Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday

So you know that feeling you get when all the pieces fall into place and something you've long suspected, but didn't want to believe is proved true? My character Seb, in my just-released Model Christmas, has that feeling as he talks to a stranger in the street near his home. His boyffiend has just left, his rent is due, and he's broke. This stranger seems to be feeling him out for something or other, and Seb's not sure he wants to know what.

"You rented with Terry Mulligan."

 Seb stopped. His heart pounded a fierce, wild rhythm. "How did you know that?"

 The man shrugged. "We slept together a lot."

That throw-away statement explained so much that Seb had suspected about Terry's distant behaviour but couldn't have proved and hadn't really wanted to admit was probably true.

We'll get back to Jimmy and Cliff next week, but in the mean time, pop on over and enjoy a few more offerings from the rest of the Six Sentence Sunday blog.

Bryn Colvin and Tom Brown: Playing with Creatures

I would like to welcome my friend and fellow Loveyoudivine Author, Bryn Colvin, and by extension, her wonderfully talented partner, Tom Brown. Together, they are Itisacircle. What is that? Well, they produce the loveliest of webcomics, set in Hopeless Main to which I am, fittingly, hopelessly addicted. Between Bryn's writing and Tom's gorgeous and mysterious artwork, I am soooo hooked. And from reading this post, it's no surprise. She sites some of my favorite artists as influences (like Brian Froude, who's art I've seen everywhere and not kown his name till now) Makes sense that I'm so drawn to their work, as well. Welcome, Bryn, and thanks so much for visiting. So nice to have you here.
We were sat in a graveyard, in Portland. Talking, and lying in the grass, Tom started collecting up bits of twigs, leaves and pine needles. He’d talked before about making creatures, and how for him that was partly a process of perceiving them in the landscape. That day, he made me a creature for the first time. A little being of foraged material and imagination. There were others, and I began the process of learning how to find them and put them together.

Once I started looking, I began to see them – the juxtapositions of plant life, rocks and human detritus that acquired personalities of their own or, could with a little help become creatures too. There’s a sense of magic and wonder that comes with this, a childlike kind of play and a delightful, improvised creativity. Anyone can do it, with anything that comes to hand.

Creatures turn up a lot in Tom’s art work. Often they appear as part of the backdrop, mysterious and unexplained, but he puts a lot of thought into them. They have lives, habits, feeding methods, and a bizarre natural history of their own. The gnii, for example, we never see properly. They remove the stone carvings from gravestones and carry them about. They collect debris to burn as candles (and steal candles when they can get them). They eat rock, and predate graveyards a great deal. They’re also shy, which is why we don’t see them properly, and they travel in flotillas.

Many of the ‘things’ you’ll see as background details in Hopeless have a similar amount of story and detail attached to them already. Maybe one day I’ll be able to round them up and do some kind of bestiary.

I think in many ways, the world of Hopeless reflects how Tom plays with the ‘real’ world. Walking with him frequently involves being invited to see how things might be entirely other than they first appear. He has a keen eye for detail – unshockingly – and responds in strange and fanciful ways. What would live here? What would leave marks like that? Why is there ice on this bit of road and nowhere else (because of the dead people, apparently.)

Often I look at the art for Hopeless and feel the world probably is like that, and I just don’t see it, yet. In all the odd corners we don’t pay attention to, in the shadows and the peripheries of our vision, lurk the creatures. I love the idea of the world being full of little mysteries. Tom and I share an enthusiasm for the work of Charles De Lint, and his writing is laden with this kind of spirit-creature magic as well. We love the folklore that underpins it, too. There’s a dash of Dr Zeus and Edward Gorey in the mix as well, and we like Brian Froude, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. In all of these things, it’s the little details that bring the whole to life.

Most of the little, monstery things in Hopeless aren’t unpleasant. I don’t think they’re creepy either –although they are frequently strange and gothic. If you focus on the human action centre stage, it’s possible to miss them, but, look carefully and there’s a great deal of extra eyes in the mix, frequently with creatures attached to them. Maybe ‘real’ life is like that too...

