I was editing Valeris to send to my Alpha team yesterday. These are the volunteers who are the first to lay eyes on every book. They give me great feedback. I thought I should share some observations with you.
Valeris is certainly the “sweetest” book I’ve ever written (don’t worry, that’s not to be confused with “sweet and wholesome”–Valeris has plenty of steam!). It was only a couple months after I wrote the book I realized it’s kind of a Cinderella retelling, but even when I was writing it I was going for a dreamy, fantasy romance as opposed to my grittier books like the Galaxy Games series. Spoiler alert: no one dies in Valeris, which is possibly a first for an Alana Khan book.
But I digress… I thought you might be interested in how I got the idea for Valeris (which has been simmering in the back of my mind for three years). In my head, I kept seeing a picture of a river of flowers. On this planet on a certain day, all the eligible young females wade into the river when millions of white blooms have been placed in the river at its source. Amongst all those flowers is one red bloom. Whichever young female plucks the red bloom from the river becomes the queen.
Of course, this is an Alana Khan book, after all, and our heroine hasn’t been lying in her bed waiting for her king to rescue her. The King and his new Queen take some adjusting before they fall in love.
Still, this is such a sweetly romantic (and spicy) book, I thought you might be interested in how an author gets ideas for books. My ideas come in all shapes and sizes (usually I start by thinking of the hero). But in this book, it was the river of swirling flowers cascading throughout the kingdom with thousands of females dressed in white wading into the water to pluck one flower.
Check out Valeris when it launches 7-17. It’s already up for pre-order.