Or not. Whenever I begin a series, I start with a general idea of what it’s about: the uniformed men of Las Vegas dealing with unusual antics specific to the craziness of that city, a secret men’s BDSM club set in the 1920’s that is an imagining of how SSC might’ve evolved, and so on. When I commit myself to writing a series, I have to have a minimum of three basic storylines before I’ll begin. If I only have one story, one idea that sparks my interest within the theme of that particular series, I might be setting myself up for trouble. What if I start the series, even if each book is a standalone, and have no idea where I’m going with it next? It’s not fair to tease a reader with a series’ beginning, then either force another book that’s not going to be any good, or take forever to come out with another one, or even worse, never continue at all.
One example where this happened was a few years ago when I thought I had an awesome idea. I wanted to do a military-themed series. I had a great title, and a vague notion that I wanted two men who grew up together, but one enlists when they graduate, but the other doesn’t. I envisioned the furloughs, the questioning, possible temporary break-up, etc. Problem was, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to have this same couple stretch out through the whole series, and if I did, it couldn’t be so heartbreaking that every book made readers want to open a vein, but at the same time, it couldn’t be too cheery and if I used different couples, I wasn’t sure how to weave that together within the series’ theme or title… So I abandoned it. For now. The muse might simply be taking a nap on that one.
Instead, I ended up doing Sin City Uniforms. That one has always had endless possibilities, because seriously, Vegas? I actually got the idea by watching Vegas Strip. That was a short-lived reality show that’s basically Cops, but set only in Las Vegas. I based my character of Shawn, from All Fired Up, on one foot patrol officer who showed up in almost all the episodes. That guy was made for television. But overall, it was an easy decision to go ahead with Sin City, because I had plenty of options for stories right away, and once the LGBTQ teen shelter became a part of things, I wanted to keep it going to see how that story line would evolve.
Which brings me to the next thing that happens with series: I have a few basic story lines, I figure eh, three or four books, then I move on with my life, then bam. This character, or these five characters, or this sub-plot jumps up and down, waving at me frantically to get noticed, and that’s when I sigh with resignation, and open up a new folder to file away the outline for the latest story that I never meant to be. With the Kiss of Leather series, I knew for certain that all three co-owners of the club (Gavin, Josh and Derek) would have their own stories, then I would see how I felt about things after that. Josh and David’s story – they’re the only already committed couple when the series begins – was supposed to be Book 3. What I hadn’t anticipated, though, was Marshall.
Bratty sub Marshall, who plays by his own rules, shows up briefly in the first book as Kyle’s best friend. That was supposed to be his shining moment with an occasional appearance at the club as head mixologist, or at social gatherings. But he stuck with me, and I started to wonder who this energetic, social butterfly was and why he was so busy running around town, hooking up with anything that stood still long enough, and obviously drinking and partying it up. All of these things were inferred and happened off-page, but they made him real to me.
By the time I got to Kiss of Leather 3, Marshall had completely hijacked the book. It became about him and how he finally gets the help he needs, as well as getting a really hot Dom. Win-win! Of course, once I introduced the Dom PI, Stone Manning, he needed to have a junior PI so that Stone would have the ability to spend time training Marshall to behave himself, as well as help him through his recovery. Then, you guessed it, Chuck the junior PI started making himself known. Then there’s attorney Glen Sharp, Tobey (who was rejected by Gavin in Book 1), Liam from Jordan’s club, and for that matter, Jordan himself…
Point of all of this? Kiss of Leather will definitely exceed three books. Grand Opening, Book 4, will be out August 23rd (it’s on pre-order now) and will not only tell Josh and David’s story, but will feature the grand opening of the club. Here’s the blurb:
The men of Kiss of Leather celebrate a beginning, but will the price be another ending?
The grand opening of Kiss of Leather draws near and the pressure is on to make sure everything is completed for the big night. Master Josh is a perfectionist, so no detail is too small in order to enhance the quality of the prestigious club they’ve all worked so tirelessly on. Unfortunately, the endless demands on Josh’s time have caused him to forget the more important things in life.
David’s love for Master Josh is strong, but lately, that love has been constantly tested. How can a sub in a full-time D/s relationship serve a Master who’s never there? As things continue to deteriorate between him and Josh, David wonders if maybe his Master has tired of having to care for a sub 24/7.
By the time the grand opening arrives, Josh and David seem to have worked out their differences and David is hopeful for their future. The emotional collaring ceremony between Gavin and Kyle is a beautiful testament to the power of love. But when an unexpected party crasher intrudes on the evening’s festivities, the men are reminded that there are still too many unanswered questions related to Corey’s kidnapping.
More than ever, the men of Kiss of Leather need to stand united. Will Josh and David be able to do the same?
You can pre-order it HERE
See you next month and I’ll tell you all about a completely new series. Woo-hoo!