I have acquired a reputation as a genre masher. Name the sub-genre and it’s probably in there somewhere. I have a series that is vampire time travel MMF ménage futuristic paranormal romantic suspense, for example.
The Kiss Across Time series isn’t quite so extreme, although it has a few monikers of its own: vampire time travel MMF ménage paranormal romance series.
I’ve been asked why the mash up?
The easy answer is “because.” Because it’s fun. Because I pressed buttons and that’s what came out. Because I thought I’d see what happened when I stirred. Because no one else is doing it.
How I got to writing them is a bit of history. I used to avoid paranormal like the plague. I didn’t want to jump on the band wagon because I thought it would look like I was exploiting the popularity of the genre (I would have been). At the time I genuinely didn’t like paranormal. Confession: I didn’t enjoy Interview With The Vampire in either book or movie form. I found the movie self-conscious and Tom Cruise irritating (and short). Brad Pitt was pretty, though. Antonia Banderas was the one great moment in the movie, but I may be biased.
I never did get into Buffy, etc.
I was writing for Ellora’s Cave at the time, and they invited me to write for an anthology they were putting together with two of their top authors. I jumped at the chance – I was a nobody author. Then the two authors announced that the anthology was going to be paranormal.
I’d already signed the contract, so there wasn’t much I could do about it but dive in and write the story I’d committed myself to. Besides, I would be appearing with the two BIG authors. Pretty hard to pass up.
So I wrote what would end up being Solstice Surrender. I made my heroine in the story a complete skeptic, just like me, and she fought and denied throughout most of the story (just like I would). It was therapeutic and educational and an interesting thing happened: I enjoyed myself.
I figured that one story was an aberration. I didn’t want to upset my established readers by suddenly switching to the new, sexy genre. So I continued to write romantic suspense.
Then I was ungraciously dumped from my day job one day, without warning. I was given a large parting cheque – large enough to last for a while if we were careful, but the job market was terrible right then, so I started cranking out novels with a vengeance. Not only that, I asked Ellora’s Cave what was hot, what was selling the best. Yeah, I went for the money.
The Executive Director for EC asked if I could write MMF urban fantasy as they didn’t have anyone doing that. “Sure!” I said. I’d never read a) urban fantasy or b) MMF ménage. I rolled into a four week marathon reading/research and writing cram session and produced at the end of it a three-novella MMF urban fantasy series that EC promptly published.
And I learned something else: I love MMF ménage…and vampires. My sort of vampires, anyway. They’re not angst-filled, ennui-anchored sad sacks. They walk in daylight, they fight hard for what they want and believe in and they love. With gusto.
About ten years ago, the guts dropped out of the historical romance market. Or at least, that’s what New York publishers told us and promptly stopped buying historical romances. All the mid-list historical romance authors abruptly had to find new genres or new careers, including me, as I had just released my first historical romance with a legacy publisher. I never published another historical romance again.
But I love and adore history and historical anything.
It didn’t take long for me to couple up in my head the idea of very long lived vampires + history.
Oh, mama! Talk about a light bulb going off!
Vampires + MMF ménage + history.
Except history wouldn’t work, I was told. So, pseudo history…time travel!!! Even better! There were all the complications that could happen from screwing with time, time jumps gone wrong…writer’s nirvana, in other words!
And that’s where I came up with the idea of vampires + MMF ménage + time travel. It’s an explosive combination, too. Try it and see.