I love return visits from authors we adore because it's a testament that we love their work and they trust us enough to critique and help them get the word out.
One of my fave Indie author, Red Tash is here to talk about her new book, Troll or Derby.
Troll Or Derby?
The lovely ladies of TalkSupe want to know which I'd choose, those snarky devils.
Let me tell you a bit about Troll Or Derby, first. They've asked me to write about the making of this one.
Hrm. How to put this. Have you ever had a rebound fling with a really, really hot guy? Let's say you just got out of a serious, important relationship. Maybe you were married, maybe engaged, maybe you dated a guy all through high school—I don't know. You tell me. For whatever reason, it ended, and just when you're sick of crying and you've burned all his stuff and you're ready to get back to getting your groove on, you meet That Guy. Not Mr. Right, per se, but That Guy.
That Guy flirts with you. That Guy makes it easy for you to like him. You know That Guy isn't going to be the love of your life, probably, but, hey--he's cute, he pays attention to you, he's got a hot body and your girlfriends won't hold it against you if you hit him up for a booty call at the end of Girls Night Out, because you deserve it, playa. Hey hey!
Well, writing a novel is a serious commitment. In many ways, it's a lot like a serious relationship. My first novel, This Brilliant Darkness (wonderful novel, gave me serious mind-f*ck), was very important to me! I thought I had finished it originally after the third draft, a few years ago. Although I knew I wanted to eventually write the second half of the story (my current work-in-progress), I needed a break from the seriousness of telling such a complex story. Even though there were light parts of the book, it was still a very complicated undertaking writing such a twisty story of interlinked lives! I wanted to do it right, and that was no small task.
I was “on a break” from This Brilliant Darkness when Troll Or Derby came to me, the That Guy of books. I just opened my mind one day to something different, and in the characters marched.
Originally I thought I'd write something about a troll because no one was writing about trolls. Everyone was writing about vampires, and I didn't want to be just like everyone else! And before you say “Amanda Hocking!” to me, realize that I started writing Troll Or Derby in 2007, years before Amanda Hocking was even considering the “publish” button on Amazon. My original notes said “Rowdy romp through the Midwest” and “Troll works at UPS, high school girl on drugs.”
Eventually, I joined a roller derby team, and that took up all my free time and much of my family time. I can't tell you why I did it, exactly—all I know was at the time, it felt like I had no choice. I had to skate. It brought me so much joy! It was so much fun! It was so physically exhausting, all I did for months was eat, sleep, and dream derby.
I was a freelance journalist, and I continued to write my column and publish articles in magazines, but I didn't even try to write any fiction for the entire time I played roller derby. My “troll book” was That Guy, right? I mean, I could take him or leave him. I'd pick him up when I felt like it. Writing Troll Or Derby was all about fun. You can't force yourself to have fun, can you? I wasn't about to try.
Roller derby isn't the kind of sport you can play forever, though. The question is not when “Will I get hurt?” it is “When will I get hurt?” Everyone gets injured and I was no exception. Other factors changed in my life, and I ended up a single mom with a full-time job, and derby just didn't fit into my lifestyle anymore. As I got back to work-work, the desire to get back to work on Troll Or Derby was something I could no longer ignore.
I found myself bringing my laptop to work, writing on my lunch breaks, holed up in my office with the door closed. Or the heck with eating, I wanted to spend more time with That Guy! There were days when I'd dash out a chapter and then snarf a packet of tuna while playing Plants Vs Zombies as the final minutes of my lunch break ticked away. Good times.
That was around the time I decided Harlow wasn't just a character--he was going to have his own chapters. At first it was just an experiment, and I knew that if I didn't like “Harlow's voice,” I could just delete him from the book altogether. But, wow, he really grew on me! Probably 85% of Deb's chapters were already written when I went back and started writing from Harlow's perspective. Adding his chapters in as I went was a really fun way to tell more about the fairy/troll world these two weirdos and their kin lived in. I continued to be very casual about the writing process—my That Guy book—until the spring of 2011 when my husband pointed out this Ms. Hocking and her $2 million in book sales. We were newlyweds and expecting our first baby, and he just kind of kept emailing me these articles, so I said, “Okay, why not?”
It wasn't easy finding writing time with a new baby on my lap (it's still not—she's napping on my lap as I type this), but That Guy and I got a lot more serious when I realized I wasn't going to be returning to work outside the home full-time. (Have you looked up the cost of daycare for four kids? Not worth it.) I decided that instead of returning to freelance writing, I would polish up that First Serious Relationship (This Brilliant Darkness) and publish it. I did! And I met some great readers, like Cimmaron and Braine, and many others! Bolstered by that success, I finished fooling around with That Guy (Troll Or Derby) and just recently sent him out into the world to find his feet. And you know what? Troll Or Derby may not have started as such a serious book, but it's the kind of fun I am serious about having over and over again. I can't wait to write Troll Or Trash and Troll Or Park, the sequels (ooohhh loving the titles, but seriously Red, you have to publish Greachin and Christine's first before you start prancing around your Trolls again).
Like I said, I'm writing the sequel to This Brilliant Darkness (you better!) right now. It's a story that I love and it will be super satisfying to have it out there in the world as a bookend to that First Serious Relationship. I need the closure and I know the readers do, too. But That Other Guy is already sneaking thoughts into my mind every day. I've started an idea folder on Pinterest, and I've been emailing myself notes with rollergirl names and ideas for what mythical characters would look like on roller skates.
I'm also fielding offers from publishers who are interested in helping me share these two books with the world, so that's a fabulous achievement, as well!
So, would I choose the Troll, darling Harlow? Or would I choose the nitty gritty, off-the-hook fun of roller derby?
Thank God I don't have to choose! I'll just keep going back for more and more and more.
Thanks, C&B for having me today. And thanks, readers, for your fantastic support.
Thanks again for dropping by and for sharing
The Making of Troll or Derby
and for giving us (ME!) updates about
This Brilliant Darkness'
sequel. I've been bugging her about that for the longest time!
So the GIVEAWAY!
We LOVE GIVEAWAYS! I have yet to meet a person who doesn't. Anyway Red made this awesome prize pack for all of you. If you want it head on to Red Tash's page to enter.