“I’m doing it as hard as I can!”
“No you’re not! Put some welly into it!”
My best friend and co-author LJ had been persuaded by myself to grab hold of my right arm and pull it because I thought I had dislocated it - my thinking was that if the joint was back in the socket, I’d be able to use the limb again. Unknown to both of us at the time, I had in fact suffered a stroke and that’s why the arm wouldn’t move! A few months later and LJ had the ‘mother of all migraines’ - which also turned out to be a stroke. We are not medically trained - do not try this at home!
Why am I telling you all about this? Well, it’s because of the strokes that LJ and I decided to write our book series ‘Tainted Blood’. It was a sort of therapy for us as we recovered. We had been developing the characters and storylines in our heads for a couple of years but hadn’t done anything significant with them. It’s strange, but when traumatic or challenging circumstances barge into your life, you can either do the ‘ostrich’ thing or bury your head in the sand hoping it will all go away, or you can use it to your advantage. We chose the latter route.
Our stories don’t fit easily into one particular category - we have supernatural beings, but the fact that they are immortal doesn’t get in the way of a good plot line - there is crime; suspense; revenge and romance all weaved together in a murky mafia world. We have often discussed our characters and books - either written down or still in our heads. We only write down what our characters dictate to us! I suppose we’re not so much authors as Personal Assistants to Imaginary Characters! We are essentially readers who write the stories that we would like to read, and just hope that there are other like-minded people out there!
We wanted to find the right home for our book series and after a brief flirtation with self-publishing, we sent our manuscript out to carefully selected Publishing Houses, and we received a very positive response. We knew what we wanted and (being stubborn!) we wouldn’t compromise until we found the right House - which we did with Dark Hollows Publishing. Our enthusiasm mixed with their professionalism ensures that our series will be the best that it can be, and with their backing and assistance, LJ and I can dedicate more of our time on the creative process, and not worry as much about the frightening and complicated ‘advertising and marketing’ aspect of the business.
It has to be noted at this point that we have the most wonderful Editor Michelle, who is patient, kind and has a managerial style that could enable her to sell fridges to Eskimos! I for one have discovered that I suffer from ‘comma-itis’ - a condition found in over-excited writers who like stroking that particular button as often as possible for apparently no reason whatsoever! We also discovered that when our characters were emphasising something or shouting in conversation, ‘shouty caps’ is a no-no - Italics my friends, Italics! - Although I do lament the loss of my shouty caps (because I tend to shout a lot!).
Why did we find that it was important to have an editor that we trusted and could communicate with? As you know when you write, you invest so much of yourself into it and sacrifice not only brainpower but also time and dare I say it - a social life! (...what’s that?!) That it would be doing yourself and your stories a dis-service by letting someone loose with your work that doesn’t have the same level of enthusiasm for it as you do. We got lucky - and hope that all you writers out there find your own ‘Michelle’!
We were recently asked what our aspirations were for our writing and books - and that was an easy one to answer - fame, fortune and an international jet set life! No, actually it’s much more straight forward than that. We simply want to entertain, and take our readers on a journey away from the problems of the real world and the worries and concerns that we all have - even if it’s just for an hour here or there. We want to provide an escape, adventure and a world where they can enter into meeting characters who will leave them wanting more!There is nothing more rewarding than hearing from people who have read (and hopefully enjoyed!) our stories - and hearing their feedback and thoughts on it. As the authors of Tainted Blood, we are merely the first readers of the stories, and are as excited as anyone else to find out what is going to happen next. We would love it if you’d join us on our journey!
The first book in the Tainted Blood Series is The Heist by LJ Halkett and R.T Lucas is available soon by Dark Hollows Press www.darkhollowspress.com
Visit our website for everything #XAli and Tainted Blood, www.XAli.net
The Tainted Blood book series contains adult content, erotica, gritty drama and violence.
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win an eBook copy of our first novel The Heist, being published by Dark Hollows Press. Good luck!