Yes, the incorrigible Will Ludlam, vampire at large, is finally being loosed upon the world. Today is release day for Omega, the third book in my Penton Legacy series written as Susannah Sandlin. Why do I write under two names? Mostly to keep the genres separate. Suzanne writes urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy; Susannah writes dark paranormal romance.
There’s always a lot of humor in my stories—I can’t seem to help myself—and Omega is no different. Will’s a funny guy, although we find out how he uses that humor to put distance between himself and others. Will’s story is very dark, to me even darker than the stories of Aidan (Redemption) and Mirren (Absolution).
I learned a lot about character development from Will as well as the heroine of the book, Randa. I struggled with both of them in the beginning. They had this fun, antagonistic rivalry thing going in Absolution, but as I got ready to write Omega, I realized I didn’t know either of them very well. I knew Will was a playboy, a smartass who always had a quick comeback, a very smart man with a lot of technical know-how. In other words, he was all surface. I didn’t know what lay underneath that Teflon coating.
Randa was turned while a soldier in Afghanistan. I knew she was tough, that she’d only been turned about five years, that Aidan had paired her with Will. She also hid behind a hard exterior, and I didn’t know what was behind it.
So very early on in the writing, I had to shut down the computer and walk away so I could think. Just think. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s surprising how much of writing is instinctive, that our minds take us in certain directions or create scenarios and we call it our “muse” and go with it.
My muse was having none of it. My muse had no idea who Will and Randa were. I knew that Will had been turned by his father, but why had Will fled his father’s home and stayed on the run for a long time before meeting up with Aidan? Will talks very, very little about his father, barely mentions Matthias’s name, yet we know Matthias wants his son back under his roof and under his thumb. What really happened between them? What shaped the man Will became?
The process of really meeting Will, studying his behavior and what shaped it, and using that knowledge to predict how he’d react as the story progresses taught me a lot about human nature, and the power of just stepping back to think.
Seems obvious now, right? Think.
So I hope you’ll hop around to today’s stops on the Omega tour. I have some good tour prizes up for grabs (hello, Kindle or Nook, anyone? $100 worth of books of your choice?). Say happy birthday to Will. If you haven’t tried the series, I hope you’ll check it out!
Today, I’m at Romance Magicians, the blog of my local chapter of Romance Writers of America, talking about the lessons I learned from writing this series (you just heard one of them—LOL).
And I’m doing a super-fun interview with Crystal at Crystal Blogs Books. You can read her review of Omega, and then check out the interview. She had some questions I’ve never been asked before, so it was a real treat! Plus, please show her some love–this was her first author interview and she did great!