Welcome to the wide crazy world of TJ Klune

As you can see, this is a blog (a blog, you say? You're like the only person in the world that has one!). Here are my promises to you: I promise to up date this as much as I can. I promise that at some point, you will most likely be offended. I promise you may suffer from the affliction the Klunatics know as Wookie Cry Face. I also promise to make this some place where you can see how my mind works.

You've been warned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Now that BOATK2 is finished, what's next?

So the sequel to BOATK, “Who We Are” is finished.  To be honest, I’m surprised I finished it as quickly as I did, especially given its length.  I started it two days after BOATK’s release, or August 14th and completed the epilogue last week.  The plan was for me to finish by December 1st (the Kid wouldn’t shut up, no matter how much I tried to have him do so—hence having it completed already).  As much as people would like me to work faster (and I take that as a compliment), that is still only a two month turn around time on a novel.  That’s huge, at least to me, especially since I’m not writing the typical 70-90K words that are passing for novels these days (and I don’t mean that as a slight to any other author at all.  I just don’t seem to be capable of such a feat, no matter how hard I wish it so.).

Which inevitably brings around the question as to the length of “Who We Are”.  Keeping in mind that this number is subject to change in the editing process (it could go slightly down or slightly up), the word count is approximately 141,000.  BOATK finished out around 147,000.  “Burn” (more on that in a minute) is currently sitting at 197,000, although I do plan on doing some significant cuts in the editing process.  I tried to write a short story and it turned into a WIP 90K words.  See a trend here?  *sighs*

As to the story for “Who We Are”… well, obviously you’ll get no significant spoilers from me.  I will say it picks up two weeks after the end of BOATK and spans quite a bit of more time than a single summer. I’ll just leave it at that for now.  Should it get accepted for publication, it’d still be a ways off, so no need to really say anything more.  Well, okay.  Maybe one more thing: FYI—I don’t cry.  I’m not a crier, never really have been.  Just isn’t who I am.  But fuck, did I make myself cry by the time I had finished, both sad and happy tears.  Good grief.

Now onto “Burn,” the formally titled “This Is How We Burn The World.”  The title has obviously been shortened and while I was hesitant to do that at first (I just loved the original), having it down to “Burn” is absolutely growing on me.  It’s blunt and quick, and brings to mind so many different things to me, and I hope will do the same for the reader.  It also works on completely different levels throughout the story, levels I think you’ll be able to see once you’ve read the novel. 

Since it was announced that this was the first part of a trilogy all following the same narrator (Felix) and characters, I’ve been asked if the book ends in a cliff hanger.  While I am loathe to reveal any major plot points, I will say this:  its book one of a trilogy.  How do you think it ends?

So the question arises of how Book II and III will play out and what my schedule is like.  My plan (and remember, it’s a plan, not carved in stone) is to alternate between Bear and the boys and  the Elemental world.  It’s a nice balance for me, to be able to have the sunny angst of BOATK to trade off with the darker world of Burn.  Now that I’ve completed Who We Are, I’m itching to get back into the more action oriented writing of Burn so I can blow some shit up.  The “plan” is for me to publish two books a year, one Burn, one BOATK, starting next year.  There’s three books for Burn, and three or four for BOATK.  So if you’re the type that needs to wait until an entire series has been published, that’s what my timeline hopes to be.

I’m not a writer who can work on more than one WIP at a time.  I put my sole focus on the one project because I want to make it the best work that I possibly can.  Some writers are able to multi-task; I am not one of them.  I remember reading how a popular M/M shifter writer has something like 90 works in progress.  I was horrified at the idea.  I feel pressure when I have one series I’m working on and another that I’m about to launch, but 90??  Holy fuck me sideways.  That author obviously has a greater knack at mult-tasking than I ever could hope to have.  But that’s also why you won’t see me release six or seven (or 23) things in a single year.  I’m happy that I have completed three novels and I’m not yet thirty years old.  It’s the little victories, you know?