Hopeless -

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Six More sentences

From Jimmy's story. We're getting down to the nitty gritty, now. Jimmy's about to make the much needed break from all his vices and accept he's a lot more submissive than he's managed to let himself believe. Without the crutches of indulgent or abusive Doms or the pain killing drugs, he's got only Cliff and his own will to rely on. The jury is still out if he can let go for real, though.

Maybe Gabe called on you, but I don't believe for one second he had any real control over you, Jimmy, and that isn't going to happen here. You get what I deem you need."

"How do you know what I need?"

Cliff leaned in again, kissed Jimmy with authority, using tongue and hands to control him.

Jimmy lost himself in the kiss, sliding under the tender force of Cliff's domination before he even gathered enough thought or will to hold back any resistance. He lost track of the direction the conversation had been headed, lost track of his argument, lost himself in the fire of Cliff's touch.

And a bit of eye candy to finish off the picture. (Except these guys aren't my guys. I just thought the pic was pretty darn yummy...)

There are a whole slew of other authors offering bits of their stories this week, so swing by the Six Sentence Sunday Blog and check them out. You won't be sorry you did.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Romance in the Backseat Visits with a Wonderful Offer

HI, everyone; I just wanted to pass on a really wonderful opportunity to you all to help out someone you care about this holiday season. Terry Kate dropped by to post about what Romance in the Backseat and Silver Publishing are doing to make someone's Thanksgiving a little more bountiful this year.

Hello friends and neighbors,

Many of you may not be aware that Romance in the Backseat is offering a very special Month of Thanks this November.  The most exciting part is coming from Silver Publishing, a generous giveaway of $100 Grocery Gift Card.

November is a time to give thanks to those in our life who day in and day out make our lives better. To give thanks to friends and family that year after year support us. This year there are a lot of families and friends in need of some extra support and help. That is why Silver Publishing has so generously offered to help pay for a families Thanksgiving dinner.

Please share the news about this giveaway and join us to nominate someone in your life who could use the extra help. All nominations are private, our goal is to add some holiday cheer and some extra goodies to the table this Thanksgiving. 

I want to thank Silver Publishing for this amazing gift. Even if you and your loved ones are lucky enough to have a table of food waiting Thanksgiving day drop in and show your appreciation not only to Silver Publishing, but to the other authors who have come on the site this month and shared their tales of thanks.  To give us a little more cheer those authors have also offered a book giveaway to share with those you love.

Terry Kate
Romance in the Backseat

Visit Silver Publishing's Site to find out about their books -

Kylie Brant's Giveaway

Deadly Intent

Lydia Dare's Giveaway

The Taming of the Wolf

Nicola Cornick's Giveaway

Whispers of Scandal

Kersten Hamilton's Giveaway

Tyger Tyger

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Six Sentences - Jimmy behaving Badly

Last week, I introduced you to Jimmy and his two stand-in lovers. So. What does Jimmy do when they aren't available?

Montgomery's teeth clamped down on his earlobe and Jimmy's breath wooshed out in a guttural grunt. "You never could resist me, Jimbo." His hand impacted Jimmy's ass hard and he jumped. "I'll get us a room. Wait here." He bit again, harder and didn't bother to sooth away the sting.

He does what anyone desperate for a fix does and picks up anyone willing to give him a go.

I hope next week you'll come back and visit. maybe he'll have come to his senses. In th emean time, visit the other blogs at Six Sentence Sunday and see what other authors are working on.

(I didn't make the list this week because I was slow...sorry!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Six Sentences from My Latest WIP

It's that time of week again. It's Six Sentence Sunday, and I've decided to give you all a taste of Jimmy, my latest broken hero. He's not like the submissive men I normally write about. He's a lot more alpha. A lot more complicated. And a lot more broken. In this scene, he's decided to let his on-again-off-again lovers, Dean and Adam, have their way. This time.

