Okay, make that “desperately needed” instead, followed by, “Ha! Voila!” I noted before that I’ve been thinking about what new series to write to take the place of Masks when that one ends its run. That’s not going to happen anytime soon, for sure, but it will eventually, and as much as I’d hate to say goodbye to Eric and the gang, I’d rather quit while I’m ahead and before the series stagnates.

I’m definitely not interested in writing a historical fantasy series because, sadly, historical fantasy remains a hard sell in the LGBT YA market despite readers’ calls for more books outside contemporary problem novels. I’ll still be writing historical fantasy, to be sure, but those titles will be limited quite a bit.

I’ve also noted before that I’m on a horror kick. It’s not really difficult to shift gears and immerse myself in this, seeing as how I grew up in a family of horror fans. Lately I’ve been mulling over ideas for a new series, which will be contemporary fantasy like Masks, and I’ve been wracking my brain for ways on how I can use John Kenn’s fantastic monster illustrations as inspiration for a plotbunny that’s kind of like Eureka. That is, the story takes place in a town that’s peopled with monsters and ghouls living side-by-side with warm-blooded humans. In Eureka, we’ve got scientific geniuses instead.

Like Masks, I’m not interested in writing anything angst-ridden. There’ll be some minor angst elements, sure, but I’m not – and never was – keen on overly dramatic plots, especially angst for angst’s sake as a cheap way of drawing reader sympathies. And since I’m a huge horror fan, I’d like to write something like a dark comedy series. I was able to do that (to a point) with Desmond and Garrick, but the ghoulish elements in that series were strictly limited to vampires. This time around, I want to expand those to all kinds of supernatural creatures.

Anyway, after weeks and weeks of tossing ideas around, I think I finally found something that I can use for the foundation of a series that involves ghouls or monsters and is a dark comedy. I’m sharing images from Beetlejuice and The Corpse Bride because those movies are a couple of sources of inspiration for me, though the main plot still needs quite a bit of shaping. At the moment things are fairly nebulous but definitely easy to nail down, if that makes any sense.

I might begin work on it after finishing Dr. Morbid’s Castle of Blood (or Masks #6), at least to get it started while the inspiration’s there. I must admit that motivation to write another historical fantasy novel for gay teens has been low recently, but I’m keeping my options open.