Here's the skivvy: I needed a break from Dillon and Andy (A Place to Belong) because a) their story is kinda breaking my heart (it's HEA, it's just a long hard road to get there!) and b) I need to go back and re-work some stuff at the beginning.
So I decided to take some time off and work on a totally un-romantic non-fiction book.
Which is when the plot bunnies attacked!
This is actually something I started last year--when a plot bunny bit me--but set aside to work on something else. However, thanks to some very persistent little bunnies, it's not going away this time--which is probably good, because this is the sequel (spin off) to Bound: Forget Me Knot.
It's not the story I'd originally planned to write, but it's the story that wants to get written. Derrik (you know, that asshat friend of Henry's?) wants his story told. And believe me, he can be a real stubborn prick when he wants something.
It was easier to just give in. Besides, it meant getting to know Palo better, and he's such a sweetheart. Since I'm making a point of not posting copyrighted material, I'm just going to have to ask you to look up Aaron Avila here because he is my muse for Palo. Of course I can't actually have him for the cover, but like Jason and Henry's story, I'll opt for a drawn cover, so we can get close without getting into hot water with lawyers and agents and sexy hot Latin men... oh wait, that last one doesn't sound so bad!
This is the sort of scene that caused the original plot bunny to bite me in the ass.
Three revisions of the first 20K words later, and I think I've finally settled on the setting, at least for where Derrik and Palo meet. Originally, I had them at a fictitious Pagan Gathering (fictitious only because I needed it to look exactly like what I wanted, which was similar to PSG of 25 years ago); I'd toyed with a setting like The Burning Man Festival, but having never been there (or anywhere west of the Mississippi), I thought erring on the side of what I knew would work best.
But there were some problems with the idea of these two meeting and moving in together after a week-long festival.
So instead, Derrik and Palo meet at a fictionalized version of the Ohio Renaissance Festival--fictionalized because I worked the Faire nineteen years ago and haven't been back since (although I've worked a couple of other Festivals in the intervening years and by and large they're all fairly similar.) I've put out some feelers but still haven't gotten a solid answer to whether or not there's still camping on-site (or just off the grounds) or whether or not the Fire Marshall was able to enact ordinances preventing merchants from living in their booths (it was an issue going on at several Faires, although the Fire Marshall for the Ohio Faire's area was particularly spiteful, calling Rennies a bunch of hippies high on pot--clearly there was a secondary agenda there, something that didn't involve only the safety of the people living on-site).
All of that said, I'm going to do what writers do best and take artistic license where necessary--and hopefully get some answers from folks with more recent experience in Ohio's Willy-Nilly-on-the-Wash.