Also, if you have been wanting to get the paperbacks of any of my previous releases, the paperbacks for Strain, Saugatuck Summer, and Player vs. Player are all discounted this week at Riptide!
Tag Archives: upcoming releases
BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, is available @NetGalley #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks
So, back in mid-December I was supposed to participate in the Next Big Thing blog hop. I’d been tagged by Anne Tenino and I had tagged Leta Blake. I failed miserably at it because the week that I was due to make my post, I had about five huge things going on all while I was coming down with a severe case of bronchitis. But I’ve actually reached a point where I feel like I should be making this post.
One of those huge things was that I was due to turn in Velocity to my editor on the day that I was supposed to make my post. That has come full-circle now, as today Velocity went live on all but a couple sites. The “official” release date isn’t until Saturday, March 2, but I uploaded early to account for processing time and it appears the process queues were actually moving very quickly, so it’s live early everywhere except on the sites where I was able to schedule the time it went live for sale in advance (which would be Itunes and Kobo at this point.)
Releasing Velocity is a bit of a bittersweet milestone for me. Derrick and Gavin are, for many, many reasons, very close to my heart and releasing this final chapter of their story into the world, knowing that their journey is done and that I’m not likely to be revisiting them much (if at all) is very sad. But I have had four months since I finished writing Velocity to prepare myself for it and I think I’ve come to some peace with it all.
So. The question is, what next? Well. My goal for this year was to publish at least four works, and I am well on track for that. Velocity is one down, and I already have three other works complete: one short story and two novels, both of which are nearly or more than twice the length of any of the Impulse books.
It’s looking like the short might be the first to see the light of day. Some of you who follow me on Twitter might remember back in August that I jumped feet first on the concept of a m/m Highland story. I wrote it in a little over a week (it was only about 8,000 words when I was finished) and then I let it sit on the shelf for several months as another project and Velocity took precedence. I came back to my Highland tale at the end of December, enriched and expanded it, and I am hoping to have an announcement regarding it in the coming weeks.
The title is Honor and Innocence, though I’m not entirely pleased with that and if a bolt of divine inspiration strikes with something that feels better to me, I may end up re-titling it. The title is definitely being redone. Stay tuned.
It’s an interesting tale because when we generally think of Highland historicals, we think of macho, hardened, mature warriors. Instead, my brain went somewhere else. It went to an exploration of young love between two boys who in their day and age have no gay role models and in a world where being an out gay man simply was never going to be a consideration. If you follow me on Twitter you might have even seen me calling it my Highland Twinks story. I wanted to know what they would do, would their love endure or would duty and honor present too big a conflict? I also wanted to explore the rarely-acknowledged fact that frequently in history, homosexuality was often met by people simply turning a blind eye and pretending not to notice, rather than with outright condemnation.
What will probably be coming down the pike after the Highland story is a near-future post-apocalyptic story titled Strain. I’ve discussed this one before, for a while referring to it as my Sooper Sekrit Projekt and finally letting people in on the title and little bits of information about it. Strain is the first story I wrote with the intention of submitting to a press. The first draft was ~65K and I wrote it in three weeks back in September for an open submissions call that closed on November 1. I submitted it in mid-October and just after mid-December I received a request to make some revisions and resubmit it, which I did in early-to-mid January, expanding it to ~103K and generally strengthening it on a number of levels. I am now waiting to find out if it has been accepted. In the near future (perhaps within the next month or so) I will either be making an announcement regarding it, or shopping for a new press to submit it to, or deciding whether to self-publish it. Since it’s been almost five months since I made the original submission, I’m very excited at the prospect of getting this story moving toward publication, however that ends up happening.
Strain is a very different piece for me, in both tone and content. It has a lot of hard edges as it depicts a brutal and desperate world where the characters’ choices are frequently ugly, and where sometimes the best way to save someone you care about is to do the unthinkable. It’s not going to appeal to the faint of heart, that’s for certain. Those looking for sweetness and tenderness will be better served sticking to the Highland piece.
The final story I have written is an amazing piece that absolutely ate my brain this past month. I really…there are no words to describe this story. I could be completely delusional. It may be that this story will not impact the readers nearly as strongly as it did me, though one of my beta readers did tell me that if other people respond to it the way she did, it could very well be my breakout piece, the work that puts me on the map as an author. From my own perspective, it is, bar none, the most powerful thing I’ve ever written. It came out to be 93K. I wrote it in two weeks, revised, edited and proofed it in another week, and submitted it to a press because it’s simply too important a work to be lost in the obscurity that attends a self-published author without a very large following yet.
