So, yes, unfortunately I was all stressed out earlier this week and it made me sick and I’m only just sort of moving around again. Well, I started moving around again yesterday but today I actually feel up to spending most of my time in a vertical position, which is, you know, pretty exciting.
Anyway. Yes, CITY OF GHOSTS was released, and I feel all bereft and weird that my summer release odyssey is complete and there are No More Worlds To Conquer and all of that. At least not until I get books 4 and 5 written, which I shall be starting next month!
But let me quickly point out for those of you who haven’t seen that we’ve done some updates to the site here, including some Deleted Scenes from UNHOLY MAGIC. Check the Fun Stuff page for more, well, fun stuff, an the Media page for interviews and guest blog posts on all sorts of different aspects of the Downside books and characters.
I’ll be back Tuesday with a much longer and more in-depth regular post–tomorrow morning I’m heading to Orlando to crash RWA for a day or two–and in the meantime, my friend David Bridger has just had a book release with Liquid Silver, and here’s here to do a little guest post for me and be all mushy and romantic and stuff. No, seriously, I make fun, because I’m immature, but it really is a lovely post, and David is a lovely man, so enjoy.
Thanks for inviting me, Stace. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here with you today.
Since Beauty and the Bastard was released last week, I’ve been thinking about love a lot. Romantic love and other kinds of love, in life and in art.
I realised long ago that everything I write has love in it, and that came as no big surprise because I’ve always been a romantic. I’m someone who sees the romance storyline in action movies like The Terminator and Batman Begins. Yes, Stace, and Die Hard. [Hee! --SK]
Many paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories deal with love in its early stages, when everything is shiny new and heartstopping. And that’s great. I enjoy reading and writing that sort of love, especially when the world is exploding into some grim nightmare around the lovers and they have to deal with all that shit as well as coming to terms with their feelings for each other. It’s magical.
I’m on Team Terrible, by the way, but no spoilers please. Unholy Magic is still on my bedside table, waiting for this blog tour to end, and my pre-ordered City of Ghosts will arrive any time now, so you can bet my nose will be buried in them as soon as my feet touch the ground next week. Because Chess and Terrible? They’re exactly what I’m talking about here. (I hope. ? )
But the kind of love my thoughts have been dwelling on recently is an older love. One that’s had its share of good times and bad, yet still holds together. Maybe one that’s walked through hell and come out the other side, and still holds together.
My wife and I share a love like that.
We’d been married for nine years when our world slid into one of those grim nightmares, that are so great to read and write but not so great to live in. Up until then, we’d been through the normal variety of experiences and we were doing okay. We had three lovely daughters and each of us was enjoying a good career. Then I came home a bit war-damaged and everything changed.
I was paralysed at first, and we had no way of knowing if I’d ever move again. I did, but it was two years before that happened and several more years of wheelchairs and sticks until I got back on my own two feet again. It was very painful and very scary. And that was just for me.
She left her career to look after me. No quibble. No second thoughts. Just dropped it and came home to become a full-time carer. What neither of us knew about back then, is how full-time carers often become non-people as far as the rest of the world is concerned. So it wasn’t only me existing in a quiet cocoon while my old life sailed on without me. The same thing happened to her, too.
That part of our lives lasted about ten years, and it wasn’t fun. But she stuck with it. She’d be the first to tell you she isn’t a natural nurse, and that I’m certainly not a natural patient, but she stuck with me. And when we came out the other side, our love had been forged in fire. We’d been close before, but now we were a single unit.
Oh, I’m not going to pretend that we share some kind of hive mind. We’re two independent people and our ideas often differ. Sometimes loudly. But we’re strong together.
Which is why life became hell when she got sick last year. She was very ill for fifteen months. Still hasn’t recovered fully yet, but she’s on the mend now and it’s going to be okay. This time last year, though, we thought we were losing her.
I have never been so desolated, as the way I was when I considered what life would be like without her. At the time, she didn’t even know things were so bad. For the worst four months she was morphined up to the eyeballs and didn’t really know what was going on. But I knew, and I thought I was losing her.
It just hit me again now, remembering it.
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Our love, already strong and flexible and sharp, has been forged in the fire again. Twice-tempered steel has nothing on us.
That’s the kind of love I’ve been contemplating recently, and it’s that kind of love I want to write about soon.