You guys. I finished the first draft of One Life to Lose this week. And I. Am. DEVASTATED.
I don’t fall madly in love with every book I write. Oh, I love them, to a certain extent, mostly. A familial sort of thing, where we live together, and we have things in common, and for a certain amount of time we travel side by side along the same road. I’m certainly fond of all my books at different parts of the process. (I hate all my books at other parts of the process.)
But OLTL, like, slayed me.
I’m trying to think of why, and how, and how to reconcile it. I knew going into the Queers of La Vista series that I was going to sell it. That’s helpful–very helpful–especially where revising comes into play. You can do things you might usually be resistant to because, after all, it’s just marketing, really. It’s just making it easier for people to consume your books and dispose of them.
But this? Oh god. I was madly, deeply in love with this book from the second I started it. So in love. I love Cameron’s voice, his way of seeing the world, his defense mechanisms, his courage. His fear. And I massively adore the young men who court him.
Part of it is probably that this is a different kind of relationship, and that it’s one of those kinky poly things I love so much, a dynamic that makes me feel more at home than the usual romantic set-up does. There’s no big break up, no hand wringing about commitment. It’s a totally different thing, unbound and not the least restricted by what “normal” relationships are supposed to look like.
It’s bound and restricted by other things, naturally.
But man, man, I’m blown the fuck away by ending it. I could have finished this book last Friday, but I drew it out all the way to Tuesday morning because I just…couldn’t force myself to stop. I loved it so much. It was so brutal, so sharp, so fucking immersive. I didn’t want to come up for air writing most of this book, a sensation that usually happens over the course of oh, maybe half, if I’m very lucky.
This is a sensation that grows, steadily, as I continue writing. When I first started forcing myself to finish what I started I’d write books that made me feel like flying for only a few scenes; now I get entire strings of days where I feel that high, and it’s the greatest high in the world, comparable only to riding the crest of an orgasm: out of control and in sync with something so much more powerful, so much deeper, than myself.
Sex and writing books. You heard it here first.
SIGH. Now this, this bit, after the end of a book, is roughly the same with every novel. This fear that it will never be that good again, that no book will woo me like the one just past. This grief for what is lost. I love revising. Like, love it. Love the nitty gritty, love the exhaustion after, love the tweaking and the playing that comes along with it. But it doesn’t make me high like the last few weeks of writing OLTL.
This feeling is how I survived adolescence, right here. I knew I could feel just this good, and I never stopped chasing it, no matter where it led. OLTL led to a few dark places over the last few days, and dammed if that didn’t make it so much fucking sharper and so much fucking sweeter to write.
I can’t wait for you lot to start this series. Oh my god. I’m desperate for it. And honestly, it’ll be another year before you finish all of them. Still, I’m off to start book five, As La Vista Turns. My last run on this particular roller coaster, so here we go…