Your brain is a scary yet amazing place, you know that right?!
I laughed yesterday when I got this message from a friend because it’s a comment I get quite often as the author of not only paranormal romantic comedy, but also of psychologically disturbing suspense. I am after all the author of MInE, the book for which my mother told my father, “If this is in Andrea’s head, I think she needs to see a psychologist,” and a blogger said, “Even Satan wouldn’t know what to do with Andie M. Long.”
But it got me to thinking, where did Gnarly Fell come from, and the main answer is: my imagination.
A couple of years ago I was writing the first book in The Paranormals series and I wrote in a character called Mya who sired the band’s bass guitarist. The moment I wrote Mya, with her sassy wit and ‘take no crap’ banter, I knew I had to write more of this character. Having already written a series set in a seaside town with a host of supernatural creatures (Supernatural Dating Agency), I felt I wanted a whole different setting and cast of characters. I made Mya’s love interest Death himself (the ultimate tall, dark, handsome and broody!), and decided to put her in an old-fashioned castle on top of a hill where I pictured trees with gnarled branches. (I then found the picture below on an image search which was eerily how I'd imagined Mya's new home). The village appeared beneath me in my mind; more of the gnarled trees that would give the village its name: Gnarly Fell.
I let the first book take me on its wild ride with no fixed plot other than she needed to end up with Death at the end in a Happy For Now, given that in The Paranormals set 11 years later their relationship is said to be off-and-on. For two people who will live together for eternity I see no rush in their story and while all the other villagers get their happy ever afters, Mya and Death’s story will continue to weave around them. After all, she’s only been the Queen of the Wayward for two months as we come to the story of Sucking Hell, Book 3 in the series.
Characters have surprised me as they have appeared. Santa himself turned up, along with tooth fairies, dragon shifters, a whole clan of vampires who live in Chelsea but through marriage are now intertwined with Gnarly, and in Book 4 which I’m currently writing, a money-grabbing vampire is currently ‘in hate’ with an artist zombie (who currently hates her right back).
As I write this short blog post, I have to say, my brain surprises me as much as it does you. But the characters give me the giggles and the setting gives me peace. A place to go to when the real world gets too much. There will be at least six books in the series. I hope you continue to enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
This third book that released yesterday is a feel-good Christmassy tale. Perfect for the holiday season.