Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Birthday, Release Day, Giveaway!

It's my birthday!! :~D You can still enter my celebratory $10 giftcard + ebook giveaway here by commenting with your favorite Happily Ever After song.

It's also release day for Can Anybody Find Me, a story I started writing nearly a year ago with two entirely unrelated motives:

1. The Boring One: I had these two characters I'd created for a 100 word snippet in response to a three word prompt who wanted a story of their own, and I was dealing with some angst regarding my own thirtieth birthday, so I decided to set Will and Andrew's story against the backdrop of Will's thirtieth birthday.

2. The Silly One: I had finished reading a pile of m/m romances that all seemed to rely on the same devices and offer the same unrealistic fantasies, and I was sick of it! On my livejournal, I posted a list of a few things I wanted to see in a romance some day in reaction against what I'd seen in all of the books I'd just finished, and then several other people contributed a few of their own wishes in the comments. Here's what appeared:
--a man with a disproportionately small dick
--a man who is bad at sex
--a couple who both fall below the mean average of attractiveness
--first time sex between the main couple that is not mind-blowing, eye-watering, and/or miles beyond any other sex the previously promiscuous characters have ever experienced before; ideally, sex worse than one or both of them has had with someone else, but since the sex isn't what keeps them together, who cares?
--a "newly gay" character who doesn't immediately turn sex god
--BJ where guy doesn't like the taste and refuses to lick his fingers... extra points if the more experienced character is not blowing like a pro but is clumsy
--smaller/prettier character is the strong one who doesn't need rescuing while stoic cowboy/cop character is the one new to town and in need of assistance
--story where the sex isn't magical and mind-blowing but clumsy, sticky (not in a good way) and awkward... but the love still prevails

As usual, I looked at the list and thought, "Well, if somebody's got to do it, it might as well be me," and decided to see which of those I could work into my still-nebulous Will and Andrew story. (Undoubtedly the rest will make their way into something else in the future.) Perhaps I should have seen it coming, but to my surprise, the silly list didn't add humor; it added realism. Stripping away the Gorgeous, Sexy, and Perfect that tends to come with the territory of writing romance meant I was left with characters who were just average guys, men who love each other not because they're mystic soulmates, because the sex is so hot, or because they just look so good side by side, but because they just plain want to be together.

I have been thinking recently about why I like to read romance, and why I think that even--perhaps particularly--happily married, well-educated, intelligent women with careers need fluff in their diet just as much as they need things like calcium and folic acid. That's a post for another day, but one of the things I have realized is that my favorite books are the ones that capture something of my experience with Happily Ever After, something of what I believe True Love really is. My wish for Can Anybody Find Me is that readers will catch a glimpse of that, and smile a little at the way the smallest things sometimes make all the difference.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's (Almost) My Birthday and I'm Celebrating with a Giveaway!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantastic holiday season. I certainly did, courtesy of my parents taking all of their children, children-in-laws, and grandkids on a fun, surprisingly relaxing family vacation.

Great as my break was, I'm really looking forward to the next week. Not only will I be returning to work after two weeks off (which is a good thing, I swear), tomorrow marks the beginning of my second trimester of pregnancy and end of the evil progesterone supplements I've had to take for the last several weeks (and they are, let me tell you, everything that sucks about being pregnant in one convenient daily dose), and Wednesday is not only the beginning of a serial fic I've been looking forward to immensely AND the release of Can Anybody Find Me, my short story in Less Than Three Press' Kiss Me At Midnight collection, but it's also my birthday! This calls for celebration.

<--Please help yourself to the champagne in that glass over there.

Can Anybody Find Me, more than any other story I've ever written, has a definite soundtrack in my head. Queen's Greatest Hits makes it into the story a few times, as you may have guessed from the title, since it's Andrew's favorite album. He's a fan of pop/alt rock with a definite soft spot for the 80's; I suspect he listens to Ludacris when he wants a laugh. Will, on the other hand, is a bit more of a music snob; he listens at one point to his playlist entitled "Regret", which I'm certain features some Death Cab for Cutie (Title and Registration and A Lack of Color at the very least), Janove Ottesen, probably some Pete Yorn, undoubtedly some Gotye, a little Patrick Wolf, and a handful of other acoustic tracks and/or indie artists. But even Will needs a little Freddie Mercury sometimes. ;)

In light of this, my birthday giveaway includes, in addition to a copy of the e-book (a whopping $1.99 value!), a $10 gift certificate to iTunes, Amazon, or whichever vendor the winner prefers for book/music purchasing. To enter, you must leave a comment with some means by which I can contact you if you win AND the name of one (or more) tracks you think belong on a "Happily Ever After" playlist for my two main characters (and between the two of them, pretty much any artist or genre is welcome). What's your favorite song about Twu Wuv? The giveaway will be open until midnight EST January 12. Good luck!

(If you simply can't stand to wait until the giveaway's over and need to read Can Anybody Find Me when it comes out on Wednesday, you can purchase a copy of the book by clicking the cover and following the link. If you do it before Tuesday night, you'll even save 30 cents, which you can use to size up your next latte, buy a gumball, or put in your piggy bank to save up for another book.)