Heidi and I are making two stops today, each with chances to win an ebook copy of An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) in your format of choice. Just be sure to leave a comment including some means of contacting you. You can leave your email, if you wish, or some other form of social media ID: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Goodreads.
In the first (VERY EXCITING) stop, we’re at That’s What I’m Talking About, with part one of Every Inch an Exhibitionist. This short, set at some indeterminate time after The Professor’s Rule series ends, weaves the past and the present together just as Heidi and I did throughout The Professor’s Rule, as James reveals more of his past with Carson to Satish. (Tune in also for me getting in a few cheap shots at the hyper-glamorized urban myth of kink culture versus the reality as I’ve experienced it.)
Satish Malhotra is in over his head. What appeared to be the hookup of his dreams turned out to be another man’s kinky sex game, and thus ended his relationship with sweet, submissive James Sheridan before it’d hardly begun.
Or so he thought. Being used in someone else’s domination/submission play should have been a deal breaker, yet James—bruises, boyfriend, and all—is too compelling to let walk away. But James has needs Satish isn’t sure he can fulfill, and it seems his mysterious Professor isn’t willing to share.
Can Satish keep James happy in bed and in life, or will James be forced to choose between his dominant and his burgeoning vanilla romance with Satish?
I know during our blog tour, Heidi and I said we’d be drawing the winner January 1, but Heidi has actually been travelling since the tour began, and while I kept track of all the entries, I’m not exactly sure how she wanted to handle the drawing (and, to be totally honest, with all the holiday stuff, I forgot to ask her.)
But we will handle that this weekend. I apologize for the delay.
I took the weekend off from updating the blog, so I missed announcing a few blog stops! But there is still time to play catch-up, as the drawing for the giveaway of copies of Giving an Inch and An Inch at a Time won’t be held until New Year’s Day. So be sure to check them out!
We’re also swinging by Up All Night, Read All Day to share a few facts about Carson you might not be aware of just yet! Be sure to stop by and comment to be entered in our drawing for copies of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) and An Inch at a Time (TPR #2). Each comment means another entry for the New Year’s Day drawing, so make sure to visit as many of our blog tour stops as you can!
Remember that every time you comment on one of our tour stops, you are registered for another chance to win a copy of either Giving an Inch (TPR#1) or An Inch at a Time (TPR#2) so if you’re not caught up on the series yet, this is a great chance to get there!
Today the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) Blog Tour is taking Heidi and me to Life Your Life Buy the Book to talk a little about Satish and what it’s like to pick up his story thread again after our step back into the past in An Inch at a Time (TPR #2). Keep following the blog tour for more info about Satish, including a couple sneak peeks at what you can expect from TPR #4.
Cecile at All I Want and More Books has also been kind enough to spotlight us today as well, so be sure to stop by there for another chance to enter the drawing for a copy of one of the first two The Professor’s Rule books!
So, apparently this is my week for rants. No, Mercury is not retrograde. Nor am I PMSing. I have no idea WTF is going on, but be warned.
I’m gonna come right out of the gate saying this: I don’t practice humiliation kink. I’m not a dominant at all, and I have a particular history and set of neuroses that would make anyone pulling humiliation kink with me as a sub pretty bad.
However, there’s this lovely little phrase that I’ve seen used in fandom circles–actually, it started in the BDSM community in the 90s–and I think it needs to be more widely adopted out here in the LGBT romance genre: YKIOK (Your Kink is OK–a shortened form of Your Kink is Not My Kink But Your Kink is OK–as opposed to its self-righteous evil twin, YKINOK, or Your Kink is Not OK.)
I think a lot of us in this genre have been forgetting that. I’ve seen a lot of kink-shaming and a lot of people savaging perfectly good books just for having kinks they don’t enjoy. And it pisses me right the hell off.
But, you ask, if you don’t practice humiliation kink, why do you write it?
Short answer: My characters are not me. They choose their own kinks. Sometimes those kink are things I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot bamboo cane.