The working title is Saugatuck Summer (and, like the Highland story, I’m still not entirely pleased with that and may end up re-titling it.) It is meant to be the first book in a series set in a town called Saugatuck on the shores of Lake Michigan. Saugatuck, and it’s neighbor, Douglas, are real place, a very popular vacation and tourism destination for LGBT folk around the midwest, much like Provincetown and Fire Island are on the east coast. Douglas hosts a gay resort called The Dunes that is quite famous and there’s even a gay RV park and campground. Having grown up in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, I’ve taken road trips to Saugatuck/Douglas and admired the beachfront homes and the picturesque town more than once. This series hopefully be very much like the Tucker Springs series by L.A. Witt, Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton in that it will be centered on the sometimes-intersecting lives of characters living in the same town. After all, why base a story in a town with a significant LGBT presence unless you can include lots of LGBT characters to explore?
But back to the story. It’s less of a romance (though there is a romance that develops and there is some, for my money, rather scorching erotic content) as it is a coming-of-age story. If I could manage to not write erotic content, it would probably actually be a perfect New Adult story but let’s get real, that’s never going to happen.
The main character, Topher, is a 21-year-old young man trying to outgrow a history of neglect and abuse and figure out who he is as he tries to rise above the temptation to let all the weight of his past drag him down. Topher is a very personal character to me because everything about his history is biographical of a person I know very intimately. Only the “present day” events of Topher’s life and a few other details are fictionalized, as if he and the person he is based off of diverged just before the time the story takes place. So you can see why it would be so close to my heart.
This is, again, a story that is going to have some themes that will be objectionable to some readers, because these characters make some horrible mistakes and bad choices as part of their journey and that’s going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. They do the stupid thing, the wrong thing and they face the consequences of their ill-advised choices. They are, in short, very fallible and thus very human. That’s probably not going to resonate with people who prefer the characters they read about to always do the right/smart/good thing.
But for my money it’s the most intense and hard-hitting thing I’ve ever written and I really look forward to putting it out in front of the world.
I am presently at work on the second Saugatuck story, which deals with a couple you meet in the first book, and that one is definitely going to be more of an erotic romance and probably won’t carry the same emotional impact as the first one. But that’s okay, too. Sometimes your characters just want a sexy romp!
So, that’s what is coming in the next year, and hopefully a lot more. I am hoping to write a million words this year. I’m already over 180K so I’m well on my way. With that much going on, I hope lots of exciting things will develop in the coming months!
So. Remember those new covers for Inertia I rolled out a couple weeks ago?
LOL, well, it turns out those aren’t going to be the final versions. While the high-contrast filters looked wonderfully bright and eye-catching on the computer screen, it just wasn’t going to work in print, especially on the Acceleration cover. So my wonderful cover artist Kerry put her head together with Michael from BookNibbles to come up with something that combined Michael’s eye-catching layout with Kerry’s brilliant art. The results are below.
Sorry things have been a mess while my lovely artists have worked this out, but I think it’s for the best. I’m waiting on the latest version of the print proof for Inertia, but assuming the proof goes well, I hope to have that available within another week or so. I had intended to have it available by now, but we faced two setbacks. One was that the cover simply didn’t work in print, and the other was that in the process of trying to remake the cover, a hurricane struck the east coast, which affected our ability to work with Michael to get things finalized. Of course, redoing the cover for the print version meant redoing the cover for the ebook version as well, so now I’m on my third release of this title with different cover art. the listing over at GoodReads is a mess, BUT I think it’s worth it to have the best possible cover.
Speaking of Hurricane Sandy, don’t forget that from now until Nov 7, I am donating a dollar for each copy of Inertia sold. If you’ve been thinking of checking it out, now is a great time to do so!
Another area the hurricane has affected has been the editing process of Acceleration. For a while it had looked like my editor might be able to get the edits back to me earlier than our contract had specified, but Sandy has set that back as well, and so now instead of the late November release I was considering, it might be pushed back into early December.
A lot of this can be chalked up to the fact that I’m such a neophyte at this self-publishing gig. I’m still learning the best and most efficient way to go about things. If I had to do it all again, I would have held off on the release of Inertia until Acceleration was closer to being ready for release, and I would have made any sort of public statement of intent for the release of Acceleration based upon mere estimates and guess work. I think things will be much more streamlined moving into Velocity as now I have a better idea of what all is involved of balancing a release with marketing. That wasn’t an issue I faced with Inertia.
One thing I will be working on more in the near future is adding more feature content to this blog. So far it’s been pretty exclusively dealing with details of my upcoming releases, etc. I actually feel quite self-conscious pimping myself so much, but so much of what I do now is focused on preparing for the print release of Book One and the release of Book Two that there isn’t much else for me to say. But as I build my back catalog and branch out into other realms, that’s going to change and hopefully the blog won’t be so much “oh, hey, look at my book! (that you’ve seen a hundred times before.)
Before I close this out, allow me to encourage all my readers in the U.S. to get out next Tuesday and vote. There is a lot riding on this election; don’t let your vote go to waste.
And while we’re speaking of voting, the M/M Romance group over at GoodReads has opened up nominations for their Readers’ Choice Awards. I’m not egotistical enough to nominate, or ask for nominations, for my own books, but I would really love to see Kerry and Michael’s hard work acknowledged by seeing one of these covers nominated for the Best Cover category.