I’m writing this edition of The Writer Gal Letter listening to this chilled out song called Moon (And It Went Like) by Kid Francescoli. I’m pretty sure it’s going to sneak into the playlist of the thing I’m currently working on. (More on that in just a hot minute!) First, though….
Oh MY GOD! I got vaxinated, dearest Postmate!
Well, partially vaxinated. (I know that’s not the right spelling but nothing about this whole pandemic is right so I figure why not copyright my version of the thing that’s a little right!). And the way it came about has been nothing short of a tale worthy of its own telling.
As you know, I live in India. The land of plenty of people and not enough shots. And every day, since May 1, 2021, I’ve played Fastest Fingers First (a term coined by one of my college besties, Dhee) on the central registration app trying to get a damn appointment. And every day in May, I did not. To be fair, no one I knew did.
I can freely admit now, NOW that it is done and dusted, that not getting the shot was probably responsible for an aspect of my burnout. The stress of living with the idea of dying of Covid-19 is no joke, anywhere. Is it? I know we still have a long way to go before we enter a world that is even partially safe but the first step is to be innoculated and it’s been hard, Postmate.
Anyway, cue in my Kunju, my PM a dear writer friend and MY first reader fan from 2013 who sent me the link to this Telegram channel where we get real-time updates about when the appointments open up. And, what’s more? She actually got me my appointment slot, because Mumbai signals are jammed bad and it frustrated me no end.
So, yeah! Writer Gal is now on the way to growing tiny antibodies that will, hopefully, fight off the big, bad Vid. (Side note: I have been sick all of last week when I got the shot with fever, chills, headache, body pain, the works so it’s not a total joyride). But, as of my writing this edition, the effects have subsided and it is as if the floodgates have opened in my head.
Which, brings me to the biggest news of ALL.
DRAKE FALLAHIL IS HERE IN MY HEAD
I am not going to prevaricate and say all is completely okay with regard to Writer Gal’s words. Because I am scared. Of not writing. Of not making you, my dear Postmate, ECSTATIC and flat-out sobby with my stories. The new ones and old ones. And, for a few months now, I have been deathly afraid I might never feel the pure incandescent joy of creating again.
Guess what? The trick to being brave is to acknowledge the fear and do it anyway.
So, that is what I am doing.
And the thing that came out of the whole experience was this single quote from a certain billionaire investor. Who is going to headline the new series I’ll be announcing super soon!
I HAVE TO say this though, I really wanted Lena and Shane’s book to be the first new release for me and it’s going to be tricky tying Drake to Shane and Shane to Nihaal (you see how I’m gently announcing who the next heroes are going to be) but I hope you love what I am cooking up for these utter hotties.
Most of all, I hope I do justice to the Drake who’s lived rent-free in my head for close to ten years, when I wrote the first two lines about him in the first draft of Dev and Zara’s story, back when it was simply called Second Chance. Here are those two lines for your pleasure again -
“Hey.” Drake nudged her with his shoulder, grinning down at her from his six-three height. “Stop scowling with your eyes,” he said. “You’ll get wrinkles and look old.” He winked.
“So what?” Zara shrugged, sipping on her rum and coke.
Since her last disastrous encounter with alcohol, she had steered clear of wine. As it was, she was on very shaky ground and on the verge of throwing out her ‘roommate.’ She didn’t want to further compound the already tense situation between them.
“So, all the males in Chicago will die of a broken heart.” Drake was as droll as they came.
She grinned at him, nudged him back. “Well,” she said. “It’s a good thing you don’t live in Chicago then, isn’t it?”
Drake waggled his eyebrows and she choked on her next sip. “You hitting on me, Auntie Zara?” he asked.
“Why?” she returned, entirely comfortable with Drake since she’d met him. He was so easygoing and affable, despite his impressive size and even more impressive job. He was the founding partner of a VC investment firm and dealt daily in seven figures. “You want me to?”
And….because I’m a total cutie I’m also sharing a hot unedited excerpt from the Drake book down below.
From this half-scene orange-haired goof to the man I hope Drake becomes to you, has been a journey of well…epic proportions. Both for me and him.
Unedited Drake Excerpt
The boy raised his eyes.
Like hellfire and brimstone.
Like death itself.
If death were an endless burning blue. Or the serene violence of a never-ending sky. His eyes were a stunning electric blue that stood against a raw, tanned face that had yet to settle into its bones.
They were a man’s eyes.
And they refused to tear up. Even though the pain, the aching awful pain of the beating was beginning to make itself known to him. In every rattling breath he took. In the seconds it took for him to raise his head.
