Between GRL and Teslacon…

Oct 31, 2013 by

I’ve only been home from GayRomLit in Atlanta a week, and already I’m heading out again, this time to Teslacon in Madison Wisconsin. Teslacon is a Steampunk convention, and if you don’t know what Steampunk is, Google it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. <whistles>

Okay, back? Well, let me explain something. As awesome as Steampunk sounds, it is TWICE as cool as that. Easily. Steampunk marries historical romance and science fiction and fantasy and adventure and mystery and RAY GUNS AND DIRIGIBLES AND AIRSHIP PIRATES. It’s the ultimate geekdom, where all the geekdoms run together and then explode. It’s like Jules Verne married HG Wells and together they popped out Robert A. Heinlein and Umberto Eco. (Totally possible if you buy Warehouse 13’s premise that HG Wells was actually a woman.) And then bought an airship line.

So that’s where I’m spending my weekend, in a total immersion Steampunk convention, where I will arrive in costume and remain so for three full days. In company with my godson and nephew, Joe V., the coolest teenager in the history of teenagers.

GayRomLit was fabulous, as usual, and the organization was even better this year than last year, with set rooms for Q&As and Storyteller Spotlights and Author Readings so you didn’t have to go wandering around looking for them. And every night was a dress-up thing, the traditional Juke Joint Junket being joined by the Some Enchanted Evening formal ball and the rocking Heaven & Hell Masquerade. The costumes were fantastic.

My friend JP Barnaby hosted an event where people got the chance to finger paint on half-nekkid guys: four professional adult models and four authors/regular guys. It was adorable to see that the regular guys actually got painted more than the models did. They raised over $600 for Lost and Found Youth, a gay youth homeless shelter in Atlanta. JP also writes as Jamie Mayfield, and all royalties from her young adult books go to the shelter. JP rocks.

There was also a Dine with the Author event, that was nice, but would have been nicer if it hadn’t been so noisy it was hard to hear what people were saying. Ballrooms have crappy acoustics. I bet someone could make a bajillion dollars if they invented a “cone of silence” thing that could settle over tables for weddings and conferences like these, so that only the people at the table could hear what was being said…

I had lots of people stop by my table at the signing and even sold a few books so I didn’t have to ship anything home. This is a Good Thing.

So I come home to an invitation to host a chat with FRENCH PEOPLE. Seriously! Apparently Kindred Hearts and Finding Zach have been finding some fans in their French incarnations, and DSP is setting up time for a Facebook chat with them. I have to do the posts ahead of time so that the translator can get them done, and then she’ll be riding along to translate their questions and my answers.  That will be November 23rd, so if you speak French, mark your calendars!!

Then, I was also invited to join a blog tour about rock stars, so Adam gets to come out and play for a while. That one should be fairly soon; it’s still in the process of being organized.

So, that’s it for now. In a couple of hours I’ll be hitting the (wet and flooded) roads to Wisconsin. After I get home from that, there will be no more traveling until April. Thank God – my house is a MESS, and my cat thinks I don’t love him any more.

The bus stops here… A Blog Tour!

Sep 27, 2013 by

 

Illumination_200x300Okay, so this is the first time I’ve engaged in a blog tour, and I have NO idea what I’m doing. But that’s okay—the folks at Riptide apparently do, and they’re the ones driving this bus.

This is all in celebration of Illumination, which comes out officially on Monday, but if you’re one of the cool kids, you can pick it up at Riptide’s website TONIGHT. That’s right—get it three days before everyone else. Because you’re one of the Cool Kids. I have anointed you thus, so it’s true.

So, here is a list of the official stops on the tour.  I am totally grateful to these people for letting me litter up their bandwidth, and abase myself at their feet. (Seriously. I’m on the floor. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get up again.)

Please stop by and say hello, and if you leave a comment, I will enter you into a drawing for YOUR CHOICE of the e-book version of any one of my previously published books and stories.  Contest ends with the last stop, on October 4th. (Okay, I’ll close it October 5th, for last minute entries.)

Stops for this tour:

September 28, 2013 – Sid Love – Spotlight Stop 

September 30, 2013 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy 

October 1, 2013 – Joyfully Jay  

October 2, 2013 – The Jeep Diva  

October 3, 2013 – The Fictionators 

October 3, 2013 – Cup O’ Porn – Spotlight Stop 

October 4, 2013 – The Saucy Wenches Book Club  

See more about the blog tour here!

I’m baaaack . . .

