Latest News from Jordan Castillo Price

JCP

In the Dark

It’s newsletter time! This month, I’m heading to Seattle for the Gay Romance Northwest Meetup. Find out where I’ll be and what’s on the agenda!

Characters: must everyone really be perpetually 30? Judging by the feedback so far, my readers sure don’t think so.

Will you be in San Diego for GRL? Pre-order your paperbacks now!

All this and more at this month’s JCP News.

Jordan Castillo Price – always an entertaining newsletter

Have you signed up for Jordan Castillo Price’s newsletter???? There are always snippets of fiction, fascinating chats, news of new releases, and chances to WIN freebies.

Here’s some highlights from the latest newsletter (and please excuse the wacky formatting because I copy and pasted LOL):

Daytripping

AKA many hours on a bus

Yesterday I hopped down to Chicago to meet up with fellow author Chris Owen who was taking in the sights. Some readers have been reading m/m for years, while others are new to the party. I try to explain the length of my genre tenure by pointing out that my first m/m short (a forgettable story called West Side) came out in 2004. On CD. When you could count the number of m/m authors on your fingers and toes. This was before the Kindle device even existed. FIVE YEARS before the Kindle device even existed.

So Chris Owen? Her full-length novel Bareback, a beloved m/m classic, came out a year before that!

I bussed my way down from Madison to Union Station, where a stranger promptly asked me for money, so I knew I’d arrived. I met up with Chris and we started our adventures in Greektown. The store that Crash’s shop is loosely based on is still there. Weirdly enough, it still looks and smells exactly like I remember it, too. While we were there, a Chicago cop came in and asked the clerk about a statuette of St. Joseph to help him sell his house. All the while the police radio on his belt was muttering away.

Chris found a bar of High John the Conqueror soap, the very stuff that gave Vic a rash in Secrets. She couldn’t resist buying one. I decided the mere smell of it was turning my stomach, but I did treat myself to some Florida Water soap, which had a fragrance that was somewhat more intriguing than nauseating.

We then took an architecture tour on the river. As we floated along baking in the sun, drinking literally the best Corona I have ever tasted, I noticed several spots where I thought, “I don’t really remember that,” and I lived in Chicago for thirteen years. Then the guide would announce when the building was completed—after I left—and I’d think, “Well, that’s why.” There seemed to be a lot more to do along the river, and a lot more places that were friendlier to walk around or hang out in general, than I remembered.

Chris and I got along famously. We had so much to talk about and the day felt too short. Before I knew it I was searching on my iPhone for the correct bus to get me back to Union Station. (This is insanely new too. As was the fare payment system. When I lived in Chicago, smartphones didn’t exist, it was all paper schedules, and the buses and El still accepted tokens.)

In a way, hanging out with Chris in the Loop was like unearthing a time capsule. We were both a little stunned about how much things have changed: ourselves, the genre, the saturation of new authors, the advent of self-publishing. Connecting with her helped me to realize how much ground I’ve actually covered on my writing journey.

Coming Soon

Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy releasing August 25

Preorder ebook atAmazon, iTunes, BN,Kobo

Also coming soon in paperback.

à venir

Corps et âme : un roman court PsyCop (PsyCop 3, French Edition) releasing August 19

Preorder today at
Amazon.fr – Amazon.comiTunesBN.comKobo

Writing isn’t the only thing subject to trends. I see changes in stock photography too. About fifteen years ago, the fad in stock photography was to shoot models from an angle that made their head look disproportionately huge. After that came the gritty, high contrast HDR look. Nowadays, the hot look is a washed out low contrast with prominent sun flares. (Basically, like an Instragram filter that’s meant to allow digital to mimic film photography.) I was pretty tickled to catch some cool sun flares with my little point and shoot yesterday!

Change

I think of myself as an observant person—I’d bet most people probably see themselves that way. At least until we notice something that changed a while ago and think, “Ugh, since when?”

I was looking at some coins this morning and thought, “What the hell kind of play money is that?” Apparently the penny has a new back with a big shield on it. And apparently it’s had this for the past FIVE YEARS.

While I do pay for everything with a debit card, still, you’d think I would’ve noticed.

Oh, and apparently they’re not even called pennies.

