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The Genesis of Savor

            First thing you need to know about me as a writer, I live to deviate from what is expected of me. This is especially true when I’m writing a series. I love things that surprise me when I’m writing. I think this is why for the second book of my Reaper Series, Balthazar was born. But we’re not here to discuss Unreap My Heart.

            Before we can get into Savor, we need some backstory. Taste was written when Twilight was gaining momentum. I thought to myself, if Stephenie Meyer can do it, then why can’t I? Galvanized by this motivation, I plunged into the world of Barinkoff Academy. Since vampires were hot, and I’m the type to rebel against what’s popular, I took the zombie route.

The Zhamvy were born.

But I didn’t want them to be the regular zombies. I defined them as the walking dead in the sense that they were dying of a decease that was rotting them from the inside out. The only reason they weren’t dropping like flies was their ability to heal.

            With the core of the plot firmly in place, I focused on the characters, giving rise to Phoenix, the hardheaded girl who was too curious for her own good. This made her quite annoying, even to me, because she didn’t seem to have a lick of sense. Those who’d been frustrated with her understand what I mean here.

            Phoenix was caught between two princes.

One who lived to serve his people while the other ran away from the duties that were rightfully his. So, Demitri and Luka were born, both crown princes, both handsome as sin, with two distinct personalities. One had a stick up his butt. It made him anal and uptight. The other was fun loving with a melancholy streak. I was addicted to the both of them because they had their swoony moments.   

            Once the writing was done, I knew Taste was a standalone. Of course, there was a little wiggle room in terms of maybe a second book, but after the manuscript was acquired by Crescent Moon Press and I began editing, the idea of it being a standalone reinforced itself.

            When Taste came out to the delight of many fans, I was surprised that they wanted more. I was just happy that it got published in the first place. For the readers to want more was a humbling experience. And they didn’t just want more, they wanted Luka. Every email I got asked about a second book. Even to this day. All my replies were the same: Taste is stand alone. Funny thing was my publishers wanted a second book as well.

            I thought long and hard about the possibility of a second book. There were so many options. Did I really want to continue Phoenix’s story? I knew she was Demitri’s from the beginning, so the ending of Taste felt right to me. What about Luka? I knew he definitely deserved a book. You should have seen the tantrum he unleashed in my head. It would make the destruction of the music room child’s play. Those who have read Savor know which scene I’m referring to.   

            After the idea of a second book took root in my head, I began thinking about Luka’s story. I knew I needed to do him justice. I love him and he deserves a book (in the case of the Vicious Feast, a series of books) showcasing not only his hotness but his complexity as a character. There are facets of him I haven’t discovered yet and I’m already elbow deep into the series. He continues to surprise me, and I love that.

            Since Luka was already an established character, I needed someone to compliment him. Someone who wouldn’t just fall all over him. Someone with some backbone but was just as flawed. That was when Dakota walked into my life.

            Confession: there is a different Savor manuscript sleeping in the depths of my laptop. It’s completed, but it’s totally different from the Savor out today. You see, when I began writing Luka’s book, I thought I would write two stories with two different storylines. One was supposed to be a paranormal romance while the other was going to be an urban fantasy with romantic elements.

            The first version of Savor has Dakota as a photography student without the eye patch but she has an equally dark past. She cannot bear the touch of other people. When she is given her final assignment of a ten picture nude introspective, she almost drops out of college because of it. This is where her best friend Silvia comes in. She happens to be Luka’s niece, making her Phoenix’s and Demitri’s daughter. Yes, this storyline actually takes place about twenty years after Taste. The Zhamvy are already human. Luka, who has become a famous male model, is the last to transition. His reasoning behind this is that he’s the king. He wants to make sure his people are properly integrated into human society before taking the plunge himself. Because of Dakota’s phobia, Silvia calls in a favor to Luka to help her out. Since he’s a model, he doesn’t mind stripping down for a nude photo shoot. The romance between them grows as Luka helps Dakota get over her fear while he struggles with his transition from Zhamvy to human.

            Like I mentioned above, this manuscript is complete. It is still a little raw and in need of editing, but as far as I was concerned it was Luka’s story. But something wasn’t sitting right with me. The story wasn’t sitting right, so I didn’t submit it to my publisher thinking I’d rewrite. But as the months passed, I still hadn’t found a solution on how to fix the story.