Longer answer: My characters are not me. They have their own history, personalities, and neuroses that might make humiliation kink appealing, or even cathartic and healing. But what’s the appeal, you ask? It’s no different than masochism, really. It’s just masochism of a different sort. Instead of getting off on physical pain, one is getting off on shame or emotional pain.
Or, for those submissives who aren’t masochists (physical or emotional) it’s something else entirely.
It can be a removal from self. It can be a test of submission. This is how pain play works for me, in fact. I’m not a masochist. I don’t find pain to be pleasure. But if my dominant can do something to me that I find patently unpleasant, then I’ve truly surrendered, see? I’ve yielded myself, preferences, my will, to someone else and let them have complete control. If it pleases them to hurt me, then I’m pleased to be hurt, not because I enjoy being hurt but because it means I’m not calling the shots and my preferences are not driving the encounter (within negotiated boundaries, of course.)
It’s no different for humiliation kink (except that, for me, it falls outside the negotiated boundaries.) Instead of being removed from control of one’s physical self and preferences, one is removed from one’s ego. If a submissive has given the dominant the power to say or do or force the submissive to do anything the dominant commands, no matter how shameful or humiliating, there is surrender in that. And that surrender can be a beautiful thing.
My first experience writing humiliation kink came from the character upon whom I based Derrick from my Impulse books. It wasn’t in a story at that time, it was in a role-play. He and his partner were talking and trying to get an idea of his turn-ons, and the partner asked if proto-Derrick (who was named Garrick, in the role-play) would want to be nude or perform sexually in public. Garrick’s immediate reaction was “No” but even as Garrick was giving that response, I–being deep in Garrick’s head at the time–knew that if a partner made Garrick do it, he’d do it, even if it was something he would flinch away from or reject otherwise.
So, having made that discovery about Garrick, I had to ask myself why. Why would Garrick do that? And the answer was that his pride, his ego, his sense of self, was his final hold-out, the thing that would always keep him from surrendering entirely. And if he wanted surrender, then the dominant would need to break down that wall.
This is why you see Gavin, in the Impulse books, call Derrick names like “bitch” and “whore” and “slut.” Does he mean it? No, of course not. But it chips away at Derrick’s resistance, puts him in a position where he has to choose between surrendering his pride, or safewording. And once he surrenders his pride, that’s when he becomes truly open and vulnerable to Gavin and gives Gavin complete control, rather than just playing a part.
And in the complete paradox that only makes sense to those who truly understand BDSM, that total surrender becomes a source of even greater pride. On the other side, the sub emerges to say, “Look what I endured for my dom. That took a lot of strength.” It leaves the sub feeling even more confident and sure of themselves (assuming it’s done correctly.)
This is actually a bit of a recurring theme in my books, at least those dealing with kink. I have a lot of prideful characters, so finding various ways to slip past that pride to get to the vulnerability underneath becomes something the dominant must do.
There are lots of ways to accomplish this. Forced exposure and exhibitionism is only one way. Infantilism might be another. Or treating the sub as an animal (where do you think the collar and leash thing comes from?) Toilet play might be part of it, or even just taking away privacy where such bodily functions are concerned.
For example, I have a manuscript I’m working on (Risk Aware) where the dominant character, Robin, denies his submissive partner, Geoff, the right to close the bathroom (or any) door. On one level, it’s just a flat-out control thing. “You aren’t allowed to shut me out of wherever you are.” But on the other level, what he’s doing is depriving Geoff of the dignity of privacy, even when Geoff is using the toilet. Geoff is not allowed to hold back even his most embarrassing moments of biological functioning (arguments of whether basic biological functions should be considered embarrassing aside.) If he farts, Robin might hear it. If he makes a stink, Robin might smell it. If he pees, Robin might watch. Is it because Robin has some sort of toilet fetish and finds these things sexy? No. It’s just about denying Geoff the ability to hold back any part of himself from Robin (again, of course, always within negotiated boundaries, so keep that in mind if you’re going to try this at home, kids.)
