Rhys Ford’s Dirty Rings: A Cole McGinnis Ringtone Set Voiced by Greg Tremblay

January 9, 2015

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So a funny thing happened on the way to a tweet, Greg Tremblay, the fantastic narrator of my Dirty series, texted me and said… hey, you should giveaway a custom ringtone. Or something to that effect. There was some discussion. A few emails and then well, long story short—there may have been some pixilated shots of whiskey and banter but a plan was formed. A plan so cunning I could have stuck a tail on it and called it a weasel.

Mostly, it involved Greg. And your phone. But it was still a plan!

After a furious, intense process of queries, eliminations, debating on who said what, we came up with a set of phrases from Cole, Bobby, Jae, Claudia, Scarlet and one from Maddy then Greg went to work. And returned to me with a brilliant sound bites forged by a narrative master—in the style of the characters’ voices.

So dear reader, as a thank you for everything you’ve done for Greg and me, I’d like to present the entire set of ringtones—twenty one in total—FREE, as a gift to you.

Available in Android (MP3) and iPhone (formats for Android and Apple phones, Greg has also graciously included the WAV files if that’s your thing. Download links to the zipped files are provided below.*

A great humongous thank you to all of the blogs who helped me with this guerilla gifting. This swirled up on Tuesday and Greg just MADE it happen. He is the voice of the series and I am forever grateful for his talent.

If you’ve not tried out Greg Tremblay’s narrations, please do so. He makes audiobooks fun and damn, he brings Cole and the others to life.

Greg Tremblay’s body of work can be found here—and yes, the Dirty series is there but so are many other lovely audio books. I highly recommend one of Greg’s audiobooks, a comfy chair, a pair of headphones and a nice hot cup of coffee… or tea… with or without whisky.

* These are copyrighted and available free for individual use. The files included in the zip cannot be sold by third parties nor can they be altered in anyway as to destroy the integrity of the original work. Animals were test subjects for these sound files and while the cat could not have given less of a shit, the dog seemed mighty interested. Please note, neither own nor use a phone or a computer so results may vary.

Love you all, and really, Thank You.

Rhys Ford

Dirty Rings Android MP3

Dirty Rings Apple M4a

Dirty Rings Apple M4r

Dirty Rings Wav

The Wheat Paste Heart by Tray Ellis

January 6, 2015

“You know this is illegal, right?”

Saxon only paused for a moment to shrug his shoulders and then he continued to apply the homemade wheat paste to the wall with the small paint roller.  Tonight he was installing a series of small posters, ranging from the size of his hand to that of the front of a folded out newspaper.  He’d been working on this project for weeks.  If he had to get caught, he’d have wanted it to be after the display was up and set, but he’d have preferred not to found out at all. He was caught, but he wasn’t stopped. Not yet.  So he kept working.

With the concrete retaining wall covered in sticky, wet paste Saxon put the roller away into a plastic bag and retrieved the folder containing his artwork. He flipped it open to reveal the overall schematic. He’d been doing guerrilla art for nearly a year and a lot of it had been trial and error, but now he had some knowledge and tonight’s project was the culmination of a lot of effort.  The location was risky, but it had been too important not to attempt.  It made all the difference and he wasn’t going to back away.

“If you get caught, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

That made Saxon turn to address his unexpected visitor. “If?” he asked. It seemed the most important aspect of the previous statement.

James scuffed his foot on the ground and it was difficult to read his expression in the nighttime darkness. “I’m not a snitch,” he said.

Saxon thought about that for a moment.  “Thanks,” he finally said.  He looked around him, considering.  It was the middle of the night and he was in a generally non-visible section of a pathway near his high school.  A concrete retaining wall had been built into the ground with a direct sightline from the path, which kids used constantly during the day.  If James was traveling here at this time of night, then he’d been sneaking out as well.  Probably it was more trouble to mention this fact than it’d be worth to confront James with it, and besides, it seemed he wasn’t going to reveal Saxon’s complicity.    ”I only need fifteen more minutes and this’ll be done,” Saxon added and then he returned to his task.

James moved closer, hovering, and glancing at Saxon’s materials.  “What are you doing? Can I help?”

“Sure.”  Saxon handed over the schematic.  “I’m putting these up.  Make sure I have it all in the right place.  Each piece will be part of the whole picture.”

James squinted at the schematic.  The moon was almost full in the clear night sky, shedding a lot of light, but it would still be hard to read. Saxon had waited for the perfect night.  He’d needed enough natural moonlight to work without a flashlight and good weather.  It had rained heavily for the past week and tonight had seemed optimum.

Saxon didn’t need to review the drawing.  He already knew by heart where everything went.

The overall design incorporated more than two dozen drawings of hot air balloons.  Each balloon was heart-shaped with a unique pattern. Each basket below held a single individual.  They were all arranged to seem to float magnificently and peacefully in the sky.  Below them were a handful of terrible, savage creatures with mean eyes and frightful postures, holding different types weapons. Saxon had adorned each with a capital B on their chest, painted bright scarlet, and he had to thank Mr. Beezy someday for the extra reading assignments or else he wouldn’t have known to make that connection.  One of the tormentors had hit his mark.  There was a ragged hole in a beautiful balloon and it was losing altitude, about to crash to the earth.  The individual in the basket was certainly doomed.

Saxon placed the very last piece of paper onto the pasted wall, smoothing it in place so that it adhered strongly:  STOP BULLYING.

He stepped back to look over the entire scene.  The whole installation was over fifteen feet wide and six feet high. The adrenaline he’d felt rushing through him the whole night ebbed away.  He felt calm and serene, his heart as full and light as the hot-air balloons.  Tomorrow, everyone would see it.

“Wow,” James said.

“It has to stop.”  Saxon was tired.  Tired of hiding who he was and tired of waiting, always waiting for some distant day in the future when it would get better. He was tired of being afraid, tired of letting slip that he had different ideas about boys and girls than most of his schoolmates. He looked over at James. “You won’t tell?”

He didn’t know James well. They had different classes and different interests.  James was athletic, but wasn’t a star performer.  He was smart, but not top of the class.  He blended in and never made waves.  Suddenly, he realized that James might be more like him than not.  People who were different sometimes spent their whole lives hiding in plain sight.

“I won’t tell,” James promised, with the solemn childhood gesture of crossing a finger over his heart. He held out a hand.

