Monday, August 30, 2010

Confessions of a Liar

It’s true. I’m a liar. And I’m not just someone who lies about trivial things—like adding an embellishment to something I saw to make it more interesting. No. I tell big whopper lies that go on for hundreds of pages about things you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. Or maybe you would.

I’m J. C. Coy, and I write urban fantasy, usually dark, sometimes downright horrifying, and always hot. I like a sexy hero, and that character gets center stage. Not that I don’t care for heroines. But my work always features a male MC. For me, they are more fun to write and work with. They don’t give me the hard time heroines tend to.

Why dark? I blame that mostly on Stephen King. I discovered him when I was a teenager…and it was all over. No writer could top King in my eyes. I devoured every word he wrote, the scarier the better. My favorite monster has always been the vampire, and when I found a copy of Salem’s Lot, oh my, reading bliss. Later I discovered Anne Rice and fell in love with Louis and Lestat. Oh what fun. From there it wasn’t a long hop to paranormal romance. I then found the work of JR Ward. She took vampires to a new level, and boy, were they hot.

Five years ago, when I was rereading Anne Rice, I decided to give writing a serious shot. I’d always dabbled, but never with the intention of seeking publication. Naturally, I started with work much closer to horror than paranormal romance. Over time, the romance became more important to me than a good scare, and my work started to evolve. Then I read some urban fantasy and knew I’d found what was right for me. But after two years of trial and error, of reading writer’s books and articles, I was still making mistakes. Worse, I didn’t know how to fix them.

I joined Romance Writers of America and a few subchapters (most notably Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal and Central Ohio Fiction Writers). Through them I learned of workshops with published authors. I learned how to fix my plot problems and tighten my work. I’m now published in short fiction and ready to shop my monster sized, but tight manuscript. I love this journey of telling lies. I’ve found the thing I was meant to do. To me, the endless hours of writing and editing are not work but a joy. I am honored and privileged to be a member of this wonderful liars’ club—the world of the writer.

How about you? Do you like it dark? And hot? Maybe with a tickle of fear?


  1. I grew up reading Anne Rice. The blend of horror with romance was tantalizing (to this day The Witching Hour is still one of my faves).

    These days I like a little more romance in my books, but the horror aspect still draws me. I think Jeaniene Frost has a good blend of horror and romance in her Night Huntress novels. Her short story in the Unbound anthology is particularly gory, for those who like that.

  2. I used to like the dark, dark, dark stuff. When I was younger and death itself seemed romantic or so far away... I'm a bit more of the lighter side of things now!

    Ever read Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's St. Germaine vampire chronicles?

  3. I'm more on the lighter side of fantasy. Really dark gives me nightmares!

  4. I tend to mix it up. My stories always have dark, evil characters. I love to write their POV. But then I can't help but sneak some lighter elements in. That's in my own writing. When I read, I tend to go lighter. I think Jeaniene Frost is a great example! Love her work and the balance.

  5. I like really dark stories, both to read and write. *grins* Much probably to the chagrin of my critique partner. haha I'll read lighter stuff occasionally, but I don't prefer it. Yes, I do like it hot too!