Free-ish

In an attempt to do a kind of Netflix model for ebooks, the site Scribd was offering an ebook subscription. Recently they changed their business model and discontinued carrying certain beloved genres and certain popular authors who were costing them too much money. I was one of the discontinued authors, unfortunately. Just call me Ms. Popularity 🙂

I’m still intrigued by the idea of making my work available for subscription. Right now I’ve enrolled the Petit Mortsseries and one of my favorite standalone novels The Starving Years in Kindle Unlimited so they can be read for free. I also signed up for a free 30-day trial to see how it all works from a reader’s perspective…I will probably end up keeping it for a while to really see how I like it!

Now you can follow my Amazon Author Page! I’m not sure what that’ll result in, but hey, why not?

Follow me here!

Interview with author A. B. Gayle

GifStarI recently featured A. B. Gayle’s new book on my blog, and she followed it up with answers to my interview questions. The details of the new release follow.

Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun by A.B. Gayle

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Clare: Tyler’s adventures in these episodes are all centred around his thoughts, experiences and desires. And what a rollicking time he has! LOL As a reader, I ask myself, is he a “real” character – a vehicle for the author – a moralist and adventurer for our times – or maybe a cipher? Can you give us a brief overview of Tyler, as *you* see him?

AB: Hi Clare. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. That’s a good question. Tyler is probably a part of myself. The innocent part, the bit that says and thinks dumb things. As such, he became a vehicle for me to explore a number of situations. I wanted to create a character who is naive and good hearted, but is a lot wiser than they appear. Maybe he’s the Forrest Gump of the MM world!

Clare: Tyler is all about the first person POV! *smile* What do you enjoy about writing in this style? And what are the frustrations? Do you have any ongoing preference in your books?

AB: ***Chuckles*** We’ve discussed this before, and I delved into the topic once before on the Dreamspinner Blog here. In short, I find it easier to immerse myself in the character in first person. As Tyler says, “I feel stupid saying Tyler did this and Tyler did that. You know who I am. The name is on the cover, and this way I don’t get my he’s mixed up. Unless it’s a ménage, of course, and then it’s always a bit tricky as to who’s got what where. But, rest assured, I don’t plan on having any of them. Not until I’m a bit older. Or a better writer. Whichever comes first.”

In this book, particularly, it suited the situation because Tyler is so much in his head he’s oblivious to what is happening around him. As his friend Dilbert notes later, he has very few lines of his own dialogue because so little of what he thinks about actually comes out. But in life, none of us know what is going in each other’s heads. We can only guess or try to interpret from body language.

There are dangers in this however, as some readers can’t identify or empathise with people they don’t agree with. None of us like to be thought of as stupid. So to have a character like Tyler can be off-putting. I hope they will persist with the story and see that he’s like this because he’s nervous. He’s been told all his life that he’s not as good as anyone else and he believes it.

The big difference in my book is that he gradually changes as he starts to gain confidence and survive his adventures. So, in that respect, he is unlike Forrest Gump.

Clare: As an author/reader, I can’t miss the asides in the books about MM romance tropes, as well as more general editing references, and comments on reviews etc. How did you feel about including these? Did you find it empowering, cathartic or just plain fun?

AB: I like to think of it as a tribute to them! I did a stint of preofessional editing for a while and beta for a couple of people (who return the favour). I have huge respect for good editors, but I don’t think a lot of readers truly appreciate how influential they can be to a book. Around that time, I read a stack of books written by a best selling author. The quality and style of the books varied a lot. It was more than just plot and character difference, I suspect it reflected who had edited it. At one stage, she switched to self publishing and lots of avoidable errors slipped in. Homophones etc.  She very much belongs to the category, “If you don’t see the problem, how do you know your editor has done it correctly?” Lots of readers don’t care about things like this. I do, so they leap out of the page at me.

I even contacted another author who often has the “bugle/bulge” mistake and offered to proof read his books to catch that type of thing, but he regretfully declined as his partner of many years is his editor and would be offended if anyone else helped.

I think what I was trying to point out that we are very much at the mercy of our editors. They are the hidden foundation stones of our stories. They can make or break our reputations. There are some great ones out there but they are not all perfect.

I’ve even heard cases where authors give the rough story to their editor and rely on them to make it right.

Words matter to me.

But I’ve strayed off topic and ignored the fact that you asked me whether the asides empowered me. Were they cathartic or just plain fun? All three. I’m too sensitive to reviews , ratings and sales. I doubt this book will be a best seller (sorry Lily). It’s probably more of a book for authors who will chuckle, identify wth some of the asides but not want to admit to that publicly. Perhaps there is something about Aussie humour that allows us to laugh at ourselves.

