I thought I’d try something out since so many people enjoyed seeing Aaron and Joey on Facebook yesterday. I’m going to give you a favorite line from a book (well, one of my favorite lines) and you tell me who said it and what book it’s from. If you need a refresher, they’re all on my website
Using random numbers, I’ll pick one correct entry to win a $5 US Amazon gift card.
For example, if the quote was “Reindeer bray,” the correct answer would be Fred in The Christmas Proposition.
Rules: You can enter up to three times. Comment here, tweet @ka_mitchell, and/or leave a Facebook comment (containing the correct answer). I will notify the winner here on whatever media they won from. It’s up to you to contact me with your email address so I can get you your prize. The contest ends tomorrow at midnight EST. I’m not responsible for anything resulting from your prize (so don’t set yourself on fire) and this is void where prohibited. Ready?
Okay. Who said this and in what book/novella/short story?
“Just because I let you fuck my ass doesn’t mean you own it, kid.”
Sometimes the world sucks, and I think it’s never going to change. I stomp around and say, “People are why we can’t have nice things.” Then something cool happens. And I think maybe people aren’t so impossible after all.
Every year the Romance Writers of America give out their trademarked RITA award for best romance books. The books are judged by other romance writers in a bunch of different categories, kind of like the Oscars, but no one has ever taken out an ad that I know of that says “For your RITA consideration.” The one which I’ve always thought of as equivalent to the “Best Picture” award is in the category “Long Contemporary.”
Let me give you a little background of some personal experience with the Romance Writers of America. It was founded in the 1980s in Texas. About ten years ago, some members were outraged enough by the mere existence of happy-ever-afters happening for poly couples that those members tried to have the whole group vote on the definition of romance as one man, one woman. Sound familiar to anyone? A bunch of big-name authors came out against that stupidity and it never came to pass. But I’m sure you can imagine the resistance when gay romance started gaining steam. In fact, four years ago, a local chapter of RWA tried to say gay romance couldn’t be entered in their local contest. Initially, appealing to the mothership got us nowhere. Then pressure built through social media and they ended up canceling their contest.
So here we are in 2015. The finalist for the RITAs were announced today. And in that big, heavy duty category, the “Best Picture” of romance novels, is Fever Pitch, by Heidi Cullinan. Yup. A big ol’ gay romance waving at us from the top of the heap. For good reason, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I could not put that book down. If you haven’t read it, go do that. It’s totally awesome.
I am so excited and thrilled for Heidi. I’m going to be at the awards ceremony jumping to my feet and cheering when she wins. And I’m so proud of the changes our books have been able to make on the world. An awesome love story can really do that.
What a wonderful world.
(Note for Heidi: You made Walter proud. Note for everyone: you’ll get this if you go read the book. Go, do that. )
ETA: Holy crap! Gay romance is all over the RITA finalist list! YAY! Four books and counting.
I love the TV show Empire. Not only is it the awesome family soap opera I’ve been hoping for in prime time, but right from the beginning, there was nothing coy about Jamal’s sexuality and it being shown on the screen. Over the past week, there’s been discussion about whether or not Jussie Smollett, who is awesome as Jamal, is publicly out or not. As of this morning, he’s out.
Coming out is an endless process, unless you are going to surround yourself with a limited number of people for the rest of your life. Every time we do it, we are doing something that is both powerful and (at least for me in some situations) a little scary. When I, who presents as very feminine, say my wife in a casual way to a server in a restaurant, a clerk at a store, a doctor, a nurse, a colleague, a friend, I open myself up to a real risk. There are people who want to be able to refuse to give me the same service as someone not gay, and even without open hostility, there are plenty of ways for people to exhibit their disgust at “my lifestyle choices.”
Being locked inside with nothing to do but write has always been my dream job. I love it. I love it even more when the words and stories are flying at me like they are right now. So who knew there would finally come a winter where I was sick of being trapped in my oh-my-god-so-desperate-I-cleaned-it office?