Dean spread hand over the back of Jimmy's head, stroked long fingers through his hair. "Go ahead."

Jimmy took Adam into his mouth and for a few minutes, the two of them communicated through simple sounds of pleasure. There was something about the smell and feel of taking Adam like this while Dean watched. He could get off on it without anyone saying a thing, without any other touch. He let his eyes drift closed to better enjoy the sounds and the feel of Dean's firm grip in his hair.

Go to the Six Sentence Sunday blog to find a whole slew of links to more authors and more yummy six sentence entries.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday

“Kiss me.”

“No.” But he didn’t pull away. His lips remained parted and he breathed in soft, excited pants.


“You can’t make–ungh."

No names to protect the innocent :) (For Kris' gang, I sooo couldn't resist :D )
This little six sentence snippet comes from my current release at Pink Petal Books: 

You can find the other Six Sentence links at the official blog Six Sentence Sunday Go forth and find good stuff to read, folks!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Six Sentances from As Advertised

My current WIP, now off to beta is the source of this week's six sentances.

There's nothing like some good phone sex for first time sex between a man who's nervous about getting involved physically, and one who's not sure he's ready for the emotional bond.

For a few, endless seconds, he could concentrate only on the next breath, the next, sweet, diminishing flow of pleasure, and didn't even realize he'd dropped the phone until it clunked against his temple on his pillow. He put it back to his ear, to be greeted by quick panting, and low, fluid moans, the perfect counterpart to his own still unsteady breath.

"Enjoying yourself?" he asked, a satisfied smile curling his lips.

"Shit. I'm—Ungh. Close—" A sound, like a deep-throated, worldless plea came over the line. "Ty!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Six Sentance Sunday

For my first Six Sentence Sunday, I've chosen a little something from my latest release "Gorounded" Available from Pink Petal books.
Arms and legs wrapped tight around Mikko, Ken wiggled until Mikko's cock slipped against his entrance. "Won't work like this," he complained, swiping messy kisses over Mikko's cheek. "Put me down and turn me around."

"I want to see you."

Ken flushed deeply. "Why?"
Find more six sentence teasers at the six sentences home site. There are a lot of great authors sharing. Check it out. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

News and free Stuff

Today, I had a wonderful, do what I want day. I visited on line, went to the movies with my family, and did a bit of writing. Well, a bit of re-writing. It was a fun and relaxing day.

I want to share a few links, too. The first is my latest release.

 Grounded: BookTwo in the Ageless Series. 

In a difficult role reversal, Mikko finds himself relying on his submissive lover to keep their home and their happiness safe from Mikko's unfinished business.

Ken and Mikko have overcome the hurdle of finding one another and coming to terms with the damage they both did to their relationship. Happy to submit to Mikko's rule, Ken has come a long way toward finding his own strength again, and has decided he must officially end the relationship he ran out on when he went looking for Mikko. Awaiting Ken's return is the hardest thing Mikko has ever had to do.

He is forced to come to terms with his own shortcomings, and confront his own past, the secrets he's kept, and the effect they may have on his lover.

When that past knocks on their door, Mikko has to face the fact he might not be able to protect Ken any longer. Whether or not he finds the strength in himself to accept help may mean the difference between keeping their home and their life safe, or losing everything to the man he thought he had escaped.

Also, I have a link to something free and fluffy for those more inclined that way :)
Enjoy Santa's New Line, the new and improved story of a man whose wish finally came true.

Blurb: Cody once asked Santa to give him just one person who understood what he was going through. Problem was, he didn't actually believe in the old gift giving elf any more. Imagine his surprise when, years later, that request is filled, completely out of the blue. 

Read it here:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I admit it...

...I am a cover whore. One of teh first m/m books I ever read, (one of my favorites, still) and certainly the first one I ever bought was Ally Blue's Fireflies. Why? I wanted the cover. I love the cover. Love. Love, love love. I bought this book for the cover.