Clare: In more general matters – what would be the title of your life story, if it were written?

AB: Been there, done that.

Although that phrase has a condescending edge to it. Going there and doing that? Want to go there and do that? When I look back at my life to date it has been filled with lots of different experiences and I hope I have many more before I die.

Clare: As an author, what do you think is the best part of the creative process?

AB: Coming up with an idea that you feel is different to what has already been written. Which is also the biggest source of writer’s block. But when it happens, you have to grab it.

Clare: Long or short? Stories, that is LOL. Tyler’s are shorties, but I’ve read your novels, so know you write both. What advantages do you find in either?

AB: Humor – short, definitely. But I find short stories difficult to write which is why I don’t participate in calls for submissions for anthologies. All the shorts I’ve written have not been well received. Or if they have been, people complain that they are too short. I have great respect for authors who can pull off good short stories. They are not easy to write.

Clare: How do you rate the importance of secondary characters? Are they of major interest in your books, or in a supporting role?

AB: Have you got an hour?

I did a great workshop once with Tere Michaels who demonstrated how secondary characters could be used and were needed to drive a plot forward. It’s not easy, but once you get the hang of it, they can really make a book feel more real. However, sometimes they take over the book and their personality dwarfs that of one or both of the main characters. That can be a distraction.

It’s a personal thing. I was taught that a romance in particular consists of a string of scenes between your two major characters wth other stuff providing the filler. The main growth of your characters (the emotional arc) should be through their interaction with each other and from the impact of the circumstances they find themselves in.

In my writing therefore I avoid the trope where a lot of this change stems from the interfering family member or best friend. When the communication lines and dialogue flow better in the scenes wtth a secondary character, I wonder whether the “couple” truly are the best fit.

That doesn’t mean I avoid having secondary characters or that they can’t have an active role with the character or the plot. In fact, the longer the story, the more you need them to add spice and colour. Keeping the spotlight and focus on the main pairing is the tricky bit.

Clare: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received, as a person or an author?

AB: Not sure it’s the best, but the one I get most at work and in writing is thanks for my help.

Clare: You can be anywhere on earth – where would it be, and why? And/or what would you do there?

AB: ***Grumbles*** I hate these questions! I travel a lot and have seen many places. I love Australia, but I fell in love with Italy. Think “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Not so much for the scenery, mainly because of the food!

Clare: The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. Carl Jung (1875-1961)

Is there a specific quotation that lingers in your mind when you write?

AB: Not so much a quote as the underlying  lesson from The Cocktail Party by T.S. Eliot. People need to be allowed to change. We tend to pigeonhole and categorise people when we meet them. Even if we were correct in our assumptions, if they change or make an effort to be different, we have to adapt our thinking to this. The corollary of this is the scenario parents and families face in “coming out” stories. The person they always knew hasn’t changed but our picture of them has to. We have to reconfigure our brains to see them differently (as they want to be seen) and accept them as such. It’s a fascinating topic.

Sorry it’s not a short quote and thank you for taking the time to listen to my ramblings. Perhaps I can give a plug here to the great interview you did for me a while back on sequels: What Happens After the Last Page is Turned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Clare: Thanks, AB and good luck with the new release:

Title: Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun Series (Books 1-4)
Genre: Satire, humor, gay, gay romance, LGBT
Length: Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis
Tyler Knoll was born one wild, stormy night in April 2013.

Of course, Tyler might tell you he was born twenty years earlier, but should we believe anything he says? That’s for you to decide.

In Tyler’s first adventure—like many a gay man before him—he was SNARED by gay porn, wallowing in tales of bigger, stronger, harder….

Then his fickle mind was seduced and SHREDDED by the prospect of BDSM and slavery.

When a Big Misunderstanding SLASHED at Tyler’s sanity, almost costing him his life, he turned to another genre for his salvation. But even this encounter proved potentially hazardous—not from freezing temperatures, but at the hands of irate fans.

Finally, tired and SCREWED by his all his trials and tribulations, he discovers—like many storybook heroes before him—that sometimes Mr. Right is closer than we think.

Buy linkstk-640

Everyone who bought SNARED gets a 20% discount at buying the Just for Fun composite from the WIP website! Check the website for details.

