Another Cadence Drake start pops up — 12,862 words

By Holly Lisle

I woke up at around five-ish this morning knowing the next chapter of The Wishbone Conspiracy, my next Cady Drake novel.

And thought about it for a while, and decided that I would write it once I got up and got showered. And am sitting down to do that.

But on my way to getting there, I just found ANOTHER incomplete Cady novel on my hard drive, written before I wrote Warpaint, but taking a completely different take on the vampire problem in Settled Space.

A lot of that problem was solved in Warpaint. But not all of it.

And I like what I’ve found here enough that it’s worth saving, worth chasing down. It lets me bring back my favorite minor character from Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood.

But not today.

Today… now… I’m writing on The Wishbone Conspiracy. Was not planning to be doing actual writing this quickly — I don’t even have my Sentence cards completed.

But I figured out something really cool, and Chapter Two beckons.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Published the WARPAINT Soundtrack

By Holly Lisle

WARPAINT SoundtrackIt took a while to find the right music for WARPAINT.

First, this is the music I have playing in the background while I write, so it has to fit the universe, the characters, and the “feel” of a lived-in place full of real humans, real needs, and the themes of the story. And it has to not grate on my nerves or distract me from my words.

It has to become subliminal, has to leak into my subconscious mind and feed the story I want to write.

So the soundtrack places HEAVY emphasis on Jim Tozier’s guitar work, which fits Cady like her skin.

The rest of the music in the soundtrack hits plot points, characters, or some element of theme or characterization I want to have in my head.

But Tozier is the backbone of the whole track.

So here’s the WARPAINT soundtrack.

(Link is to iTunes. It’s quick and convenient, and every other listing option I’ve tried has proven a giant pain in the ass.)

Consider it a sneak preview.

On a personal note, I still have the damn headaches and migraines. I’m getting some work done—putting the soundtrack together was a little bit of relaxation when my head hurt too badly to do anything else.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Cadence Drake and the Darkness

By Holly Lisle

I’d originally set Cadence Drake: Warpaint (my current work in progress) three years after the events in Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood. I did this because I wanted to get back to Cady’s story after she’d beaten the darkness from the first book, after she had found her way back to being a whole human being again.

But over the weekend, I realized that in doing this, I was missing the big picture and a huge, powerful story—the story of how Cady reclaimed her soul.

So on Saturday and Sunday, I put aside everything I’d already done with the draft I’d been working on. I’ll save that draft as a possible later book in the series.

And I redrafted a new, forty-scene outline for Warpaint the way it needs to be told: Cady the Weapon of Vengeance goes to war against hell and wins her way back to being Cady the Human.

I know I’m on the right track this time. How do I know?

Because this is the Cadence Drake book I’m terrified to write.

People who don’t write novels generally can’t imagine why writing one might be terrifying. I’ll explain.  My process includes living inside my character’s head while I’m writing. Cadence Drake is the person I would be if I were her—to borrow a description from Lawrence Block—and to write her honestly, I have to slip inside her skin and live through everything she goes through. And I have not given Cady an easy life.

But there’s more to this, because Cady is also the character I created who ended up fighting through an alternative version of personal darkness I was facing when I wrote her. I didn’t want to go back to the place where I left her, and I didn’t want to look too closely at why I didn’t.

It turns out I hadn’t fully answered for myself the questions I’d left her with—questions about how and why you choose to live; about how you pick your fights; about how you decide in a world in which darkness is falling and where no good answer is easy, what is right and what is wrong.  It would have been much simpler and less painful to have just blown by those questions with a quick “Three years later…”

Only I hit a point in the draft I was writing where I had to look at Cady’s questions anyway, and ask myself how she’d come through that hell, and what price she’d paid to win back her soul, and how she’d stepped out of the darkness.

And…no good answer is easy. The good answer doesn’t scream “Here I am!” at you.  The good answer whispers, “You’re going to have to fight to find me and earn me.”

This weekend, in brief form, I fought, and found in the good answer the true story of Warpaint.

This is the story I have to tell.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved