There’s nothing more fulfilling for a writer than seeing your characters embraced by your readers. I adore my readers and I’m always looking for new ways to connect with them and I love the nearly instant feedback I get. Sometimes, it becomes clear that a mark may have been missed. I’m beginning to suspect that Mr. Harcourt And The Hurricane will be hit or miss with most readers.
Reginald isn’t like other boys. When I decided to give him his own book, I knew he’d need more than just the one. A simple Happily Ever After wouldn’t do for him. Originally, I imagined a series featuring our favorite hacker and troublemaker. Because he’s very British and I’m a fan of Agatha Christie, I wanted to give him his own fabulous Poirot type series. I love taking things we love and retelling them with gorgeous gay leading men. Imagine a modern rake bouncing from mystery to mystery, flirting and fucking his way around the world. Sometimes, we’re not looking for Happily Ever After. Sometimes, we want to be Reginald. He will eventually fall in love. I expect it will be a complete shock, when it does finally happen. Meanwhile, I wanted him to have fun. I wanted him to have his own stable of Bond girls.
What about the SPARK!? I knew this would be a hard sell for readers of traditional romance and erotica. The game HAS to end with both characters falling in love and living happily ever after! Or does it? What if Reginald is like a lot of men and wants to play the field? I think it would have been a little disappointing if he suddenly behaved like the typical hero and skipped happily into domestic bliss. Where in any of his previous appearances did he tell us he’d want that? I felt like it was time to write a different book with a different sort of hero.
Reginald is a bit of an enigma. He’s a bigger mystery than the murder of Bernard Mauroy or the other mysteries I planned for him to tackle. I imagined letting him unravel seductively over four or five books, teasing the reader with bits of his identity. Eventually, he’d have to confront his past and learn how to cope with finally falling in love. Meanwhile, I wanted to make him the focus of his adventures. Instead of switching perspectives and giving the reader lots of feelings, I made it all about Reginald. Hayes is what I’d imagine a Bond boy would look like- hot, easy and constantly on his toes as he keeps Reginald out of trouble. Unfortunately, I’m not sure some of my readers were ready for that, or even got it.
And it’s perfectly cool. I’m never going to make everyone happy all the time. And my readers aren’t going to love everything I love. This is where I look at my plans and consider changing course. It’s still very early and my readers might fall in love Reginald the way I did. Or, Reginald might just get one more book. A second mystery to give him closure and find his Happily Ever After.
Covers are also very hit or miss. And not just with readers. I decided the more understated Art Deco theme was a little Meh among the other covers. I think this new cover is still a nod to Agatha Christie and Poirot but a little more me.
Look for the new cover soon and if you haven’t read Mr. Harcourt And The Hurricane, you should: http://amzn.to/2kqroHa