 

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/?p=1278
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Knolls-Just-Fun-Books-ebook/dp/B00ZW6552U/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tyler-Knolls-Just-Fun-Books-ebook/dp/B00ZW6552U/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Tyler-Knolls-Just-Fun-Books-ebook/dp/B00ZW6552U/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Tyler-Knolls-Just-Fun-Books-ebook/dp/B00ZW6552U/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tylerknoll039sjustforfuncompositebooks14-1839904-149.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tyler-knolls-just-for-fun-ab-gayle/1122175760?ean=9781925222548

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Liam Livings – the hilarious true story behind Wrong Room, Right Guy + giveaway

wrong room possFrom the talented Liam Livings:

What is the story behind this story?

True story. Honestly! A long time ago, in a land far far away, there was a man called Liam Livings who…Actually, sorry about that. So, basically, I’d been to UK Meet at least once, and I’d written a blog post HERE about the benefit for authors going to those sort of events. Basically, writing can be quite lonely, you don’t know what you don’t know, and meeting authors and readers face to face is great fun and gives you the opportunity to talk writing and books in a heroically geeky and deep way no one else would cope with. On one of the comments to this post someone mentioned the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) and said they had local chapter meetings authors could attend.

I joined the RNA – money very well spent, they require that you’ve written a novel of at least 30,000 words with a romantic element within it, and that you’ve not paid for the book to be published, so it must be ‘traditional publishing model’. http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/join/full_and_associate_membership
They’ve since changed their membership criteria to include independent publishing, but way back in 2013 they hadn’t. The details of independent publishing and RNA membership will be on their website from September 2015.

I went to the RNA’s London and south east chapter meeting and had a whale of a time (see HERE). Everyone was wonderfully welcoming, I made some great friends, and learned so much at the workshop. I’ve continued attending as often as I can, and have recently started taking Clare London with me. It’s always such fun watching some people’s face when Clare and I say we write gay romance. Gay as in two men? I usually scrabble about and say it’s not erotica, but it does have some sex in it, which sometimes gets a few nodded heads. Clare and I are gradually trying to convert them to gay romance, one chapter meeting at a time 😉

[Clare interjects: 🙂 ]

Anyway, but more of that’s not for now. So at this first meeting I got talking to Jean Fullerton who used to chair these London chapter meetings, and it turned out we live a hop skip, a nail bar and a hairdressers away from one another in Essex, and she had just started setting up a local Essex writers group, Waltham Abbey Writers (WAW). This was separate to the RNA arrangements in Chelmsford and was for writers of all ages, abilities, experience and genres, and did I want to come along.

I took the same approach I’d taken up to that point and still do, when it comes to writing questions. I said yes. My only proviso is anything involving horses and line dancing, but that’s not for now either…

Jean Fullerton gave me the details of where WAW met and one Monday evening a while ago, I drove to the village hall about 15 mins from my house.

I walked into the village hall and cautiously poked my head around the door of the largest room. ‘Is this the writers group?’ I asked, taking in a room full of mostly pretty athletic looking men of various ages, mostly in track suit bottoms and T shirts. And I don’t mind telling you right here, right now, I did feel something stirring inside me. Oi oi, saveloy, this lot of blokes look pretty fit, I’ll have a right laugh talking plot and character with them.

This thought was quickly dashed on the hard rocks of reality when one of the men walked towards me, wiped his nose on the back of his hand – again, nice track suit bottoms that seemed to hang nicely around the groin area, and some pretty spiffing trainers too – and he said, ‘Na mate, that’s next door I fink.’ (Before anyone accused me of being snobbish about people from Essex, I’ll just say 1) that was what he said, and there’s nothing wrong with an Essex accent any more than a Yorkshire, Bristol, Scottish accent 2) Mum and Dad were born and grew up in Essex and I think it’s a wonderful place to live with mostly lovely people 3) TOWIE has an awful lot to answer for when it comes to people’s perception of Essex 4) I have cousins, aunties and uncles who grew up and still live in Essex and I won’t have a word said against it and finally 5) I live in Essex and I welcome it in all its slightly brash, east end overspill, beautiful coast line, concrete new towns, chocolate box villages, forest on the edge of London ways. I welcome all of it with open arms. – coughs – Back to the story now…

I profusely apologised to this man and wished the ground would open up and swallow me, while backing slowly out of the room. It was at this point I caught the writing on a black board propped at the back of the room, behind a table covered in tea and coffee making facilities. In white chalk it read: Cocaine Anonymous, followed by a number of points listed below. I didn’t have chance to read the points, turns out they were the 12 steps, which I researched later online. All I could think of was how I wasn’t going to get to see the athletic, weather worn men in the sometimes too tight track suit bottoms ever again.

