Turning a Dream Into a Book
My usual process for starting a new book is to imagine a character, and then to try to figure out what would happen when that character is put in a particular situation. More rarely, I come up with a situation and devise a character to fit into it, but that’s more or less how it works, especially for my two ongoing series, Tales of the Latter Kingdoms (fantasy romance) or the Gaian Consortium series (SF romance).
However, I came at Darkangel from a completely different direction. The inspiration for the book actually came from a dream I had almost a year ago. Since that dream turned out to be the climactic scene of the novel, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but that was where the first idea came from. When I woke up, I knew I needed to tell this girl’s story and how she got into that place. It was tough because I wanted to sit down and start writing it right away, but since I already had a publication schedule in place with my other two series, I had to put it on the back burner for a few months.
The delay was probably good in the long run, because it gave me the time I needed to do the research I discovered the book would require. I also realized that I had imagined would need to be the first part of a trilogy, one that explores the love story between my heroine, who became Angela McAllister, and her “dream man,” who eventually becomes very real. Unlike my other books, which may be part of a series but can all be read as standalone novels, the Witches of Cleopatra Hill trilogy should be read in order.
Also, I really wanted to write another paranormal series set in northern Arizona, my adopted home, but I wanted it to be very different from the Sedona Trilogy, my first series set here. Sedona has a minor role in the trilogy (there are a few scenes that take place there), but the majority of the action happens in Jerome, a former mining town that’s now a major tourist destination and sort of artist colony, and also in Flagstaff. When writing a paranormal story, I find it helps to ground the more fantastic elements by setting it someplace I know well so that it feels “real” even if the events taking place in the book aren’t exactly the sort of thing you see happening every day. Every locale described in Darkangel is someplace I’ve actually been.
When I first had that dream, I had no idea how complex a story it would become, a story of love and redemption and finding one’s place in the world. So far, it’s been an amazing ride!
The Witches of Cleopatra Hill, #1
Publisher: Dark Valentine Press
Publication Date: March 30, 2014
Print Length: 233 pages
Finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare…. [Tweet this!]
As the future prima, or head witch of her clan, Angela McAllister is expected to bond with her consort during her twenty-first year, thus ensuring that she will come into her full powers at the appointed time. The clock is ticking down, and her consort has yet to make an appearance. Instead, her dreams are haunted by a man she’s never seen, the one she believes must be her intended match.
But with time running out, and dark forces attempting to seize her powers for their own, Angela is faced with a terrible choice: give up her dreams of the man she may never meet and take the safer path, or risk leaving her clan and everyone in it at the mercy of those who seek their ruin.
Darkangel is the first book in The Witches of Cleopatra Hill, a paranormal romance trilogy set in the haunted town of Jerome, Arizona.
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Author Bio & Contact Links:
A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, and fantasy and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Trilogy and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though…not yet, anyway!