Saxon looked at it for a moment, surprised.  Then he reached out and shook.  It felt odd and very grown-up.

“If you do something like this again, call me.  I’ll help.”

“Okay,” Saxon said. Then James helped him stuff the last of his materials into his backpack and, convinced he hadn’t left any telltale evidence behind, they exchanged a last serious look, and each went their own way into the dark.

______________________________

Tray Ellis grew up with two brothers and many cats and dogs. Her family loves to cook, eat, sit around talking, and quote old movies at each other. The more laughter the better, and her family loves to laugh. Tray has a completely romantic view of autumn, and thinks it is the perfect season and an excellent source of writing inspiration. When she isn’t writing, she keeps busy by jogging, fishing, cooking, baking, and keeping her home in some semblance of order. (Perhaps she has completely exaggerated that her home is in any kind of order whatsoever.) She can be found at her website and Facebook.

Get to Know K.C. Wells

January 6, 2015

Do any of your characters haunt you and if so, why?

I really don’t think any of my characters haunt me. Sean’s predicament in Learning to Love: Final Exam, now, that’s another matter. I cried writing those scenes. Even now when I read the scene before he goes in for surgery, I tear up.  What comes across is how scared he is – and how much he loves his husband Michael.

Please give us the inside scoop on your upcoming release, A Bond of Three.

This was one of my first ideas for a book, back in 2012, only it wouldn’t leave me alone. Having said that, the novel changed direction when I got to the chapter introducing Prince Sorran. He was….different. And when I got my head around that, I suddenly had a very different plan for the story.

I met with author Chris Quinton in the summer of 2012, when she came to visit the Isle of Wight where I live. I outlined the story for her. She listened intently, and when I’d finished, she looked me in the eye and said, “you have to write that book.” Whoa.

I admit to being a little nervous. So far I’ve written either contemporary or BDSM. This was A, an MMM story, B, a fantasy and C with an added dash of paranormal for good measure – yeah, nothing liked anything I’d written to date. When I first started sending chapters to my betas, I was getting the same response….

“I don’t like fantasy.”

“I don’t like ménage.”

“Hell, woman, give me MORE!!!!”

I sent an advance copy to a friend who doesn’t normally ‘do’ ménage – three guesses what her response was? LOL

So yes, I am awaiting the response from my readers with mixed feelings.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

HA! My close friends would say, “But she’s always writing!!!!” Er, I read, I love watching movies, I knit, I used to paint, but writing is far more satisfying. But there’s always my notebook not far away – I’ve learnt by now to keep it close. Ideas come ALL the time! But yes, it’s true that if I were writing more, I’d be a happy bunny.

What’s one of your guilty pleasure?

OOOH….Snuggling up with a good book, usually one that I know really well – the Deviations series by Chris Owen, ANY of the Jarhead series by Sean Michael,  the Jock Dorm series by Bobby Michaels, (One of the first MM series I ever read and I still love them)

Then there’s my other guilty pleasure… and nope, you’re hearing NOTHING about that one! ;-)

_____________________________

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

K.C. can be reached via e-mail, on Facebook, or through comments at the K.C. Wells website. K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 6

January 3, 2015

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riverfront park

 

Sarah here, ONE MORE TIME!

Check out Riverfront Park in the daylight.  Nice, huh?  This is where Aaron and Ramón like to go running. Hot, sweaty, beautiful men, pretty flowers. Perfect.

OK, that was totally random, though I really love that run-through-the-park scene.

If you’ve enjoyed your jaunt through Spokane with the boys and would like to see more, feel free to check out the other stops on our blog tour. Here they are:

January 2 (I know, that was yesterday but you can still check it out.) Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth at www.queerscifi.com

January 4 Visit with Tracy St. John, Queen of Kalqorians at Wicked Words, www.tracystjohn.blogspot.com (Sexiest aliens ever! I own every book.)

January 5 Guest blog with Tara Lain, creator of the Harker Pack series, among other amazing books http://taralain.com.

January 6 Guest blog with Dreamspinner author Anne Barwell at Drops of Ink http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com.

January 7 Guest spot with Tempeste O’Riley, (wait a minute while I go all fangirl over her Designs of Desire series. Sweet and kinky-hot at the same time. Awesome. OK, we can go on now.) http://tempesteoriley.com/blog/

January 12 Guest spot with Elizabeth Noble on Emotion in Motion http://www.elizabeth-noble.com

If you want to know more about our weird and wonderful publishing journey or our books, both out and in progress, feel free to check out our own web site www.sbradybooks.com, like us on Facebook at SBradyBooks or follow us on Twitter @sbradybooks.

It’s been a long day of Book Release Excitement but it’s time to wrap it up. The prize winner will be contacted tomorrow. Thanks so much to Dreamspinner Press for letting us have the blog today. Thanks to Tricia, our senior editor, and all the other editors who helped knock Sweet Fire into shape to publish, and to Paul and Haley and Rose and Naomi and all the rest of the Dreamspinner team. We couldn’t have done this without your help. Andrew Grey, because we love your books, we forgive you for making off with our original title. If we had to lose it, it’s an honor to lose it to you. (The working title of this book was Fire and Water and now we know why DSP made us change it.)

I hope everyone enjoyed this peek into Sweet Fire. We’ll leave you with my favorite scene out of everything I’ve ever written, where Ramón takes Aaron to his favorite bear bar and we find out Ramón’s not so uptight after all.  Good night everybody and thanks for stopping by.

 

Excerpt:

Ramón set a pair of tall green glasses on the table and slid onto the stool at right angles to his own chair, facing the dance floor.

“So you come here now and then, do you?”

Ramón’s cheek twitched. “Maybe a little more often than that.” He scanned the room and nodded at yet another person waving at him. “Most of the gay contingent of the county’s cops, firefighters, and EMTs come here. The band has a regular gig here too. They’re pretty good.”

“I bet they are, but the next time you say you’ve been somewhere a few times, I’ll have to assume you’re full of shit.”

Ramón grinned at him and raised his glass in a toast just as the sound system roared to life. The bass player plucked out an opening riff that had Ramón jerking his head around to stare at him, then dropping his face into his hand. Concerned, Aaron put a hand to his shoulder. What the hell? He didn’t understand what was going on until the bass player stopped and the lead singer stepped up to the mike.