So the publicity for Burn will kick in to high gear in the next couple of months.  And now that I actually kind of know what I’m doing, things will be a tad bit different than they were when BOATK came out.  There’s no manual that’s handed out to first time writers to tell you how do things, what is accepted and what is considered faux pas.  I made mistakes, sure.  I wish that I could have edited BOATK better.  I wish that I had known what Goodreads was.  I wish that I had used FB and my blog more.  But hindsight is blah, blah, blah, so I’m ready to have a kickass launch for Burn and can’t wait for everyone to read it.  I’m very proud of how it turned out and hope that you all enjoy my new guys as much as I do.

Oh, and just because, I’ll reveal another “Burn” character here.

Who you’ve met so far:
Felix Paracel—narrator.  An Elemental capable of controlling fire and wind, possibly the only dual Elemental in the world.  Called Findo Unum—the Split One.

Seven Fortis—A non-Elemental, or a “Normal,” as they’re referred.  Also known as the Luravit Cor to Felix, as revealed in the first excerpt.  What does Luravit Cor mean?  Sure sounds like Latin, doesn’t it?  As a matter of fact, a lot of this world is based in Latin.  Strange.

The Clock Twins, Tick and Tock:  Seventeen year old Asian twins capable of controlling Water and Earth.  Also, they are tech geniuses whose hacking capabilities are unparalleled.

New Character:
Edna Brunelle: Sixty-seven year old Fire Elemental, one of the more powerful in the world.  As a Magister—teacher—to the Split One, she will help Felix with the Fire side of his abilities.  Has an affinity for younger men.

Couple more characters will be coming next month, and I’ll release the second excerpt for “Burn” sometime in December, so stay tuned for that.  I’ll also keep you all updated on the status of the BOATK sequel after I’ve submitted it to the publisher.  If all goes well, I think we’d be looking at a mid-late summer release for “Who We Are,” much like BOATK was.  A winter and summer release each year?  That I think I can do.

Happy Reading!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

First look at This Is How We Burn The World

Here it is: the first look at my new novel This Is How We Burn The World, Book I of the Elementally evolved trilogy to be published by Dreamspinner Press in February 2012. This is a long excerpt, but then, it's going to be a long book.

Blurb: My name is Felix Paracel and when I was nine, I killed my mother with fire that shot from my hands.

And so begins the story of Felix, an Elemental capable of controlling fire and wind. After that black night fifteen years ago, Felix and his father went into hiding. Felix's father has done his best to protect his son from the forces in the world bent on finding and controlling Felix and his abilities. They've been able to keep their heads low and a careful eye at their backs, but everything is about to change.

Felix is Findo Unum—the Split One—and his coming has been foretold for generations. The position of the Split One is well known throughout the Elemental world, but even with the joy it brings, it is also meant to signal a coming darkness. And no one knows this more than a mysterious man named Seven; Seven, who'd rescued Felix from that horrible fire so many years before and then disappeared into the night; Seven, who's now come back to claim what's rightfully his: Felix's heart. But even as Felix begins to trust Seven and his own feelings about his place in the world, the darkness reveals itself, leading to consequences no one could have predicted.

Set in a world that closely resembles our own, This Is How We Burn the World tells a story of redemption and betrayal, of family and sacrifice, all of which lead to the greatest question of all: How far would you go to save the ones you love?

