When I had a chance to pitch to my publisher some new books set in the Darkyn universe, I didn’t just jump at the opportunity; I flung myself at it, knocked it down and sat on it until I had a contract. I was pretty sure this would make my readers, who have been asking for more Darkyn ever since my publisher ended the original series, very happy. I was also delighted, as I’d never had the time to write all the stories I’d wanted.
Once I’d signed the contract, I took out all my old Darkyn files. While I’d never stopped thinking about the Darkyn, it had been a few years since I’d featured them as main characters. I wanted to look over things and chat with my immortals so I could explain the new venture. Of course, I expected them to be as excited as I was.
All authors who talk to their characters are not crazy. At least, I’m pretty sure we’re not. My conversations are strictly mental meetings that take place at an imagination conference table in my mind’s novel library. The shelves are packed with my books, a box of zero-calorie jelly donuts is parked in front of my chair, and my favorite classical music plays in the background. But when I go in to give them the good news, the library is empty and the invisible stereo is playing Take This Job and Shove It. Worse, there aren’t any jelly donuts.
I walk down past the archive rooms of Unfinished Stories, Finished/Unsold Stories and Finished/Unsold/To be Burned stories to the character vault area. I don’t like opening the vault because I know who’s in there, and they don’t appreciate me keeping them locked up. Only I find the vault door standing open and black and red confetti all over the carpet. I can also hear Gloria Estefan singing The Conga from inside.
An immortal Darkyn warrior stops me just inside the threshold. He’s big, handsome, muscular, and has a two-handed sword in one hand. “Have you an invitation, my lady?”
“You’re kidding, right?” I can see he isn’t. “Who do you think your writer is, you blockhead?”
“I cannot say. We’ve had no writer since the black-hearted, evil, conniving, merciless Satan of a wench ended our lord Locksley’s tale by changing him into . . .” his voice trails off as he bends down to peer at me. “God in Heaven.” He shuffles back a step. “You are the very image of her.”
“That would be because I am Satan.” I pat his pale cheek. “Where are Alex and Michael?”
He points a trembling finger toward the interior of the vault. “They may be found within, oh powerful, all-knowing beauteous one—“
“Too late to suck up now, Red Shirt.” I go in to enter what looks like a rocked-out medieval banquet room/tavern. Banners from all the Darkyn jardins flutter overhead as racks of upside-down wine glasses do the conga over the bar. The place is wall-to-wall immortals, but instead of dancing they’re watching a mini-melee between a bunch of scowling Italians I recognize from the last book.
“A genuine mortal. How enchanting.” An iron hand in a black velvet glove settles on my shoulder. “Has someone ordered delivery?”
I glance up at Lucan, once the most lethal assassin among the Kyn. “You turned my vault into a vampire nightclub?”
“I was bored.” He rubs his forehead. “What is it now? Another free story? Haven’t I appeared in enough of them?”
“I created you,” I remind him. “I also got you on the New York Times bestseller list and on shelves in seventy countries. I found a woman who not only loves you but puts up with everything that makes you an eternal pain in the ass. You can spare me five minutes.”
He sighs, lifts two fingers to his mouth and produces a piercing whistle. Gloria Estefan falls silent, the mini-melee comes to a halt and dozens of gorgeous faces go white as they see me.
“Oh, no. No. We just got back here,” Alexandra Keller gripes from her bar stool. “We did your cameos. We were nice to the genetically-enhanced humans. Go write something else.”
“Your gratitude is overwhelming,” I tell her. “I’m here because I sold three more books.”
“Congratulations.” Michael Cyprien comes over and kisses the back of my hand. “As always, we hope you enjoy much success. You must return to your world now, oui?”
“Three more Darkyn books.”
Wine glasses start cracking as groans sweep around the room. Alex props her forehead against her fist. Some of the Italians begin to pray. From the back someone mutters “Can’t we just kill her?” and someone else says, “We’re fictitious, you dolt.”
I have to raise my voice to be heard. “It’s a quest for treasure trilogy.” No one says anything. “No one’s DNA will be stolen.” A faint cheer from the left makes me smile. “And you get more women.”
A suspicious-looking warrior emerges from the crowd. “How many more, Evil One, and what are they?”
“They’re allies and good guys. Mostly. By the end of the trilogy, you’ll have . . .“ I do the math. “Sixty new immortals.”
“Not even you could manage so many females in but three novels.” The warrior gives me an uncertain look. “Could you?”
I show him some teeth. “Fifty-eight of them show up in one book.”
“Well, I have some time on my hands,” Lucan murmurs, and winces as I smack him in the back of the head. “I cannot help myself. You made me this way.”
“You’re taken, pal.” I turn to Alex, who has walked over from the bar. “I ended your story arc. You’ll be guest appearing only. I promise.”
She holds up a hand. “No Brethren, no torture, no burning down strongholds, and absolutely no more emergency marathon rebuild-a-face surgeries.”
“Deal.” I finally notice that the vault isn’t as crowded as I left it when I retired my last series. “So what did you guys do with all the other characters I had stowed in here?”
Suddenly everyone is looking at anything but me, and Alex sighs. “Remember back when you put us in here, and I asked you to install a blood bank? Well, you kind of forgot, and . . . “
[Ed. Lynn has put together a terrific prize basket for one of our lucky commeters today. Here’s a list of what’s included, along with a pic:
A signed set of my seven novels in the original Darkyn Series
A signed ARC of Nightborn, the first book in my Lords of the Darkyn trilogy
A set of twelve Herman Wu bookmarks
An amethyst crystal bookmark “pen”
A font mug from Author Outfitters
A handmade brooch from Olivia by Design to match the tote
So be sure to ask a question or leave a meaningful comment for Lynn today, because you really don’t want to miss out on any of this!]