Today, I was flipping through the goodreads email telling me what my friends are reading when i came across this:

How Pretty is that? That cover is nice enough to make me click on the book, one book of the 91 in that particular list of books, and go see if it was interesing. It is. I put it on my wish list for now, pending another royalty check...

Never let anyone tell you cover art doesn't matter. It does. Everyone has their own taste in what they like, of course, and for me, clearly, it's pretty yaoi boy art, but everyone does have a taste, and if you appeal to it, you'll sell them books. Promise.

And one more for the road: Knowing Curves by Nix Winter

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Review for Poor Boy

After all this time, a new review for Poor Boy has come through the web to me.

Thank you, Michele, for your thoughts on the book. You said it, when you said this book is a difficult one, and maybe not for everyone. Sometimes, life is difficult. I hope this story shows it can also be redeeming, if you want to try. I appreciate your time in penning your thoughts.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Sale!

I'd like everyone to know that Rainbow e-books will be having a sale on Dreamspinner books next weekend. It's a great chance to pick up all those new releases you've been pining after, so check it out and let your dollars stretch.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two Days and Counting

I've never been huge on promotion, but this is a special occasion. I'm celebrating the release of a  story I'm quite fond of and never thought I'd find a publisher for, and my first release with a publisher I've been excited to work with since I started imagining I might be good at this who writing gig.

Welcome the upcoming release of Angel Requiem at Dreamspinner Press on August 11, 2010

Blurb: In a world without hope that kills what it can't understand, a solitary priest who has lost all he ever loved may be the last man to still believe in Angels. In the end, his belief may be all that can safeguard the fate of two Angel lovers—and restore his own faith in the power of love.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Squee of Fandom

Or how not to behave badly and embarrass yourself.

Actually, I don't really have any advice on this issue. It's just something I've noticed. If you're a writer, how do you, or rather, do you draw a line between your professional persona and just squeeing over your favourite authors? My instinct tells me we probably should--draw the line, that is--and yet, I don't know  if other authors are much different from me. I like when a reader squees over something I've poured my heart and soul into. Who wouldn't really? It makes me feel good. Why hold that feeling back from our fellow authors?

In my case, I'm very likely to, and have, run into my favourite authors on the various groups I frequent. Some of those authors I was friends with and became a fan, some I was a fan and have become friends with, but the distinction is most definitely there.

My friends who write so well I have to snap up everything they put out and read it immediately are friends first. I can tell them my writing woes, and sometimes, even my personal woes, commiserate or gush all over myself and not worry about how they might take it.

Authors who I've grown to love and then get to 'meet' or chat with, always have that odd disconnect between being colleagues and inspiration for me and being people. I know. They're people. But not people as in 'my people' They are always one step above being 'my people'. If that makes any sense.

I might comment on their blog, or chat with them at some group event, while inside, I'm peeing myself and wondering if they're just being kind and think I'm actually some nut case. You know: "humour the crazy person  in case they become a stalker" kind of deal. Or maybe, they're just like me, just hoping to connect with a few fans, find out what their readers like in hopes that they can deliver more of the good stuff. I like to think most writers are exactly as they seem: kind, generous people who like to talk about what they do for a living.

If you're an author, have you ever thought about this? Do you care if the person you're talking to, who's wiggling around in ecstasy at your latest offering like a little eager puppy is a fellow author or a reader who doesn't write, too? (do those even exist?)

What about from the readers' perspective? Do you like the authors you chat with to be, or do you prefer t the down-to-earth approach?

Not that anyone's opinion is really likely to change my own mind about any of this. As a writer, I love talking to my readers. I like to hear what they've enjoyed, and it's helpful to know what they didn't. (I won't say I like that, because really, who likes it), but I will say I always encourage it and appreciate hearing the bad along with the good. How else would I get to the stuff y'all like if I'm busy writing stuff you don't, and I don't know about it? I doubt I'll ever be other than as I am when I'm talking to readers; just me.