“Looks like we have some old friends in the crowd tonight!” The man’s voice was deep and smoke-raspy, and he was looking right at their table. Ramón looked up and shook his head, clearly telling the man no way.

Del Rio!” The massive drummer had a massive voice, and the chant was quickly picked up, first by the band and Ramón’s loud friends at the bar, then by the rest of the patrons.

Rio! Rio! Rio!” Ramón pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a minute while Aaron stared incredulously. It was obvious as soon as they walked in that Ramón was well known here, but he certainly never expected anything like this.

It quickly became clear that the noise wasn’t going to stop until the man did whatever the hell it was they wanted. Ramón slid off his chair and touched Aaron’s cheek with an apologetic smile, then turned and walked quickly to the stage, while the chant turned into a roar of whistles and cheers. Merciful gods! Aaron watched in stunned amazement as Ramón, solid, serious Ramón set one hand on the edge of the stage and vaulted onto it. He stood with his back to the room for a long moment, plucking in what Aaron assumed was a nervous tic at the buttons at the cuffs and the front of his shirt.

Shocked as he was to see his quiet lover leap onto the stage, he was still unprepared for what came next. The oldies bass riff came again, and Ramón turned quickly around, ripping off his shirt at the same time. The dark cotton shirt drifted to the stage floor, leaving Ramón in a thin wifebeater tank that gleamed whitely against his beautiful copper-brown skin. Aaron tried to swallow with his suddenly dry throat and gulped at his sticky drink.

Somehow the smooth baritone voice was the least shocking part of this whole incredible experience. As a soulful rendition of “Stand By Me” rolled over him, Ramón held his eyes, and the rest of the room faded completely away.

The first verse and the chorus came to him from the stage, and then, miraculously, unbelievably, it got even better. On the second verse, as the rest of the band started a smooth vocal backup, Ramón took the small headset that the lead handed him and started down the stage stairs. His eyes never left Aaron’s as he prowled down the steps and skirted the dance floor toward their small table.

The second chorus came, intense and soulful, and Ramón’s hand slid down Aaron’s throat and chest, taking all the air out of his lungs in the process. He struggled to breathe as the instrumental break gave Ramón an opportunity to lean in and run his mouth butterfly light along Aaron’s jaw and over the sensitive spot under his ear. The tiny headset mike his lover wore picked up a faint echo of two pounding heartbeats that blended seamlessly with the heavy bass line. By the time he pulled away, it was all Aaron could do to let him go, watching with his heart in his throat, tears in his eyes, and all the blood in his body in his jeans. The final chorus brought Ramón back up to the stage, moving back up the stairs with that panther-like grace that kept the eye of every man in the room riveted to his magnificent body.

The song ended, and the crowd went wild. Aaron hardly heard any of it as he sat frozen in his chair, gripping his hideous green glass with one hand and pressing the other to his chest, trying to get his rioting pulse under control. An erratic flame danced wildly in the glass candleholder. Suddenly Ramón was there, sweeping him out of his seat and into his arms to a fresh surge of whistles and cheers from the crowd. The band started a new song, without Ramón this time, and the two of them moved effortlessly together on the dance floor. As the space filled up with grinding, gyrating men, Ramón’s mouth came down over his, and Aaron knew, without a doubt, that the happily-ever-after he’d been waiting for all his life was right here in his arms.

 

Get to Know Skylar M. Cates

December 2, 2014

How did you come up with the title for The Guy series?

That’s a funny story. I had a title for the series all planned out. Book one was to be titled Better than Candy, and the series titled the “Better Than” series. Well, right after I submitted book one, my fellow DSP author Lane Hayes came out with a book called Better Than Good.  Yikes!  I had to find something else and fast. Since book one was set in the fictitious town of Glamour, I decided to call it The Guy from GlamourThe Guy series was born from that decision. I think it all worked out for the best!

Do you have a favorite couple that you’ve written?

No, but I do get obsessed with whatever couple I’m focused on most recently. My new series, for example, has the first book releasing in February, and I fell hard for this couple. I never intended to write Cole and Ian’s story at all. It came rushing out like a locomotive. Their story involves sudden tragedy. It gave me all kinds of strong feels to write, and I hope readers will embrace it. It’s called Here for You and will be out in February. What I love about the story is that it’s also a story of friendship. It revolves around five roommates in South Florida and the strong bond they all have for each other. Today it is my favorite, but tomorrow I’ll have a totally different answer.

The truth is I fall in love with different aspects of each MC.

My two December releases have four guys to love. Evan, from The Holiday Hoax, is self-deprecating and sweet— a combination I love—while JD is lonely and shy.   Henry from The Last Guy Breathing has gone through the awful dating scene and needs some love. Locke is flawed yet deeply protective, which is another combination I fall for in a character.

What are some of your favorite books, music and movies?

My kids are watching School of Rock this week, and I adore this movie.  I love many of Robin Williams’s films, especially The World According to Garp. And let’s see… Since it is the holiday season, I would pick A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life as two favorite holiday flicks.

As for music, I like classic and current rock. Some of my favorites would be The Killers, Aerosmith, and Train.   I enjoy putting on a fun dance band too like the B52s or The Black Eyed Peas. I love dancing, but I do most of my dancing in my living room these days.

Books would be impossible to name only a few favorites. Sorry!  I seriously fall in love with a new book every other month.

Can you briefly share what your writing process is?

Get butt into chair and write, lol. I write as much as possible, but I don’t write daily. My kids, my messy house, and my other responsibilities often steal the time away. I’d love to be one of those Type A writers who charts their progress and counts their daily words, but it never seems to happen for me. As long as I see the novel developing, though, I’m satisfied to follow my own haphazard process.  Once the first draft is complete, I’ll go through several more versions with tough self-edits and beta readers before submitting it. I’m tough on myself and it is hard to let the WIP go.

Cake or pie? Coffee or tea? Chocolate or peanut butter?

Pie  ( I love all kinds)

Coffee (I can never drink enough)

Both (Why pick between chocolate and peanut butter? Reese’s is fine with me)

Happy holidays!

___________________________

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe. Visit Skylar on her website.

