Another Sunday, another week of Sneak Peek Sunday, a romance writer blog hop. Follow the link back to see what other authors are working on this week (please note that participating authors write in all genres and at all heat levels).
We hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend. Currently we’re deep in editing two shorts that are about to go out the door before we dive into what’s going to be a long month of editorial work on longer projects.
One of those projects is Snare, which Erin and I originally wrote over the winter holidays in the gap between Starling and Doves because we needed a break. This is what we do — develop shorts and other projects between drafts of the Love in Los Angeles books (which may help you guess why I’m spending this weekend editing shorts).
As what is currently a 30K m/m/m vampire romance fairytale about New York City’s municipal bureaucracy, Snare is sort of weird and sort of our problem child. Granted, it’s a problem child that has received some editorial interest, which is great, but we have a lot of revision work to do on it in order to help everyone figure out what’s ultimately going to be the best home and strategy for it.
As we ease into that ordeal (and let’s be real, writing is sometimes hard) we thought we’d share the story’s current first six paragraphs with you. We have no idea what they’ll look like, or even if they’ll remain, in the final disposition of this odd little passion project.
When Elijah Endicott Iverson — his parents are very cruel — is in the third grade, he learns about life, death, and the various legal statuses in between. It’s in civics class, sandwiched between the checks and balances inherent in the three main branches of the U.S. federal government and the history of the country’s citizenship laws.
He doesn’t really pay as much attention as he should. After all, he lives in California, and all the vampires live in New York, ostensibly confined to Manhattan Island by the rivers that surround it. Mrs. Sanchez tells the class that vampires are very tricky, however, and that’s why hundreds of years ago they gave the city their money to help fund the building of bridges and tunnels that would let them escape. That didn’t really work out of course, because the city just got checkpoints and dogs and is now moving into retinal scanners to make sure only the living can come and go as they please. But the vampires’ failed plan has still made New York the greatest city in the world.
There are even plenty of humans who, though alive, apply to be declared legally dead so they can live the way the vampires do, Mrs. Sanchez says. They are limited in movement, and may have no legal identity, bank account, or anything that requires a government ID, but they are under absolutely no legal jurisdiction, federal, state, or otherwise. Though the official term for those people is Dead — as distinguished from the dead, who are actually biologically deceased — they’re also called rabbits, and the communities in which they live alongside vampires are called warrens. Eli is not sure why, and Mrs. Sanchez doesn’t say.
She does note, however, that while some say this system fuels New York’s crime and lawlessness, it has also made the city a mecca for artists and non-conformists, the seeking and the strange, contributing to a vibrant culture most only experience on television or at the movies. Trapped in the vast and boring inland wastes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Eli decides that one day he is totally going to move there.
At twenty-three, he does. As if foreshadowed by the civics class that set his heart on the city, that residency, for Eli, comes with the world’s most boring job. He is a clerk, in one of the City’s seemingly infinite offices of municipal record keeping. Most days, he works deep underground, where the least useful paperwork imaginable — the records of the Dead — is kept. But it is the days he must rise to the surface he finds most annoying; it means someone has made an error that he must track down and resolve in person. It’s not, after all, like the Dead have cell phones. Those require contracts which require credit cards, and both of those things are at least difficult to obtain without being part of the breathing and banking world.
His colleagues tease him as he hustles out of the Greek-revival building that’s so much prettier on the outside than the inside. They all claim that they stopped caring about their jobs after the first week, but Eli is up to nearly four months and is still armed with an enthusiasm his peers don’t just deem absurd, but unnecessary. Eli flips them off as he goes.