Monday Muse: Mercutio is Coming!

So… welcome to Cactus-landia, all you fine people of the Internet! And welcome, in particular, to the Monday Muse!

It’s getting to that time where A and I are going to be sending our baby, Killing Mercutio, out into the world for actual people to read. Granted, it’s just the beta phase and not publication, but it’s still a scary, scary prospect. I mean… other people. Reading our creation. Judging it. Maybe not liking it. Maybe hating a character we adore, or not thinking the plot is interesting enough.

The character one is the one I worry about the most, to be honest. Even if people think the plot is meh and the writing OK, so long as they think my babies are worth loving, I will be happy. I mean, I’d be a little unhappy that someone thought my writing was only OK, but I’d get over it. It’s like being a weird little word parent, I guess. Say what you want about me, but don’t you dare mess with my babies.

I think it’s the burden of writers everywhere to want to hold on to our creations. To protect them, keep them where they are adored, flaws and all. When we see something that needs improving, it’s OK because we’re just trying to make this wonderful creation the absolute best it can be. When other people point out flaws, it can feel like an attack even if it’s meant in the most constructive way.

But we can’t hold on to our babies. We have to let them out into the world. Because they deserve to be seen, read, loved, even not-so-loved, just like any flesh and blood child. And so A and I will be releasing, at least to a few trusted advisers, our baby into the world… most likely at the end of this week.

For now, though, I think it’s time for an excerpt. We haven’t given you one in a while. Just a brief piece of Benvolio’s introduction. No spoilers, I promise.

“Then what brings you here this most cheerful morn?” Launce, a servant to Proteus, another of Verona’s disparate youths, was a clown, but at least a useful one. Easy to emulate and easier to manipulate.

“Why, the people, of course! All the hounds come sniffing for favor, baying at the feet of our Prince for the scraps of his most august majesty. He tosses out a morsel and oh how they snarl for the taste of it. See how they preen, their bottoms wagging for the pure pleasure of his presence.”

Launce laughed. “But you won’t be seeing them from out here, will you?”

“Quite correct. I prefer to see them arrive in all their vainglorious pride and run away with their tails tucked between their legs.” Benvolio gestured toward the gate by which petitioners and courtiers alike would enter the Prince’s abode. After a moment, a magnificently clothed man came forth, his muscles squeezed tight with anger. “See now. One has been rebuked for piddling where he oughtn’t.”

“Oh, yes…’tis most amusing, sure, for our betters to be reminded of their follies. But I would so much prefer to see the dance.”

So… there you have it. I let a little bit of my baby go out into the world. Wish us luck as we reach the next phase of our great endeavor. And wish our babies luck, too.

I’ll be back on Friday with a pairing for Stiletto, the sequel to The Rook that I’ve been talking about so much of late. Until then!



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