Let’s Talk THIRDS with Charlie Cochet

November 5, 2014

Dreamspinner: So, Dex? Where did you get the inspiration for this 80′s-music-singing, high-octane cop with the mouth of a sailor who can’t hold his liquor?

Ah, Dex. Dex popped into my head in all his Cheesy-doodle-crunching, power-ballad-singing glory. It’s kind of scary how many traits Dex and I share. The 80s quirk was easy for me because like Dex, I’m a child of the 80s. I love the music, the movies, the cartoons, and toys. The clothes maybe not so much, but I definitely enjoy looking back at the fashion horrors. The coffee obsession is something we also share. Brain function is difficult without my cup of java in the morning. All that frothy goodness. Mmm….

I’m also big fan of John McClane from the Die Hard movies. This every day cop with amazing wit who always found himself embroiled in some kind of trouble that ends up with him beat up or almost getting blown up. That whole kind of “every man” trait that John McClane has is something I wanted for Dex. He’s not this invincible action hero who knows three kinds of martial arts and can walk away from an explosion without a scratch on him. I wanted Dex to be fun but complex. He’s the kind of guy you’d love to have as a friend. He’s a genuinely nice guy, loyal, always wants to do the right thing, loves his family, and knows when to be serious. Trouble has a way of finding him. He might be on an elite team, but he’s just a regular guy. Just weirder.

Dreamspinner: Are we only going to get three books in the THIRDS series?

There are quite a few books planned for the THIRDS series. At the moment, I have 8 books planned. It’s a continuous timeline, though book 5 will be from Ash & Cael’s point of views, and Book 6 from Calvin & Hobbs’s point of views, Book 7 & 8 will return to Dex and Sloane. I also have a book planned in the THIRDS world with agent Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn. After that, we’ll have to see. You never know which characters will demand to have their stories told. I have a few couples that might get their own novellas.

Dreamspinner: What scene in any of the THIRDS books do you still laugh about?

I admit that I still laugh at a good deal of Dex’s antics. It’s hard to pick just one. The training scene in Blood & Thunder is a top favorite. Sloane is in his jaguar form and he takes off after another agent who screams “like a pre-teen at a Bieber concert”. That scene still makes me chuckle. Also the scene with his ex at Bar Dekatria with the goats and Waking Dead secrets coming to light.

Dreamspinner: Who was the most difficult character to write in the THIRDS series?

All the characters in the THIRDS are challenging in some way, but I think Dex is still my most complex character because there’s the image he portrays of this happy go-lucky guy who’s always smiling and joking, but inside he’s very sharp and perceptive. He feels things deeply. Plus there’s his humor. Humor is incredibly difficult to write because it either happens or it doesn’t. You can’t force humor. Dex’s one-liners and snappy comebacks have to come during that moment. There are just so many layers to him, so many instances where he’s doing one thing but thinking or feeling something completely different.

Dreamspinner: Coffee or tea? Ebook or print? Vanilla or chocolate? Rap or country music?

Coffee. Sentences and words don’t happen without coffee. I love both eBook and print. For research, I prefer print books. Chocolate for sure. I do enjoy vanilla, but chocolate is right up there just below coffee. I’m not big on rap or country. I’m more into 80s music. ;)

____________________________________________
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From historical to fantasy, contemporary to science fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too! Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and, boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

“If This Were a Movie” Free Read by Kate McMurray

November 5, 2014

Kyle’s life flashed before his eyes as the huge bear of a dog galloped toward him with alarming speed. The beast was all brown fur and teeth and slobber, and it was barreling toward Kyle so quickly, he couldn’t manage to move his feet.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god….”

Kyle didn’t understand at first that the breathless invocation of a deity was coming not from him but from the lips of the man running at top speed behind the dog.

Was this a stampede?

Then Kyle was on his back, the heavy weight of this bear on top of him, with a face full of tongue.

Dirt flew as the guy chasing the dog caught up and skittered to a stop.

“Tiny, no. No, Tiny. Get off the nice man.”

The dog seemed immovable.

Kyle gathered his faculties enough to swat at the dog’s tongue with his hands, not connecting as the dog lifted his head away but otherwise settled on top of Kyle’s body as if Kyle were a large velvet pillow and this giant dog were a dainty princess. Kyle sighed and let his head fall back to the grass. He looked up.

Well, hello. The owner of the bear was a tall, dark-haired, slightly scruffy guy with a gym-sculpted body. His muscles flexed as he tugged on the dog’s leash, though the dog seemed determined not to go anywhere.

“Come on, Tiny,” the guy said.

If the weight of the dog hadn’t been crushing his lungs, Kyle might have found the fact that this freakishly large dog was named Tiny funny enough to laugh about, but as it was, Kyle worried his sternum was about to cave in.

“I’m so sorry about this,” the guy said. “He’s not usually like this. I don’t know what’s gotten into—”

Just as quickly as Kyle had been flattened into a pancake on the grass, Tiny the Bear lost interest, stood up and walked away.

Kyle pulled in a deep breath.

“Uh, you need help?”

Kyle looked up and saw the cute guy who owned the bear reaching down with his hand. Kyle briefly indulged in a fantasy wherein the sun shown directly behind this man’s head like a halo, and the clouds parted, and the angels sang. None of those things actually happened, but the man was quite lovely. Kyle reached up and allowed himself to be helped to his feet.

“So, um…” Kyle tried, struck speechless by the handsome man. Who smiled. Lord, he had a gorgeous smile.

“I’m Chris,” the guy said. “And this is Tiny, but you probably got that already.”

“The most logical name for a bear on a leash is Tiny.”

Chris smiled. “That’s what I thought. He’s a chow, actually. Aren’t you, boy?” Chris reached over and scratched Tiny between the ears. “And I think he likes you.”

“I guess.” Kyle looked at the dog, feeling puzzled, not understanding what just happened.

“So. Do you live around here?” asked Chris.

“Yeah, I was just cutting through the park to get home from work. You?”

“Yep, Tiny and I just moved here. A few blocks west.”

Kyle was at a loss for what to say. He was still rattled from getting knocked over by a dog, but Chris was so handsome that Kyle wasn’t ready to let him go just yet. Chris pet his dog and smiled and had that nice line of stubble on his chin and the slightly disheveled hair, and he really looked yummy. Kyle tried not to stare.

“I really am sorry,” Chris said. “I’ve never seen him do that before.”

