Behind the Book: The White Room

The title, The White Room, has a long, meandering history that goes all the way back to 2005, when I first got serious about writing. It’s named after an actual room I visited at a club that year. Several online sources claim that the white room in question was a BDSM room I went to — and that’s not true. The BDSM rooms came later, during research, after I titled the book. The place I actually named it after was just an upstairs room in a nightclub that had white furniture, white curtains, and white carpet. Later, I did research the BDSM scene and decided to incorporate some of the things I saw there into my white room.

The White Room was the original title for the first book in the series which is now known as The Crimson Corset. I finished the novel in 2010, sent it out to agents and publishers, and received upwards of 250 rejections before deciding to take it out of circulation, give it a facelift, and try again. That’s when The White Room became The Crimson Corset. By then, it wasn’t even the same book — and that’s a good thing. The original manuscript had potential, I knew that, but it just wasn’t ready yet, so I rebuilt it from the ground up, retitled it The Crimson Corset, and had no trouble getting it published.

As for this version of The White Room, which is the 6th book in the series, I returned to that title simply because it fits the story. When I think about it, it’s pretty cool that the name I chose for my very first book is finally going to see print almost 20 years later. None of the content in the original manuscript made it into this book, but all the good stuff from it has already been cannibalized throughout the previous book in the series.

This White Room is a whole new book, and it’s one of my personal favorites because I was finally able to find out how certain storylines throughout this series would conclude. For that reason, writing this book was also a little sad. There are several characters in The White Room who won’t survive to see another book — and some of them are major players.

The reason for this is simply that those characters have fulfilled their purpose. Their story has been told, and I know from experience that if I were to try to “save” them and force them to continue on, it wouldn’t work. It sounds odd to admit that the characters, and not me, are the real drivers of my plots, but it’s the truth. I can’t explain it except to say that maybe the subconscious mind knows the story better than I do.

The point is, this book concludes several plotlines that have been ongoing threads throughout this series, and as sad as I am to see some of these storylines — and characters — come to an end, I’m glad for the opportunity it’s given me to explore new possibilities and take this series in a new direction. I have ideas that I’ve long wanted to delve into that I haven’t been able to, and now, I finally can.

Needless to say, I don’t see this series ending any time soon, despite the major storylines that got wrapped up here. Cade and Father Vince have a lot of monster-slaying ahead of them and many new disasters await, not only for them but for Brooks, Ethan, Sheila, and the others. I’m still getting to know a lot of these characters, and I’m looking forward to diving more deeply into who they are and what makes them tick. I’ve already got their next adventure in mind.

But this book, The White Room, will always be extra special to me. Not only because of the history behind it, but because it marks a turning point in the series. A deepening of things. I only hope that in the next one, things will be a little easier for Cade. I literally cringed at some of the things that happen to him in this book and feel like I owe him an apology — but I understand now that the horrors he faces in this book are character-building, making him tough enough to face what lies ahead.

As for Father Vince, Brooks, and the others, I get the feeling their horrors are just beginning as well …