Sep 12, 2013 by

 

Illumination_200x300Just sent off final edits for Illumination, my book with Riptide that’s coming out September 30th.

What? you cry. TWO books from the glacially slow pen of Rowan Speedwell within just a few months of each other? Is the Apocalypse nigh?

Well, hopefully not. I wouldn’t know, not being in the confidence of the folks who manage that sort of thing. But it’s true. Less than two months after Love, Like Water (with the beauteous Nicko Morales on the cover), I have another book to promote.

I’ve mentioned this one before. Probably several times. Probably accompanied by swear words, because I have to say this has been the most difficult book to write. It took me over two years to write the first draft, then another three or four months for the second. And it went through FOUR rounds of edits. Blood,  I tell you. There was blood.

Really, though, this is a lot less angsty than Finding Zach or Love, Like Water. All of the angst happened outside the book. There is less crying than in Kindred Hearts (thank God!), although there is some. There is romance, misunderstandings, drama, and two very stubborn heroes. There is what I hope is very, very funny stuff.

They always say “write what you know.” Well, I’m a fifty-five year old straight chick raised in a middle class family, so I’m already out of my league writing gay romance about young men, let alone rock stars. And my phobia is claustro, not agora. But.

J.P. Barnaby, who has been along for most of the ride with this book, says that Miles is me. We have a lot of similar issues, similar hangups, similar weird OCD/perfectionist behaviors. I like to think that I put a little of myself in all my characters, but Miles is probably the closest.

He has a temper, like me. He obsesses over details, like me. He’s bright and competent on a lot of levels, but those levels do not include technology. Like me. His taste in music runs to classical and show tunes, and is clueless about modern music. He’s impatient. He’s socially awkward. He’s messy (yes, you can be both messy and OCD). He can go happily for days without talking to anyone but his parrot. (For me, it’s my cat.) He’s a better artist than I am, but we share the art form. I cope a little better with people.

I think if were to meet Miles in person, we would either be soul mates or loathe each other.

Adam has some of my quirks: he’s self-indulgent and kind of lazy. I think he’s a Libra, like I am, but with more of the good qualities. He’s social, extroverted, and charming, which I can be for short periods of time. He tends to take the easy way out, sometimes simply because he doesn’t like to disappoint people; he’ll “go along” just because he wants the people around him to be happy. He’s vain and fussy about how he appears to people, but it’s not that he is obsessed with his image; it’s more that he wants—needs—people to like him. Hm. I guess maybe he’s more like me than I thought.

Which is kind of funny, when you think about it, because Miles and Adam are two really different people. But then again, we all have contradictory bits in our personalities. It’s what makes people human.

And I think that might be why it took so long to finish this book. Because Miles and Adam are the closest things to human that I’ve written. And like most humans, they have their own ideas of how things should go. I fought harder with these two than I have with any of my other characters, and that includes Tristan from Kindred Hearts, who was an absolute bastard.

But Miles and Adam’s story is done now, and I can honestly say that they’re probably my favorite couple. Even if I want to smack them hard enough that their ancestors are bruised.

Family Tree Roots Run Deep – a Guest Post by Posy Roberts

Sep 5, 2013 by

Please welcome my guest Posy Roberts, whose book Spark was released by Dreamspinner Press this week!!

Take it away, Posy!

Long before I started writing the first book of my North Star Trilogy, I knew family of origin was going to play a pivotal role in Spark. The relationships my main characters had with their fathers were of great importance when they were teens and well into their adult years.

Whether we like it or not, the family or families we grew up with helped shape who we became. Some drive us so nuts that all we can do is bitch about their certain brand of crazy our entire trip home from “vacation” with them, even if the journey takes days in a car. Others make us look back with nostalgia, even if our memories aren’t telling the whole truth.

Human brains have plasticity, especially those of developing children. They can be influenced by both good and bad experiences that have the possibility of sticking for life based on which synapses grow stronger, which are pruned away, and which genes are turned on during critical periods of brain development. Think about this for a second: human brains aren’t fully developed until age twenty-five.

That’s a lot of years where family of origin impacts brain development, whether all members are present and accounted for, minimally available, or decidedly absent. Some of those experiences are going to be great, but some are horrid as well.

This has nothing to do with M/M romance though, right? I think it has a ton to do with it, especially when I look at this as a writer. When I’m writing character sketches, I take into consideration how my characters were raised. Were they raised in a family that had no rules? If so, how did they react to that? They could’ve gotten involved in any and all questionable activities presented to them, or they could’ve been the kid who created rules of their own and basically took on the role of parent in their family. What about the kid with too many rules?

