FALLEN Reader Letter

Fallen, book #1 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixDear Reader,

When Lilia Desjardins strode into my office in 2005 and demanded that I write her story, she surprised me. I’d written opinionated and outspoken heroines before, but Lilia was from a different time and place. Her world was that of the future, almost a hundred years in the future, a gritty repressive society called the Republic. Her world was post-nuclear but pre-Apocalyptic, one in which angels were sacrificing their wings in a quest to save humanity. Even better, she was falling in love with one of these fallen angels, whose earthly guise was a homicide cop named Adam Montgomery. As a rebel and a woman who has a slippery relationship with the truth, I think Lilia was more concerned that Montgomery was a police officer than a fallen angel. Now we call these books urban fantasy romance, and the settings dystopian, but at the time, I thought Lilia’s story was a strange hybrid of genres.

All the same, she wasn’t one to take no for an answer. I found myself not just writing her story but haunted by it. The first draft was a compulsive write, a mystery told in first person point-of-view in her strange and dark world. That version of Lilia’s story was never published—the book was revised extensively and repeatedly. The original vision was that of an historian trying to recreate a chronology of the events in 2099, which are told in the story. In that version, the historian had only Lilia’s diary as a source document. The historian thought Lilia an unreliable witness, so added newspaper articles and other materials to both corroborate and challenge her view of events.

Fallen was published in 2008 as a paranormal romance. Along the way, my idea that Lilia and Montgomery would be continuing characters with a relationship that evolved over multiple books fell by the wayside—because the trilogy of the Prometheus Project were all romances, they each had to feature a different hero and heroine. The story also was told in third person point-of-view, with scenes from Montgomery’s perspective that hadn’t existed in the original. I liked this change a lot because it showed us more not only of Montgomery but also of the angels and their plan. It also made the opening scene of the book possible. That was the last scene I wrote for this book and it remains my favorite. Sadly, my historian was cut out of the story, along with her footnotes. Guardian, book two in the trilogy, is the story of Raphael (a fallen angel we meet in Fallen) and Lilia’s daughter, Delilah. The final book in the trilogy, Rebel, is the story of Armand (one of the angels captured by Lilia before Fallen—his angelic name is Armaros) and Theodora, a wraith we first meet in Guardian.

I always really liked these books, although they are quite different from my other work. I’d never written about a place as dark and violent as the Republic, yet it offers a good contrast to the power of love. I was very excited to have the opportunity to revise and repackage the original trilogy for new editions. Publishing a linked series as it is written invariably leads to some continuity errors, so I’m glad to be rid of those. In addition, a new fourth book is being published: Abyss is also an urban fantasy romance, which takes place after the events in Rebel and tells of Tupperman’s happily-ever-after.

The other wonderful thing about a new edition is the chance to include some bonus material. I’ve gone through the files of the original book and included a selection of the content that never made it to the final version of Fallen. You’ll find the bonus material on page 333 of this edition. It includes A Summary of Nuclear Events of the 21st Century, some commentary from Lilia on New Gotham and radiation, as well as a news item about Lilia’s mom, Lillian Desjardins.

Finally, I want to comment on the change in the cover art. The new editions require new covers, and in this case, the market has changed significantly. Urban fantasy is well-established now as a viable genre, as is dystopian fiction, and the graphic language of those covers often include the heroine alone. Putting the heroines on the covers of this series resolves another issue with accurately presenting the characters in the book. Those of you familiar with angelology will have already realized that Munkar (Montgomery’s angelic name) is an angel named in Muslim sources and said to have the ability to discern the secret hearts of men. Munkar is also the only black-skinned angel. In the Republic of 2099, there is no conflict between black and white citizens, so the color of Montgomery’s skin color isn’t an issue for Lilia or anyone else in the book. Even though there are plenty of other prejudices in this fictional world to fill the void, that’s one facet of the Republic that would be a welcome change in our world. With Lilia on the cover of this new edition, you’re welcome to imagine Montgomery however you choose.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Read more about Fallen.

Rebel

Rebel, an urban fantasy romance by Claire DelacroixRebel has been published in its new edition!

At the end of the 21st century, the future of humanity hangs in the balance, caught between the radioactive waste of a half century of nuclear wars and the repressive authority of the Republic. Angels sacrifice their wings to join a secret fraternity of freedom fighters, risking classification as mutants and consignment to the Republic’s slave dens. Each warrior is a volunteer, but no angel anticipates the full cost of his fall.

The eyes of the Republic are everywhere.

Having sacrificed his wings in a bid to save humanity, fallen angel Armand has a bold plan to assassinate presidential candidate Maximilian Blackstone. When things go awry and his partner is gravely injured, Armand fears he will fail and forever lose the chance to rejoin the angels in heaven.

Theodora is a wraith, a woman who officially doesn’t exist. She lives in the shadows, taking risks to earn bounties—bounties that buy new life for those she loves. Captured when her latest hit goes horribly wrong, Theodora finds herself the prisoner of a strong, arrogant stranger.

Soon enough, Theodora and Armand find their missions—and their hearts—entwined. But in their desperate attempt to save the world, will they be able to save each other?