“I seem to be okay.” Kyle dusted off his butt and the back of his thighs. He tugged on his shirt to get any residual dirt and grass to fall off. He smiled at Chris. Who smiled back.

Their eyes met for a moment.

“You know,” Kyle said after he let the moment pay out. “If this were a cheesy romantic comedy, this would be the scene in which the couple meets cute. Sure, there will be a big misunderstanding or something that will separate the pair down the line, but they’ll end up together in the end. The dog knew all along that they were meant to be, after all.”

Chris laughed, which was good. Kyle didn’t know if he was gay—he suspected, based on how snug Chris’s tee-shirt was, but that was hardly an accurate indicator of anything—but he’d made the joke without thinking. He blamed getting jumped by a dog.

A dog who sat obediently at Chris’s feet now and waved his tail while his mouth hung open. Kyle didn’t think dogs smiled, but this one seemed to be.

“But with dudes,” Chris said.

“Huh?”

“If we starred in a romantic comedy in which my dog orchestrated the meet cute, which I’m pretty sure is what just happened, it would be a romantic comedy with two dudes.”

“Who cares?” asked Kyle, still feeling dazed.

“Well, I don’t. You’re cute. You want to go get a cup of coffee with me?”

Years later, when poor Tiny had arthritis, Kyle spent a good ten minutes trying to get a little pouch affixed to the dog’s collar.

“Hold still, boy. I just need you to…”

“Babe?” called Chris, rapping on the door. “Are you ditching me?”

“No. Still trying to get this…”

Tiny huffed out a breath and sank to the floor, pushing his paws out in front of him. Of course. Kyle finished the task and stood up.

He opened the door to a concerned-looking Chris.

“Not sure we’re supposed to see each other,” Kyle said.

“Don’t care. What are you doing?”

“Getting the ring bear fixed up.”

Tiny trotted over and whuffed at Chris.

“Ring bearer?”

“Nope, bear. I was right the first time.”

______________________________

Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She is active in RWA and has served as president of Rainbow Romance Writers and on the board of RWANYC. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

A Matter of When – Giveaway

September 15, 2014

I’ve spent the day chatting about A Matter of When, now let’s get to the fun part, shall we?  How about a giveaway of an e-book copy?

But first, let’s talk about the little things that make life sweeter.

Rocker Henri can afford the finer things in life, but is won over by Sebastian’s kindness, highlighted in one simple gesture: a tuna fish sandwich unlike any he’s had before, because “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

The sandwich reminds Henri of the when he was younger and his mother used to show affection with food. Sometimes we overlook the simplicity of the love baked into our favorite cookies, or a loved one making us soup when we don’t feel well.

Instead of simply entering a comment and telling me you like to enter the contest, why not name one comfort food that brings back good memories? You don’t have to, mind you, but I’d love to hear your stories.

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A Matter of When – Excerpt 2

September 15, 2014

In A Matter of When, lead singer Henri suffers a meltdown in which he fears joining the “Twenty-seven Club, after which he must rebuild his life:

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THE ENCORE, the reporter gauntlet, the picture taking and autograph signing went by in a blur. Then Henri took the limo ride from hell.

“What’s got into you tonight, Henri? You seem a little down. Or should I be asking, ‘What hasn’t gotten into you?’” Ricky snickered. “Oh, maybe you want to go down.”

“Did you notice that big-titted chick down front?” Giles chimed in. “Oh, wait, of course you didn’t.” He lowered his voice so only Henri could hear. “You would if she had a dick.” He paused long enough to suck up a line of coke off a tray he’d found in the limo’s bar.

Fucking assholes. Thank God their manager wasn’t here. Henri could better handle their homophobic slurs than their kissing up to Marguerite and laughing behind his back when she treated Henri like a four-year-old. Lord knew she babied her moneymaker, even if her hovering did cock block him. He had to play the straight boy for the fans.

“Fuck off,” he told his band. Hell, at least they hadn’t invited groupies along for the ride this time. The last thing he needed was Giles pounding into some half-naked woman right next to him.

But if they dared use the n-word, by God, he’d have to kill somebody.

He stared out the window. Buildings seemed to merge together as the limo whizzed by, their features further blurred by darkness and window tint. The car slowed to a stop at a red light. What if he simply jumped out and ran? Never stopped running, never looked back? Found a place to hide where no one could ever find him?

Oh yeah. Think of all the people depending on you, he heard in his manager’s voice. Stop being selfish. One cancelled show cuts into a lot of paychecks. Roadies, vendors, the band…. Not to mention herself.

He squeezed his eyes shut. A hamster on a wheel. A damned moneymaking hamster. No one gave a shit about him, just the money. One more concert, one more town. C’mon, Henri, get up on that stage. Think of your fans, Henri. Think of your family, Henri. Think of the band, Henri.

The next time the car stopped, the band crawled out into chaos. More fans, more grasping hands. A security guard guided him into the hotel, through a crowded atrium, and into a private, invitation-only party. At least his tormenters scattered, finding better amusements than “bash the closeted lead singer.”

In the background, Henri’s recorded voice wailed through the playback of tonight’s show, jacked up high to compete with the revelry of a crowded club. Wasn’t anyone tired of hearing him yet? “Great show, man,” a fan gushed, pumping his hand and grinning into his face.

“If you say so,” he replied once they’d left.

His bandmates took full advantage of their A-list reputations, Ricky throwing a quick wave to the crowd before departing, a blonde clinging to his arm. Giles tossed back his and someone else’s share of drinks from the open bar, occasionally rubbing his nose. Yeah, probably pretty damned numb by now. Vince held court at one end of the room, yet Henri, trained singing automaton, kept to the shadows. Maybe folks would forget him, letting him quietly sneak away. Margo, no, “Marguerite” trained eagle eyes on him. The rest of the band was free to do as they pleased, but the lead singer, the star in her eyes, had damned well better stay until she said otherwise, for once he left, the party would end, as would her evening’s networking.

“Buy you a drink?”

Henri spun around. A handsome man offered a glass. “No, thanks.” The pounding behind his eyes didn’t need any alcohol-fueled assistance to split his brain in two, and his anxiety meds hadn’t kicked in. The driving music and gyrating bodies surrounding him certainly didn’t help. After parties sucked, big-time.

“Aww… c’mon. Have a drink with me.”

