I first wrote 'On the Other Side of the Mask' as my April Camp NaNoWriMo project. It was an under 6000 word submission for Lethe Press's 'Gents' anthology. I had to cut a lot of intended scenes with Byron and Shelley, during their luxurious, surreal imprisonment with Lord Ruthvyn. The first version of 'On the Other Side of the Mask' was rejected. I sent a second version, which I'm still waiting to hear back about. I talked to the anthologist of 'Gents' about writing an extended version of 'On the Other Side of the Mask' for Lethe Press's general submissions. I offered to work on it during July's Camp NaNoWriMo, so here I am, rushing to finish it, before the end of the month. :) It keeps expanding, because I keep adding scenes to the beginning! Mae wasn't even in the original draft, but here she is. Yes, she's my little nod to Mary Shelley. :) I've always loved the idea of Lord Byron and Shelley together, which is one of the reasons I've created these two original characters, who've claimed their names. However, I also adore Mary and the story of her romance with Shelley, which often brings tears to my eyes, when I read about it. The Mae in this story, who knows the Paradise wards' attic of books, is my homage to her. :)
He smiled a little to himself, when he saw her shaggy head, poking around a shelf. Mae had been the first to discover the magic hidden this dingy little library of tattered manuscripts and torn books. Once you tasted its treasures, you couldn’t keep away. Just a few shreds of poetry brought Shelley back for more.
All anticipation curled and withered, when Mae turned around. There were bluish marks on her neck, chin, and face.