As for the part about embarrassing myself when I'm chatting with an author I love to read, well, I can't make any promises. I try to be professional and courteous, and act my age, but hell. If I love what you've done, you just have to realize, I'm a reader, too, and you might get some squee on ya. It happens. Bring a tissue.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What Romance is...

According to  Kimberlee Shortland:

Now, this is a really interesting and informative blog post. I enjoyed reading it, and I think she did a pretty good job tracking the evolution of the romance/erotica genre.

Just one thing I would quibble with: Why, oh why are all things gay so often piled together under erotica, and 'nuff said?

"Erotica also allows same sex partners, advanced sexual experimentation, S&M, bondage and other fetishes, even self-pleasuring. There seems to be few limits... "

I know we write sex between men. But it isn't all sex, all the time. Sure there's gay erotica, and obviously gay porn, but there is also plenty of gay romance out there, where sex never even happens. There are plenty of books written for young adults featuring gay protaganists, and I've read a few fantasy books with strong homoerotic or homoromatic overtones, but narry even a kiss between the men (or women) in question. For the love of humanity, people, stop it. Being queer does not make us sex fiends. There's no need to keep us segrigated from the masses.

/rant. For now.
(Yes, I know. I complain about this alot, but it bugs me.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Read: Who Says Shamrocks Aren't Lucky?

Ever wonder where authors get their ideas? You'd be surprised how small an incident or how inconsequential a turn of conversation it takes to blossom into an entire story. Sometimes, the idea isn't even mine. In the case of my Irish Lovers, as I like to call them, the idea came from a number of oh-so-helpful fellow authors and readers.

You see I was innocently perusing one of my favourite yahoo groups one day, when I saw an interesting post go by that went something like this:
"Come vote for your choices for this month's chose your own m/m romance."
Now, I was intrigued, so I followed the link. Much like leaving a trail of gum drops leading down a woodland path, Kris lured me into her domain. I followed blithely along. And found myself at Kris's blog, where, indeed, she had a post up asking her blog followers to make choices between some odd picks indeed.

You see, the idea is that she thinks up the craziest things she can manage, as to who the characters in a story should be, where the story should be set, what the story should feature by way of props and interesting complications. Then her chosen writer, or victim, as she likes to call them, must take the choices the readers have decided on, by majority vote, and incorporate them into a holiday themed story. Sound crazy?

Crazy fun, is what it is. Just call me Hansel. I followed that trail of candy, and walked right into the witch's hut (not that Kris is a witch! She's actually one of the nicest people I've come across on the web) I immediately said to myself:

"Self, you can do this! This is fun!!! Volunteer!"

And me self, being the pushover that she is, volunteered to take up the challenge. Kris laughed herself silly at the idea of an author volunteering for this crazy assignment.
And from prompts such as: A character with green skin, A set looking like an Irish Pub, A rugby player who wants to be a twink, a potato shaped like Bono and a dildo with green shamrocks, my Irish lovers, Ian McVeigh and David MacDougal were born. My story was to be ready to go live by St. Patrick's Day.

Check out the post:
Mission accomplished. Kris, my friend, the joke's on you, because not only did I write your story, but David and Ian are back for round two; Good to be Home, soon to be available at Loveyoudivine, and round three is already in the works.

The PDF version of Who Says Shamrocks Aren't Lucky, with a lovely cover, that you can download to your e-readers is now available!.

And by the way, that's Kris's title. Great, isn't it?

Please do check out the other authors' stories while you're there. There's some really great, entertaining stuff. I tell you, this has generated some very off the wall stories from some terrific authors.
Bring it on, Kris! I meet your challenge and raise you another go at your silly game!!!