We see some of this in The Professor’s Rule, as well. In the first book, Giving an Inch, we see James expose himself to Professor Carson in a way that he finds deeply embarrassing. But that is part of James’s submission, part of what he needs to do to get to the place of surrender he desires. He’s a masochist, so pain play isn’t going to break him down, at least not entirely. He has other hold-outs.
Leta Blake does something very similar in Training Season. The dynamics of Matty and Rob’s relationship and why this sort of play might be appealing and even beneficial for the two of them, I will leave you to discover for yourselves. But there is a moment in the book where, unless you get into the deeper intricacies of what submission and surrender mean in various circumstances, they could seem gross. I know a lot of people go off on “BDSM is not therapy” rants and that is, to a degree, very true. BUT. Just because it isn’t therapy doesn’t mean it can’t be cathartic or healing. Yes, a lot of people practice BDSM just because it’s fun and because it feels good for whatever reason. But we each of us come into it with our own unique set of life experiences and issues, and we each of us might find something within it that helps us in ways perhaps therapy can’t, because it fulfills a need or helps us face a fear, or for any of a multitude of reasons.
And here’s the thing: romance fiction isn’t real life. In romance fiction, people’s issues often infiltrate parts of their lives that in reality, might not be such a big deal. I mean, if I wrote a story about a character with A, B, and C neuroses, and I set it up so that those neuroses don’t come into play when he’s doing BDSM scenes just because he finds BDSM fun and pleasant, most readers would cry foul. Because we’re in his head. We want to know what affect this is all having on him emotionally and psychologically.
Sex isn’t just about tab A into slot B and BDSM play isn’t just about swinging a whip and “oh, ow, that hurts.” Those scenes would be exceptionally boring if we didn’t get into the characters’ heads and go deeper with it on the emotional level (as my esteemed editor Sarah Frantz likes to say, “but what is he feeeeeeeling?”) And going deeper with it includes figuring out how it plays off of and into the neuroses that are part of the character’s journey through the book.
So. Your Kink is not My Kink but Your Kink is OK. Does name calling or toilet play put you off? Yeah, me too. But I’m not my character, and neither are you, and you might find your reading experience enhanced if you look beyond “would I enjoy doing that?” into what the play in question is accomplishing for the character. Because the odds are that if an author has gone there, they’ve done so for a reason. Look for it.
In other news, Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) is already available for download at Riptide Publishing, and will be available at most other ebook retailers later tonight or tomorrow. And Heidi Belleau and I will be on a blog tour this week discussing James, Satish, and the Professor, and what we can expect from them going into the last two Professor’s Rule books. This will include a couple sneak peeks at Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) and a chance to win ebook copies of TPR books you might not have read yet, so be sure to check it out!
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) releases on Monday, December 16. But if you pre-order through Riptide Publishing, you can download it at midnight (Eastern) tomorrow, a full two days early!
Also, starting Monday, December 16 Heidi Belleau and I will be on tour, so be sure to check out our blog tour schedule to see where we’ll be. You’ll get some questions answered about your favorite characters, a couple looks ahead and what you can expect from the future of The Professor’s Rule, and you’ll have multiple chances to win copies of the earlier TPR books in case you’re not caught up yet!
Last month, The Jeep Diva hosted an audience participation feature for Heidi Belleau and myself. We took recommendation for the sorts of activities people wanted to see James and the Professor engage in, selected some finalists, and then took a vote. Sensory deprivation won, and now The Jeep Diva is hosting a look at the scene in question, which will appear in Inch by Inch, TPR#3. Check it out, and thanks to The Jeep Diva for featuring us!
First off, two announcements regarding Inch By Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3)
1) WE HAVE A COVER! And a blurb! Look at this gorgeous representation of Satish Malhotra! Yes, Satish is back. TPR3 brings us back into the present day after TPR2 gave us a look at James and the Professor’s history, and now we are dealing with the fallout of James and Carson reuniting and James continuing to pursue a possible relationship with Satish.
After two long, kink-free years apart, James Sheridan has reunited with his Professor: the sexy, dominant Evander Carson. But this time, things will be different. James is older, more sure of himself, and confident that he can draw the line between Carson’s demands and his own principles.