A beguiling smile lured him in. Normally, he’d arrange a discreet meeting later in his hotel room, but something about the fan’s creepy smile said, Leave this one alone. He had “I kiss and tell” written all over him. Henri didn’t need another leaked sex tape. It had taken a lot of spin-doctoring and a look-alike claiming responsibility—for a price—to clean up the mess the last time he’d chosen the wrong bed partner.

He gave what he hoped passed for an apologetic smile. “No, really. I can’t.” Where was his manager when he needed her to chase off the undesirables who couldn’t forward his career, or at least dispel the latest bout of gay rumors?

Tall, Dark, and Won’t Leave replied, “I came all the way from New Jersey to see you. The least you can do is drink with me.”

All the way from New Jersey? Where the hell were they now? Oh. Right. Anaheim. Or was Anaheim last night? They were still in California, weren’t they?

Liquid swirled in a glass a few inches from Henri’s nose. “It’s your favorite,” the guy crooned. “Jack and Ginger.”

Oh, how Henri regretted letting slip such a factoid in an interview—about five years ago, when he actually had liked Jack and Ginger. Hell, to get rid of the moron, he’d pay any price at this point, then go back to his brooding. Floor-to-ceiling windows afforded a breathtaking view of the city—whatever its name was—his scowling manager reflected in the dark glass. Would everyone go the fuck away and leave him alone? If she wouldn’t come run this asshole off, Henri would do it himself. “Fine!” He grabbed the glass and swallowed half the contents. Anything to get this fuckwad gone.

The guy’s grin widened. “I’m your biggest fan.”

I bet you say that to all the rockers.

“You have millions of fans, but no one understands you like I do.”

Where had Henri heard that before? Oh yeah, Sacramento, LA, Portland, Seattle…. Name a town and someone there had spoken those same words.

His manager approached. Finally! “Henri, this is Lisa. Lisa, Henri.” Marguerite pushed a buxom brunette his way. “Lisa here is your biggest fan.”

Henri read between the lines: You need to be seen with a woman if you ever hope to dispel those nasty rumors. No way to dispel the truth, though.

The woman was pretty, but her maniacal grin didn’t bode well for protecting Henri’s privacy either. She could be the sister of the admirer he was currently attempting to fend off.

“Go away, bitch. I got here first,” the would-be suitor snarled. Okay, no relation, or possibly a highly dysfunctional, competitive sibling rivalry.

The woman snapped an angry retort. Marguerite waded into the fray. Henri beat a hasty retreat. Damn but his head pounded double-time now. The world fuzzed around the edges of his vision, and whatever he’d eaten before the show threatened to reappear.

Bodies blocked his way, but he lowered his head and soldiered on. Puking in front of two hundred witnesses wouldn’t win him any support from his manager. Hell, he couldn’t fucking belch without making headlines.

“Sir, are you okay?”

Henri glanced up at a broad chest, the word “Security” stamped across a tightly stretched T-shirt. No use lying. “I don’t feel too good.” Nice, broad arms. The guy who’d broken his fall earlier. I owe him a car or his own island or something.

“Would you like me to escort you to your room?” Nothing sinister or even suggestive peeked out of the man’s eyes. Just concern. Henri hadn’t gotten concern from anyone in a long time. Too tired to come up with a smartassed retort, he merely nodded. Maybe he could fall again and earn himself another inadvertent cuddle.

The security guard tapped his earpiece, spoke a few garbled words, and wrapped a hand around Henri’s biceps. “Not now, please,” the man said to anyone who stepped into their path. He hustled Henri to the exit.

Henri’s chest filled with lead. Why the fuck couldn’t he breathe? Too many people. The air cleared a bit near the elevator. His knees buckled. What the fuck? “I’m not drunk, I swear.” He grabbed at the wall and missed.

The guard steadied him. “I’m not judging, but maybe you’d better let me hold your drink.”

What? Henri was still holding the damned thing?

Without realizing quite how he got there, Henri leaned back against elevator walls. The coolness felt good against his skin. “Room 1216.” It was 1216, wasn’t it? Or 1218?

“May I have your key, sir?” The guard released Henri’s arm and held out his hand.

Shuffling, being pulled, the snick of the key in the door, followed by the sweet relief of his room. Hey! Room 1216! Got it in one.

Standing by the window of his penthouse suite, Henri stared out at the night. A string of red taillights marked a mass exodus from the arena down the block. His stomach rolled. Did anyone at the party downstairs miss him yet? Thank God his manager wasn’t hovering over him like some overzealous fruit fly claiming dibs on a piece of rotted apple. Henri snorted. My, how well the description fit him. Something within had died long ago, leaving emptiness within.

He took his glass from the guard, raised it in silent toast to his reflection, and tossed back a mouthful, a bitter brew to kill his pain. Haunted eyes blinked back at him. Tired, so tired. Concerts wiped his energy, and every song came from his heart, taking a piece of him that never regrew. A shriveled prune of a thing, his soul must be now. He needed his pills. The ones the doctor prescribed for emergencies. He hadn’t already taken one yet, had he? His head pounded.

He fumbled his way to the stereo and pushed the play button. Trent Reznor moaned about hurt. “I know exactly what you mean, man.”

“Would you like me to stay?” Arms folded across a well-formed chest. Bulging biceps. Blond buzz cut. Huh? Oh, yeah. Security guard. Asking to stay. But no invitation lurked in his eyes. Mild alarm, maybe.

“Would you? I mean, for a little while?” Henri staggered away, the need to sleep bearing down on him, an oppressive hand forcing him toward the turned-down bed. Slowly he peeled his T-shirt off, wincing at the stench of sweat. Maybe he should have taken a shower first. Too late now.

The guard’s eyes widened, likely taking in the skinny torso and the ink decorating what many viewed as a rock god. Henri was merely himself. If only this man didn’t know who he was and saw Henry, not Henri, the product of an imaginative manager. Ah, I’ve grown maudlin in my old age. Old at twenty-seven. Ancient.

An idea crawled to the surface of his muddled thoughts. “Sleep with me.” Had Henri actually spoken those words out loud?

“Fraternization with clients goes against policy. Besides, I’m straight.” No anger. Just business as usual. How many rock gods had propositioned the man?

Henri giggled. “So am I, if you ask my manager. No, I don’t want sex.” He didn’t. Really. “Hold me.”

