Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Accomplished in 2013

After taking much of 2012 off, I started back in on writing in 2013 to try and get up to steam. It was a slow process, but I think I'm back in a groove somewhat, finding my rhythm as I concentrate on writing the stories and characters that are important to me. All but one of them came out with Amber Allure as well as all being m/m, but that's going to change up in the year to come. I ended up having seven solo titles and one collaboration with Rick R. Reed.

My lone non-AQP title came from Liquid Silver. A Simple Charm is a sweet historical romance about a carny who shows up in a small Indiana town and falls for a local boy who has real magic. It's one of the most gentle stories I wrote all year, with some of my best prose, I think. It makes me a little sad that this didn't get the bigger audience I think it deserves, but I always knew a sweet historical with paranormal overtones would be a hard sell for most m/m readers.

One of my first titles this year at Amber Allure was The Low Between, a 50s noir story about an ex-cop and the young actor who get caught up in murders that have nothing to do with them. I have a real soft spot for this time period, and there just isn't enough out there, especially in the m/m world. It was tough getting back into plotting, but I was happy with how this turned out.

After reading so much steampunk that focused too much on the tech and not enough on the characters, I decided to try my hand at my own version. The result was Iron Eyes. While one of my leads was a brilliant engineer from 20s Hollywood, I deliberately focused on the story they had to tell, the journey of finding a new solution to help a little blind girl see. I'm really proud of this one, plus Cap and Hector's chemistry went off the charts for me.

After noir and steampunk, I decided to dip my toes in sci-fi. Thus, Aria of the Eclipse was born. I've never created an alien species all on my own before (I've done it as part of the Jamie Craig team), so coming up with Dek was my real challenge in this. He needed to be otherworldly enough to warrant the genre, and yet relatable enough for the readers to connect with. I think, hands down, this is the most romantic story I published all year.

I collaborated with the talented Rick R. Reed on an epistolic short about two men separated by life choices, in a time when being gay wasn't nearly as accepted. Family Obligations still makes me cry when I re-read it, for everything they had to endure as well as for the lives they actually lead.

I stayed in the contemporary zone with my sweet romance, The Hearts of Yesteryear. While it's very comedic in tone, the subject matter is not. It's about a man in his seventies who ran away from his small town after his best friend and the boy he loved chose the military over him. John has to go back to that town and confront his past. To this day, I still want to see this as a sitcom. I think John and Frank would be terrifically funny as a gay senior citizen couple, with Corrine, John's personal assistant, there for back-up. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Things sobered up for me with my next contemporary. The Unbeaten Track is about an insomniac who is still haunted by the loss of his high school sweetheart, a victim of homophobic violence. I chose to do this one in first person, mostly because it's so much about being in Sean's head. The reader needed to be there with him as he made his choices, and hopefully come out the other side better for the knowing.

Last but not least, came Threshold. This took me back to my vampire roots, about a hurt vampire on the run who holes up in an out of the way motel. Falling for him was Max, an ex-soldier who is desperately looking for meaning in his life. The connection between these two sizzled from the start. Of all the titles I released this year, this one, for me, is by far the hottest.

2014 is going to see me branching out some. For instance, I have an m/m/f menage called Enthralled in Silver coming out with Ellora's Cave, and I'm hoping to have more. There are two stories in the final stages to come out at Amber Allure, Boundless and What the Heart Thinks, and more I'm scheduled to do there. All good things!