As I wrote the North Star Trilogy, I looked in-depth at the father-son relationships. In book one, Spark, I looked at Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus as teens and then again in their mid-thirties. At sixteen, Hugo loses his father. Kevin wishes he could lose his father, but that doesn’t happen. Both boys had very different relationships with their dads.

Kevin had a tumultuous father-son experience because his father expected success and perfection at all costs. Hugo had an absent father because the man was struggling with terminal cancer for years. So many of the troubles young Hugo faced seemed trivial compared to cancer, including coming out, so he chose not to talk with his father about his worries. Kevin chose not to talk with his own father because he knew he’d never measure up. Family of origin was always in the back of my head while writing, even after they’d grown into men.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Spark. You can read Chapter 1 here.

Kevin stepped closer and bent low enough to press a tender kiss to the wrinkles between Hugo’s brows, causing the creases to melt away. Kevin continued to talk in a low voice, almost a whisper as his hands warmed Hugo’s back. “You were so much more significant in my life than I ever let you know. Probably more than I even knew at the time. I took you for granted, but you changed me. When I was with you, I was just Kevin. I wasn’t Kevin Magnus, son of the great Peder and Linda Magnus. I was just plain old Kevin, and you liked me for who I was.”

“Of course I did,” Hugo said before placing a kiss in the slight cleft of Kevin’s chin. It felt completely natural to kiss him like this, uninhibited. “You were very easy to like, most of the time.”

“That was different for me, you realize, someone liking just me.”

Hugo nodded, liking the sensation of Kevin’s freshly shaved skin smoothing over his lips. He knew that’s how Kevin felt, often discounting how likable he truly was back in high school. Kevin’s father made every good thing in Kevin’s life into Peder’s own success, and every failure was squarely placed on Kevin’s shoulders for him to feel the full weight along with Peder’s overwhelming disapproval.

“If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never known I was bisexual. Or I would’ve never been brave enough to see what those feelings I had were even about.”

“You probably would’ve experimented in college.”

Kevin shook his head and drew Hugo closer, pressing a kiss in front of his ear. “No. No, Hugo. Don’t you see? I already knew I was bisexual in college, and not once, not once was I with another guy. You were it. You were the only one who made me feel brave enough to go against my father and his plan for my life.”

Spark2

In their small-town high school, Hugo and Kevin became closeted lovers who kept their secret even from parents. Hugo didn’t want to disappoint his terminally ill father, and Kevin’s controlling father would never tolerate a bisexual son. When college took them in different directions, they promised to reunite, but that didn’t happen for seventeen years.

By the time they meet again, Hugo has become an out-and-proud actor and director who occasionally performs in drag—a secret that has cost him in past relationships. Kevin, still closeted, has followed his father’s path and now, in the shadow of divorce, is striving to be a better father to his own children. 

When Hugo and Kevin meet by chance at a party, the spark of attraction reignites, as does their genuine friendship. Rekindling a romance may mean Hugo must compromise the openness he values, but Kevin will need a patient partner as he adapts to living outside the closet. With such different lifestyles, the odds seem stacked against them, and Hugo fears that if his secret comes to light, it may drive Kevin away completely.

 

PR white bkdg largePosy Roberts lives in the land of 10,000 lakes (plus a few thousand more). But even with more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined, Minnesota has snow—lots of it—and the six months of winter makes us “hearty folk,” or so the locals say. The rest of the year is heat and humidity with a little bit of cool weather we call spring and autumn, which lasts about a week.

She loves a clean house, even if she can’t keep up with her daughter’s messes, and prefers foods that are enriched with meat, noodles, and cheese, or as we call it in Minnesota, hotdish. She also loves people, even though she has to spend considerable amounts of time away from them after helping to solve their interpersonal problems at her day job.

Posy is married to a wonderful man who makes sure she eats while she documents the lives of her characters. She also has a remarkable daughter who helps her come up with character names. When she’s not writing, she enjoys karaoke, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Read more at http://posyroberts.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/posyroberts11

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PosyRoberts

 

 

Deja vu all over again

Jul 25, 2013 by

So, Marie and I are walking down the street in Paris looking for the St. Michel Metro stop, where we want to catch the Metro back to the Gare du Nord train station. And of course it’s 5 p.m. and rush hour is starting up, and we know we’ll never make it back by cab. So we’re looking high and low for the station, and I look up and say: “There it is!” And Marie says “How did you find it so quick?”

