Four years ago I finished my novel, Breaking Grace, and then set it aside intending to let it marinate and edit it… again… for the umpteenth time. I went on to other projects, including the next novel, Kismet, and of course, my faux Victorian opus, The Bumhampton Chronicles. There were also submissions for open calls and anthologies.
But life got in the way and I lost interest in writing; again, and I’m sure not for the last time. But, on this past Monday, I looked at the two-inch thick stack of paper that is the Grace Manuscript, and I felt a stirring. No! Not that kind of stirring, you perverts. Although, if I do say so myself, those who have read the entire draft have told me it’s very hot. So, I fired up Word and started a new blank document. I changed the title, and, also the start, because what brought this stirring on was thinking up a new beginning to the novel.
It’s 108,000 words and 242 pages single-spaced, and although the beginning is very strong and I’m keeping that chapter intact, it never really flowed out of the gate with the punch I wanted. I’d gone back and forth between 3rd person past and 1st person present, but though I thought the latter was the best, it didn’t work as a prologue. At all. Too confusing and needed a backstory or commentary and so, I just left it hanging until something better came along. Which it did.
So Tuesday when I started fresh, I started off as 3rd person past in chapter 1 with 750 brand new, never before seen, full warranty, fresh out of the box, words. I then stayed with the past tense in chapter two and three, and then moved the former prologue to chapter four as 1st person past, but set in the present ‘as told to’ narrative. I also pulled about a thousand words from the middle of the old chapter 10 and inserted [you people’s minds are in the gutter] them near the beginning of chapter two. Comprende?
So the new word count so far is 6,445. As I rewrite, I don’t anticipate shuffling much more around, but there is a series of chapters that borrows from Domestic Discipline, Jenny Style, that I may not keep, or at least will modify heavily. Jenny gave me permission years ago to use the excerpt, but I think I’ll use a more fictionalized version of her contract, so that any future conflicts with publishing are avoided.
So what is this novel all about?
Well, it has spanking, BDSM, D/s, D/D, polyamory, Christianity, LGBTQIA, abuse, violence, and takes an unflinching look at the way corruption intersects with juvenile justice. There is lots more than that: the narrative device is two timelines eight years apart that come together with plots that go spinning off in all directions, affluenza leading to wasted lives and people finding love in all the wrong places. It is not an easy read, and it will piss a lot people off.
But at the heart, it’s a romance about the devastation of abuse inflicted by adults upon children and the power of faith and redemption to bring healing to broken survivors.