One of those lines is gorgeous menswear salesman Satish Malhotra. After their steamy dressing room encounter, James feels an unexpected connection to Satish, and he wants to explore it further. But Carson’s involvement—in James’s life, and in James and Satish’s budding relationship—complicates things.
Carson’s penchant for using other men in their sex games has always troubled James, and he’s adamant that Satish not be just another notch in their whipping post. But when Satish learns what prompted James to pursue him in the first place, will James’s new ability to draw the line even matter?
Secondly, As of tonight, Heidi Belleau and I finished TPR #5 (we finished #4 a few days ago.) They are (tentatively) titled Every Inch of the Way and To The Very Last Inch, respectively. Unless something drastically changes, that is going to bring us to the end of James, Carson, and Satish’s story. I am really, REALLY pleased with #4 and #5. I can’t wait to get to share them with people. They ended up being a lot more substantial and moving than either Heidi and I had ever intended when we first planned what was meant to be a series of simple erotic shorts. I shouldn’t be surprised. I have a long and notable habit of conceiving a story that is meant to be a straightforward, unapologetic smut biscuit and adding all sorts of layers of emotion and character exploration and complicated themes to it. As my friend Darkrose from Dragon Age fandom once said when I complained about it, “Sooner or later you just have to say, fuck it, it’s my idiom.”
Unless something has changed since we discussed it a couple weeks ago, #4 and #5 will be released at the same time, on February 10, 2014. Which means that I have three books being released in the space of a week, and I will have a total of four books already released by the end of May. Seriously, you do not even want to know what my editing schedule is going to look like for the next month or so. I have copy edits and probably proofing on Strain, developmental and line (and maybe copy?) edits on Saugatuck Summer, and then the ~25K that is TPR4-5. And that doesn’t even include blog tour posts and whatnot.
*curls up into a ball and weeps*
So, yeah, exciting stuff happening here! Stay tuned!
Okay, so I’ve been pretty much in my cave since getting back from GayRomLit. Not like I’m a terribly social person to begin with, and after five days of more social exposure than I normally get in any given year, I’ve been having some “me” time. Plus editing and writing. No kidding, this is my status message on GoogleTalk right now:
Editing and/or writing. Unless your name is God or Phil Coulson, you cannot possibly have anything to say worth disturbing me for.
So yeah, there’s that, too. Strain edits are progressing apace and it’s really exciting to think that there’s only three and a half months left until it releases. Even better, review copies and an excerpt should be going out within the next month, I imagine, so I can finally start to feel like this book, which has comprised a significant chunk of my creative energy since September last year, is finally getting into people’s hands and I can start getting the pay-off (by which I mean feedback and just knowing people are reading it, which is way more important than money for my creative soul.)
Edits are also in their final stages for Inch by Inch: The Professor’s Rule #3, and I believe we’ll have cover art and more information on that very soon. Heidi and I have begun on TPR #4 and if all goes according to plan, the series will wrap up with TPR #5.
I would love to say I have pictures to share of GRL, but honestly, I’m not a camera person. Like, if something is happening around me, my first thought is never “oh, grab the camera, take a picture!” so I actually don’t have that many pictures. We’ll have to settle for words.
My journey began on Tuesday, when I flew out of PDX with Devon Rhodes. Anne Tenino was on our same flight, but on Wednesday, so we didn’t get to travel with her. Devon booked a car from the airport rather than taking a taxi or MARTA, for which I ended up being extremely grateful because I decided to be very frugal with my packing space and managed to get everything I needed to take (minus the books and business cards that shipped from the printer right to the hotel) in a carry-on size suitcase and my backpack/laptop case, which meant that what I did have was VERY HEAVY. Especially that damn backpack. If I’d had to haul that thing on my back and take MARTA I probably would have cried.
