Today it's my very great pleasure to introduce LA Witt to my blog. She's here as part of the Riptide Grand Opening Blog Tour Party but I'm also secretly squeeing like a fan girl because I love her books! Today she's talking about her new release A Chip in His Shoulder and telling us where she got the idea for the story. Over to you, Lori!
How on earth did A Chip In His Shoulder come to be?
Like most of my stories, Chip started out as a very vague idea that gradually took form and wandered into a whole different realm from what I originally had in mind. Considering it’s a futuristic cyberpunk story, you might be surprised to learn it began in my head as a medieval fantasy type of setting. The original idea involved Liam, an assassin and vampire, being lured into a chamber of some sort—a room on top of a castle tower or something similar—thinking he was there to kill the person inside it, only to find out a moment too late that he’s trapped. The walls were glass, and when the sun came up, he’d be toast. Considering the person he was there to kill was an ex-lover, I didn’t imagine they’d play very well together, so that would make escaping a little tricky.
The more I tinkered with the idea in my head, the more it seemed to fit a more modern—and ultimately futuristic—setting. As I thought about the chamber or building, and what kind of technology would be required to contain Liam until the sun came up (not to mention how they’d ultimately find a way out), I realized I needed something more advanced than anything my medieval characters seemed to be able to come up with. Super strong glass. Key pads. Insanely intricate security systems.
Then I started pondering the idea of adding a cyberpunk element. Maybe some sort of implant that would put the boys at a disadvantage. Because really, what fun is having cybernetic tech if it only makes things easier? So what if the security system wasn’t in the building, but in Daniel? I mean, he already had a chip on his shoulder, so what if—
Eureka! And that’s where we come to the title: A Chip In His Shoulder. I’m always a fan of puntacular titles anyway, and while I was thinking about a) the relationship between Daniel and Liam, b) residual (mostly bitter) feelings between them, and c) what kind of tech could make their lives more difficult…that title fell into my head. The sequel’s title is promising to be along the same puntabulous line, but probably not quite so groanworthy.
Also, I have to give credit where it’s due: I spent a lot of time discussing the story with one of my editors, Rachel Haimowitz, made a lot of suggestions that altered the course of the story. Daniel’s anti-cybernetic views were her idea. From there, the Gutter/Sky social strata emerged, which fit perfectly with the cyberpunk flavor, since cyberpunk and dystopian society go together like root beer and vanilla ice cream.
Then during editing, she and Aleks Voinov both commented that a particular scene just didn’t quite have the emotional OOMPH it needed. They weren’t convinced that Liam had worked hard enough to gain Daniel’s trust, and Daniel was being a bit of a pushover. In the end, that resulted in somebody wearing an unscheduled bullet hole, which thoroughly pleased Rachel, because she’s sadistic that way.
And in the end, we have A Chip In His Shoulder: a cyberpunk vampire assassin story when I had castles and high fantasy in mind. Go figure, right?
A Chip In His Shoulder, as well as my other work as both L. A. Witt and Lauren Gallagher, can be found at http://www.loriawitt.com I’m also on Twitter as @GallagherWitt, and blog at http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com
Thanks for that interesting insight into your new book Lori!
Lori has kindly offered up a prize for today's post. Leave a comment between now and 11pm on Saturday 10th December and you'll be put in the draw to win your choice from any of LA Witt's backlist. The winner being announced on the 11th December. Good Luck!.