Vote over at TWC and you can see a panel in progress from next week’s pages!

So, what you need to know about this page is that it ties back to the page where we originally met these two in Chapter Five. Why would she be able to do magic that could overtake a werewolf? Because she’s been weakening said werewolf for however long they’ve been together (a few years I guess, IDK) and using him to give her magic extra juice. Why would she get pregnant knowing it could kill her? Because if her hunky werewolf guy leaves her, then people won’t consider her one of the best damn witches around anymore. Why would she care about that? Because she’s got fucked up priorities, that’s why.

Tom’s getting a little physical, but he’s not the asshole I had hoped he’d be. At least not yet! And I guess that makes him more interesting later on anyway. A lot of the point of this story revolves around balance and finding your authentic self (which makes it sound a lot more elevated than a story about werewolves but oh well), and the main tension between these two is that neither of them is balanced. Connie/Flora puts her prestige as a powerful witch above the boundaries of others and her physical health (and her baby). And as we’ll see in a bit, Tom is willing to give into his werewolf side a little too far. And then you contrast these two with Marin and Marisa, who both have come to a point of self-awareness and healthy self-actualization, and there’s the contrast of balanced versus unbalanced. Then Vincent and Elias would be the sort of in progress version, where they’re both trying to figure some stuff out about themselves, with the potential to get smooshed together down the line, but they’re still not fully cooked yet.

Considering I write most of this story in my head while I’m walking the dog, it’s generally turned out much better than I anticipated. And before I started writing HTBAW, I was quite honestly terrified of writing anything long, worried that I’d drop plots along the way and fail to make connections. But really, if you kind of have a general ending in mind as you’re writing, or at least a goal for each chapter, things coalesce with a bit of thought along the way.

I have a few scenes after this one (which is kind of long and a primary scene) that I’ve been thinking about a lot. If this were the movie version, these scenes would be cut for time. If this were the TV version, they’d probably stay in. They’re just character building scenes for Charlene, and then a bit of Elias and Vincent. It’s weird, because I don’t have an editor, so I can just be as self-indulgent about what I keep in so long as I’m willing to draw stuff. But, I also have one short scene and two/three longer scenes to go for this chapter, so I hope ya’ll are cool with another 80+ page chapter lol. If I were smart, all this would be divided much more intelligently into smaller chapters, because I always get new readership whenever a chapter ends and a new one begins, but marketing be damned. So anyway, my point is, I want to develop Charlene’s character more because I don’t have a lot of magic stuff for her to do for awhile after this, and there’s no one to stop me or tell me no, so that’s fun.

I’ve gotta finish up these next few pages and then I’m off for a long weekend hanging out with my favorite husbands in Houston :). (They are each others’ husbands, not my husbands.) Their pool has a big rock fountain thing and a hot tub, so I have plans.