            Then, one day, out of the blue (where I believe the best ideas come from) I realized I needed to start from scratch. I was so excited that it didn’t even bother me that I would be writing an entirely new novel. This is where the Savor you know today came from. I knew in my gut that I couldn’t continue where I left off from Taste. So, I took the characters from Taste with the addition of Dakota and placed them in a new universe. This rejuvenated the story for me. I became excited with the characters again and was curious to explore the world of Vicious through Dakota’s eyes, or should I say eye. *laughs*

            I was so engrossed with the creation of this story that I never thought about the readers connecting it to Taste. I should have added a disclaimer to the back of the book.

            Let this blog post be the official statement:

Savor is in no way connected to Taste.

The only similarity is the characters. I basically relocated them into the universe of the Vicious Feast series. Which I think did the characters a solid good based on the reaction to the book so far. For me, writing shouldn’t be laborious. Of course, there are times when it’s like pulling teeth, but that’s par for the course.

            Okay, this blog post has gone on longer than I expected. *shrugs* I’m longwinded when explaining something. If you still have questions about the series just ask them in the comments section and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

            Let me head you off by saying: as to what they are in the Vicious Feast story?

All will be revealed in book two, Relish.

And the release of book 2?

Soon.

Like really soon, so continue to stalk me for details. I love stalkers so long as they are not a certain date-from-hell who I’ve finally managed to shake.

            Parting shot: based on my description of the original Savor manuscript, is it something you’d like to read?

If I get enough Hell Yes-s from readers then I’ll release it as another novel separate from the current series. *winks*    

            I hope this post clears up the Taste/Savor connection question.

To recap, they only have the characters in common.

If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, please do so. Feedback from readers can be found here.

9 comments:

  1. OMG OMG!! I love this post :))

    And I love Luka and Demitri in both books but in Savor I love Luka more then in Taste I love Demitri. This is awesome and I really can't wait for Relish!!! :3

    I hope that "soon" means this year? :))

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  2. OMG, KATE. OMG. I LOVE LUKA FROM DAY ONE. DAY ONE = TASTE. I loved him there. SUPER. <3 Then Savor just amped it up in another helluvalot level.

    "Savor is in no way connected to Taste."
    -> There goes my review. I was so piecing 'Taste' to 'Savor' that I was so sure it was an "Alternate Universe" (like what you said to before). After this post, I was like: Is the Savor now like the first version? "The Zhamvy are already human. Luka [...] is the last to transition. His reasoning behind this is that he’s the king. He wants to make sure his people are properly integrated into human society before taking the plunge himself." I was so thinking that Taste and Savor were interconnected that Savor happened years after and that Relish was like going to make us go back to Luka and the gang's "realm" -- making it go back to its paranormal genre.

    Do I need to rewrite my review then? *taps fingers on desk* Because I was so into that thinking (that Taste was a continuation of Savor).

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    1. *hugs* Rewriting your review is up to you. Sorry to burst that bubble. I feel like it's easier to lay it out on the table this way. Taste really is stand alone--if the original Savor stays out of the lime light. ;-)

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  3. "I knew she was Demitri’s from the beginning, so the ending of Taste felt right to me."

    I knew it! But the way you revealed that in Savor (since I haven't read Taste yet) seems like Phoenix and Luka could be meant to be if only the latter didn't do whatever he did.

    And the original story, oh my god. Is it just hot or is Luka in my room? Seriously, that would have been hot but I love Savor as it is right now. I love the elements of music and art coming together.

    I need, need, need to read Taste superduper asap!


    x,
    Charlie @ Letter Trails

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  4. I absolutely want to read the other story! Love both Taste and Savor....can't wait for Relish!!!

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  5. I haven't read taste so When I read Savor I was starting out fresh and I loved it... from the very minute I started it... I would love to read the old Savor so Hell Yes from me :) ***on edge of seat waiting for Relish*** Thanks so much for the great book!!! :)

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  6. I guess the original plot sounds much more interesting than the one released (Savor) so why not give it a go. Taste was really fun and it's funny to share that it kinda stuck in my head for months, meaning to say it was absolutely good. Upon reading the finale, i just thought that 2nd book is quite possible. Ms. Kate is a brilliant author and she's a Filipino which is really cool.

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  7. I just finished reading Savor and am now completely hooked. I'll definitely throw my vote into the hell yes category for the original version! Can't get enough Luka and Dakota :)
    I'm desperately awaiting any news for Relish! Thank you for writing such an amazing, addicting book!!

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