Traveling in the car with us as well was Rick R. Reed, who had been waiting in the airport after his flight from Seattle. GRL peeps were already starting to congregate in the lobby bar of the Melia when we got there, including the lovely P.D. Singer, whom I’ve been blessed to see three frickin’ times this year. I also got to meet Eden Winters and EM Lynley, as well as a handful of others. The most interesting conversation I had that night, hands-down, has to go to Anel Viz, who sat with me and gave me some really lovely feeback, both flattering and constructive, on my Impulse books, which it turned out he’d read. He’s a fascinating guy and meeting him was an absolute pleasure.
Wednesday was the Writer’s Workshop, which was great except that the air conditioning in the hotel was set to “meat locker.” Well, not according to everyone else, but I was freezing. I kept ducking into the “powder room” area of the women’s restroom because it had all these big, warm vanity lights that kept it considerably warmer than the other rooms. The reason I mention this is because when I get cold, I go into hibernation mode and all I want to do is sleep. I swear I’m part reptile or something. Coupled with an already critical sleep deficit, I decided to pass on the third session of the day and catch a nap, but before I did that, I attended the luncheon where KA Mitchell was the guest speaker, and *sigh* I would sell my soul to be able to be that interesting and glib when speaking publicly.
The fourth session, I was a panelist on the BDSM panel, moderated by Sarah Frantz. There I got to finally meet LA Witt and Rachel Haimowitz, and KA Mitchell was on that panel as well. Being the final session of the day, only six people attended, but that was fine because it was intimate and we had a lot of fun and there are six people–including my esteemed co-author Heidi Belleau–who probably now know far more personal details about me than they ever wanted, since I was on the panel as a person who actually is into BDSM in real life.
Wednesday night, Riptide hosted a dinner for all the authors and employees who managed to attend, so there were a lot more people I got to meet, including Cat Grant, LC Chase, Aleks Voinov, Abi Roux, Marie Sexton, Alex Whitehall and Ally Blue, and Riptide’s new marketing guru, Keturah Jenkins. I ended up sitting across from Ally at the table and she was just a wonderful person to talk to over dinner.
Lots of people went out Wednesday night, but by the time I got back to the hotel I discovered my feet were swelling rather alarmingly. Like, I never was that swollen even when I was pregnant. So I decided to take it easy and stuck to my room.
Thursday morning launched GRL proper, and the first function–aside from the newbie informational session hosted by Jay of JoyfullyJay, was the Supporting Author’s Signing event. I had ordered a number of print copies of the Impulse books that I could offer for sale, and I also had coupon codes for ebook downloads. Riptide was giving away copies of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) as swag, complete with excerpts from An Inch at a Time, Apple Polisher and Strain in the back. There I got to meet Allison Hickman, who has been just lovely and supportive and kind here and on other social media. It’s always an ego boost to get to sign autographs, especially being someone so new to the genre whom a lot of people haven’t even heard of, but even more gratifying was the number of people who remarked on Kerry Chin’s artwork on the Impulse covers. I’m so proud of those, I really can’t get enough of hearing how beautiful they are. You’d think I was the frickin’ artist. Everyone kept remarking how sweltering the signing room was, and I was all, “No no! This is the first time I’ve been comfortable since I got here!” Me and my inner thermostat, I tell ya.
At the signing I got to sit next to Anna Martin, the author of Tattoos & Teacups, and listen to her absolutely adorable accent for two hours. That was a lot of fun.
By the time lunch rolled around, the swelling in my feet had escalated from alarming to “Um, do I need to see a doctor for this?” P.D. Singer, a pharmacist by profession, took a look at them and asked me very earnestly if I had a history of congestive heart failure. I’m not even kidding. Seriously, the things looked like balloons and all the tissue from my shins to just about where my toes began had the consistency of molding clay. So I ended up missing Anne Tenino’s reading and the rest of the Thursday afternoon events in favor of putting my feet up on a huge stack of pillows while P.D. Singer graciously brought me lunch so I wouldn’t have to order room service. By evening the swelling had gone down enough that I ventured out to the Juke Joint party, but I was still trying to stay off my feet as much as possible, and where I was staying off my feet was not where anyone I knew–or anyone to strike up a conversation with at all, really–was lingering, so I only stayed about an hour. Then I went back to my room to put my feet up again and fight with the hotel wifi some more.
