This time I’m sharing five things about My Name Is A’yen.
1: I wrote the first draft in 86 days, all 97,000 words of it. If you’re thinking I put my “real life” on hold while I did it, you’d be correct. I came out of my writing cave to help paint the swimming pool, deal with a flock of dying chickens, to see a movie, when we had guests over for dinner, and when my crit partner came down for a research trip to New Orleans. (I live in Louisiana) That’s it. The rest of the time I was pounding away on my keyboard as this story poured out of me.
2: A’yen is a humanoid alien similar in looks to The Face of Boe from Doctor Who. Minus the tentacle thingies and wrinkles. If he was totally human he’d be the yummy Tom Weston-Jones, who I met in the show Copper on BBC America, while I was writing the book. The first time he opened his mouth and spoke it was like A’yen had come to life just to talk to me.
3: This was the first time I’d written a book while listening to music. Specifically my Nickelback station on Pandora, full of hard and post-grunge rock bands. Each character ended up with a theme song. A’yen’s is “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down. Fae’s is “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence. Another character, Na’var Manchac, has “Lost In Paradise” by Evanescence.
4: I had no intention to ever publish this book. Then a friend told me Harper Voyager was doing an open submission call for manuscripts in preparation for a new digital first line. So I submitted in October, 2012. In January, 2013, I found out I’d made it through the first round and my ENTIRE manuscript would be read. I was over the moon! Somebody loved it as much as me. Alas, I wasn’t picked. But the experience was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
5: This book is A’yen’s story. It’s mostly in his point of view. It’s what I always wanted to write, but never let myself do because the market I’d been writing for had no idea what to do with it. They believed nobody would buy it. So I left the Christian market for the general market. And kept this story exactly the way it needs to be told.
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.
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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