The Stories I Didn’t Want to Tell

If someone asked me which of my novels I’m proudest of, I’d have a hard time choosing. I love them all in different ways, but I suppose the Claire Lance series is up there, along with my first novel (On the Air), the novel that is now being reviewed in Analog (Railroad Spine), and the story that is coming out March 15 (The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, mark your calendars!).

I didn’t want to write a novel about someone dealing with being in the closet, and I really didn’t want to write about what happens once she is out. I’ve never done that, I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do that, so how could I possibly do it justice? But my best friend convinced me to try, and Squire’s Isle was born. Now I have a first novel that I’m proud to be my introduction to the world.

I had no plans whatsoever to write a steampunk novel. I liked the genre, sure, but I didn’t want to deal with such a huge world. But I wrote a snippet, and someone commissioned me to write more. Money? TO WRITE? Hell, yes. Where do I sign up? So I wrote it, and now it’s getting my name out into the ether.

And I really did not want to write about musicians. A rock singer, a band, no. I didn’t want to delve into that world of celebrity, I didn’t want to write songs, just no. But then I mentioned it off-handedly to a friend and she didn’t let me forget. She let me put it off, sure, but she never let it slide that the plot bunny was there waiting to be mined. So I finally started writing, mainly so I could show her that I did appreciate her and how much she meant to me. And when I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I ended up with my longest novel (not counting the Riley seasons), and a world as huge and sprawling as Riley or Underdogs. I didn’t want to let them go! And I won’t have to, because the band exists across all my series (they have their own worlds, but celebrity transcends boundaries).

So to Chris, Melissa, and Erin… thank you. Thank you for pushing me to write things I didn’t necessarily want to write. Thank you for believing I COULD write all of these big stories. And thank you for having more faith in my talent than I did.