Blurb: Ian's budding relationship with David seems to focus on the one thing David is both fantastic at, and loves; sex. Ian's not sure he can keep up. When David's past comes calling, and David goes running, Ian is not sure what to think. He has no idea where he stands with his new lover, only that he's sure he doesn't want to share.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review of Spinning

I haven't had a review of one of my stories in what seems like a really long time. This one was interesting, and full of really good points. I'm flattered about the comments about my writing, and had to nod my head in agreement about the world-building, the length and the ending. The good news is that this is only the first book in the series, and the next will be out in October. There will be more of Ken and Mikko and the new oder of the world they live in soon. If you're at all interested in seeing what Kassa at Rainbow Reviews had to say about the story, here's the link:

"The writing is once again top notch, as expected of Samms, and the emotion connects with the reader immediately. "

(Sorry. I really couldn't resist, and that is such a fantastic compliment. I'm all ablush and yet indulging in self-pimping at the same time. Go me.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spinning Release

You may or may not have heard me mention this around. I've been very excited about ths book. It's very close to my heart for many reasons. It's a little dark, and was a little scary for me to write, but I think it has turned out fantastic, and it does end on a hopeful note. If you liked Poor Boy, you might enjoy this, though it's more paranormal and post natural disaster than urban grit. I hop you like it.

BLURB: Ken has fallen in love twice in his unnaturally long life. He's spent the rest of it trying to forget what falling out of it feels like. Not even the end of civilization has distracted him from his own misery, and now, desperate and achingly lonely, he calls the one person who's never hung up on him.

Mikko lost Ken once, letting life get in the way of love, and ever since the day Ken ran, he's been trying to track him down. He's honed his skills over the years, tracking Ken through the morass of men and ugly affairs, waiting for the chance to make things right.

Ken thinks his messy past is a secret from Mikko, and is too ashamed to admit any of it. Mikko has secrets of his own, things he's discovered about their very nature he's sure Ken's not ready to hear. Back together, after years of cat and mouse, Ken has to learn to trust a man he knows isn't telling him everything, and Mikko has to figure out how to fix something his own negligence might have destroyed beyond hope of repair.

Ken gazed out the back window of the house to the waves; dark, rolling mounds lifted the horizon and dropping it again into the abyss on a rhythmic schedule. Gulls wheeled and cried over the water, white dots between the grey overcast and the darker ocean.
"Newfoundland?" The incredulous accusation jerked Ken's attention back to the phone call, "Seriously?"

"What about it?" Ken tossed his soccer ball up and caught it one-handed. Held in his other hand, the cool plastic of his ancient cell warmed against his ear.

"'s a rock, for starters." Mikko's indignation echoed thinly across the poor Atlantic connection. "Nothing grows there."

Ken's breath caught and his grip on the phone tightened. "So?" Belligerence, he noticed, had no echo. "You can't re-grow a broken heart, anyway." Gardening is for idiots who fall in love. He fixed his gaze on the barren rocks outside the window, taking comfort in their never-changing strength. The waves rose and fell on the same cadence as his breathing. Or maybe it was the other way round.

Silence didn't echo either, strung out along the line. He hung up. Sea waves splashed up over the rocks. He gulped in great breaths around the jagged edges. After a moment, the chirping ring tone soothed over his uneven breathing, and he flipped the phone open.
"I know it's tough, Kenny."

"You don't know fuck all." He snapped the phone closed again. A minute passed. Another. His knuckles ached. If he loosened his grip, he'd throw the damn thing. It wasn't Mikko's fault. Or the phone's. Still, he turned it to vibrate and tossed it onto the coffee table as another minute ticked past. The ring's vibration carried it almost to the floor before he lunged after the phone. His momentum carried him to the window and he leaned his forehead against the glass. The waves rolled in steadily as he opened the phone and held it to his ear.
"So where are you staying?" Mikko's voice drifted, soft over the connection. He never stayed properly hung-up on.

"Why does it matter?" Ken turned away from the ocean view and tossed the ball. This time it thumped off the wall, onto a bare table behind the couch, and obediently back into his hand, just like a soccer ball should. Gravity was predictable that way. Not like men.