It’s hit. I’m done. I love winter. I do, but I’m tired of it. Tired of the cold and the ice and the wind that makes walking outside impossible. Lucky for me, I have an invitation to go out in the world and talk about creating characters. So it’s like playing with imaginary friends outside! YAY!
Saturday, March 7, I’m going to be giving a presentation on characterization to the Central New York Romance Writers at the Northern Adirondack Public Library at North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, N. Syracuse, NY.
The presentation is from 2-4, but I’m planning to stick around afterward to chat with people and would love to meet any readers or fellow hermits sick of the weather who want to show up. I’ll have books, swag and even a gift or two if you make the voyage out into the cold. No purchase necessary to partake in a little respite from hermiting! I promise to stay at the library until at least 4:20. If you think you might stop by, please email or comment.
To borrow a little from someone who knew how to bring it, it is a truth universally acknowledged that all writers are crazy. Actually, if you want to quote my wife, we’re “all fucken crazy” which is what she texted me after she heard her favorite author—no, not me—Diana Gabaldon speak.
I feel like I should save that heading and use it every time I have an example for it. (Done!)
I love funny print T-shirts. The more thinky the better. So when this came up in my tweet stream yesterday, I thought it would make an awesome T-shirt.
Then I immediately wanted to get it for Kieran. A fictional character. My fictional character in my WIP. See above, “all fucken crazy.” Because I kept insisting to myself that not only is it perfect for him, especially where he is—I am—we are—in the book, I think he would wear it. Well, maybe. He says no. I’m working on him. It really is perfect for him. *chases fictional character with non-existent T-shirt* What? So I’m crazy. But I like it here.
This appetizer is coming to you from the guys in Baltimore. Jamie and Gavin have been invited to ring in the New Year with Eli and Quinn, but before they head out, they need an appetizer. I hope you enjoy this taste of their life…and the recipe that follows.
Jamie settled back in the recliner with his KZ soda and unmuted the TV for the third quarter of the Peach Bowl. He’d had other plans during half time—and hopefully the rest of the game, but his boyfriend was busy. There was another thunk and curse from the kitchen. He kicked the volume up another notch and drank his soda. Didn’t sound like Gavin was going to be less busy any time soon. Guess Jamie’s dick wasn’t getting sucked before they had to leave for Quinn’s.
The flatscreen was almost the size of Jamie’s mattress at his place and the recliner so good to sink into, it might as well have been a furniture porn star. Hell, it was big enough for two in plenty of interesting combinations. Jamie wasn’t ready to start an interior design business, but the big plush recliner didn’t exactly go with the sleek furniture in the rest of the place. The suspicion that the recliner and big TV had been added with Jamie’s company in mind filled him with equal parts affection and caution. He hadn’t asked for it. Or for the drawer in the bedroom that remained conspicuously empty and often ajar. And he certainly hadn’t asked for advice from a nosy club rat who pointed out that maintaining two addresses was a total waste, especially if they were spending part of almost every night in the same bed.
But even though Gavin never said anything about it, Jamie couldn’t see the guy giving up views of the harbor and twenty-four hour security for his Bentley and the fully tiled rain and steam shower for Jamie’s little two bedroom in Dudalk, and Jamie probably couldn’t afford even the maintenance fees on this place. He was nobody’s kept boy.
Annabelle huffed out a sigh from her bed between the couch and recliner. Yeah. A nap would probably be good. He had third watch. Peak drunk asshole hour on Amateur Night. As he slitted his eyes all hell broke loose in the kitchen.
A great big thank you to everyone who made my slutting around to promote Bad Behavior’s release so much fun. I am loving hearing from readers about the book and their thoughts on the future for the guys in Baltimore. I couldn’t wrap up Bad Behavior until I had a little glimpse of what would be coming next, so I started a new book, which is in a holding pattern while I finish up something else.
To say thank you, or maybe to torment you, I’m not sure which it is, I have a look at that first scene for you here.
Look, there’s even a picture I took that inspired the opening scene.
