Story behind the story 2: And Then authors on their contribution

Today, we’ll hear from And Then contributors Tansy Rayner-Roberts(story in vol 1) Sarah Evans, (story in vol 2)  and Jason Franks (story in vol 1).

tansybwDeath at the Dragon Club, Tansy Rayner-Roberts
My story is one I had been toying with for a while — about a pair of retired assassins and siblings-of-choice who run away from their violent profession and end up joining a circus full of dragons… only to have their old and new worlds collide all over again. This book was a great excuse to write that story, and I’m so glad I did. I hold Kurt and Inga Frostad, and their beloved dragons and their snarky dialogue, very close to my heart, to the point that I got all soppy and nostalgic while proofing. And then I promptly started planning the sequel…


profile-photo-1Plumbing the Depths, Sarah Evans

Plumbing the Depths began life as an experimental entry in RWA’s First Kiss competition. I loved the idea of a vegetarian-turned-reluctant vampire canoodling (against her better judgement) with a gorgeous avenging angel. But the judges didn’t. Ho hum. The story was all but dead in the water.

Luckily vampires don’t die that easily. When CDP publisher Lindy Cameron asked for submissions for the And Then… I decided to revamp the vampire-angel story and give it a fresh twist.

Sure, the vampire, Matty Peters, was still reluctant to embrace the dark side, but the angel took on a totally new persona. From a dark and brooding love interest with a hip name, he morphed into Ted, an over-weight, retired cop caught in purgatory with his salvation relying heavily on the number of souls he can collect, including Matty’s.

Consequently, there’s no romance and definitely no canoodling. Instead, the unlikely couple end up joining forces to become very dodgy vampire slayers.

The result is a fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek adventure romp.


jf_c_300pxExli and the Dragon, Jason Franks
When Lindy approached me about contributing to And Then… one of the things I liked best about it was that the brief was so wide open. I decided to take that as a challenge when I came up with “Exli and the Dragon”.
I haven’t written science fiction for a few years, so that was my first challenge: to reacquaint myself with the genre. I went at it like a glutton, helping myself to all the best bits: high performance space ships, grumpy robots, pew pew lasers and some actual, proper science. I had been wanting to write a story from the point of view of a creature that is completely non-human, so that gave me one of the two protagonists. The second protagonist is a human–something rare and strange in the galactic society in which this story takes place.
I also challenged myself to write an action story without violence. So, while our two roguish heroes face plenty of danger as they attempt to escape from space prison, neither of them are equipped for combat and they must find other ways to reach their goals. Mainly, though, I just tried to keep it twisty and fun. I hope you fine readers enjoy it.


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