The history of Fate’s Kiss is much simpler than the history of The Most Special Chosen (Pt 1 | Pt 2). It was set in motion on February 21st when Sonya Jesus asked if I would be willing to join her and some of her author friends in writing for the Summer Heat anthology.
The goal was a novella-length story at around 20k words. I agreed to at least give it a try, and asked her to add me to the collaboration group. Once I joined, I found out it the story was due June 1st. In hindsight, I realize just how tight a deadline that is. But at the time, it didn’t seem too bad. Silly me.
I started out trying to write a contemporary romance story, but it didn’t go very well. After a couple of weeks, I realized that that story just wasn’t going to happen.
After considering alternate ideas for a little while, I asked the other ladies contributing to the anthology if they had a problem with me writing a spin-off to the Exalted Bloodlines series. They were all very supportive of the idea, so I started working on a general outline.
I don’t really create typical outlines. I tend to list major events that will happen in the story and rearrange them until I’m happy with the order. Then I’ll add smaller events to tie things together, then start writing. But for Fate’s Kiss, I had most of the story events figured out because it follows the end of The Most Special Chosen.
Slowly, but surely, Fate’s Kiss came together. Some days it felt like I wouldn’t be able to make my deadline. But, I buckled down and pushed through, finishing it just in time. Unfortunately, it was a little more than 4k words over the planned limit. I edited it down a little, but didn’t have much time available before my May 1st deadline to send it out to some beta readers.
While Fate’s Kiss was being beta read, I read it over three times, and Jim read it for me, too. We looked for typos, errors, and anything I could cut. I also reached out to the other ladies about the length of the story. They were surprisingly supportive about having a story longer than originally anticipated, so that was one less thing to worry about.
As comments came in, the biggest issue for people was the ending. I’d ended it at what is now the second-to-last chapter. I’d wanted to have a cliffhanger ending, but that didn’t go over well. No one liked it.
So, I set about writing an extra chapter to wrap everything up. I’m really happy with it overall, even though Fate’s Kiss now comes in at 24.5k words.
I feel as though I learned from the comments I received for The Most Special Chosen and used them to improve my writing. I tried to avoid pacing issues and made sure that most of what I included moved the story along. I also did my best to “age” the story a bit so it would fall firmly into the New Adult category as opposed to straddling New Adult and Young Adult.
Overall, I feel I was pretty successful in my efforts and am proud of Fate’s Kiss. I’m hoping this history has peaked your interest in reading it. If so, you can find it in the Summer Heat anthology. All proceeds from the anthology are being donated to the Global Fund for Women.