New York Heat is done.
The first draft anyway.
This nine-month long writing project, currently spanning 181K words, has finally entered the revising stage. New York Heat challenged me in several ways, like, how do I balance ten lead characters? (Yes, ten! Only five are POV characters, though.) How do I ensure that the final sex scene, which essentially has 175K words of build-up, is the most mind-blowing of all? And what do I do about that particularly chaotic scene?
I’d been thinking about New York Heat for years now. It’s a sequel to both Men In The Hot Room and Go-Go Boys of Club 21, the latter of which I published in September 2015. It took three years to come up with a plot that would be worthy of a sequel.
I’ve always thought of Go-Go Boys of Club 21 as a TV series in book format, and so I wanted New York Heat to have the same effect. And so that meant things had to be bigger and better. I couldn’t do the same thing I always did. That was what made the struggle so difficult.
But in the fall of 2017, everything fell in place. Including “that” scene. The chaotic one. The one that is a huge red flag.
New York Heat takes place in the hottest gay nightclub in New York City. And in the latter half of the book, someone brings a gun to the club and starts shooting.
Yup, I have a scene of mass violence. In a romance novel.
Maybe this isn’t a romance novel. Maybe it’s more of a general gay fiction novel (with a LOT of erotic content). After all, it does reflect reflect a lot on what it means to be a gay man in the present day.
To add fuel to the fire, one of the ten lead characters doesn’t survive the shooting.
Yup, I kill a romantic lead. In a romance novel.
I’m fucked. This can’t be a romance novel.
It IS all part of a master plan, though. I’ve got a fantastic romantic redemption story for the surviving half of the couple that will be fully explored in the sequel to this book — New York Ice. (Which will be harder to write and definitely longer. I don’t know why I do this to myself.)
For now, though, as I deal with the chaos I’ve set before myself and as I struggle to find a way out of it, I’ve got a million side projects that I’ve been neglecting while writing New York Heat. I’ll figure out how to calm the chaos. Eventually. I hope.
Cameron D. James is a writer of gay smut. Find out more at camerondjames.com. His upcoming publication is the (surprisingly smut-free) gay YA romance, Gay Love And Other Fairy Tales, under his YA pen name, Dylan James.