Once again, McSwain & Beck are happy to welcome Carlie M.A. Cullen. Carlie has agreed to offer a guest post as part of her blog tour, and her subject is: The evolution of Heart Search: Lost.
When CR first asked me to come up with a post about how I came up with the story for Heart Search, my immediate thought was, how can I write enough to make it worthwhile? But then my dear friend, Inspiration, came a knocking on my door.
I’d had a couple of really manic weeks where I’d been on the go from dawn till dusk, you know those sorts of weeks, right? The kind where you’re out of the house a lot and when I was home I was busy with household chores and decorating. The only thing I’d written during those weeks was a shopping list and a To Do list, so I didn’t forget anything. It was a storm before the lull.
I was relaxing for the first time in what felt like forever and listening to music, when an idea tiptoed into my head like a child sneaking to the fridge for a midnight snack. The idea was a little hazy at first, something vague about a girl whose boyfriend got bitten by a vampire. Hmmm, this has got possibilities I thought, but by then I was pretty tired and went to bed.
The following day the idea was waiting for me, lurking in the shadows until I’d had my first cup of tea and was really awake. This time it came back a bit stronger and with a little more substance. Now I had the boy disappearing after he’d been bitten and the girl setting off to find him. Now that would be a little different thought I and began trying to work out how I could write it and from what perspective.
Over the next few days the basic idea evolved and became stronger and more involved, to the extent where I felt I could actually write a basic synopsis for an outline. And that’s exactly what I did.
I then started to think about characters and before I knew it, Remy had marched into my head. I could picture her as clearly as if she were standing in front of me. A pretty girl with her strawberry blonde hair cut into a bob, warm brown eyes, the shape of her face, her height, build, the ‘whole nine yards’ as my US friends would say. I quickly wrote down everything I could see, not wanting to leave out a single thing. I now had my main character . . . or did I?
The following day, Joshua stormed into my head wearing hobnail boots (well that’s what it felt like). Again I could see him as clearly as I’d seen Remy the previous day. Quite a cute guy stood there, with slightly wavy mid brown hair and coffee-coloured eyes. I rushed to my laptop and wrote down every detail.
From then onwards, Remy and Joshua were always in my head, telling me how their story started, the initial chain of events and a few details for me to run with and explore. They began to push me to start writing, they were eager for me to tell their story; it was like having two adult children trying to nag you into doing something a little before you felt you were ready.
So to placate them, I wrote an outline for the story. When I finished and read it back, I realized this was going to be a novel-length story something I’d not attempted before and I was suddenly as eager to start on it as they were. I wrote out a chapter plan for the first twelve chapters and began writing. However, by the time I reached chapter five or six I found I was deviating from the plan I’d so carefully crafted. Remy and Joshua had taken over and they were going to tell their story their way.
New characters formed and each had to have their own profile, so I would find myself breaking off from the story to breathe life into each new face they placed before me. And then I was back to writing the story again. So it continued. My original thoughts and ideas had morphed into something extraordinary.
The original plan was to base almost the entire book on Remy and her search for her missing boyfriend. I’d decided I would write her in first voice, something I’d not done much of in the past, as I wanted to challenge myself. But Joshua wasn’t willing to be relegated to the background. Oh no, he had his story to tell too. He wanted me to write about his transition from mortal to immortal, his first foray into the dark world of the vampire, his first time feeding from a human and much more. How could I refuse him?
It was then I decided to write Joshua’s story in third voice; I wanted to differentiate between the two stories so the reader wouldn’t get confused.
By the time I was about a quarter of the way through the novel, I realized Remy and Joshua had more of a story to tell than would fit in one book and it was at that point I knew it would turn into a trilogy.
As I’m now writing book two, I’m finding more facets of their personalities and they have thrown me a few curve balls already. I can’t help but wonder what more they have in store.
Carlie M.A. Cullen
Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing. She has been an administrator and marketer all her working life and is also a professional teacher of Ballroom and Latin American dancing.
Carlie has always written in some form or another, but Heart Search: Lost is her first novel. This was launched 8th October 2012 through Myrddin Publishing Group and work has started on book two: Heart Search: Found. She writes mainly in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for YA, New Adult and Adult.
Carlie is also a professional editor.
Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. Their first anthology, The Other Way Is Essex, was published September 2012 under Myrddin Publishing Group.
Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.
HEART SEARCH: LOST
When Joshua Grant vanishes days before his wedding his fiancée Remy is left with only bruises, scratch marks and a hastily written note. Heartbroken, she sets off alone to find him and begins a long journey where strange things begin to happen.
As Joshua descends into his new immortal life he indulges his thirst for blood and explores his superhuman strength and amazing new talents while becoming embroiled in coven politics which threaten to destroy him. But Remy discovers a strength of her own on her quest to bring Joshua home.
Fate toys with mortals and immortals alike, as two hearts torn apart by darkness face ordeals which test them to their limits.