well as M/M/F once they are all together. I toyed with the idea of skimming over the M/F sex, but those scenes reveal a lot about jaguar society and their biology. Cutting those scenes would mean explaining all of that somewhere else, and… no.
So, not sure how this will go, but I’ve lived with this world in my head and on paper for over eight years now—time to give it another chance.