There may be spoilers. Probably not so much, but maybe.

The New Born Year was my reward for surviving my first year of publishing. I looked forward to writing this for about four months while I wrote the entire Home Series and Red and Bad (Serial One). It’s still one of my favorite things I’ve written in the last few years.

The inspiration for this book was Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold. Winterfair Gifts comes after a long line of books in the Vorkosigan Saga and jumps POV to a relatively minor character. (Roic, who is a much larger character now, but at the time he was a new armsman who’d had a few mentions and a small role before that. What? You don’t read Bujold? You haven’t read the Vorkosigan books? Listen, I can’t say if you like my books, you’ll like these books because these are not porny, and there’s very little queer, kind of, except that queerness is a thing that’s mentioned enough so it’s visible, which is sometimes almost better than a book that’s obsessed with queerness. I digress. But seriously, these books are amazing.)

I wanted to write something new, something fresh. By the end of 2014 I’d written nine Scientific Method Universe books and four Home Series books. I’d written the aftermath of trauma, coming-of-age, romance, and lots and lots of different flavored kinks. I wanted something different.

Enter: Ally. Aw. She’s so fuckin’ cute.

I initially rebelled upon opening Winterfair Gifts. I didn’t want a new POV! I wanted the usual points of view! But by the end I appreciated the fuck out of it, because the new perspective on the usual characters opened up the world a little bit. Since the Scientific Method Universe can get really interwoven and, shall we say, exhausting, I thought I’d try to play with that from Ally’s POV.

So, SMU is my processing series. Like, Hugh Reynolds and Bad Campion get along, but Hugh will stop a scene to check in every single time and Bad will stop a scene to check in once in a very great while, maybe, only if he’s really worried about it. Which is why it was so much fun to throw a mostly clueless person into the beach house with Hugh (Mr Processing), Lucy (throw it all out there!), and Nick (the resentful lifestyle slave is SO tacky) and let her work it all out.

[Um. So. Bad and Red at the beach house? SHUT UP, PLOT BUNNY. No. No, stop.]

Part of Ally’s journey is–wait for it–identity. She’s got two older brothers, and they’re the ones who registered for her folks. Truman was supposed to be the good kid, but he was gay, and he left at eighteen and never came back. Middle kid Brian picked up the slack and while he is definitely the douchebag of the piece (even in absentia), he’s also a typical kid in other ways; Brian was well-liked in high school, went directly to work, and felt an obligation to marry young, have kids, and stick around the folks. He picks on his siblings, but I bet he’s considered to be a pretty laid back guy by people who aren’t related to him by birth. A family man.

But Ally? We didn’t know! And I had a decent outline of this story in my head before I started, but only the bones of it. I had a pretty good idea of the beats I needed to hit for each day at the beach house. But this story surprised the fuck out of me, every single writing day of it. (I wish I’d kept a production diary for it. It would have been all like, “Whoa, WTF, ginger?” and “Nicky!”)

God. I gotta go reread this. I’m about to start beating out some of the future SMU books (oh, Ally, and Beccs and Ads, and Lucy at some point, but we’re not there yet). TNBY is kind of a treasure map, I think, for future books. Lots of little Easter eggs, people. Lots of Easter eggs.

Okay, folks, let’s chat. The New Years beach house stories will, I think, be a bit of a delicious sub-series. Whose POV do you want to see from? Go on, go crazy!

Awesome beach house I totally want featured image is Bali Beach House – Bedroom Balcony by Jesse Wagstaff on Flickr.