“You want me to hold you?”

“I feel swimmy-headed. Need an anchor.” Nice line. He should use it again for something. Oh yeah. Maybe put it in a song.

“I could lose my job.”

“No, you can’t. I’m the boss, no matter what my manager says.”

The crisp sheets felt cool against his heated flesh, and if his bedmate noticed his slightly sweat-ripe scent, he gave no clue. The fully clothed guard arranged himself beside Henri, the image of adorable confusion when Henri didn’t attack. Henri had been fucked enough for the time being, and fucked over once too often. Tonight he’d lie in the arms of a stranger, Henri Lafontaine, a publicist’s creation. Tomorrow, he’d take his fucking life back, gold record be damned.

He cuddled into the stranger’s too-limp embrace. “Once I’m out, you can go.”

“You really don’t look too good. Is there someone I should call?”

Henri barked a humorless laugh. “No one gives a shit. Trust me.”

The man grabbed Henri’s wrist and raised his other arm to his face to better see his watch.

“What are you, a doctor?”

“I’m studying nursing. And your pulse is slow. Your breathing is shallow too. I think I should call somebody.”

“No, really. I’m fine.” Henri snuggled more firmly into his human pillow. Hell, physical contact was physical contact. He would take what he could get.

Something loosened in his chest, and he closed his eyes, imagining a lover’s attention, someone who cared about Henry the man, and not Henri, the rich rock star. He conjured up his own bedtime story: they’d met at a party, fallen in love, shared a house, a life. They’d gone out to dinner, made love, and were now settling in for the night. In the morning they’d…. Well, there wouldn’t be a morning for him and Nameless Guy, would there? Nameless Guy would be gone; Henri would wake alone, like he did every morning, even those mornings when he woke to find his bed filled to capacity with naked bodies.

A tear slipped beneath his eyelid, blazing a hot trail down his cheek. The aching inside flared anew, his heart bursting into a million crystalline shards.

The guard lay stiffly on the bed and wrapped an arm around Henri. Fingers stroked his forehead, brushing hair out of his face. Well, he’d be damned. One lucky woman had landed this guy.

But holy hell was it hot in here or what? His stomach rolled. Oh shit. How much had he drunk again? He glanced around the room. Where the hell was he? On the third try he managed to hoist himself out of bed. Where was the bathroom?

“Sir, are you all right?” came from behind him.

Sir? Who the fuck had he brought home? Henri’s stomach lurched again. Why wouldn’t his damned legs hold him? “Oh fuck!” The floor rose up to meet him.

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After a really horrible night, Henri retreats to the Colorado Rockies to regroup, and place I adore. If you could go anywhere in the world to relax, where would you choose?

Author Interview with Brad Boney

September 5, 2014

Dreamspinner Press: Let’s start with your first novel, The Nothingness of Ben. If readers know your name, it’s probably because of that book, wouldn’t you agree?

Brad Boney: Absolutely. Lots of readers in this genre have read Ben, and it continues to sell two years later. I’m fortunate to have had that experience.

DSP: What’s your response to critics who claim The Nothingness of Ben fails because Ben Walsh is something of a dick?

BB: [Laughs] I’ve read a few of those reviews. The first thing that struck me was how engaged with Ben they were. People wrote about him as if he were real, and that felt like a win to me. I also noticed some of those reviews were marked DNF at 30%. I understand—life’s too short. If my writing doesn’t grab someone, they should bail and move on. I’m the same way. But Ben does grow in the book. I don’t think he’s a dick at the end. He’s a flawed person who was lucky enough to meet a man who is truly his better half.

DSP: So you think Travis is the better man?

BB: Is that wrong? I kind of do, at least for me. Ben is brilliant and charming and funny, but he’s also rudderless. He needs someone like Travis to steady him. I would date someone like Travis before I’d date someone like Ben.

DSP: Is that because you and Ben are too much alike?

BB: In some ways, yes. I’m pretty self-absorbed, but I can also be worthy and faithful and true.

DSP: What about the criticism that the tone of the opening chapters, given the death of their parents, is too lighthearted?

BB: On that one, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I understand those comments and where they come from, but maybe those people aren’t Catholic. My family has a powerful sense of denial around grief and sadness. We don’t express it. We cover it with humor. We act out like Cade does, or withdraw like Jason does. And then at some point, it boils over and brings us to our knees, like it does with Ben when he kisses Travis in the street and breaks down crying.

DSP: How do you feel about the M/M genre as a whole?

BB: It’s easy to trash romance novels because so many of them are awful. But the argument that they’re all bad is ridiculous, and I don’t even have to include my own books to defend that. T.J. Klune won a Lambda award this year. Jay Bell has been nominated twice and won once. Anyone who points to those books and calls them trash is an idiot, and should be dismissed as such.

DSP: We’ve heard you have some issues with the term M/M.

BB: Where did you hear that?

DSP: People talk around the office. Are you saying you don’t have an issue?

BB: I don’t understand the term because I don’t come from a romance background. I’ve never read an M/F romance in my life, and I assume that’s where it comes from. M/F, M/M, M/F/M, M/M/M, F/M/F. I don’t know why M/M is necessary when the word “gay” works just fine. Those designations seem very tab/slot to me, like it’s all about genitals. In some cases, I also think it gives writers permission to divorce their stories from the lived experience of real gay men, including all the social, medical, and political baggage that comes with it. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what I’m doing. Ben Walsh is recognizable to me as a gay man I might know. Maybe that’s why some readers have a problem with him. He’s not an idealized romantic hero.

DSP: How does it feel being a gay man in a genre dominated by women?

BB: [Grins] It depends on the women.

DSP: Do you think a woman can write a good story about two men falling in love?

BB: Yes. I’ve read them. I’ve been vocal about my admiration for books like Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels, and Promises by Marie Sexton. The female factor is unexpected, that’s all. When I tell my gay friends that most of my readers are women, they’re very surprised. They don’t understand it, and at first I was the same way. But I’ve gotten to know many of my readers, and that changed everything. I love them and I now understand what draws women to these stories—both as readers and writers.

DSP: You mentioned you don’t come from a romance background. What are your influences?