God, the hotel wifi. I could write a whole post about that alone. It was horrible. Around Friday evening or so, I made a tweet entreating the hotel internet to get fucked with a rusty pitchfork, and I think just about everyone following the #GRL2013 tag favorited or retweeted it, so I was definitely not alone in my struggles. I would pass through an area where my phone managed to connect long enough for me to get a text from my husband and by the time I could stop and reply, I wouldn’t be able to connect anymore (no, I don’t have a data plan on my new iPhone; I almost never use it anywhere where there isn’t wifi, so there’s no sense paying for one.)
Luckily, keeping my feet elevated for the best part of a whole day did the trick and the swelling had gone down by Friday morning. I spent the morning in a bit of a panic because one of the Fun Faire events was a welcome for the supporting authors hosted by Marie Sexton and Lori Witt, for which I’d been invited to do a reading. I’ve only ever done one other reading, and that was in September up in Seattle, and I kind of bumbled it a bit. I REALLY didn’t want to make a fool of myself, so I spent the morning practicing. P.D. Singer promised me I was among friends who would understand if I stumbled or stammered, as did Lori and Marie, but still. However, the reading went very well, I think. I wish I had a video of it, but to the best of my knowledge, no one was taking video of that particular event (if someone was, PLEASE hook me up!) If I had a video, it would be your first look at Chapter Three of Strain, which is where things begin to get really interesting. As it is, you’ll have to wait for the excerpt from Riptide. Sorry. So I was really happy with that event, even if I didn’t win the bag of Tucker Springs print editions. The next event was hosted by Riptide, a competition where you had to guess a book’s title based on an excerpt of a sex scene where the significant give-away details had been altered to make it unrecognizable. I managed to score a paperback of Abi Roux’s Shock & Awe, which was very enjoyable and worth its weight in gold for bragging rights to my BFF, who is a C&R addict.
Friday night was the Dine With An Author dinner, and I ended up sitting with some absolutely lovely people there, including Anna Zabo. The woman sitting to my left–whose name I can’t remember now, I’m so sorry!–actually lives in the area of Michigan where I used to live, so when she asked me about my upcoming releases and I mentioned Saugatuck Summer, she was like, “You mean, as in Saugatuck, Michigan?” and that was really awesome because she knew exactly what I was talking about and why Saugatuck is such a perfect setting for a series of m/m coming-of-age and romance stories.
After dinner, there was the Dreamspinner cocktail party, where we got to see everyone dressed to the nines. I was looking for a place to sit down with my drink and dessert and a party of three other women asked if they could sit at the empty table I’d chosen because all the others were full, and what followed was the sort of socializing I almost never do, which is comfortable, engaging conversation with virtual strangers. Usually I hide in my shell like a turtle until I know someone well enough to venture out, but that evening it was effortless and I really loved sitting and talking with them. After they had moved on, Melanie Marshall, who reviewed the Impulse books over at JoyfullyJay as well as her own blog, made room for me at her table and I got to talk to them for a while until it was time to call it a night so I could go back to my room and call my son and husband before they went to bed.
I’d say of the entire retreat, that party was the most remarkable for me, precisely because of that socialization thing. I spent an ENTIRE EVENING socializing with people I didn’t know. That never happens to me. I am absolutely incapable of bringing myself to break the ice with strangers, but from dinner onward, I didn’t hang out with a single person with whom I had any sort of acquaintance, aside from an email or two I had exchanged with Melanie thanking her for her lovely reviews.
