Thursday, February 12, 2015

TBT: A Simple Charm

Sometimes, I write a story that I absolutely adore that it seems like nobody reads. That doesn't bother me a lot of the time. I write for myself, and as long as I'm doing that, it would be hypocritical of me to whine about low sales. 

But on the flipside to that is the keen desire for other people to love a story that I love, too. A Simple Charm is one of those. But this one had a ton of factors going against it from the start when it comes to the masses.

First of all, it's a sweet m/m. There is one sex scene in the entire book, and it's really, really tame. Contrary to what you readers saying all the time about wanting more story and emotion, however, sales prove otherwise. Sweet m/m just doesn't sell well in general.

Secondly, it's a historical. And it's not just historical, but it's also American history. The 1930s. Twentieth century America is the hardest kind of historical to sell,  unless it's centered on soldiers in WWII (and even then, it's a hard sell).

Strike number three? One of the characters has magic, so technically it has to be filed under paranormal, but it's not really a paranormal at all. It's what I call genre magical realism which is an entirely different beast (magical realism in its purest form is only found in literary fiction, rather than genre, because of its intention to convey "serious meaning"). 

All that being said, I think A Simple Charm is one of the most romantic, lovely books I've ever done. It's the gentle story about a young man growing up in a small Indiana town who dreams about escaping its borders. He aches to be free of all its constraints, partially because he's spent his life hiding the fact that he can do things other people can't, partially because he knows he likes boys which just isn't done. Then a carnival shows up in town, and he falls head over heels for the charismatic barker, Seb. Seb has no problem with the initial idea of seducing a pretty local, but it only takes one conversation with Levi to realize he could do the right thing for once and let this innocent remain innocent. The path they take to eventually find each other isn't easy, but love never is.

This is definitely a story you can't judge by its cover. It's about innocence lost and gained, in an environment that's specifically chosen to be humble. 

Intrigued? You can read an excerpt over at Liquid Silver. Who knows? You might even be tempted enough to buy it.