Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The books that changed my life by Ariel Tachna

Yes, I’m supposed to be writing a blog post to convince you how wonderful the Partnership in Blood books are so you’ll go out and read them all and tell the world how much you love them. I’ll let Mary do that for me.
I’d rather talk about the amazing journey that I’ve been on in the ten years it’s taken me to write this series and how that journey, all wrapped up in these books, changed my life for the better. 

Ten years ago, I discovered a world hitherto unknown to me, the world of fanfiction, and along with that discovery, I found gay romance, better known in those circles as m/m romance. I was fascinated. I was already a writer, so it didn’t take me long to try my hand at it, and it didn’t take long after that before I started meeting people.
Those people changed my life. I was teaching at the time and still loving it, but they gave me an outlet for a side of myself the classroom never did. And they believed in me. They invited me to a writers’ forum that had monthly themed challenges and they welcomed my entries. They nurtured my skills and encouraged me to keep exploring this world. Then in October, something magic happened. I started writing Partnership in Blood and people had opinions about my characters. Ones I hadn’t intended or anticipated. Raymond and Jean were supposed to be the couple that failed, you know. They weren’t ever supposed to be together. But I kept writing and readers kept believing in them for no other reason than the way I put them on paper. Jean and Raymond decided they liked the idea of being together far more than they liked the idea of being my failed partnership, and I decided maybe this story had more going for it than just a way to keep myself entertained.

The next year was a little bit of hell. We had three adoptions fall through in a span of a few months before Carolyn came to us in April. My grandmother died. My husband and I both struggled with depression. All in all, it’s a year I’d rather forget, but as awful as it was, I had new friends to support me, and they did, in ways I would never have imagined possible for an online community. I was never alone. If I disappeared for a day or two, people came looking for me with emails and messages on my blog. And when Carolyn came home with us, I received more baby gifts online than I did from colleagues I’d work with for ten years. 

When I decided I might want to publish some of my writing, those same people lined up to encourage me. When Healing in His Wings came out in the Size Matters anthology, they lined up to buy the book and helped launch a writing career that eventually grew to the point I could leave the classroom I no longer enjoyed and start a new life for myself.
As I grew and changed, so did the world I was creating. Those friends stood beside me and helped me navigate what that meant, expanding the settings, characters, and scope far beyond the original four books. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and a journey into a whole new world. Ten years and one million words later, very few things remain the same from when I started the series, but one thing hasn’t changed.
Nicki, Rhianne, Madeleine, Connie, Alix, Gwennie, and Itsu, this one’s for you.

Excerpt from Partnership Reborn:

“Tell me again why we’re doing this?”
Raphael Taravaud looked up from his perusal of his closet, where he had been searching for the perfect shirt to wear when they went out. Kylian Raffier, his best friend since childhood, leaned casually against the doorframe, looking far too good for Raphael’s peace of mind. Kylian had long, straight black hair and just the hint of a beard, exactly the kind of man Raphael would go for, except for one small detail: Kylian wasn’t for him. He had tried more than once to translate that into words everyone else could understand, but he had never managed, even to his own mind. He could only say that he knew. The very essence of his being cried out for its mate, and Kylian was not it.
“Because I’ve looked everywhere else I can think of,” Raphael replied. “The same vampires show up at l’Institut practically every time they have their dinners, and none of the others want partners. He’s out there somewhere, Ky. I just have to find him.”
“So you’re going clubbing in Paris in the hope of miraculously running across him, and you’re dragging me with you because I have nothing better to do on a Friday night than follow your sorry ass around from club to club,” Kylian scoffed. “This is your worst idea yet.”
“Then come up with a better one,” Raphael challenged. “You think I enjoy this? You think I enjoy walking around feeling like half of me is missing?”
“You’re so damn sure,” Kylian said with a shake of his head. “How do you know this?”
“I don’t,” Raphael admitted, because for Kylian, he would try again to do what he had yet to manage for anyone. “I just know something’s missing—and from everything I’ve learned about partnerships, that’s what it feels like, except my partner isn’t here. You remember some of the accounts we studied of partners who were separated during the war, or later for various reasons? How the bond helped them find their partners again by sense alone? I have that sense. I feel that tug, except I’ve never met the man on the other end. I’ve tried following it, but it’s too nebulous to lead me anywhere.”
“You’re so sure it’s a man. What are you going to do if it’s a woman?” Kylian teased.
“I guess I’ll learn to like tits,” Raphael said with a shrug, but he was not worried. He could not explain the connection he had felt—and missed—for as long as he could remember, but he was done waiting for his partner to find him by conventional means. His vampire was out there somewhere, and he was going to find him. Whatever it took.
“I still say you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” Kylian said. “Even if you find your partner, the kind of bond you’re looking for is incredibly rare. It wasn’t just any separated partners who found each other again by sense alone.”
“Not as rare as it used to be,” Raphael replied. “There were two in the previous generation.”
“And one is dead, and the other now lives completely retired from society,” Kylian reminded him. “Not a great recommendation for anyone considering that choice.”
“But what grand love stories they were!” Raphael said. “Like you wouldn’t jump at the chance for that kind of love if it came your way.”


Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

Twitter: @arieltachna
To purchase my books, you can always go to Dreamspinner’s web site,  or you can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or All Romance eBooks, I’m sure there are probably other eBook outlets as well, but I don’t go searching for them. Also, if you want to buy the book in print, any bookstore that allows special orders can order the book for you with the title and my name.

1 comment:

  1. I had tears in my eyes as I read this. As we've been there for you, so you've been there for us. <3