For the last few years I have been working on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The first scene came to my head and was scratched out on paper, not even taking up one single page. I didn't know where the story would go from that scene or even what the book was about. I left it alone for a time, and then picked it up again while out at the fairgrounds one sunny Sunday afternoon. A few more scenes later and I felt I had something to work with and somewhere to go. And "Saving Beauty" was born.
A few months later, I was invited to join a group of writers online who also participated in NaNoWriMo (That's "National Novel Writing Month") to produce 60 handwritten pages in the month of August. Just because. No prizes for the winners except bragging rights and the satisfaction of meeting the goal.
At the time, I was working at a place where most of the time I was standing still with nothing to do. In order to keep my brain from slipping into a fog, I would doodle or write on scraps of paper. Various things. Silly things. But it kept me occupied.
This challenge couldn't have come at a better time! So, I took to taking notebook paper with me and wrote Saving Beauty whenever I could. One handwritten word and sentence and paragraph at a time. 60 pages in one month. Even after the challenge, I kept writing longhand. It was relaxing and stimulating at the same time. You tend to think more decisively penning words on paper rather than typing on a computer. Pen can't be deleted.
A month or two later, I started transferring the pages to the computer.
Over the course of the last couple years, the 60 handwritten pages grew into a several hundred computer typed pages. I gave myself no deadline for completing the story. I wasn't in any rush. It was one of those stories I just enjoyed writing and knew it would get done when it was ready to be done.
Now that the Web of Time series is completed, I'm able to turn my focus to other things and Saving Beauty just begged for my attention. I opened up the document and was surprised by how far I was. It was time to finish. As new characters slipped in between the paragraphs, I knew that there was more to this than one book. There were more retellings to be written.
So a series was born. Stand alone novels, and yet connected by one kingdom and one realm. "Saving Beauty" will be available soon, as I am deep in the editing process now. Next, in November for NaNoWriMo, I'll be sharing the life and struggles of a young man who showed up in Saving Beauty and asked to have his own story told in "Chasing Cinders." How could I say no?
Join me in November when I'll share an excerpt for Saving Beauty and introduce Chasing Cinders!