Cupid in Monte Carlo 2 releases on May 25, and Cupid in Monte Carlo 3 on June 15, and so, in the time of COVID-19 exhaustion, frustration, and anxiety, I’m adding a publishing credit to my CV and a trio of milestones to my career (first trilogy, first indie KU project, first menage!). But the really significant thing about this project is that it got written, in 2019.
2020 is a tough year for everyone. For my family, 2019 was unprecedented hell—enough said. In October/November 2018, I finished writing Matilda and the Vegan Biker, which was conceptualized as the first of seven rom-coms in the Fat Yoginis in Love Series. In December, life happened. By January, it was clear that my ambitious plan of finishing four of the Fat Yogini novels in 2019 and releasing them in 2020/2021—ha ha ha. No. Wasn’t going to happen. Revising Matilda wasn’t going to happen. Showering wasn’t going to happen. Writing wasn’t going to happen.
But if you a writer and not writing, you’re not well, right? I’ve been earning my living writing since I’ve been 17. Writing is also my meditation, prayer, relaxation. Being in a mental and circumstantial space where I’m not writing—it’s hell.
But I couldn’t hold the seven-story Fat Yogini arc in my head, and I couldn’t focus, and thinking was so hard…
A non-writer friend made the obvious suggestion: “Write something short. Go back to your dirty vignettes or your three little words games with your readers.” But I wasn’t feeling particularly sexy or playful. Or smart. Or inspired.
My friend, an engineer, framed the issue like this: “Write as an exercise. What’s something that you don’t write, don’t have any ego invested in, but wouldn’t mind trying your hand at.”
“Menage.” The answer was immediate. I’ve always wondered how menage writers keep all those pronouns—and limbs and extra cocks and cunts, tbh—sorted. Also, points of view. How do they do it?
Also, can you write a triad and pay equal attention to all three bonds?
“So write a short menage,” my friend said. “A short story, Not a novel or a novella. Just to see if you can do it.”
So. I did. I wrote it in 15-minute increments in the middle of hell and chaos.
And then I wrote a second one.
And then when I went back to them, I thought, these aren’t so bad, actually. If I do this and this, and carry these characters over… they’re kind of two-thirds of a trilogy. And if I write a third one… I’ll have a trilogy.
So I wrote a third one.
Still in 15-minute increments. In various clinics, doctor’s waiting rooms, in-between appointments, snatching an occasional two, three hour editing block.
Everything about this project was hard. Writing it. Revising it. (Revising is hard thinking-work!) Finishing it. Deciding that it was “good enough” to release into the world as indie title (I’m old so I usually query my indie projects and get a trad house offer on them before I self-pub them, ssshhh, don’t tell acquiring editors… I need the external validation). Deciding to “down-scale” my expectations and just release the trilogy on Amazon as an e-book, instead of going wide and hitting the print, digital, and audiomarkets at the same time…
Actually pushing it across the finish line in the midst of a global pandemic. <<—not easy, either.
I’d like to stop here and applaud anyone who has managed to finish (or start) anything during this part quarter. Cause holy fuck. Getting out of bed is hard…
But even with all of that, the hardest thing?
Writing it. In 2019.
So, as I get ready to celebrate the release of Cupid in Monte Carlo 2 on May 25… congratulate me. Sales, reviews—they matter, of course, but they are largely not in my control.
In my control? Getting the words out of the head, onto the page.
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