Friday, September 19, 2014

Guest - Rachel Leigh Smith

Good morning! We have a terrific post from a great author, Rachel Leigh Smith. Rachel will talk about how her new novel, My Name is A'yen, was born in a dream. Have you ever dreamed a story that turned into a book? I have. It's fun...well, for me, not for the hero or heroine. I wonder how Rachel's characters will do?

With Fall approaching, I thought I'd offer up some terrific cinnamon coffee and fabulous gluten-free pumpkin muffins! So help yourself and grab one of our comfy seats. Enjoy!

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I Dreamed My Novel



Yes, you read that right. I dreamed this novel, My Name Is A’yen. I’ll never forget it either. May 16, 2012. What should have been my third wedding anniversary. Which is a whole other story.

A’yen walked into my head, saying a word over and over and over. At first it sounded like “laxshmi.” And I was all what the heck is that? But he kept saying it, and it became more distinct. Loks Mé. Which turned out to be what his people are called.

See, he’s an alien. A humanoid alien, but still an alien. The one thing I could not picture myself writing about. Ever. My first completed novel was a historical romance, one garnering some interest from agents. Me? Write science fiction? No way. Never occurred to me.

A’yen had other ideas. While eating breakfast the next day I made notes about the dream and what all he’d been telling me as I slowly woke up that morning and joined the land of the living. I’m not a morning person. I still have all those notes, though a lot changed as the story progressed.

A few days before, I had finished yet another draft on the historical romance, was almost 30,000 into the sequel, but I was frustrated. The market I was writing for didn’t know what to do with what I wanted to write. I decided to run with this “thing” as I called it, because it was easy. And I needed easy.

Boy, was it easy! I wrote a 97,000 word first draft in 86 days. The first 10,000 came out in four days. With a day long break while we painted our swimming pool. I had no life that summer, but I didn’t care, because I was writing again and having the time of my life. My crit partner was not a sci-fi fan really, but she devoured every scene as fast as I could write it and fell in love with the characters. At one point she told me she craved more of the story like a woman dying of chocolate withdrawals.

When I finished it I tried to go back to the historical series. That lasted about a week, and I set it aside to write the next A’yen’s Legacy book, The King’s Mistress. Then I wrote the third one, To Save A Life. Then I wrote the fifth one. Right now I’m writing the fourth one. The historical series is sitting on my hard drive, unfinished.

This world has taken over my mind, heart, and imagination, and I never want to let it go. I hope you’ll give the book a chance and let A’yen move into your heart.



Excerpt from My Name Is A’yen:

            When the transport shuttle broke through the atmosphere and space stretched before him in all its infinite glory, the chains of his grief tightened. Enforcers and keepers couldn’t dictate his every move in space, and definitely wouldn’t follow him all the way to the Rim. So why did he want to curl up in a corner and cry his eyes out?
Maybe because, up here, he’d tasted freedom. Knew the wonders waiting to be discovered. Knew without a doubt no one saw him as disposable, because the only people he’d interacted with were ones who loved him. He didn’t have any of that this time.
Dr. Hart’s reflection smiled at him. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.”
Her hand touched his shoulder for two seconds. “Your face says otherwise.”
He shrugged away from her touch, turning to face her. Something about her, the way she studied him maybe, encouraged him to be honest. This time he listened. “I’ve lost my whole life. Being up here again makes it real.”
Her left hand dove into her pocket. “I want you to have these. I know there are things stored in them.”
In her open palm lay Master’s coding chips. She had no idea the treasures cradled in her hand. His maps, video letters from Mother, a recording of Yanna’s first birthday celebration. Which he’d missed by three days. Maybe he could spend her next one with her. Turning seven was important too. He held his hand out and she dropped them into his palm. “Thank you.”


Bio: Rachel Leigh Smith writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family and a half-crazed calico. When not writing, which isn’t often, she’s hanging with her family, doing counted cross-stitch, or yakking about life, the universe, and everything with her besties. There may also be Netflix binging . . .

She blogs sporadically at www.rachelleighsmith.com, can be found on Twitter @rachelleighgeek, and hangs out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/rachelleighsmithauthor. You can sign up for her newsletter here.

Buy Links:

Blurb:
They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeder's Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.


Question for readers: Who is your favorite romance hero?


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Lynda Again --
Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

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5 comments:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Welcome Rachel! Terrific post. I've actually written stories (short and long) that were spawned in dreams. It's a great way to jumpstart the writing process ;-)

Thanks for being with us!

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Thanks so much for having me today, Lynda!

This was my second thing to come out of a dream, but the first of the two I actually turned into a novel. The story wouldn't let me go, and two years later it still hasn't.

CJ Burright said...

I love that you went for writing what was on your heart! And the fact the story started with an unrelenting dream. :) Sounds like an awesome story!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Rachel,

When I taught creative writing, one of the things I suggested that the students do was keep a notebook and pen on their nightstand. That way if they woke from a particularly vivid dream, they could describe it and come back to it for inspiration. You just proved how well dream inspirations can work. Congrats on your new novel!

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

CJ, I think it's an awesome story, but I'm more than a little biased.

Jacqueline, this was the second time I've ever remembered a dream enough where I knew there was a novel in it. The other one I'm still trying to figure out how to piece together. And totally not ready to leave the A'yen's Legacy universe!