I've been querying for a little over a month now while my critique partners have finished reading Stolen Destiny, and I've been getting really good feedback. I think what I'm happiest about is that the readers who have spent time with my book are really liking it.
I always knew that the idea of a race of people called Aeveren could appeal to readers, particularly paranormal romance readers, because while they're different in that they live 50 lives through reincarnation, often have powers above what humans possess, and have destined ones-mates they're drawn to across time and distance-they're characters that readers can relate to. Paranormal romance fans love the idea of different, and Aeveren are definitely different than humans, but at the same time, they feel all the emotions and go through all the experiences human beings do.
Stolen Destiny is mainly a romance about Varek and Callia, but as one of my readers keeps reminding me, it's also very much about the villain, Amon. Varek is tall, dark, and strong and was easy to write because he's so wonderful a character. He's a bad boy who has a sexy, soft spot to him. I think some would say it doesn't matter if any of my characters convey appeal for the story to work because the love interests in my books are Aeveren, who have destined ones they're drawn to. I never felt that as I was writing Varek's character because even though he and Callia are destined for one another, I always wanted the attraction to be far more than biological. That may be what draws them to one another, but the heat comes from real attraction between two people.
Callia originally began quite sweetly, but very quickly I decided that she needed to be strong and have some romantic experience. I'm not a fan of writing virgins, so while she's never had a destined one, unlike the men in the story, she certainly has had lifetimes of experience. Beautiful and sexy, she's a great match for Varek.
Amon is simply the easiest character I've ever written. As tall and masculine as Varek, he's fair with blond hair and leaner. But it isn't in his physical being that Amon is appealing but in the way he exudes power. The challenge was to make sure scenes with Varek and Amon didn't become testosterone contests, so I had to be very conscious of how I structured their scenes together. More than once I'd write an entire scene and then go back and decide that this one had to be silent or that one had to facially show more than he was to allow each male to come through without overwhelming one another. While Amon is certainly more powerful because he's been given extraordinary abilities neither Varek nor Callia possess (and 99% of their fellow Aeveren don't either), I didn't want him to be the focus of the book. However, he gets his own story in one of the sequels, Destiny Renewed.
So far, 2011 has been a wonderful year for my writing. Readers are interested in my characters and the story of Stolen Destiny, and the sequels are coming along really well. I hope to have Destiny Renewed finished before summer and the next book finished later this year. In addition, I decided that the series will end with four books, so that will leave one more that I'm still firming up plans for in my head. Finally, I've been mapping out some plans for a new book that may end up as straight fiction instead of romance. That one is still in the earliest stage, but I'm eager to begin jotting down some real ideas to get that one going.