Bad in Baltimore 6
The second week of August was a great time to stand out on an open field with hundreds of shining steel heat reflectors. In Alaska maybe. But in Timonium, Maryland, way too fucking far from any place to catch a decent breeze, it was hot as fuck.
Scott didn’t know if talking about it made it any less nasty, but he repeated it out loud to Jamie as they studied the ‘65 Ford Galaxie Scott had his eye on.
“And exactly how hot is fuck ya think?” Jamie said, leaning in as he inspected the connections on the plugs.
“Don’t know about you but for me, depends on how tight his ass is,” Scott muttered, low enough so only Jamie could hear. They’d waited until the owner had gone to lunch, not wanting to show too much interest, but some things didn’t mix with the car show crowd. Openly gay guys were high up on that list.
I’ve received some cool questions from readers about Beach and Tai’s back stories so I’m answering them here.
A lot of times I need to know way more about the character than ever makes it into a book. Seriously, do you need to know what their grades were? SAT scores? Sometimes it comes up, sometimes the character throws me for a loop. What’s really cool is when the character does or says something that turns out to be really useful or important later on. I want to dig inside my brain and figure out how that works. Oooo. I have a crowbar and a flashlight. That should work!
People asked me about his family and why he didn’t have contact with the Samoan side. His mom didn’t get along with her mom and went to school at USC where she met his dad. When she got pregnant, his dad married her and left school to get work to support his family. His father’s family (mom and aunts) came after the second trimester and stayed through the birth. Kara, Tai’s mom, felt smothered. After Tai’s dad was killed in a car accident, she was afraid that his family would push her into moving to Samoa or giving them the baby so she went home to Baltimore. She cut off contact with Tai’s father’s family because she was afraid of losing her child who was her connection to the husband she lost.
Beach and ghosts
Some people might consider this spoilery. I don’t think there are big secrets in it, but you might want to skip it if you haven’t read it already.
Beach’s dad left the country when Beach was ten. This was before 9/11 and it was much easier for Beach’s dad to slip in and out of the country. It came to me from Beach’s point of view that he felt like some places were haunted because he felt like people were watching, that he wasn’t alone. I realized later his dad had snuck back a few times and checked in on him. Of course, Beach also has a passion for Southern Gothic style stories so he wants to believe in them.
(This was supposed to happen yesterday, but if you go look at my tweet stream, we had a minor medical emergency at the homestead.)
We writers do like our playlists. I know a book is ready to be written when I start putting together a playlist, when I hear a song and think OMG that is so him/them!. For the most part, I listen to the play list in the car or shower. Sometimes, I have a special playlist for a particular scene. I guess may be different for me is that I rarely listen to my playlist when I’m putting the words on the paper. I mostly listen to them in the car or shower. (Thank the writing gods for voice memos and aquanotes). For writing, I like ambient sounds, like rain or even typewriter clicks. I used to write to music, but maybe my brain is too old now to multitask words. Sometimes I’ll still haul out something that is pure feels, something I know so well I don’t hear the words anymore and play that to get the feels down on the paper.
One of my favorite things about songs and stories is when other people say “Hey, this song reminded me of your character/book.” It’s such a cool way to learn how other people see the characters and the story. The Lera Lynn version of TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” that was such an awesome addition to Bad Behavior’s playlist was actually recommended by a critique partner early on. It was a great fit for thinking while driving.
So anyway, this giveaway is a $10 itunes or Amazon gift card so you can get some music of your own. And feel free to leave a comment here about music that inspires you. I’m always looking for the next perfect song.
One of the things about Beach’s personality is that he’s a giant Id walking around. He wants and he sees no consequence to having what he wants right now. One of the hardest things in the world for me to wait for is book release day. Not just mine, but books in series or by authors I love. Those greatly anticipated dates I can rattle off like my own birthday.
Wouldn’t it be cool to not have to wait? Here’s a chance to win an early copy of Bad Behavior! Ask me a question or even better, ask one of my characters a question because they are WAY more interesting than I am, in the comments (about the Baltimore books or any of my books, or about writing) and you could have the ebook in your hands five days before the rest of the world!