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?

5 comments:

  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.

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  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?

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

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  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.

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  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!

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