As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad now available!

I’m really proud of this story because it’s the first non-collaborative original work I’ve completed in years. I used to write fan fiction by myself all the time, but that slowed down a lot once Ari and I hit our collaborative groove. By the end of our time in fandom, I was writing very little on my own — maybe one or two stories a year — and once we switched over to original works, I didn’t write on my own at all.

Until now.

I started writing for the Torquere Press anthology calls because I’m going back to grad school this fall, and I needed both to practice writing on my own and to prove to myself that I still could. I figured writing for calls that required less than 10K words would be a good place to start. I flailed around for an idea for the Plaid Nights anthology because hey, men in kilts! I finally decided I wanted to write a historical piece. Then I flailed around for a plot, and then I flailed my way through writing the story itself.

It was tough! I’m used to having someone there to play off of, but there was just me this time, and the words came slowly at first. But they came. The words came, and I finished the story, and I’m so proud of myself for it. I felt like I’d achieved a significant milestone, and it bolstered my confidence that I’d be able to write what I needed to write for grad school.

I’ve written for two other calls since then, and it was much easier. The words flowed more quickly, and the end results bumped up against the 10K word limit. But this little story is like my firstborn, and I’m sending it off into the world with a proud smile. 😀

plaidnightsmckay1400As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad (July 2015) – by McKay

Adie Gilchrist is satisfied with being a bachelor shopkeeper, until a handsome immigrant from Scotland arrives in the port town of Wilmington in the North Carolina Colony and begins pursuing him. Adie’s quiet life is changed in ways he’s not certain he wants. Niall McAllister wants a fresh start in the Colonies, but Adie isn’t convinced they can build a life together without consequences if their secret is discovered. When illness threatens to tear them apart forever, Adie has to decide which he wants more: safety or love.

19 pages/5100 words for $2.49



Plot bunnies everywhere

I’ve mentioned before that Ari and I use Evernote for our notes and ideas. It’s really useful because you can clip articles and images from the web, upload documents, and create your own notes, all saved in specific notebooks.

We have one note that’s just an on-going plot bunny list. Whenever one of us gets an idea for a plot or character, the standard response is “Put it on the list.” Although now that it’s pushing 100 plot bunnies, I think it might be deserving of capitalization: The List.

Since the Herc’s Mercs series seems to have taken off nicely, we’ve been thinking more and more about ideas for continuing the series. We’d been lumping the Herc bunnies in with all the other bunnies, but last night, we decided it was time to give the Herc series its own bunny list. So I pulled all the plot bunnies specifically earmarked as Herc ideas plus a couple of others that we’d discussed as being of potential use for Herc stories and added them to a separate note in our Herc’s Mercs notebook.

The Herc plot bunny list is already 7 items long, which doesn’t count the two stories we’re currently working on. So if our readers like the Herc’s Mercs series, I don’t think they need to worry that it’ll dry up any time soon!

We have two Herc’s Mercs stories going at once because we started one, realized it wasn’t working out the way we wanted, and decided to backtrack and do over. However, before we got started on the do-over, another insistent Herc bunny came along, so we decided to roll with that one and get back to the do-over afterward.

Right now, we’re probably about 3/4 finished with the insistent Herc bunny, which features a retired merc whose attempt at building a second career as a private chef is interrupted when the circuit court judge he works for is targeted by an ex-con with an axe to grind. Ezra “Ghost” Levin ends up calling in a favor to his former boss, Cade “Hercules” Thornton, and getting a team of mercs to help him keep his judge safe. For those who liked Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed, Daryl “D-Day” Greer makes an appearance in this story as part of Ghost’s team. 😀


Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration

To start on a random note, I really like my nails right now. I don’t normally go for pale colors, but I found a combo I wanted to try: In the Flesh with Vintage Confetti glitter coat on top. Both are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, which I’ve found wears pretty well. The glitter coat caught my attention first, and In the Flesh is a subtle pale pink that picks up one of the glitter colors, so I thought it would make a good foundation. I’m very pleased with the results!

Also, I’m trying hard to cut down on processed foods, but they make it really hard when they throw things like Lays potato chips in “Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese” flavor at me.

I’ve talked a bit about Herc’s Mercs: Line in the Sand before, but mostly I nattered about how Tom Hiddleston was the inspiration for Jon and then I veered off into talking about Herc 3. So I wanted to talk about visual inspiration, which we use a lot in our writing.

Choosing visual references for our characters helps us set a clear image of that character in our minds for ourselves and each other, which means we’re both on the same page in terms of physical description. Usually, we end up taunting each other and trying to whip each other’s muses into a frenzy by linking to sexy photos of the person we’re using as visual inspiration, which is fun if a little distracting. 😉 Continue reading “Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration”


Blood Bathory 2!

A week from today, the second novel in our Blood Bathory trilogy will be coming out from Torquere Press! The Blood Bathory series is dear to us because while the first book wasn’t the first original work we got published, it was the first  manuscript we finished (and submitted and got rejected) when we decided to try our hands at original fiction writing.

Book One came out last July, and we used it as a way to introduce the world we’d built, which involves a battle between shapeshifters who are the servants of Gaia and vampires, who are out to destroy the shapeshifters. The primary antagonist is Elizabeth Bathory, who is trying to establish a foothold in NYC and to track down Evan St. John, who risked his life to escape her.

Evan is one of the main characters of book one, a reluctant vampire who didn’t ask to be turned. He seeks help from his best friend, Will Trask, and together, they face the realization that the world is much stranger — and much more dangerous — than they thought it was.

Mild spoilers for book two ahead!

Continue reading “Blood Bathory 2!”