That's the thing about writing. A lot like a child, you put a lot into your writing, trying to shape it a certain way, but ultimately your contribution only goes so far. The reader brings his or her experiences, pre-occupations, knowledge, and plain old tastes into the equation as well, creating something completely new that nobody can really predict. Literature is a dialogue, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm honoured to know people are reading something I wrote, really reading it, for pleasure or otherwise, and responding to it and discussing it and even "tearing it a new one", as they say.
To round up this experience, Violetta's written a post thanking Riptide and our readers for taking a chance on this weird little misfit of a story, and also linking and summing up our various blog tour stops. Please check it out, and if you haven't yet, visit one or two (or all!) of our guest posts and leave us a comment to be entered to win some great CdC swag and prizes.
For my own round-up, I thought I'd do a little "Cruce de Caminos" FAQ. So here goes!
Will we be seeing Ángel again?
By far my most asked question! Short answer? Yes, absolutely! Ángel is an odd sort of character, in that his existence for this story is very much a matter of suiting the plot, but on the other hand he's sort of taken on a life of his own, as well. So where will you be seeing him? Well, Violetta and I's paranormal/UF books all take place in the same universe, so if it's a paranormal by us, there's definitely a chance of Ángel showing up. We don't want to gratuitously shoehorn him into places he doesn't belong, however, but we did find a place for him to have a little cameo in one of our summer novel-length releases.
As for him showing up in his own story? Entirely possible, but not currently in the works. We'd love to explore Ángel's character (he's as much a mystery to us as he is to all of you!) and the religion and mythology of Santeria further, so when we have a story worth writing, you know we'll be there with bells on.
Is Ángel in The Druid Stone? No. By the time that story picks up, Sean has moved on from that time of his life, and that includes his relationship with Ángel. And anyway, he's got a new man to contend with who takes up alllllll his time and attention. Will Ángel and Sean cross paths again in the future? Well! ;)
What/who was Ángel?
We purposefully didn't tie this up in a neat little bow, since we felt like having Ángel explaining who he was and what he was about would kind of spoil the experience of the story. Also, I don't think Sean was really in a position to hear a straight forward explanation, do you? Cristina was right about Papa Legba, but what does that mean for Ángel the human escort? We'll all have to wait and find out!
How does "Cruce de Caminos" fit in with The Druid Stone?
They're both stories about Sean O'Hara.
I've heard CdC called a prequel or an introduction, but I don't think that's necessarily true, or at least that's not how we intended things. The two stories do take place in the same universe (but so do Hawaiian Gothic, Salting the Earth, and The Saturnalia Effect!), and one takes place after the other, but thematically and tonally they are very different beasts. Violetta and I wrote "Cruce de Caminos" with the intention of exploring Sean's backstory, yes, but we wanted to write something that 1. Stood alone if people didn't go on to read The Druid Stone. 2. Wasn't required reading for The Druid Stone. For readers of The Druid Stone, reading "Cruce de Caminos" is going to be enriching and enlightening, certainly, but the two stories are very different experiences.
Cruce de Caminos was really meant to be an atmospheric psychological horror short story. The Druid Stone is a romance novel in an epic urban fantasy wrapping. If you're an anime fan, you can think of them in terms of Rurouni Kenshin and how the OVA about the Meiji Restoration fits in with the TV series: same character, same timeline, but still wildly different. (Seriously, click those two links, even if you aren't an anime fan! You don't need to be familiar with the show to understand what I mean by this reference.)
So if you didn't like "Cruce de Caminos", you may well like The Druid Stone, if you're willing to give it a chance. If you loved "Cruce de Caminos" you may not like The Druid Stone (or you might love it even more!). It depends on what exactly you like or dislike about it, and how comfortable you are moving from genre to genre. We hope you like both, and that readers of The Druid Stone will pick up "Cruce de Caminos" because they want more insight into Sean's character, but if it doesn't happen, that's okay too!
How was it working with Riptide?
I can't say enough good things. For one, they read this story, acknowledged it was a strange beast and would be hard to market, but decided to acquire it anyway, because they believed in it and thought it was worth putting out, even if they didn't make their investment back. (Although we sure hope they do!) Editing quality was thorough but also respectful of our artistic vision (always an awesome balance), communication was prompt, we had tons of support on the marketing front, we love our cover... Yep, it's been an awesome. If you're an author and one of their open calls speaks to you, I'd absolutely suggest subbing something. You won't regret it!
What are you working on now? What's coming out next?
Working on now: a historical, actually, with no paranormal elements whatsoever! It's all about a gladiator in 26BC Rome, who's purchased to train a troupe of gladiatrices and winds up in the middle of a fraternal feud. It's like a well-researched Spartacus with even more gay sex.
Coming out next: we have a short story in Storm Moon Press's non-con anthology, Like It or Not called "Salting the Earth", all about a young Irishman who makes a bad bargain with the sidhe. That's out tomorrow! Also, on June 12th, we have our first novel-length work coming out: a paranormal romance and tropical ghost story called Hawaiian Gothic, which is being released by Loose Id.
So that's it for my FAQ! Any other burning questions? Drop me a comment!
We have 2 "Cruce de Caminos"-related giveaways going on now.
First of all, we have our blog tour giveaway, which is pretty straight forward! Leave a comment on any of our blog tour posts for a chance to win some CdC and New Orleans swag, as well as a copy of "Cruce de Caminos" on ebook. You have until midnight, June 5th, to enter, and we'll announce three lucky winners on June 6th.
If you've read "Cruce de Caminos", you can also try your hand at my pop quiz. All you have to do is send me an email with the answers to the quiz questions by July 1st, and two lucky winners with passing scores will win an ebook copy of The Druid Stone.
Bonne chance, and thank you as always for reading!