“What?” He croaked out. “Do you want me to say?”
The monster’s belt hand trembled. “Say you’re sorry. That you took her. That you’re sorry you took her.”
“I didn’t,” he shot back. “I didn’t take her. You did.”
“I wouldn’t have taken her if….” The monster’s massive chest heaved. As the sorrow and grief of losing the only person, the only creature he’d ever cared about, shot through him again. The pain weakening him again. Angering him again.
The boy’s eyes burned and tears slid out. Salty and wasteful. He knew what was going to come. He braced a breath. It didn’t help.
The lash when it came stung twice as hard. Hurt four times as much.
It hurt every time for a long, long time.
But that night…when he looked into the monster’s weak, pitiful face, he swore to himself he’d never rest, not for a minute till he built himself into the strongest monster alive. So that anyone who came for him, any creature big or small, would flee in his presence. Tremble from his wrath before it came.
He’d become the thing everyone feared.
Forever and always.
NOTE: I’d LOVE it if you wrote back to me and let me know how you enjoyed this short excerpt.
I will have more Drake-and-new-series-related news as soon as I tie up a few things and make sure everything is set from my end. But this teeny teaser along with the other iconic quote should tide you over till then, amirite?
The Writer Gal Letter Has An About Page!
So, I haven’t been totally bumming out on the writer front. I actually created a proper Writer Gal Letter about page, in case any of you awesome peeps would like to share, shout out who I am and what I do. And why you so avidly support me the way you generously do.
And it’s here for you to check out.
And it comes with this super cool graphic that has clubbed all of the books together, according to series! How cool is THAT!!!
I finally feel like the Aarti V Raman brand and Aartiverse are speaking the same language and getting along like a house on fire. And isn’t this image so pretty to look at? Yes, it’s missing a few books but that’s intentional…for now :P
Writer Gal Recommends
I’m obsessed with The Social Network soundtrack and all of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s works. They have done a phenomenal job on I Care A Lot, with this dark, psychedelic, and moody score that does total justice to the psychopath Rosamund Pike plays in the movie.
I’m reading this awesome book called You’re a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero because…well, finances scare the shit out of me and I’m trying to make numbers my distant acquaintance if not dear friend.
I also follow this amazing newsletter called Finshot that gives one important economic story - globally and nationally - Monday to Friday. It’s a great way to consume news without being overwhelmed and allows me to do my own research on the stuff I read later.
I’m re-reading The Queen’s New Year Secret by Maya Blake in preparation for a thorny marriage of convenience I am about to attempt to write.
And I am binging the smexilicious Tom Ellis as Lucifer at last. (I watched it when it first came out in 2016 but it did not hold my interest apart from, of course, immediately wanting to write Tom Ellis his very own book)! Mostly for his smooth tunes but also because he has the crazy eyes I think Drake has when he is ferociously angry :D
THE FRIENDS’ Reunion. The Friends REUNION. There were tears, people. There. Were. Tears.
Writer Gal’s Writer Pals Present
Here are some deliciously guilt-free freebies and on-sale reads for you to one-click right now, from my friends to you.
Laxmi Hariharan has a whole Boxset of fae/fairy romances out for you. Here’s the link to The Knotted Series!
If cozy mysteries - in the style of Miss Marple - are your jam, then my friend Kari Ganske has a sweet first in series that has just released. It’s called Secrets of a Still Life where a photographer sleuth solves mysteries!
And if you read and enjoyed last month’s Felicity Brandon book, here is the next one. This one is a proper billionaire romance and look at that cover!
I’m also part of a whole host of events where bestselling authors share free first in series and sales discounts. And, believe me, when I say this, you aren’t going to be disappointed by checking these babies out.
First up, is this sexy romance event by more than a 100 bestselling authors. I know the title says Bawdy but it’s very much a Happy Ever After situation for you, when you find several new books to quench your reader’s heart.
This one I’m super keen on, because it actually has my three favorite words in the title - A Happy Ever After event!
I’m sharing the buttons on the others I’d love for you to click on, because each of them are sure to have a book or two or ten for you to binge-read. TRUST ME!
My book babies are also appearing as part of massive sale events with other genre category authors. INCLUDING both The Foes and Geeks’ boxsets. So, this would be a great time to get both of them at a steal as well as gift them to your friends!
That’s all from me for this time. I’ll write in with the next edition of The Writer Gal Letter on the 25th (or earlier depending on if I have something juicy enough to share).
Until then, stay safe and awesome.