Today, award-winning author Seelie Kay is guesting. She’s talking about her latest release Bovine Tricks, book three in the Royals Gone Rogue series, a romantic suspense. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt.
It’s Not About the Sub-Genre, It’s About the Romance
I am a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. So when I’m asked why I write in a certain romance sub-genre, I always laugh.
You see, when I sit down to write, I have no set formula for what I am writing. I just open my mind and let the words flow. Sometimes, a vampire pops up (First, We Kill All the Lawyers), or a man fighting to live (The Last Christmas). Other times, a female MI6 agent worms her way into my mind (Bovine Tricks), o a kinky judge fights her way into the story (Kinky Briefs, Too). I don’t fight it. I don’t tell my subconscious to stop and stick to the formula. I let the characters lead the way. Dare I say I don’t even know what the sub-genre is until I reach the end of the story? I am focused on the romance, the relationships between the main characters that develops into love, passion, the happily ever after!
Because that’s really the point. The romance. It’s why I write. It’s how my stories develop. I am fascinated by relationships. How people come together. The compromises they make to be together. The depth of commitment that leads to unconditional love. How a couple gets there is the journey, love is the destination, not the sub-genre.
I am a bit of a voyeur. I watch people, take mental notes on how they interact. I mentally record snippets of conversation I can weave into stories. I eavesdrop like crazy, even though I appear to be lost in thought. Sometimes, I even introduce myself and engage in a conversation.
The couples that most fascinate me are those who appear to have been together for a long period of time. Couples celebrating their 25, 30, even 50-year anniversaries.
My parents were together almost 65 years. I watched and learned. They met in high school, but never dated. (Though my father claimed she was afraid of him, because she was a “good girl” and he was a “bad boy.”) When my dad went off to war at 17 (he graduated two years early from high school, but was required to get his mother’s permission to enlist), my mother wrote to him. Their letters speak nothing of romance, at the time they were merely friends. But there were subtle changes in their correspondence as the war raged on. The letters grew longer, their conversations more personal.
After the war ended, my father was sent to Shanghai, China. There, he bought a bolt of silk. It was intended for his mother, but part of it was used for my mother’s wedding dress. When he was finally honorably discharged, he came back to his hometown and started dating my mother. They went to the state teacher’s college together and my father later joined her in the town where she was teaching. (Because of the war, she was several years ahead in college.) They worked hard to build a future together. I was the fly on the wall as they raised five kids, sent them all to college, and struggled through changes in their relationship due to the “empty nest,” my father’s career trajectory, and retirement. I witnessed my mother’s battle to find herself in a time when women and their intelligence was minimized. I listened as my parents shared their (sometimes unwelcome) advice on men and relationships, then raising children. And upon my mother’s unexpected death, we learned that then she died, her last word my father’s name. It was then I witnessed the depth of loss when two separate and become only one. My father survived almost 25 years after my mother died and watching him adapt was sometimes daunting. But as he slid into dementia, it was my mother he spoke of. Almost daily.
It was a love story with a bittersweet ending, yet the details are catalogued into my subconscious, and work their way into my stories. When I write, I pick and chose from the experiences of many to build new worlds and new characters.
I don’t know what sub-genre of romance I am writing until my story is finished and even then, it is not always clear. For me, the need to list sub-genres is almost a curse, because my stories don’t always it into one box. Most times they are a combination of several.
If the coloring books saved from my childhood are any indication, I never learned how to color within the lines. I can’t write within the lines either.
Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!
Blurb: Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?
Harun stood and hugged his brother. Then he turned to Tillie. His gaze was steady, but his eyes were cold. “Forgive me if I cannot give you a similarly warm welcome, but my wife and I have not yet recovered from the brutal attack on our daughter.”
“Harun.” Marianne Benson spoke softly, but her gaze was fierce. “I believe Hope and the Agency have settled the matter. You don’t need to pursue it further.” She turned to Abdul and smiled. “I am pleased to see you, Abdul.” She cocked an eyebrow. “Though for a while there, the rumor was that you had gone rogue and were dancing with the devil.”
Abdul laughed. “I may dance with the devil occasionally, but that does not mean he owns my soul. I am still slaving away for the Queen.” He smiled at Mari. “Thank you for coming so quickly.”
“Well, it’s hard to ignore a summons from the Queen, and when your husband has a plane, it is much easier to respond quickly.” Mari motioned to the chairs at the table. “Please sit. Let’s get down to business. It was made clear that time was of the essence.”
Everyone sat, and Mari walked over to a control panel set into a console. She pushed a button, and a whiteboard lit up. “As you know, after we rescued the people off Flight Eight Seven Zero and The Mars were prosecuted, Dianna and Anders interviewed them extensively at Guantanamo Bay. We were able to collect a considerable amount of information on the organization, its members, and its financing.”
Twelve photos appeared on the screen. “These are the current members of Marwolaeth I’r Frenhines. Six are incarcerated at Guantanamo, three have been released, and three are recruits.”
Tillie leaned forward and studied the faces. It always amazed her how normal terrorists appeared. There was nothing in their faces to indicate that they were evil. Most were smiling in their photos. However, the tell was in the eyes. They were stone cold.
Mari pointed at the photos of those recently released. “These three have been fairly quiet. We could not detect any significant communication or contact between them and the new members, which makes me think this may be a new group that merely adopted the name.” She brought up a few more photos. “These gentlemen are believed to be the financiers of the new order.”
Tillie studied the group and gasped. “But that’s a former member of Parliament.”
Harun nodded. “And someone who wishes to dissolve the Monarchy. Apparently, he has put his money where his mouth is.” Another screen popped up. A bank statement.
Abdul cleared his throat. “Fifty million pounds? That’s pretty significant. Has this been verified?”
Harun gazed at Abdul. “I’m afraid so. We have transfers to the account, bank acknowledgments, and proof the newest members of The Mars have been drawing on these funds.”
Mari pulled up another screen. “Though we were a little puzzled by their purchases until now. We thought they had gone into farming.” She pointed at an invoice. “Everything you need to raise a cow, or in this case, a human cow.”
Tillie hugged herself and shuddered. “Lady Annabelle is most certainly in their sights.”
Mari gazed at her husband and nodded. Harun opened a file he had set in front of him. “Apparently, it is much worse. There were also several purchases for the care of an infant. Either Lady Annabelle is pregnant, or they intend to impregnate her.”
Abdul slammed his fist on the table. “Bloody hell. A royal baby? The Queen would move heaven and earth to protect her own blood. What a crafty way to manipulate her for their own purposes. She would be damned no matter how she responded. That could end the monarchy.”
Tillie stood. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.
Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.
When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!