“A true triumph of storytelling!”—Fresh Fiction

Buy Rebel at Amazon Buy Rebel at iBooks Buy Rebel at All Romance eBooks Buy Rebel at B&N Buy Rebel at KOBO Buy Rebel at Nook UK Buy Rebel at Books-a-Million Buy Rebel at Smashwords Buy Rebel at Sony eReader Store Buy Rebel at Waterstones Buy Rebel at Createspace

Read an excerpt from REBEL

 

November Reader Contest

This month’s prize is a signed copy of the new trade paperback edition of FALLEN. FALLEN is the first book in my urban fantasy romance series, The Prometheus Project, which features fallen angel heroes on a quest to save humanity in a dystopian future. This is the edition with bonus content.

Fallen, an urban fantasy romance by Claire Delacroix

All you have to do to have a chance to win is comment on this post. How easy is that? At the end of the month, I’ll choose a winner. As usual, for every 25 entries, I’ll add another prize. Good luck!

GUARDIAN Reader Letter

Guardian, an urban fantasy romance by Claire Delacroix

Dear Reader;

There is something about a rogue of a hero that draws my attention at regular intervals. I don’t write that many heroes who are handsome, daring, reckless and indifferent to expectations (as well as committed to their own solitary status), but they are a lot of fun to write. I tend to write wounded heroes, who are noble and less-than-great communicators, particularly when it comes to expressing their own emotions. A charming rogue who has a gift for conversation can be a refreshing change of pace. Rafe, the hero of Guardian, the second book of the Prometheus Project, has many similarities to Gawain in my gothic medieval romance, The Scoundrel. Like Gawain, Rafe needs to be persuaded of the value of love; like Gawain, the right woman changes everything for him.

In the process of writing Fallen, the first book in this series, I became quite fascinated with the physical challenges faced by the fallen angel heroes who volunteer to shed their wings. What would it be like to experience sensation for the first time? Montgomery was struck by the pain in losing his wings, a loss that was more than skin deep. For Montgomery, at least until he allied with Lilia, this sphere was an ordeal to be survived. Rafe was different from his first appearance on the page—or maybe I should say his first moment as a mortal. He was enamored with sensation and I knew that his view of the world would be entirely different from Montgomery’s. For Rafe, the physical world offers an adventure to be savored. Once I realized that, I knew that there could be no better hero for Delilah, a young woman who has known nothing of joy or pleasure in her short life, than Rafe. For Delilah, the world is a dark and fearsome place, yet one she must embrace in order to fulfill her destiny. Given her past, she doesn’t really know how to start, but Rafe is an excellent teacher. I knew from the beginning that he’d teach Delilah more than she wanted to know, and that he would be reluctant to learn from her—but Delilah has an unexpected strength. Together, they are a formidable team and a balanced one—I hope you enjoy the story of how they conquer the obstacles before them together.

It is a wonderful thing to have a chance to revisit a book and create a new edition. When Guardian was originally published, it had some inconsistencies in the age of Delilah. Initially, I had thought she was much younger, but when she became the heroine of her own book (which was a romance at its core), she had to be older. Not all of the references were caught and corrected, and that always bothered me. This new edition gave me the chance to correct that and make a few minor revisions to ensure continuity between all three books.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Learn more about GUARDIAN.

Update on Tupperman

As many of you know, I was planning to publish Tupperman’s story last fall. For those of you who don’t know, this is a novella that grew into a shorter book telling the story of one of the continuing characters in my Prometheus Project who never got his happy ending. When I wrote the series initially, I didn’t know the end of Tupperman’s story so he had to wait for inspiration to strike.

I hit a snag last fall with the publication of this story – actually, there were several snags. First, it became much longer than I’d anticipated, essentially doubling in length. Secondly, writing more meant that the writing took longer, which pushed my schedule off. Thirdly, the beta reader asked a couple of really good questions, which I couldn’t immediately answer. I explained all of this to you last fall when I confessed that the story wouldn’t be published in 2012.

All of those are reasons enough, but there was another big one. I received a royalty statement from TOR for the three Prometheus Project books and discovered – to my amazement – that the conditions under which I could request a reversion of rights had been met. Because this book contract – like so many others – bases the possibility of reversion on the number of units of each book sold, I held off on publishing Tupperman’s story. Publishing a sequel might increase sales of the first books, which could ensure that they didn’t revert to me. And really, I’d much rather have the rights to my books back in my own hands.

FALLEN, GUARDIAN and REBEL have now reverted to me. This is such a good thing. It means that I can republish the books myself. It means that I can correct a couple of continuity errors that were missed and generally give the books one more editorial scrub.

The only sad thing is that I don’t have the right to use the covers that TOR commissioned from Larry Rostant. I love those covers but I’ll have to get new ones done. There’s a ton of prep work to be done for this republication, and also it would be wise to leave a little gap of time for TOR to get their digital editions down from all the portals. I want to publish Tupperman’s story at the same time as the new editions of the three books. I’m also changing Tupperman’s cover – so it will match the new trio of covers – and changing the title of his story.

I’ll update you as more details are resolved. Look for the whole suite of them – a company of angels! – in fall 2013.