"Because if I know you," came Mikko's reply, "and I do, you searched out some pre-furnished dump of an apartment and are sitting on someone else's lice-ridden mattress bouncing that ball of yours against paper-thin walls. Any moment now, an irate neighbour's going to come screaming down on you, and I should know where to send the cops after your bruised and bloodied self."
"It's a room, actually." Ken caught the ball on its second trip and hugged it against his chest. "I'm not sitting." He glanced at the grungy couch and grimaced, turning back to the comfort of the watery view. "No one wants to live this close to the ocean since the Wave hit. It was cheap."

"Even better."

"Shut it."

"So. Where?"

"What difference does it make?" You let me go. He smothered the logical, unwelcome follow-up that'd been impossible to stop, and Mikko had never been far, oceans notwithstanding. He always, always, answered his phone. Maybe he was a bit more like gravity than he was like other men.

"Kenny" Mikko's voice caressed his soul, even over the crappy connection. "Talk to me. Tell me what happened." He could be so gentle.

Ken's fingers shook as he closed the phone on that sweetness—that gentle caring.

Not even a minute passed before the phone amplified his trembling with its vibration. He opened it, brought it to his ear. This time, Mikko did not speak.

"Everyone leaves," Ken whispered at last, into the waiting silence.

Buy link:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Being a Professional

I have been formulating a post in my head about somthing for a while now. So much of our time as authors is spent on line, chatting with readers, with each other, and just generaly being social. Some of us are just not social creatures to begin with, so this venue is a heady outlet. But it's so important to be careful just how much we let out. I've been wanting to post about this issue or  while now, but since Lex Valentine just did, on the Avoid Writer's Hell blog, and she has said pretty much what I wanted to, I didn't see the point in reinventing the wheel.

So take a mosey on over and see what she has to say about it. It's great advice for new writers, and a fantastic reminder for anyone, really.

What do you think bout this?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Live and Let it Go

I blogged about this topic a couple of years ago. (You can read the post here ) Seems I wasn't the only one to have noticed that set of Submissions guidelines. Rick Reed posted today about the same thing (read his post here) and if you scroll through the comments, you'll see a lot of people had a lot to say about it, and nothing complimentary.

Now, like I maintain in my first post, every publisher has the right to publish what they like. There are publishers out there who don't publish straight romance, and that's just fine. The issue was in the wording. I had my own non-helpful comments to make, but one intrepid writer took action. (That I know of, anyway)

She contacted the publisher and opened a dialogue. She pointed out the offence, and asked politely that the publisher take another look at her guidelines and maybe see if they couldn't be changed. She received a favourable response, and if you go to the site now, you'll see that the guidelines have been changed. They still don't publish GLBT romance, but they don't lump it in with the dregs of society, either.

Why am I bringing this up, you ask? Well, because. I read all those comments. I read comments from people I respect and like, and my own comment, after the fact of the conversation between writer and publisher that brought about the change, and it saddened me.

So many of us were ready to sit back and bitch. Ready to complain and condemn, but only one of us took action, only one of us extended an olive branch and tried to breach the gap and bring understanding. And please be sure I'm including myself in the bitchers...okay, so that's not a word, but you know what I mean.

So why are we so ready to jump to the conclusion that we are being marginalized? I know. It's happened over and over for so very long, that we no longer expect anything different, and our reaction, perhaps understandably, defaults to defensive. Assume the worst. Protect, circle the wagons. It takes a special person to step outside that protecive circle and try to make a difference.

Some of you will point out that some person, somewhere, wrote those guidelines originally, and they maybe did, or do, believe that homosexuality is as great and terrible a thing as those vices with which it was grouped. You might be right. Maybe they did. Maybe they needed one person to say the right thing, to help them understand, to change their mind. Maybe it was a grave misjudgement, a thoughtlessness that they didn't notice what they were doing, or how it might be perceived, and one person pointing out the problem was enough to make the change. Maybe, they still think what they always thought, and just don't want to be perceived as offending anyone. The point is, we can't know what was or is in anyone else's head unless we ask.

