I didn't want to say anything until this was a thing, but. . .
I'm going to turn Special Projects into an original
ebook series. Since it's loosely based on fanfiction, I'm pretty sure the only way to go with it is self published (despite the success of 50 Shades of Grey). And even if I remove anything that remotely looks like it came from either of the two TV shows it's based on (we call that filing the serial numbers off of a story). I'm just not sure that there is a publisher who would want to take a risk on it if they ever found out it was "loosely inspired by" fanfiction.
I'm about halfway through writing the first book, which will vaguely bear a passing resemblance to The Wild Hunt, with a subplot taken from plot points of Devil's Dance. The first book and the series as a whole will eventually be called The Daughters of Bridget Cleary
Yes, I'm really going to write it and hire an editor and a cover artist. This will be a thing that happens!
I'll post a bit of the first chapter below (Fair warning that it may not look like this by the time I'm done.) I'm also going to put a sign-up form for my newsletter at the end of the post. If you are interested in knowing when the first book is done (or when I publish any more original short fiction or novels) then you can sign up. My newsletter is handled through mail chimp, so there is no selling of addresses, spam or other hinky shenanigans. Just an email once or twice a year. And you can unsub anytime.
So here's a quick rough draft preview of what I hope ends up being a really great series.
“What are you doing?” a woman’s scream, half-angry, half-shocked split the quiet of the hallway.
Sarah Clancy halted mid-stride as she realized that the yell came from behind the doors of her own detective agency. She stared at her door, pulling at her sleeve as she wondered whether she should call for Mark.
As if summoned by her thoughts, Mark kicked the door open. His mask hung slightly askew as he tilted and dragged one of their rolling office chairs behind him. When he turned, Sarah saw what – or rather who – was making all the noise.
A petite woman with a disproportionately large voice sat in the chair, screaming her protests and gripping the handles to avoid falling out. “Let me go, you tool!” She screamed at Mark.
“That’s what I’m doing!” Mark snapped back. He slammed the chair forward, tipping her out and onto the ground. The woman sprang to her feet and got up in his personal space immediately. “Do you treat all potential clients this way?”
Mark pushed her back with one hand as he shoved the chair back through the doorway with the other. “We reserve the right to refuse our services to anyone,” he shot over his shoulder at her.
The deteriorating situation – and potential loss of a paying client – goaded Sarah into movement again. Refusing work didn’t pay the rent. And it wasn’t as if a couple of specialists like her and Mark had clients coming out of the woodwork to hire them.
“Hey!” She waved her arms to get the bickering duo’s attention. Both Mark and the strange woman looked over at her. His stance one of annoyance while she looked relieved.
Sarah crossed her arms and glared at the both of them. “What’s going on here?”
“That depends,” The woman said. “Are you with building security?”
“Not quite,” Sarah snorted. She pointed to the nameplate on the door that said Clancy and Clancy Investigations in gold foil lettering. “I’m Sarah Clancy.”
The woman’s face lit up with hope. “I’m Christina Kelly. I wanted to hire you. But this casting reject from V for Vendetta seems violently against the idea.”
Sarah lifted an eyebrow at that. Considering that they used her money to start the business, her name was the first Clancy on the door. So what right did Mark have to refuse a client?
“We require a retainer fee up front.” Sarah said.
“Do you take Visa?” Christina asked.
Especially a paying one. Sarah tilted her head as if to non-verbally ask Mark that very question. He ducked sheepishly.
“She’s a reporter,” he muttered.
Christina Kelly scoffed at that. “Yeah, genius. That’s why I want to hire you: To help me investigate a story.” She turned to Sarah. “Has your brother always been a complete and utter tool?”
“Hey!” Mark protested. “Watch who you’re calling a tool, lady”
“Buddy, you’re not just a tool, you’re an entire tool truck with a factory that supplies extra wrenches.”
Before he could counter, the door of the plumber’s office next to theirs swung open. And speaking of tools, Sarah thought. The plumber who worked there stuck his head out and glared at them.
