Monday, July 22, 2013
How I Got To Be Sam Cabot
…And she's a fair hand in a pickup game of hoops.
A book called BLOOD OF THE LAMB is coming out on Aug. 6, by a writer named Sam Cabot. It's a paranormal thriller, full of vampires and the Vatican. Now, the thing is, Sam Cabot is me. Or, half of him is: the Sam half. The Cabot is my writing partner, Carlos Dews. (Get it, Sam = SJ, Cabot = Carlos?) What this means is, I've co-written a paranormal thriller set in Rome. Right in that sentence are four things I never thought I'd do. Co-write, paranormal, thriller, Rome. How did this happen?
I was swept up in a perfect storm.
At which point I turned to myself and asked, "SJ, why didn't you leave this party ten minutes ago?"
Yes, I thought it was a terrible plan. Co-write? Me? I hadn't heard Carlos's idea yet, and I didn't want to. I wanted no part of the entire project. But I couldn't say to the guy, "I don't care how &^%#*! good your idea is, it's not good enough for me." I mean, how high-falutin' is that? So I agreed to meet with him over coffee a few days later to hear this idea.
And from that moment on I backed into this project every step of the way. Okay, I agreed it was a great idea, but we couldn't possibly have the same notion of what "working together" would mean. Yes, shockingly, we did; but Carlos, being an academic and not a genre writer, would have no thought as to how much world-building would have to go on before we could even start a paranormal. Well, yes he did, and had worked out most of the answers to my world-building questions already. Fine, but since I'd be the writer on this project and he the research, edit, and co-plot guy, he was bound not to like the loss of control over a story he'd had pieces of in his head for a year, once I started actually bringing the characters to life. We got that far: I sent him three chapters. He was back in Rome by then, so I sat back and and waited for the explosion from across the sea.
He loved them.
So, well, what the hell. BLOOD OF THE LAMB was underway. We sold it on 20,000 words and an outline and the publisher, Penguin/Blue Rider, wanted to know if, one, we were planning it as the start to a series and could we give them a second one if they made an offer; and, two, would we be willing to use a single, pseudonymous name on the book.
And that's how I, and Carlos Dews, got to be Sam Cabot.
Sam's working away on volume two in the Novel of Secrets series, a book to be called SKIN OF THE WOLF. He hopes that you check out BLOOD OF THE LAMB, which, though a paranormal, is really about faith and religion and the differences between them. He really hopes you like it. So does Carlos Dews. And so do I.