Felix is at a bar called Liquid and it's here he meets Seven face to face for the first time.  Felix is in hiding, having had to change his name to Atticus to avoid detection after the events that led to his mother's death.  Everything in his life is measured and careful, but that is about to change.
          He excused himself from his friends as he walked over to me.  They whispered behind him, grinning at his back.  He stood in front me and casually set his drink on the table.
            "Were you posing?" I asked him, amused.
            "Did you like it?" he responded, his voice rising above the music.
            I shrugged.  "Depends."
            He cocked his head at me, his dark features slack.  "On?"
            "If you liked me watching you."
            He chuckled.  "I'm here, ain't I?"
            "That you are.  Want to dance?"  I grabbed his hand, not waiting for a response.  He gulped his drink down and slammed it on the table and jerked me to the dance floor.  The strobe lights flashed, the bass deepened and I showed him that I could move.  My hips rubbed against his as I pressed my hands into his stomach, showing him how hard I was.  He gasped quietly and I smiled up at him and ground harder.  People began to watch us, but I didn't care.  Some knew me by sight, I had fucked others (more than I cared to count) but they were all gone because, for at least this night, I was focused on the random pick-up in front of me.
            "What's your name?" he shouted down at me. 
 "I'm Dave."
            "That's neat," I told him, palming his dick through his jeans.  He shivered under my hands.
            "You want to get out of here?" he asked.
            "No, he doesn't," a voice growled from behind me.  Shivers ran down my spine.
            I turned and even before I got all the way around, I knew it would be him.  My heart was in my throat as I saw the stranger from the night before standing in front of me, magnificently big and angry.  He glared down at me, his jaw twitching, his eyes so black that I thought it must be a trick of the flashing strobe light.  He was wearing an old leather jacket that was contoured to his body.  Black jeans hugged his narrow waist, the legs beneath massive and solid. Scuffed motorcycle boots with tarnished buckles.  My breath caught as I stared at him.  He was fucking hot.
            "Who the hell is this guy?" Random Dave behind me asked, moving to press against my ass, his erection rubbing the small of my back.
            "I …" Words escaped me.  I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
            He tore his face away from mine and glared at the guy behind me.  "I'm the one who's telling you to leave," he said harshly.  "Don't make me ask twice."
            "Hey man, I think we should let the little guy decide who—"
            The man who had been haunting me suddenly reached out and grabbed my arms, twisting me so my back was against his chest.  He wrapped one massive arm around my body possessively, pulling me flush against him.  I could feel the rumble in his chest as he snarled at Random Dave:  "He's already made up his fucking mind so get the hell out of here before I make you leave."
            Random Dave looked like he was going to say something and I felt the man behind me tense.  Dave thought better of it and stalked off, muttering.  I watched him go, not daring to turn around, not wanting to move.  I could hear the big guy mumbling something darkly as he held me.  What the hell is going on? I thought wildly.
            He let me go and I whimpered, hating the sound I made but unable stop myself as my body cried out at the absence of his warmth.  It lasted only a moment before his hand came onto my shoulders and he steered me to a dark corner of the club, away from the crowd, away from the music.
            "Wait here," he said, depositing me onto a seat.  I didn't dare disobey.  He left me then and I watched him go, willing my heart to slow, my breaths to deepen.  My hands felt clammy and I closed my eyes.  It was black behind my eyelids and then that flare occurred, the one I had always known.  But it was different: brighter, harsher.  I opened my eyes again and he stood in front of me, his face level with mine, inches away as he leaned on the table.  He studied me, his eyes twitching as they took in my face.  I did the same.  His eyes were so blue and so big, his jaw strong.  He licked his lips and I followed the trail of his tongue, my mouth suddenly dry.  He held a bottle of water and I gulped it down, never taking my eyes off him. 
            "Who are you?" I whispered, wiping my arm across my lips.
            "Who do you think I am?" he asked, a small smile curving his lips.
            "I think you're a stalker."
            "How's that now?" he asked, taking the water from my hands and drinking from it, a move so intimate and daring that I felt numb.  He pulled the bottle from his lips and held it out to me.  I drank again.  I could almost taste him.  He reached up and wiped the corner of my mouth with his thumb.  It took all I could to not pull it into my mouth.
            "Last night and now here you are," I told him.
            "Here I am," he agreed.  He smiled again, flashing teeth.  He looked like a shark.
