Thank you for joining Riptide on our 4th Anniversary blog tour! We are excited to bring you new guest posts from our authors and behind the scenes insights from Riptide. The full tour schedule can be found at http://riptidepublishing.com/events/tours/riptides-4th-anniversary-celebration. Don’t miss the limited time discounts and Free Books for a Year giveaway at the end of this post!
Please welcome L.A. Witt to the tour.
Or “How bad handwriting and a Burn Notice addiction create a story.”
2011. Four years, two moves, and 60-some-odd books ago.
Rachel Haimowitz approached me and, to make a long story short, asked me if I’d be interested in subbing something to a new publishing house. Naturally, I was dubious—new publishers are always a gamble—but I was also intrigued. So, why not? I was only getting ready to move from Japan to Nebraska, so it wasn’t like I had anything going on. (This is an ongoing theme in my career, which began with NaNoWriMo 2008, which I won while in the process of moving to Japan in the first place.)
I digress. At the time, Riptide really wanted non-contemporary books, so I thought I’d play around with something paranormal. Vampires. Definitely vampires. And I envisioned a vampire being trapped in a tower of sorts—probably a castle—and freaking out because the roof was going to open up and expose him to the sunlight. (Don’t judge me—it was just a vague kernel of an idea to use as a starting point.)
Out came my trusty spiral notebook, and I started scribbling ideas. “Scribbling” isn’t much of an exaggeration here. My handwriting is terrible. One of my old co-workers said I have “serial killer handwriting.” See, I went to school when they were still teaching Duvall, which is like the bastard lovechild of cursive and printing. My Duvall was lovely. Pretty much flawless. No joke—I actually got some penmanship awards in elementary school.
Then they tried to teach us cursive. Okay, so they actually taught everybody else. They tried to teach me. My brain went “Another way of writing? Screw you guys, I’m going home.” (Totally in an Eric Cartman voice even though this was *mumble* years before South Park.)
It was all downhill after that. Believe me, nobody was copying off my papers in school because even I couldn’t read them. I can’t even blame my atrocious penmanship on typing like a lot of people can now. I’ve been typing since kindergarten. No, my rapidly deteriorating handwriting is purely the result of a cerebral rebellion after my well-meaning teachers tried to make me learn yet another form of penmanship when Duvall and printing were just fine, thankyouverymuch.
That was when I was about eleven. Skip ahead to 2011, where I’m on the cusp of thirty-one, and my handwriting has basically devolved into Mayan shorthand. At some point, as I was sketching out my idea for my hapless vampire Rapunzel, stuck up in a tower waiting for the sun to shine, I decided there was an ex-lover involved, and that my towered dude had a serious chip on his shoulder.
Everything changed when I went back and reread my notes.
According to my scribblings, my character didn’t have a chip on his shoulder.
He had a chip in his shoulder.
And my brain went “OMG CYBERPUNK.”
Instantly, the story changed into the futuristic dystopian cyberpunk story it is today, which also became my first ever Riptide book, my first Riptide editorial bloodbath (and the first ever string of profanity upon opening the file and seeing a Riptide edit), and the first time an editor—Aleksandr Voinov, who would eventually be my co-author—told me that my character needed a bullet hole.
I also realized very quickly that this story needed a sequel.
Skip ahead a few months, after I’ve moved back to the U.S. and am wondering how the hell I’m going to survive three years in Nebraskastan (spoiler alert: it sucked, but I made it), and it’s time to write that sequel.
As it happens, my husband and I had just started watching Burn Notice. We binge-watched the first four seasons in about two weeks because OMG Michael Westen. Seriously, I was hooked. (I still haven’t watched the last three episodes, though, so no spoilers)
So here I am, with a cybernetically modified vampire assassin, on the lam with his cyberterrorist boyfriend, and I’m filling my skull with spy stuff. Breaking into buildings, getting past security systems, non-traditional uses for weapons…
It was a recipe for lots of violence, explosions, and sarcasm. As well as the first sex scene I’ve ever written that was momentarily interrupted by someone landing on a tear gas canister.
So that’s the story of Falling Sky, the duology made up of A Chip In His Shoulder and Something New Under the Sun.
Those two books were also the first and second I ever contracted to Riptide. Four years later, that number is closer to thirty.
And yes, I still say bad words whenever I open up a fresh set of edits.
About Falling Sky
Daniel Harding is heir to Cybernetix and a prince of the corporate Sky. That is, until his ideology drives his father to put a price on his head, forcing him into the Gutter.
Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. They have no reason to trust each other, but a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Together, they plan to rip open the hidden corruption that runs the Sky—for vengeance, for justice, and for hope. Only through courage in the face of death—or worse—might Daniel and Liam change the world they live in and create something new under the sun.
Learn more at Riptide Publishing.
About L.A. Witt
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
Connect with L.A.:
Falling Sky is being sold in a special discounted bundle by Riptide this week only. Check out the sale on this series and other bundles at http://www.riptidepublishing.com/anniversary-sale.
To celebrate our anniversary, Riptide Publishing is giving away free books for a year! Your first comment at each blog stop on the Anniversary Tour will count as an entry and give you a chance to win this great prize. Giveaway ends at midnight, October 31, 2015, and is not restricted to US entries.