Rather than ask, we all sat back and vented our own anger and frustration. That, my friends, is not communication. That isn't reaching for understanding, or striving for change. Are we immune to the hate and anger we're accusing others of? I don't think so. I know I'm not. There are two things I was reminded of today.

The first, and most important, is that I must be the change I want to see, and the other is that there is only one person whose actions I have any real influence over. Mine.

Let's hope I manage to hold on to my moment of clarity and do better next time. Anyone else have an eye opening moment when they realize they fell into a pattern that wasn't maybe as constructive as it might have been? Tell me about it, please.

Friday, January 15, 2010

On Writing Someone Who's Not You

I've been thinking, as happens occasionally, and as I have a do to attend tomorrow, the thought on my mind is about what I write; specifically, gay men. Lots of people would question how I know enough about gay men to be able to write about them. What can I tell those people? I'm not a gay man. This much is obvious. I'm a woman in a hereto marriage sitting firmly in the middle of the rainbow.

I've often wondered what men think about the men I write. Do they seem like the men they know? The men they hang out with? The men they might date? Some have said yes, my men are sufficiently manly to pass as gay men, and I'm pretty proud of that. My experience with men deals mostly with my straight, and sadly uninformed and often unacceptably biased relatives. But I have a lot of them around. I can write men. I know men. I just don't know a lot of gay men other than my friends on line.

So I write with what experience I have in mind, and hope I don't screw up the relationships too badly.

I think there might be (I don't know, but it stands to reason there probably are) gay men out there who resent women writing about them. I can see why they would. Won't say I understand the feeling. How can I? I'm not them. But I can logically follow their reasoning and it makes sense to me they might be uncomfortable, upset, downright mad about the situation. For more reading, I highly recommend the following articles, both extremely thoughtful and interesting views on the subject that is very important to a lot of people in the genre: and

Now, think about this: Haven't women objected to being fetishized and objectified in writing, movies and other media for, well, for decades upon decades? I might get in trouble for drawing this comparison, but bear with me for a moment. I'm not just talking about the Sheik and his kidnapped sex slave here. I'm talking about the strong, independent woman virginalized so her man can show her all the wonders of the bedroom, and the princess, presumably being trained to run a country, who needs a prince to save her. These are not role models I want for either of my children, the girl or the boy. I want my daughter to grow up knowing she has a right to her own sexuality and not to feel ashamed of it, and being confident and competent enough not to need a man. I want my son to grow up respecting the women in his life, caring for them, and honouring them and their right to know more than him and be stronger than him, because sometimes, this is the case. (Sorry guys. Gay or straight. You know it's true.)

So why would men want these stereo types any more than we do? Simple. They wouldn't.

So next time you think about writing your men, get into their heads. It might seem odd at first, but it's necessary. If the guy you write doesn't ask for directions, it isn't enough to use that stereotype. Ask yourself why. That's what's going to make your man an individual, pull him away from the stereotypical into the unique. "Because men don't" isn't an answer. Why does this man not? If it's for fear of his peers mocking him, where does that fear come from? No one acts in a vacuum, and the important thing here is to realize this. You are writing about people. Treat them that way. It will not only help to avoid hard feelings, it will make your story a better story, your characters more enjoyable, and you a better writer.

There is far more to this debate than I've encompassed here, I know. The links I've provided are a good start. If you want to know more, want to ask questions, come out to the chat at AvoidWriter'sHellChatters yahoo  ( tomorrow (Sat, Jan 16) and ask away. There will be plenty of writers there to answer questions and everyone is welcome, readers and writers alike.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Loveyoudivine Alterotica Newsletter

Because the newsletter fits better on my livejournal, I've posted it there. Wander on over when you get a chance, and have a looksee.

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