            "Well, what?"
            "Why are you following me?"
            He tilted his head slightly.  "Who said I was following you?"
            "You chased that guy away."
            "That guy?" he scoffed.  "You're welcome.  He shouldn't have been on you like that."
            I narrowed my eyes at him.  "Excuse me?  Who the fuck are you to say that?  What gives you the right?"
            He grabbed my chin gently in his hand and shook it gently, side to side.  I shivered.  "I have every right.  You can trust me on that."
            I jerked my head away.  "You don't own me."
            Yet?  Asshole.  "Who are you?" I asked again.
            "In a minute," he said.  "First, there's something you should know."
            He leaned in close and I thought he was going to kiss me.  "After tonight, you're not to come back here again," he whispered harshly in my ear, his voice like gravel, his hot breath tickling my neck.  "You're not going to any place like this again."
            I pulled back sharply.  "I'll go wherever the hell I want," I snarled at him.  "You can't tell me what I can and can't do."
            "You'd be surprised what I am capable of," he replied, his eyes flashing.
            "Oh yeah, big guy?  You don't fucking scare me."  I stood, puffing out my chest and began to move around him.  For a moment I thought he was going to let me go and I grinned to myself sickly as I realized I hated the thought, that he would actually let me walk away.  I was almost past him when he reached out and gripped my arm, hard enough that I was sure there would be bruises there tomorrow.
            "Sit down," he ordered.  "You're not going anywhere."
            Surprisingly, he looked hurt.  "I am not!"
            "What do you want with me?" I asked him, my fingers twitching to touch him.  I wanted him to grab me again, to rough me around a little bit.  I wanted him to snarl in my face again.  I was a sick, sick human being.
            "I've had enough," he said darkly.
            I stared blankly at him.  "Of what?"
            He frowned at me before waving his hands around.  "I'm done with you coming to places like this, seeing you whore yourself out to whatever wants to stick it's dick in you."
            "Whore?" I seethed.
            "Yeah," he spat at me.  "You walk around like you own the goddamn place and every fucker drops to his knees waiting for you to pick him."
            "Wow, jealous much?  Or are you just concerned for my well-being?"
            "I'm not jealous," he said jealously.  "You're just not going to do that anymore."
            "I'm not?" I asked, unable to hold back my smile.
            "No," he growled.
            "So it sounds like you've been stalking—I mean watching—me for a long time."
            He popped his knuckles.  "You could say that."
            "So if I'm not coming here anymore, where am I going?"
            "You think you're so fucking cute, don't you?"
            I nodded.  "I do.  Answer the question."  My hands felt hot.
            He rubbed his hand over the stubble on his head.  I wanted to touch him there too.  I almost did but thought better of it.  Asshole hadn't even told me his name.
            "You're coming with me," he said, annoyed.
            "Oh, am I now?  When was this decided?"
            "A long time ago."
            "By who?"
            "Never mind that.  Can we leave now?"
            I wasn't going with him, but he didn't know that yet.  "Where?"
            "My home or your home?"
            "We aren't going to your apartment.  It's too small and there are things we have to talk about."
            I felt cold then.  "How do you know where I live?"
            "I've been stalking you," he reminded me.
            "That's… fascinating," I said.  I looked down at my watch.  "Oops, look at the time.  I forgot I left my iron on in the oven.  Gotta go take care of that."  I stood but immediately sat back down when his hand came to my shoulder, the grip biting.
            "We're not done yet," he barked at me.
            I smiled at him.  "We are," I assured him.  "I think you might be crazy."
            A grin split his face.  "Oh, I have been," he said.  "But I think that's all going to change now."
            "Oh?  How so?"
            "Because of you," he said, his words slow as if I was retarded.
            "Me?"  The conversation was getting weirder and weirder and the disquiet I felt was almost nauseating, but for the life of me, I couldn't take my eyes of the man across from me.  I drank my fill of him, wondering just how long he had been watching me for, how the hell he knew where I lived, why he felt so familiar.  But all of these questions were shoved aside when I thought that it was imperative that I see him again.  His hand had dropped from my shoulder to my forearm, holding it tightly, and I got the impression it was not to keep me from leaving, but to show his dominance of me.  The thought made my head ache.
            "Yes, you.  You're coming home with me now.  I've waited way too goddamn long for this and I'm not letting you out of my sight again," he said, squeezing my arm.
            He's dangerous, I thought, but it excited me even more.  "Ever?" I teased.  "What happens when I have to go to work?"