I was very sad at this thought.

In all honestly, I had a quick debate with myself about jumping in my car and driving home.

I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t. I crossed the foyer of the village hall, past a board of notices flapping in my windy, disappointed wake, knocked on a door and walked into a much smaller room filled with a group of women, a trestle table covered in bread pudding and mugs of tea, coffee and orange squash. ‘Is this the writers group?’ I asked quietly.

Jean looked up from her ipad, smiled and said of course it was, and make myself at home, help myself to tea and coffee and there’s bread pudding if I wanted it too.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful introduction to a local writers group. There was a wide variety of experience from Jean who’s had 6 books published by a mainstream publisher and has an agent, me, who’d had no books published, but 4 contracted to be published by small independent gay romance / gay fiction publishers, to those who had written short stories for weekly magazines, and those who had always promised themselves they would write, but had never got round to it. Tea was drunk, bread pudding was eaten, those who wanted read extracts of their writing and we critiqued it in a constructive way. One of the ground rules of the group, and we keep to this to the day, now I’m helping Jean and Victoria run it, is we don’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to, and we’re there to provide support and guidance for everyone to write how they wish – be that publication, or writing for themselves.

I returned home, still if I’m honest with myself, feeling quite sad that the writers group didn’t consist of the athletic weather worn men in the sometimes too tight track suits, and that evening and once I’d mourned the loss of track suits, the men and all that it entailed, I told the BF about my escapades with the men in the track suit bottoms and T shirts, and walking into the wrong room. He listened intently and while in bed together a bit later that evening, he said, ‘That’s hilarious. You should write that as a story. That’s the start of a story. And then this could happen, and how about if that happened, and then what about if this happened. And you could have a character who does this, and how about including someone who does that…’

‘Stop, I need to get my notebook,’ I shouted. I think one of the cats jumped off our bed then. I returned to bed with my notebook and over the next twenty minutes we talked about what could happen in the story, and what the characters could be, and his links with a magazine publishing company were useful too, and of course we agreed it had to have a happy ending. Cos who doesn’t like a happy ending?

I frantically scribbled it all down in my note book, and a few months later I spent a month writing it. And the story as it’s published, is pretty much exactly as we talked about that evening in bed together, both mourning the fact I wouldn’t get to see the men in the track suit bottoms ever again.

*******

GifStarTo win a copy of one ebook from any of Liam’s published books, please answer the following question in the comments below:

What was your wrong room experience  or the best mistake you’ve ever made?

*******

THE BOOK: Wrong Room, Right Guy by Liam Livings

Simon’s the wrong man in the wrong place; trying to teach English to kids who couldn’t care less, he’d really rather be a writer – but it’s only when his best friend bullies him into it that he takes the plunge and joins his local creative writing group. Even then things don’t quite work out the way he planned; blundering into the wrong room at the Village Hall he encounters a group of recovering cocaine addicts and he wants to know more … which is the start, for Simon, of a double life and a whole new secret identity, not to mention an intriguing relationship …

Buylinks: Manifold Press : Amazon.co.uk : Amazon.com

About Liam Livings

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He escapes from real life with a guilty pleasure book, cries at a sad, funny and camp film – and he’s been known to watch an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

He has written since he was a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle.

You can connect with Liam

Twitter @LiamLivings

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liam.livings

Blog http://www.liamlivings.com/blog

Website www.liamlivings.com

Sue Brown – The Layered Mask + Giveaway

layeredmaskNow out from Dreamspinner, SUE BROWN’s extended Regency love story.

Threatened by his father with disinheritance, Lord Edwin Nash arrives in London with a sole purpose: to find a wife. A more than eligible bachelor, and titled to boot, the society matrons see to it he’ll be shackled to one of the girls by the end of the season.

During a masquerade ball, Nash hides from the ladies vying for his attention. He is discovered by Lord Thomas Downe, the Duke of Lynwood. Nash is horrified when Downe calmly tells him that he knows the secret that Nash has hidden for years, and that he sees through the mask that Edwin presents to the rest of the world.

And then he offers him an alternative.

BUYLINKS: DreamspinnerAmazon.comAmazon UKARe

Giveaway: $15 giftcard for Amazon or Are.

a Rafflecopter giveaway