Like the Wizard of Oz when Toto scurries across the stage and tugs on the red velvet curtain, I want to throw my hands over myriad levers and valve handles to throw up a smoke screen laser light show to distract you from paying any attention to the girl behind the keyboard. That rather defeats the point though, doesn’t it? In a market fraught with competition, and most of it being poor competition at that, we’re all authors with a voice struggling to be heard. Introverts like me, and countless others, who have wrapped themselves in words as dual means of expression and insulation from a chaotic outer world, are now asked to open the window, draw back the drapes and let in a little light so that readers can get to know them better.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. In fact it’s a tremendously positive thing – this whole necessity of finding a new comfort zone in finally finishing writing the story that has been growing and developing in my head for the last twenty years. Signing on for publication is an even greater leap of faith. I wrote it for a reason – to be read. And now others are reading it, even if just to edit and polish the prose – the lifeblood of the characters whom have become some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had.
Aha, okay, see, now I had to get used to the curtain being pulled back. Pardon me. I got a little ahead of myself and skipped over some pertinent details. Allow me to start over. Ahem.
Hello! My name is Andrea Houtsch (real name, no pseudonyms here) and I am the author of the upcoming novel She Will Become, an erotic LBGT-themed romantic drama. I recently signed on with All Authors Publishing House to publish and am anxiously awaiting a release date while enjoying a rousing round of editing and revisiting old friends.
I began writing this story back when I was a junior in high school. Originally an exercise in visualization, what began as a simple story of wandering through the woods to discover an old mansion, over time, became a sweeping epic revolving around identity, relationships, sexuality and love. I humbly offer up a synopsis.
When Tristen Callayas, 22, confesses to her best friend Ani that she has been in love with her for the last eight years of their life-long friendship, she hopes only that Ani’s blatant homophobia won’t destroy them. When she is rejected and fully ejected from Ani’s life Tristen is cast into a mire of doubt and suicidal thoughts. Unable to find solace she decides to end her life. In the course of attempting such a drastic end to her misery she finds an abandoned mansion housing a beautifully carved wooden box and a mystery involving a woman who disappeared a hundred years earlier. Following the puzzle pieces and discovering the box contains a portal to another world entirely, Tristen throws both caution and fate to the wind and finds Abiniam, a rustic world filled with as much beauty as pointless violence, ruled by the dual fists of a repressive religious Ostian regime and the wayward, emotionally distant King Reese Westphalia.
Abiniam and its peoples offer up a new chance at life, love, meaning and purpose. Through the relationships Tristen establishes and builds with a host of characters – from Gwyneth, her beautiful handmaid who bears an uncanny and haunting resemblance to Ani; to Genevieve, the woman whose disappearance led Tristen to Abiniam; to Fahl, the king’s personal servant who hails from the war-savaged southern lands of the Uwate Mountains and whose self-avowed belief in the opposing religion sets him distinctly apart; to Endecai, Gwyneth’s quietly observant younger brother; to Bastian, the Master Rabani/”Ost’s Chosen Illuminator” so obsessed with fulfilling a thousand year old prophecy he will stop at nothing short of burning anyone Tristen has come to love and care for on the Purification pyres to obtain his goal; to the mysterious castle steward Rabani Theo; and finally to King Reese himself, a man full to bursting with inner torment over the “sinful” callings of his heart versus living up to the ideals and responsibilities ruling over a kingdom engaged in a four hundred year war entails – she learns more of what it truly means to love and be loved, to see the world through a lens unclouded by misery and angst, and instead through the filter of human compassion and self-sacrifice.
How will Tristen navigate these relationships? Will she affect as much change upon the people of Abiniam as they bring about in her over the course of the story?
Watching the characters grow over the course of twenty years has been much like watching as my son grew from infancy to the tweenager he is now. Ideas loosely formed in my formative years took on weight and definition. A world developed and a map to explore it drawn. The ghostly outlines of the main cast of characters slowly took on shape and substance. Secondary and even tertiary characters developed to fill the gaps and make the connections. Sometimes these secondary and tertiary characters transcended their original purpose and became someone more. For a certainty every person populating and interacting in this book took on a life and voice of their own. Writing this book became a fellowship of sorts. I wasn’t so much as creating anything. I was observing and recording what I heard and saw – what the characters needed me to experience in order to tell their story. I was only graced to be a witness to their unfolding, and to have learned some lessons of my own in the process.
She Will Become is about relationships and how they serve to move us through life, no matter where we are in the universe or what God we believe in. This is a story about love and loss, drama and intrigue, emotional connections and discovering who we are by navigating the tangled web of relationships that make up the foundations of our human lives. It is in and through the quality of our relationships and the mirrors they represent that we discover and become our truest selves.
If you would like to read a sample please visit my website: http://arhoutsch.wordsandwriters.com.
In addition, several of the characters who transcended their original roles to play a more integral role in the plot Tristen finds herself inextricably embroiled in merited erotic short stories of their own. These I am all too happy to share to give readers a broader look at the world of Abiniam and the people who inhabit it.
In Stitching Inseams: Nyra and Astrid we meet Castle Westphalia's court seamstress and tailor, Nyra Sellet and her assistant and life partner, Astrid, as she struggles and to resist Astrid's beauty and wiles. Tristen Callayas has come to Abiniam from Earth and turned society on its head with her other-worldly ideas on how women should dress, among other ideas. Tristen's penchant for trousers has Abiniam's Peerage raising polite eyebrows and filling Nyra's coffers and hours with design work. There simply hasn't been time for anything beyond scissors, needles and thread for weeks and the two women are feeling the gulf between them. Become a fly on the wall with as these two creative denizens of Abiniam make time for one another and sharing their love.
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In Between the Pages: Sedge and Akiva the servants of Castle Westphalia are forbidden from fraternizing. Personal relationships are taboo. This doesn't stop Sedge and Akiva, two unlikely lovers. One is a thief and spy, the other a bookworm and archivist. When the festival of Wintertide arrives Sedge wants to take his lover out to celebrate but Akiva has other plans. She's on a secret mission for illicit information and only reluctantly agrees to allow him to help when he decides any time alone with her is time he'll take no matter what they're doing. Follow Sedge and Akiva as they descend into the belly of the castle to explore the archives and each other.
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I look forward to hearing from any and all!