This image was the inspiration for so much of the Rise of the Iliri series. It’s an animal, but not. It’s humanoid, but not. It’s adorable, strange, and intriguing. When I saw this little beasty, questions popped into my head. For me, that means a story is coming – and boy did it!
But readers want to have a hero who they can relate to. I wanted to write a villain’s story without making it clear that’s what it really was. Dozens of classics sprang to mind, all too often with a female “evil queen” type character, and I knew I had what I wanted. The ultimate femme fatale, with charisma, danger, and pitfalls surrounding her very existence.
But taking a character from a strange creature to a hero isn’t something I can do in one book. Well, I could, but the story would either be flat, not epic enough for my desires, or feel very rushed. I needed a series. An epic series!
And in the process, I’ve learned so much about writing. I stopped listening to what I’m supposed to do and decided to become the mouthpiece for those people living in my head. I told their story, not my own, and let it run free.
I’m currently working on the third book in the series. For those who follow my work, you know that I’m never just working on just ONE book, but “Iliri 3” as it’s currently being called, has just been sent to the editor (since Flawed came back). Oh, it’s been run through a few times by myself and Kitty. Our beta readers have picked at it. New hints are going to be revealed, and I have a feeling this series is about to take a turn that none of you saw coming. (insert a big, devious grin here).
But it’s all been planned from the start. I’ve always known the overall path of the series. It’s been the twists and turns inside each novel that often surprise me. Hearing the reader reactions has me rubbing my hands together like some crazy mad scientist. You won’t see this coming. Oh no, but you’ve been asking the right questions. I’ve left the right hints hanging out there.
The hardest part is not spoiling it for you, but I kinda want to. Just a little.