“Why don’t we take this inside?” Sarah suggested.
Mark rolled his eyes, but backed up enough to let Mrs. Kelly and Sarah into their office. Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah watched him make a rude gesture at the plumber. She heard the door of the other office slam, and her brother laughed.
“Oh Mark,” she sighed in exasperation.
“What?” He threw his hands up. When Sarah waved in dismissal, he grabbed her hand. “She’s trouble.” He forced the words out through clenched teeth so Mrs. Kelly wouldn’t hear. Sarah made it a point not to look at the reporter as she settled into the chair that Mark had just dumped her out of. Their office consisted of two rooms: The waiting room where they now stood had three chairs and a small coffee table to make clients comfortable. Off to the right stood a closet-sized back room where Sarah did the paperwork and balanced the books on an ancient computer that ran on spit and duct tape.
“How so?” Sarah whispered back to her brother.
“Did you read The Daughters of Bridget Cleary?”
Sarah’s head whipped around so that she could stare at the reporter. Chris Kelly. Not apparently a man. And author of a book that had won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting.
“She wrote that book? I thought that she’d be taller,” Sarah said.
“The fairy reporter? That’s her.”
“Actually, my book was about people descended from changelings,” Christina suddenly turned to them with a knowing grin.
Sarah felt a flush creep up her neck. “Do you prefer Chris or Christina?”
“Chris is fine,” she said.
“Did you really travel with the army changeling unit during the last changeling war?”
“That’s where I got the nickname Chris.” Her gaze shifted to Mark. “I should be the starstruck one. You two have a reputation of your own: locating children taken by the Fair Folk, reversing curses, overturning pranks. If I’m the fairy reporter, you two are the fairy detectives.”
“That was all before the Changeling war. There hasn’t been a fairy sighting since the UN nuked Ireland. We’re not interested in a book about us,” Mark said.
“What do you have to hide, besides your face?” Chris gave him an impish look. “Is that the result of a Medusa curse?”
“Want to find out?” Mark straightened his mask.
“My brother and I like our privacy,” Sarah cut in.
“I can respect that,” Chris nodded. “I’m not interested in doing a book on you, anyway. Your brother didn’t give me the chance to tell him that. If you work for me, I’ll leave you two out of my writing.”
“What sort of work?” Mark sat in his usual chair and steepled his hands under his chin.
“Research mostly. With a little bit of legwork on the side.” Chris spread her hands. “I can’t be everywhere and you two are already familiar with the Fair Folk. It’s steady work and guaranteed pay.”
Sarah directed a questioning look at Mark. He met her gaze and nodded to the next room, a sign that he wanted to talk privately.
Chris seemed to interpret their hesitance. “Why don’t I let you talk it over?” She stood and handed Sarah a business card. “I’m flying out tomorrow for Holbrook Arizona. Give me a call if you’re interested.” She gave Mark a tight smile as if she’d won some kind of victory as she walked out the door.
Mark turned to Sarah as soon as Chris was gone. “No. Absolutely not.”
“It would pay the bills,” Sarah said. “We’ve had a couple of lean months.”
He passed his hand through his hair in agitation. “Sis, the entire unit she was embedded with is dead. Have you looked at her biography?”
“Obviously not if I thought she was a he.” Sarah muttered.
“She attracts the wrong kind of enemy.”
“There’s a right kind?”
Mark’s shoulders slumped. “Do we have to do this again?”
Sarah rested a comforting hand on his arm. “You heard her. We’re the fairy detectives. With a reputation like that, it’s just a matter of time until we attract the wrong kind of attention. We may as well make money while doing it.”
He crossed his arms in a ridiculous pout. “What’s in Holbrook, anyway?”
“There’s only one way to find out.” Sarah slid her phone out of her pocket and dialed the number on the card.
Note: Just enter your email in the first block (I have no idea why the second block is there. It's not on the template.)
Yes! I want to know when you turn this into an original novel!