Happier than a caffeinated squirrel at a peanut farm!


March 5, 2014 by Kira Lyn Blue


For those of you that have been following the Ninja Squirrels for a while, you know that I’m working on the first novel in an urban fantasy series with a chaos sorcerer as the main character, a talking squirrel sidekick who really, really likes the sound of his own voice, and all manner of crazy shenanigans for them to deal with: assassins, werewolves, vampires, Fae, and a myriad of sorcerers with varying abilities and equally varying levels of homicidal tendencies.

It was about this time last year that I finished the first draft and shipped it off to a few beta readers for feedback. They were enormously helpful even if the feedback wasn’t “Ermagerd, Kira, this is brilliant. Publish now!”

I mean, it was a first draft. What did I really expect?

Shift forward a few months from there. I’d already attempted some modifications on the first draft, but still couldn’t make it fix the real underlying issues. I finally realized that to make this work, I was going to have to push the timeline backward and start the series at an earlier point.

Cue a few more months of toying with scene ideas, plot mapping, backstory polishing, and intense debate with the Husband over what/whom the antagonist should be for the new story. (Incidentally, should I be worried that he comes up with the scariest bad guys?)

Then I sat down and started working on the opening scene.

Return to present day.

I now have something like forty different opening scenes for the new story written. Many of them are different versions of the same basic premise. There’s the “My life sucks” opening, the “White Rabbit” opening, the “Holy shit, it’s a sorcerer!” opening, the “Crashing Indy Pagan Pride Day” opening, the “Midnight Run” opening, and- what was my personal favorite for a long time- the “Jac! What the fuck did you do to the soda fountain and shop-vac?!?” opening.

Unfortunately, every single one of them was missing something vital, or several vital somethings. There were a few that were really good pieces of writing, but just didn’t fit for one reason or another.

I had almost decided that I was wrong and that the original story was so much better and I should just go back and try to make it work as the first in the series.

And then came last night.

And finally,Β finally, I got it right.

Now maybe it was silly to hold up an entire book for months and months until I got that one scene right where I wanted it, but I don’t think it was. I learned a lot about Jac in the process and how she might act in a whole lot of scenarios. I wrote many of them and let thousands more play out in my mind as I drifted off to sleep each night, only to wake in the morning and realize they wouldn’t work with what was intended to come. And thus the cycle began anew.

But now, now I have it!

I know I’m rambling, but I’m happier than a caffeinated squirrel at a peanut farm. So, I really just wanted to share my excitement. While I would love to share the scene with you folks, The Muse says it’s mine alone right now. I don’t think she trusts me not to second guess myself once I make it “live.”

However, I will give you a taste. Just a wee bite for the curious:

“It’s amazing how fragile, how tenuous our world is. Stability is an illusion. In reality, things are constantly breaking down even as we or the Universe itself attempts to build them back up. Entropy is reality and every little bit of our ordered world and life is one tiny catalyst from complete collapse.

My whole world crumbled with a single spark.”



14 thoughts on “Happier than a caffeinated squirrel at a peanut farm!

  1. Hell yes! Sounds like a great start to me. So uhhh … when am I gonna have a book to rec out to my friends? I’ve thought of it often since the beta read. Would love to be able to share your fascinating world and characters. πŸ™‚

    • Well, I’ve gotten a major major hurdle out of the way. The good news is that now I have the framework set for the rest of the planned scenes. So, I hope it won’t be another year, but I just don’t know yet. Things are really busy in the audiobook narration world these days and my writing time has been massively curtailed.

      I wish I could offer better news especially since it tickles me sideways that you want to share my writing with others. So, how about another piece of good news?

      As I recall, you were a fan of my firefighter, Wallace. I was really afraid I was going to have to pull him from the first book, but the new opening worked him in seamlessly. I was almost surprised myself when he showed up.

  2. Dave Higgins says:

    A beginning is a delicate time. Know then that it is the reader’s first experience and their perception of the book is ruled by the first pages.

    • Of a certainty, but I kept wondering if I should move on and come back to it later. I still think I made the right choice, but I do wonder if other writers do it this way.

      • Dave Higgins says:

        I aim for an entire first draft to get the shape of the story, then work on fixing issues from the beginning forward.

        If the draft was really fractured, it might be more productive to fix other areas, but my theory is mistakes in areas readers don’t get to don’t make a difference. So put the work in areas that are most likely to get them further in first.

  3. Congrats and it’s not silly. That first scene is crucial, so getting it to where you want it is important.

  4. Now that’s happy, and well-deserved. πŸ™‚

  5. ameliabishop says:

    What a tease you are!
    You know, I probably shouldn’t mention it here, but I really don’t care for squirrels (I know!). This project of yours, however… It has me intrigued. I must read it. asap.
    So glad you got your scene right, and I totally understand. Certain scenes are just pivotal, they dictate so much about characters, and influence the entire plot. And the first scene? In a series? Major.
    I am really looking forward to the post where you tell us all your release date πŸ™‚

  6. melissajanda says:

    I LOVE the bit you shared. The time you took to get it right was time well spent πŸ™‚

  7. MrsJoseph says:


    This sounds really interesting…



    So ummmm, when do you think you'll be finished. ^.^ (j/k)

    I want you to take as much time as you need. As an Epic Fantasy reader…the one thing I have learned is patience, lol.

  8. Erica Dakin says:

    Awesome, I really can’t wait until you’ve got this thing finally done and ready to publish. =)

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