Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Carrie's Novels

Maven Carrie RyanSo this week in Mavenland we're pulling the bed-skirts off the mattress and dusting off old manuscripts hiding under the bed Yep, we're jumping on the novels meme that's been making it's way around the LJ community. This one is pretty simple: just list and chat a bit about your previous novels. So without further ado...

1. The Marriage Contract a/k/a Pledged to a Stranger (2000 - complete and "edited"). A 100k word sensual historical romance (western too!). And it just so happens that I found my old rejections file so I can just quote from the query to tell you what this one is about! *clears throat*

"I won't do it mother... I won't marry a woman I've never met simply to fulfill my father's gambling debts."

Cole Ide never knew that his life was pledged to a stranger until the day his mother died, forcing her only son to grant one last with -- retain the family honor by marrying Miss Baxter of Memphis, Tennessee. Cassandra Baxter is halfway to marrying another man before her father stops the wedding and tells her of her obligations to a marriage contract signed long ago. They meet and fall in love in Las Cruces -- each unaware of the other's identity -- and together they must face Cole's ruthless stepfather, Bartlett, who relentlessly pursues them. During the course of the novel both characters face what it means to have honor while learning that the absence of trust can shatter a relationship, and that second chances are rare but beautiful.
Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Ahhh.... *wipes tear from eye* How can you go wrong with secrets! coincidences! relentless pursuit! I actually got some requests from this one -- even some fulls!

2. Game, Set, Match (2000 - complete, never edited). After I realized writing historical required research and that I really loved to read RomComs, I decided to change my direction. This one opens in an autopsy suite with the heroine cutting up a corpse. A guy walks in, the heroine thinks he's the new detective and to prove she's got... cahones... she um... pulls the corpse's balls out (which you really do in an autopsy). And uh... turns out the guy is the corpse's brother. I'm sure everyone can see all the logic plot flaws here (ones that I didn't see until after finishing the rough draft). Anyways, blah blah blah the guy blackmails heroine into pretending to be his fiance at his brother's funeral so the family will get off his back about getting married. She pretends to be ditzy and it's actually fun in places.

3. Untitled (2006 - unfinished). Maybe about 20k on a RomComSuspense set in the Caribbean. I don't think I ever figured out the Suspense part of that story which is why I never finished it. Or even got that far into it!

3. Dead Bodies and Debutantes (2007 - unfinished). Maybe about 30-50k written on a YA chick lit about a yankee college student who has to spend the summer with her maternal grandmother and great aunt in South Carolina so she can "come out" (which is a phrase with vastly different connotations at her New England college). And she also interns at the coroner's office. Natch, her two worlds collide. I never finished it and was writing the scenes out of order which I found out really isn't my style!

4. Pyrean Academy (2007 - unfinished). Ill-fated NaNo book. I was writing it for a YA novel class and got maybe 15-20k in. It was about a school for the descendants of the Greek Gods (I later found out that someone else sold a strikingly similar idea so I'm glad I put it aside!). This is what I set down in favor of The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2008 - complete). YA, apparently quite dark :) The book that my agent pulled from the slush pile and sold to Delacorte -- coming out April 2009. Set generations after the zombie apocalypse about a girl growing up in a village surrounded by a forest full of zombies and her fight against the status quo.

6. Untitled Book 2 (2008). Your guess is as good as mine - lol!

So there you have it! I started with historical romance, slid into contemporary romance, took time off, tried contemporary romance and then transitioned into YA and eventually zombies :) I'd only completed two books before selling, only one of those even "edited" (by editing I fixed typos and read it out loud one day -- hardly the revisions I put into FHT).

Anyone and everyone feel free to join us -- tell us about your own trip down memory lane and don't forget to put a link in the comments so we can all check it out!


lacey kaye said...

How can you go wrong with secrets! coincidences! relentless pursuit!

I don't know!?! Why on earth didn't it sell? Sounds like the next big one!

lacey kaye said...

Should've also mentioned this recap cracked me up :-)

La Belle Americaine said...

Thankfully, all my monstrous MSS--unfinished or not--are on my old, crashed, craptastic computer. All I have of my highs and lows, failures and successes, are notebooks and sheafs of loose paper scribbled with plots and characters.

Kelly Krysten said...

LOL! That was a great blog. I have old burried things from when I was sixteen and below. I wrote two screen plays and one novel-at age 11-that sounds exactly like Anne of Greengables.lol.

Erica Ridley said...

2. lolololol

6. FHT2: Zombie Mamba!!!!

Carrie Ryan said...

Yeah, it was a fun trip down memory lane :) I have most of this stuff on my old computer and i need to rescue it at some point. I hate the idea of losing it all.

And yes, it was oh so fun to find all those rejection letters from 200/2001 :)

Jackie Barbosa said...

On the Pyrean Academy's similarity to a published book--I have a great idea for a historical fiction. Have been mulling it for twenty years. It has a fantastic first line. Unfortunately, it's so great, I just discovered someone already wrote and published it. Eighty years ago...


Darcy Burke said...

Carrie, I'm hearing that hot westerns are coming back. You might want to take another shot...

Manuscript Mavens

Manuscript Mavens