October 7, 2015
There are a few things you might want to know about me. I’m volunteering this information so keep that in mind when you consider pitching me off this blog. You see, I don’t drink coffee, at all. I don’t even know how to make it. When I go to coffee shops it’s to escape the kids, meet the girls or have a board meeting for one of the nonprofits I work with. I order tea, earl grey with room for cream.
It gets worse. You might want to sit down. I don’t like literary books. I find them boring and I’ve spent enough of my life doing what people expect that I won’t read something because it’s popular or significant. Gave that up, caring what other’s wanted from me, about the same time I started drinking and embracing my love for writing romance—both gay and straight stories of awesome people.
Still reading? Don’t want to pitch me off this blog? Wow. All this padding and bent knees as I braced for impact wasn’t need. Thanks.
Telling you I write gay romance isn’t part of the confession. I’m pretty proud of that. But I did have to fess up to the family when my first novel came out. This is how it went.
You see, I haven’t hid what I write. But before publishing it wasn’t like they were clamoring to read my stuff. First, it’s important to know that I am the fifth of six kids and that we have a major gap between the first three kids and the last three. My oldest brother was a senior in high school when I was born. It makes for interesting dynamics. They’ve known for several years that I am a writer, and even that I write romance novels. Mom was never one to keep things to herself and if we wanted an update on each other’s lives we called her. The first sibling I told was my baby sister Heather. We’re close and she’s good for the occasional raw-raw cheer to keep me motivated. I told her how I’d gotten my idea for Rinse and Repeat and she asked me a lot of questions and I was really candid about how I thought two guys getting it on was freaking hot (I’ll say fuck in front of just about anyone but baby sis, don’t matter that we are both in our thirties). She was more concerned about the voices in my head and my arguing with my characters than that Peat and Jake are gay.
A few months later I told my older sister (number 4 in the lineup). I’m the book nerd and she’s the varsity coach and super mom of six. But we both read romance novels. I started reading them when I was twelve and she’s been reading them for about four or five years. Twilight, creating new romance readers every day. I told her I’d sold my first book and she whooped and hollered and then I told her that it was a gay romance, two guys. She froze. Gapping mouth and unblinking eyes. I plowed through the spill about how I’d thought of the story line, how stubborn characters could be, how hard I’d worked on writing it. We spent the next hour processing. Women do that, talk about something to figure out how they feel, what they should do. She’s religous (and I don’t even know how to spell the word) and felt the need to express her love for me and her belief that people had the right to chose how they lived their lives and we should treat everyone equally. But you could see her trying to not fuck it up, to say the right thing, while finding her footing again. She said when my book came out she would read it–which had my jaw dropping–but warned me that her husband probably wouldn’t.
She did read it. Hell, even my Great Uncle Tom who is in his late eighties read it. After that the rest of the family was easy because, though mom is gone, that interesting dynamic still exists. Word spread and now there is always cautious questions about what I’m working on and how it is going. They love me. Don’t even care when I get really animated describing the industry or arguing about plot holes in the latest movies. Still love me.
My latest novel, Bravery Not Included, is a straight romantic suspense. I have the feeling it will get passed among the family much easier than that first novel five years ago. If Uncle Tom reads it he’ll still probably skip the love scenes. If he doesn’t, hopefully he’ll keep that confession to himself.
Here’s the backcover blurb: Amazons are real. Not bullets-and-bracelets Wonder-Woman real, but really real.
Once facing extinction and scattered across the world, women with the rare genetic makeup for super-strength and lightning reflexes have re-emerged through HOAX—Home Of the Amazon eXchange—a website Liesel Grant developed to connect with other freaks like herself.
Then Amazon children start disappearing, the website and their super-strength the only thing they have in common. Desperate families hire Private Investigator Jim Griffon to find the missing kids. Jaded, manipulated and used by powerful women in the past, Griffon refuses to work with Liesel to uncover the kidnappers.
The danger escalates when Liesel’s search uncovers evidence that the Amazons aren’t the only “secret human race.” Instead of scattering and trying to blend in, the Mightys became a secret society of power. When their next patriarch, Jordan Matthews, goes missing, they’ll leave only dead bodies in their wake to find him.
Can Griffon put his trust in a woman? Has Liesel’s hunt for truth exposed her people to even more danger? Can they find and stop the kidnappers in time? And when Griffon discovers Liesel is an Amazon—stronger than he could possibly imagine—can they find love?
Meanwhile, have you been brave enough to tell your family that you read romance? Have any family you book swap with?