Thursday, October 10, 2013

NaNo Revisted: 2009, the Bad Witch that Wasn't

Every author dreams of what they'll do when they get The Call. In my case, it was The Email. On November 17, 2009 I received the offer from Mr. Sam Hain to publish my 2006 NaNo Blood, Smoke and Mirrors. There was SO MUCH REJOICING! At the time BFF Diana was also co-worker Diana, so she was the first one to hear the good news. We had the world's quietest celebratory happy dance of joy in her cubicle.

I was well into my 2009 NaNo, Bloodlines and Broomsticks, the second Bad Witch book, and visions of being a multi-published author danced in my head. I dreamed of being a best seller, of having legions of fans, movie deals, my own theme park...

And then Bloodlines and Broomsticks was rejected. Such is the way of the Force.

It was a hard lesson to learn--just because you've written a novel, doesn't mean it's going to be published, and just because you've published one novel, doesn't mean you'll get published again. Every author has rejection stories. My favorite was the form letter rejection I received at 8 a.m. one Valentine's Day (talk about a mood breaker). Eventually I wrote a new, different second Bad Witch book, Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered. Really the best advice I can give in dealing with rejection is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep writing.

For now, Bloodlines and Broomsticks lives on my hard drive. Occasionally I open it and poke at it, wondering what might have been. Here's a scene from it where Riley and company meet the infamous Zachary Harrison:

Then it clicked, and I recognized him. Zachary Harrison, the real estate mogul. “Shut up!” I said, shocked. Beatrice raised an eyebrow at me, and I pointed at him. “He’s famous. Really famous. Like a movie star.” And he was also the sexiest man alive, according to the gossip magazine currently residing on my coffee table. Though if he were a vampire as Benedick just said, I guess he wouldn’t be very alive. He seemed very tan though. Weren’t vampires supposed to be pale? I was paler than him. Then again I’m paler than most people—when we went to Disney World on a family vacation, Snow White joked that I was fairer than she was.

“Do you want an autograph?” he asked dryly. I actually pondered it for a moment, and then shook my head when my brain kicked back in. Celebrity vampires. What next?

“At any rate, I don’t usually prey on college girls,” Harrison said. “I don’t see a reason why I should be accused of attacking you.”

“Because a necromancer killed my Maureen,” Beatrice said darkly. “Her killer is still out there.”

The dry amusement faded from his face, and he eyed me again.

“You’re related to the former Titania?”

“Yes. She was my grandmother.”

“I see.”

“And if you can swear that you’ve done no harm to Riley or her family, then we can move on to finding the real hunters,” Benedick pointed out. “Can you swear to that, councilman?”

The vampire seemed to carefully consider his words before he replied. “I haven’t harmed her or her family.”

There was something in the way he said it that made me suspicious. “But you know who did?”

“Yes, but they’re both dead.”

“Who was it?” Beatrice asked. The scent of earth and leaves surrounded her, and her expression was deadly calm.

“The names won’t do you any good. Suffice it to say the new Oberon and Titania took care of them.”

That seemed to placate Beatrice somewhat, but I wasn’t convinced. There was no way I was going to take the word of a vampire, especially about the new Titania. “Why should we trust you?”

“You don’t have to. If I may?” Mr. Harrison asked, pointing to his jacket. Being the closest threat, Jeremiah nodded his permission. The vampire reached in and withdrew his cell phone and raised it to his ear. A silent moment passed, and he sighed. “This is business, Duquesne, let me speak with her.”

I frowned. He’d called Marie, the guardian? Why? She hadn’t been much of a help so far. She should’ve been here right now if she was truly investigating the hunter problem. It didn’t speak well for her guardian abilities that Jeremiah and I found a lead she didn’t.

“Good evening, Catherine. I’m in Oak Glen trying to locate Anthony, and I’ve run into a problem with a few people who fall under your jurisdiction. I’d like you to speak with one of them…Yes, one moment.” He held the cell phone out to me, and I reluctantly crossed the room to take it from him. The man made my skin crawl, and the moment I picked up the phone I walked past him to stand next to Jeremiah.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi,” a woman’s voice greeted me, and she sounded very unhappy. “I’m the Titania, who are you?”

Her brusque tone irritated me, and I stood straighter as I answered. “No, you are the new Titania. I’m Riley O’Driscoll. My grandma was the former one.”

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