Saturday morning, I attended P.D. Singer’s reading and then hung out in the bookseller’s room with the Riptide peeps for a while. I went out to a late breakfast with P.D., Eden Winters and a couple others, and then I had an appointment with Nicole Forcine, who aside from being an author herself is a member of the Happily Ever After video book club on YouTube. I hadn’t heard of this club before, but I’m definitely a fan now. Being the only member of the four of them who would be attending GRL, Nicole got tapped to do some author interviews and vlogging, and I arranged to do an interview with her. It just so happened that Anne Tenino was also available at the same time, so the Ladies From Portland (minus the lovely Devon Rhodes) did a joint interview. You can find that here:
The interview was a lot of fun, and I’d never met Nicole before but OMG is she a hoot. I just adore her now. It also turned out that her book club had covered Giving an Inch just a few weeks before. You can find that video here:
The night was Totally Bound’s Heaven & Hell masquerade party, for which I got to dust off a very old outfit and add a mask. I don’t have any really good pictures of myself from the party that night, so here’s one from when I bought the gown about thirteen years ago:
I don’t look as good in the gown these days, because I no longer fit into the corset I was wearing under it in this picture, and Spanx just don’t achieve that same effect (namely, pushing your boobs up so high you could wear them as earrings.)
I also had some absolutely amazing old-fashioned shoes laced up with ribbons, which I ended up taking off because Sarah Frantz–God only knows how; I suspect mind-control powers–managed to get me out onto the dance floor. So I spent a good chunk of the party dancing with Sarah, Heidi Belleau, Keturah Jenkins, Alex Whitehall, and Nicole Forcine, who is just a party animal.
I was going to go to the after-hours hangout in the pub, but then I decided it would be better for me to try to pack that night instead of rushing to do it Saturday morning. So I was pretty much almost completely packed by Saturday morning, which meant I got to linger over the farewell brunch with people I didn’t get to spend a lot of time talking to during the conference. And then I got to hang out with them some more in the hotel lobby while I had lunch and waited until it was time for the car service to take Devon, Anne and I back to the airport.
So. I met a lot of people, connected with several others I already knew, and even managed to socialize with some of them after I hit my stride. All in all it was a really great time, even if it was somewhat overwhelming at times. I probably would have gotten more out of the early days if my body hadn’t decided to get weird and turn my feet into inflatable rafts. I think next year in Chicago, if I can manage it, I will try to go as a featured author, and hopefully I will feel less like a clueless newbie and hit my stride a lot sooner.
I started 2013 with the intention of publishing one novel-length story every three months (this was when I thought Strain would be published in the summer.) It hasn’t quite worked that way, because Strain has taken longer than I first was led to believe, and I also have had several novelette/novella length books released. I’ll have five releases by the end of the year, but only one will have been a novel.
March: Velocity (novel) April: Giving an Inch (novelette) May: The Laird’s Forbidden Lover (novella) September: An Inch at a Time (novelette) December (I think): Inch by Inch (novelette)
Conventional wisdom from authors attending the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up covered the subject of how often an author should publish in order to stay on the readers’ radar. The answer surprised me: there’s a push to publish quarterly to stay on top.
I am a prolific writer myself, but the thought of putting out something every quarter seemed pretty exhausting. After all, the process involves brainstorming, turning out a first draft, going back for the first edit, submitting, doing another, potentially more extensive edit for pre-publication that might involve re-writes, and galley approval. All of that for one manuscript–then the prospect of juggling four (or more!) manuscripts a year can be overwhelming.
That led me to take a look at my own experiences over the past year and a half. I started out submitting three manuscripts right out the gate. By the end of the year I’d submitted two more…
So, back when Heidi Belleau first approached me about co-writing The Professor’s Rule with her, she had a very unique idea: she wanted to get prompts from the readers for subsequent stories, something like a kink meme. We weren’t able to get the necessary logistics worked out in time for An Inch at a Time, but the third TPR story, Inch by Inch, is going to have one scene written for the readers, the kink content of which will be decided by the readers.
Over at The Jeep Diva’s website, you can add a comment–anonymously or not–requesting which kink you might want to see featured in the next TPR story. Inch by Inch will take us back into James and the Professor’s “present” day, after James’s shopping trip and his meeting Satish and reconnecting with Carson. For those who don’t comment anonymously, they will be entered in a giveaway for a $10 Riptide gift certificate. So head over to The Jeep Diva and let us know where you’d like to see James and the Professor go!