Happy Hump Day!

male symbol in flamesEveryone who wishes they could go back to bed instead of–whatever it is they have to do… this pic is for us!

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This week I WILL make time to post a snippet and be part of the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

What should my hop prize be?

Choice of a backlist title (one of mine :))? My June release? (Not the one that’s already going to be free–the one in Dreamspinner’s Mended Anthology. :))

A GC? Swag? Something else?

Thanks for your input!

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Sound off! or Soliciting your $0.02

My BookshelfLately I’ve been doing some reading about how to market oneself online as an author. It’s easy and fun to help readers find my friends’ books but my mind goes blank around the idea of promoting my own. If I let it. That’s part of what led to the new title of this blog: Unconventional Love.

But then I read this article about the upcoming Baltimore Book Festival, and wonder if that title really says what I want it to say.

The article quotes Andrew Grey saying exactly what I believe about fiction—every genre—that anyone and everyone should be able to find a story they can relate to, see their life/experience in. I spent most of my life searching for stories I could identify with—the few I did find were so heartbreaking I retreated to Louis L’Amour or Stephen King* comfort reads. Sometimes both in the same day.

Which is why my heroes are unknown musicians and plumbers and unemployed teachers—those guys deserve a beautiful love story at least as much as the rock gods and fire fighters and billionaires that have been populating Romance novels since there have been Romance novels. When I chose Unconventional Love I was thinking of those guys (and gals, okay and the play on “unconditional love” too)—the folks who don’t go looking for fame or fortune, they just live their lives and try to do the right thing and hope the overall scale of their life decisions tips toward the side of good. And they wouldn’t turn down a little happiness if it came their way either.

But that article made me wonder if folks will look at the title of my blog and think I mean Gay Romance itself is unconventional.

That couldn’t be farther from the way I see it but if that’s the perception I’ll head back to the drawing board. As a writer it’s my job to communicate clearly; I don’t always hit the mark the first time, but that’s what drafts and editors are for.

What say you, friends?

What does Unconventional Love make you think of?

Any and all opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

If you came looking for my Back to School Blog Hop post i’d like to invite you to answer the question above before scrolling to that post or clicking here.

*Yep, I love being scared by fictional things so Uncle Stevie’s books are like vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s chocolate syrup to me.

What Small Town Life Taught Me, or Go Ahead–Poke the Sleeping Tiger!

I moved from a big city in California to a small town in rural Northwest Oregon when I was still something of a pup.  Despite my happiness and relief at escaping, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.  I had so many “firsts” there:  deciding to write with the goal of being published, celebrating being published,  and doing so many things that can really only be done in the country (including an ill-advised tubing trip down the river in March).

The practical things were what I appreciated first:  the delicious application of the verb “to glean”, canning, the wonderful feeling of coming inside cold and tired after a day of physical labor to bask in the heat of a big fat log of maple on the stove.

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It took longer, but the more subtle charms of the little country town became clear to me as well.  The fact that everyone knows who you are even if you’ve never seen them before, and how even the smallest comment can be tossed back at you from any corner without warning.

I know this may come as a shock, but for an introvert I’m a mouthy bitch.  I garnered a few nicknames during my stay in that small town, some of which were colorful and some of which were even true.  Sorry, to maintain what little earning potential I may have outside of writing I have to cultivate plausible deniability, so I can’t share any of them here.  There’s no telling what will stick in someone’s mind or for how long.  The point, though, was given to me by one of the coolest broads I’ve ever met, and may G RIP (or not, whichever she wants ;)).  G told me this (many times, because I’m also a bit thick in the head) and I’ve tried not to forget:  “If they’re talking about me, then they’re leaving someone else alone.”

She had nicknames too, some even less flattering than mine, but she truly did not care.  I haven’t quite reached that level of confidence, but I’m fine with being talked about.  (The trouble comes with NOT being talked about, but down that path lies madness—plenty of time for that later.)

The town, along with two others in the general vicinity, have been patched together to make Willston, the town in Comfort and Joy.  I’ve taken bits and pieces and re-arranged them as the whim struck me and the stories demanded (yes, I have maps!).  Willston doesn’t make much of an appearance in this short novella, but maybe it will have its time to shine eventually.  I’ve seen a few comments here and there that a prequel is in order, and since I have one drafted I may go back to it.  So I’m doing a very scientific study and asking everyone I know how they feel about prequels.  Because I’ve learned to trust word of mouth—as long as the mouth in question isn’t giving me a nickname.

How do you feel about prequels?  Love ‘em? Hate ‘em?  Could care less?

Dish me all the dirt you have on prequels!

photo credit: practicalowl via photopin cc