Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Short Story ~ The Tiger's Masquerade

So, how do you write a short story for the fantasy, future and paranormal erotic romance market? There are a lot of opportunities to pen one for an anthology. Because from what I can tell, Halloween anthologies seem to be particularly popular, whether e-book or print.

Truth is, the answer to my own question is: I dunno. Or, to clarify, there are highly successful authors who can give you advice that would be far, far superior to my own.

What I can say is that my own short story, 10,000 words, was a result of opportunity and inspiration... and timing. The Just Another Paranormal Monday chat loop put out a submission’s call for their first Halloween anthology. I had finally finished and submitted BRANDED BY THE TEXANS, over 100,000 words... and, I was working on my wolf shifter WIP, Sondra and Duke’s love story.

I’ve discovered it works best for me as a writer to hop back and forth between radically different worlds. My brain likes it, even hungers for it. I also ‘perform’ better if I change up on the length. Since I’ve come to relish certain Halloween themes and loved writing BLACK CAT BEAUTY, I began mulling around different plot ideas for a short story.

It took some time. However, the threads or the spider web began to spin in my beany brain. Thanks to my friend, Serena Shay, author of THE CHALLENGE, who inspired me with her comments on my blog... and my own avid interest in the guiding vibrations of astrology... this is the Chinese Year of Tiger... well, okay... yeah, a tiger shapeshifter hero.

Also, being enamored with the mere idea of a masquerade ball, especially in these current times... oh, I couldn’t and didn’t resist. No, it wasn’t easy for me to craft a short story. Plus, being a pantser... yeah, I had my basic idea, but it was off to the races. Could I do it? Would I do it?

Somehow, in that magical and sweat-it-out process we call writing, my heroine, Stacy, and my hero, Zyrru, came to life. Their love/passion story ultimately soared onto the monitor pages.

When I submitted the story, I had no idea if it would be accepted as part of a Halloween anthology, in part, because it’s not a typical spooky-fright tale. However, a couple of months later I got the ‘yes!’ word... and, now, it’s in the hands of MojoCastle Press. MojoCastle is a new publisher for me and I’m looking forward to working with them.

Here’s the ‘unedited’ blurb... I’m still working on it... and here’s an *unedited* small excerpt that will give you the flavor and setting of Stacy and Zyrru’s Halloween story ~

Blurb ~

Stacy wasn’t looking for a tiger-man to erotically and exotically fill her tank, then steal her heart. That is, until the Halloween ‘Call of the Wild Masquerade’ ball. But, what kind of tiger does she have by the tail?

Zyrru wasn’t looking for a human woman to un-tame his fiercest passions, and alter his royal life forever. After all, he’s only vacationing on Earth, and is almost engaged to The Princess. But, her rosefire scent is irresistible.

Excerpt ~

Stacy slipped her hands over her gown’s full skirts reveling in the feel of the shimmering pink satin. Picking them up as elegantly as she knew how, she moved toward the mansion’s ballroom.

Excitement pounded her heart. Expectation had shadowed her all day and now it heightened. For what, she wasn’t certain, except that her boss had teased her with promo pictures of the tiger men she’d hired for her Call of the Wild Masquerade ball.

Stacy paused at the arched entrance, sweeping her gaze over the huge room’s starry ethereal decorations, the ones she’d helped to arrange the day before. Not quite prepared for more than images of the Tame a Party Tiger men, Stacy came to a sliding halt on her dancer’s shoes.

Aware she looked ridiculously awkward with her arms akimbo and her body leaning forward, still, Stacy stared, and practically panted. Thankfully, her mask didn’t impede her breathing any, and she wasn’t wearing a corset, or she might have keeled over in an un-ladylike faint.

Exotic. Sexy. Gorgeously handsome.

Mygawd! Their bods were fighting lean, yet with beefcake muscles galore. At least, from what she could observe, since they wore updated versions of sixties’ sharkskin suits. Damn, who knew her heart could beat this fast over looking at a man? Okay, sharp-dressed tiger men.


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Lindsay Townsend said...

Wow, Savanna! Please let me know when this appears - I want it already!

Stacy I love in her pink satin and the Tiger men are magnificent - romantic, sexy and dangerous.

Thanks for a fascinating insight into how you write. I agree with switching genres and lengths as a way to keep fresh - I do something similar.

Glorious pic!

Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your success and new contract with MojoCastle - may it be the first of many.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Lindsay, thank you for your generous and kind comments.

I swear Blogger is about to give me a nervous breakdown lately. I noticed the blurb had been messed up. Oh, well, hopefully it's fixed now.

Again, thanks!

Linda Banche said...

Congrats on selling your story. I like Halloween stories, too. Nothing like seeing great-looking men in the process!

Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--Tiger Men? Oh, dear. Now you have my attention. I admire you so much because of your extreme creativity. I cannot do this in a million years, but I wonder how liberating it might be to write--in the closet, of course--something along this line. You never cease to amuse and entertain me, Savanna. You're a one-of-a-kind wonder! Celia

Francesca Prescott said...

Savanna, you must be the world champion of Imagination! I don't know where you get it from, but it really is remarkable. Swoony as ever!!! Congratulations on selling your story.

Francesca Prescott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francesca Prescott said...

Savanna, you must be the world champion of Imagination! I don't know where you get it from, but it really is remarkable. Swoony as ever!!! Congratulations on selling your story.

Francesca Prescott said...

Sorry about the comment repeating, don't know what's going on. I tried to delete a couple but got locked out.

StephB said...

Tiger men? I'm intrigued. I would say from surfing the net that Halloween Anthologies appear to do well.

I love your imagination. I used to do good going between stories, but I've found as I've gotten older, I've gotten away from that.


Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, if you ever want to 'write in the closet' let me know. Actually, I'm waiting for your FIFTIES James Dean romance.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, so true. I have to admit I had to live vicariously through my heroine. I mean, a masquerade ball with tiger men!

Savanna Kougar said...

Francesca, ah, finally, champion at something! Thank you, beautiful one.

Savanna Kougar said...

Steph, it's interesting how the mind and brain work. I've noticed how different we authors are in how we approach writing our books.

Plus, like you say, the process always changes.

LK Hunsaker said...

Savanna, congrats on the sale!

I have to say that although I'm not a big shifter fan, the tiger man appeals to me more than any others I've heard of. ;-) My own favorite hero is one (astrologically). Perfect way to go for the Year of the Tiger! Good luck with it. :-)

Savanna Kougar said...

LK, no, shifters certainly don't appeal to everyone. It's a niche market and I enjoy bringing out the beast, so to speak. Plus, I've had flash-dreams of other societies where it's the norm.
I know, I'm a strange gal.

An astrological Tiger Man... what can I say? Except 'enjoy' your roaring hero!

Bekki Lynn said...

Oh, I can't wait. Congratulations! Bring on the Tiger-man! I loved Black Cat Beauty.

Definitely, let us know when it's available.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Savanna,
Bring out the fan, I am perspiring over these tiger men. Fantastic imagination and I loved the blurb and excerpt. You had me staring into the room trying to see these sexy beasts. LOL Congrats on the contract and can't wait till this is released.

Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, thanks a bunch! It will be Halloween-interesting to see all the antho stories. I wasn't given a heads-up on them. Not yet, anyway.

Savanna Kougar said...

Rebecca, lol! thanks... I know I was staring in my writerly imagination and wishing I was actually there.