            "You're not going back to work," he said seriously.  "There are things we have to do and you won't have time for it."
            "Uh huh.  And how would I make money then?  I have to pay rent somehow."
            "I have money," he said, appearing almost insulted.  "And you don't have to worry about rent anymore.  I told you, you're staying with me."
            Okay, so dangerous AND insane.  "So I'll be what? Your kept boy?"
            He waved his hand dismissively.  "Whatever you need to call yourself to help you sleep at night, that's fine.  Just as long as you know you're sleeping next to me."
            "You're weird."
            "I am not."  His smile returned.
            "Oh you are," I promised him.  "Very weird.  Look, this has been fun—pretending or role-playing or whatever this was—but I've got to go home.  I'm tired."
            His eyes grew sad.  "You're really not going with me?"
            "No," I said as I patted his arm.  "But it was fun to play, right?"
            "Felix, I don't think you understand.  You may not remember—"
            "What did you just call me?" I asked as my vision tunneled and my stomach turned.  Dangerous and insane suddenly seemed like an understatement and for the first time the man before me, hot as fuck and still holding my arm, became someone to fear.  How he had found me and what he wanted were background to how the hell do I get out of here?  I eyed the exit over his shoulder, calculated how long it would take for me to get there, scared it may have come down to getting Elemental on his ass if he didn't let me go. 
            "Felix," he said again and I looked at him.  His eyes were warm and held me with such regard that my breath caught in my throat.  Regardless of my fear, regardless of my desire to vacate the premises, my body still reacted to him, longing to do everything he'd said.  It was betraying me and I hated myself for it.  "I've waited so long to see you again," he said, his voice cracking.  He reached up and tenderly cupped my cheek.  I gasped as I was betrayed again, leaning into his touch.  "It was killing me," he rumbled.  I did nothing to stop him as he reached around to the back of my head, pulling my forehead against his.  He breathed in as I breathed out.  His pupils were dilated.  My hands felt hot, the flare bursting in my chest.  What the hell is happening to me? I thought as I shuddered against him.
            "Are you cold?" he asked, never taking his eyes off mine.
            "No," I told him honestly.
            His fingers rubbed the back of my neck and tensed when they touched the chain.  His eyes widened and he pulled back, reaching around the front of me, pulling the necklace out from under my shirt.  The smile he gave me when he touched the medallion was almost my undoing. 
            "Who are you?" I asked again.
            "I am your Luravit Cor, Felix.  And you are mine in return."  He stretched out my shirt collar gently and dropped the ensign back onto my chest.  He patted it as he smiled at me.
            "Oh, yeah?  And what's that mean?"  I asked, hoping my voice would not betray the chill I felt at the words he spoke.
            "Can we get out of here now?" he growled at me, his voice heated.  "I don't want to talk about this anymore here.  We need to go home."
            "I'm still thirsty," I told him.  "Can you get me another bottle of water?"
            "And then we go," he insisted.
            I smiled at him.  "Yes, and then we go."
            As soon as his back turned I stood up from my chair and walked along wall to the edge of the dance floor, the opposite way from the bar.  I pushed my way through the crowd and was almost to the door when a hand grabbed my arm.  My heart quickened as I turned, knowing it would be him, and that I would go with him wherever he asked.
            But it wasn't him.  It was Random Guy.  Dave.  "Where you running off to?" he asked.
            I shook my arm loose.  "Home," I said.  "Bye."
            He grabbed my arm again.  "Want company?" he drawled, deep and sexy.  Any other time I would have said yes right then.
            "That's sweet, but no thanks.  I forgot I have things to do."  I smiled at him and turned to leave.
            "Asshole," he called after me.
            I waved and left the bar.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Four Author Chat on 10/8/11!!!!!

Hello, everybody! On 10/8 (that's just six days away), we're going to be chatting at Love Romances Cafe. Hours are noon-6 eastern (9-3 Pacific).

Participating authors:

Elizabeth Noble

Lou Sylvre

Anne Barwell

Me =)

As you see, quiet a variety of styles and themes. We'll be chatting about what's out, what's soon to be out, what we're working on, but also about whatever you'd like know.

We'll be having contests, posting excerpts, and blurbs, and who knows what else. I really, really hope you'll come and chat with us!

Oh, yeah, one more thing. Here's the link to Love Romances Cafe and you have to join to chat. Of course you can unjoin later if you want, but they have some great promos there, from time to time.

You'll also be getting a first look at This Is How We Burn The World, my second novel out from Dreamspinner in February.

Let me know if you have questions~~