BB: I spent years in the theater as an actor and director, which explains why my books are so dialogue heavy. Most of the gay fiction I’ve read were books by Violet Quill authors like Andrew Holleran and Edmund White. I’m a huge fan of rom-coms and directors like Cameron Crowe. I think as romance writers, we’re all trying to create a moment like John Cusack holding that boom box over his head.

DSP: We’ve noticed on Twitter that your second book, The Return, has a smaller but more passionate following.

BB: The Return was a tough sell. It doesn’t have a conventional set-up. It spans two generations. It’s got a huge canvas—someone pointed out there are actually 10 main characters. The romance is resolved at about 75%. I had to keep the blurb vague, and once you read the book, you understand why. But that only hurt it in terms of sales. I get it—people like to know what a book is about. I don’t blame them. Still, the people who did read it are grateful I didn’t give anything more away. It’s a story I’m very proud of, and the fact that some readers have embraced it in such a profound way is extremely satisfying to me. I don’t think I can write a better book than The Return, which is why I took a totally different approach to The Eskimo Slugger.

DSP: What do you mean?

BB: The Return was that book every writer has in their back pocket. The one they were born to write. I didn’t think I could top it, so my only option was not to try. As a result, The Eskimo Slugger tells an intimate story on a small canvas, about two simple guys caught up in an impossible situation. It takes place over ten days in the summer of 1983. It’s like a pop song. Readers who are expecting another symphony like The Return should brace themselves for disappointment.

DSP: But you set The Eskimo Slugger up in The Return, which leads us to our next question. Are you writing a series or not?

BB: Yes and no. I believe you can pick up any one of my books and enjoy each as a standalone, but there is certainly something to be gained by reading them all. That doesn’t mean they have to be read in the order I wrote them. I’m a child of postmodernism and enjoy a certain random element. The order in which you read them will determine your experience. If someone out there has never read one of my books, I’d say jump in with The Eskimo Slugger. Chronologically, it’s actually the beginning.

DSP: Is it a book about baseball?

BB: It’s a book about a baseball player. There is only one scene set inside a ballpark.

DSP: Were you a baseball fan before you wrote it?

BB: No. I didn’t know anything about baseball.

DSP: Really? What did you do for research?

BB: I watched the entire Ken Burns documentary twice—all 18 hours of it. I went to a lot of baseball games in Austin and elsewhere. I talked to my dad and a friend of mine at work who used to play college baseball. I read the Billy Bean autobiography called Going the Other Way, about his time as a closeted gay man in the major leagues. I listened to the Baseball Tonight podcast for an entire season, just to hear and understand the way guys talk about baseball.

DSP: Are you a fan now?

BB: Oh, absolutely. I’d love to meet a guy who thinks a baseball game is a great date.

DSP: You mentioned Austin, where all your books are set. How long have you lived there?

BB: Twenty-six years. I’m a naturalized Texan. But as many people have learned from my books, Austin is nothing like the rest of Texas. It’s the blue center of a red state. Austin is very gay friendly and boys walk around holding hands all the time.

DSP: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

BB: My weaknesses are easy. I have virtually no powers of description. I’ll never be L.C. Chase, the way she can take you into a horse stable and bring it to life. But I also believe that writers should draw the outline and readers should fill it in, so at least my practice matches my theory. I’m very bad when it comes to narrating the internal life of a character. I’ll never be J.P. Barnaby, the way she can spend pages and pages inside Aaron’s head and make it interesting. I can’t do that. But I think most readers would say I spin a good yarn. I understand set-up and payoff. I’m a better-than-average storyteller.

DSP: Of all the chapters you’ve written, which is your favorite?

BB: Do you have one?

DSP: Yes, but we want to hear yours first.

BB: “Cover Me” from The Return. In every season of Mad Men, there’s that one episode when everything happens. The shit hits the fan. That’s what “Cover Me” is. Topher has his inter-dimensional phone call, then he sits down with his bandmates and explains what’s going on, then Stanton shows up, then Topher sings…. It’s just bam, bam, bam. It made my head spin writing it.

DSP: It took us awhile to figure out that all the chapter titles were Bruce Springsteen songs.

BB: I tried not to use the most famous songs. Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite?

DSP: Chapter seventeen from Nothingness. We call it “the earth is flat.” Anyone who’s read the book knows what we’re talking about. We don’t really know exactly what Travis is thinking, but it doesn’t matter. Ben’s surrender is delicious.

BB: That’s where point of view worked to my advantage, since we only get to know what’s going on inside Ben’s head.

DSP: We noticed you favor third person and past tense, with a single point of view. Is that a conscious choice?

BB: Yes. The Return is actually told from two points of view, though.

DSP: Okay, technically that’s true, but it’s almost two separate stories, so… We’d argue that each of your stories is told from a single point of view.

BB: That’s fair. Single point of view works best for me. I’m looking for stylistic choices that foreground the story, not the storytelling, and sticking with one character does that. I find it jarring when the point of view shifts back and forth within a chapter, simply because the author thinks I need to know both sides of the story. I don’t. A good writer looks at single point of view and sees opportunities, not limitations. What can I hide in the negative space? As far as tense goes, past tense is the most “invisible” way to write. I know present tense is all the rage now, and I have no problem with it. I adapt pretty easily when I pick up a book that’s written in present tense. But I do notice it before I adapt. The writer’s hand becomes visible to me, and that’s something I’m personally trying to avoid. I also think first person is vastly overused, and in too many cases exposes a writer’s weaknesses. I may take that risk someday, but only after I’ve written several more books.

DSP: We can’t all be J.D. Salinger.

BB: Exactly. Unless you can write a first-person narrative with a voice as distinctive as Holden Caulfield, stick with third person.

DSP: Your stories seem to have a spiritual undercurrent to them. Is that intentional?

BB: I think so. I’m not trying to beat people over the head, but it’s there. It’s also there in The Eskimo Slugger, but by the fourth book, I’m just trying to have fun.

DSP: Tell us about that.

BB: It’s called Yes. I finished it last week, so now it’s in the hands of my beta reader. It’s about a man on his 40th birthday who wakes up twenty years younger. It’s like that Tom Hanks movie Big—only gay and in reverse.

DSP: Thanks for sitting down for this interview. It’s been fun to get to know you!

____________________________
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the seventh gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC, and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is 50 First Dates. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is Strapped. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like. Visit Brad on his website and on Twitter