Metropolitan  No, it wasn’t just from observing the name on the station. (Duh)

I RECOGNIZED it.

How, you ask, when I have never been to Paris before? Is it a past-life memory? Is it because the red things look like the aliens from the original War of the Worlds??

 

Nope. Because THIS is my train station, where I go every day on my way home from work, at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street in downtown Chicago:

Metra

Look familiar?

Kinda thought so!!

 

More tales (and pictures!) from our travels to come!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for Forever: A guest post by Jamie Mayfield

Jul 24, 2013 by

WaitingForForever1Choices_headerbanner

The Waiting for Forever series is a character-driven story. Its appeal stems from how Brian, Jamie, and the other characters interact with each other and their environment along their journey. From Brian’s sexual evolution to Jamie’s rediscovery of himself, each volume pushes the boys, sometimes painfully, to adulthood. One of the most defining aspects of the characters in the Waiting for Forever series is that they are real, or as real as fictional characters can be. I’ve received dozens of emails from gay men all over the country, and even some internationally who identify so closely with the characters that they wonder if I’m writing about them. One sweet gay man in Texas told me about his own tree house, and how he was sent to a “pray the gay away” camp in his youth. I never meant to get it quite that right, and it’s so horrible that I did. Places like the Sunshine Center, beatings like Brian endured, parents like Patsy Mayfield—none of these things should ever happen to our kids, and yet they do.

Specific Character Inspiration

The Waiting for Forever series is a character-driven story. Its appeal stems from how Brian, Jamie, and the other characters interact with each other and their environment along their journey. From Brian’s sexual evolution to Jamie’s rediscovery of himself, each volume pushes the boys, sometimes painfully, to adulthood. One of the most defining aspects of the characters in the Waiting for Forever series is that they are real, or as real as fictional characters can be. I’ve received dozens of emails from gay men all over the country, and even some internationally who identify so closely with the characters that they wonder if I’m writing about them. One sweet gay man in Texas told me about his own tree house, and how he was sent to a “pray the gay away” camp in his youth. I never meant to get it quite that right, and it’s so horrible that I did. Places like the Sunshine Center, beatings like Brian endured, parents like Patsy Mayfield—none of these things should ever happen to our kids, and yet they do.

 

Brian McAllister Schreiber

In a lot of respects, Brian is me. I write a lot of myself into my characters, but Brian McAllister carries more of me than any other. Writing is therapy for me; it allows me to pour all of my joy, pain, confusion, and existential questions onto paper to dissect. It’s my version of a journal. Brian is without a doubt my high school self. While I didn’t grow up in foster care, I grew up with relatively no friends in the shadow what few friends I did have. Bullied to point that I nearly didn’t graduate, I was so desperate to be loved that I threw everything of myself into the few relationships I had. While some find Brian’s obsession for Jamie to be romantic, if he were a real boy, others would find his decision to leave Alabama frightening. Brian should have gone to college—but because of his desperate need to be loved, he made a different choice.

Once Brian reached San Diego and found friends of his own, he gave every bit of himself to those friends. He would have done anything for Mike and Em, just because he was so thankful to finally be included. I know exactly how that feels. People who have met Jamie Mayfield either at an author event have been surprised by me. They’re expecting the brash, foul-mouthed author who talks to everyone about anything on twitter and when they see this quiet little geek, they’re amazed. People don’t understand that I am Brian—just so thankful to finally be included.

Jamie Mayfield

My sweet Jamie—I love this kid. I put him through hell and back through the course of the series, and he blossomed beautifully in the end. Originally, the idea for the Waiting for Forever series came from an essay that I read by Brent Corrigan on his entry into the porn industry coupled with research on homeless youth in San Diego. It honestly shocked me to find out the statistics on homeless GLBT youth in our country, but with the hatred and bigotry running rampant, I guess it shouldn’t have. I grew up with parents who were pretty accepting. Of course, they didn’t like my black friend in high school until they spent time with him. They were shocked when my best friend came out, but loved him anyway. But they brought me up to judge someone by their actions, not by their skin color or sexual orientation.

Jamie’s drug addiction put him on a level playing field with Brian who always thought of himself as broken, as someone who just wasn’t good enough for Jamie. I had to show Brian that Jamie was human too. Jamie had taken care of Brian, emotionally and socially, for so long that he needed to be the one to step up to the plate so that he could grow and see that he was a worthwhile person—something it took me a very long time to realize about myself.

Adam Jennings

Adam came about because Brian needed a reason to stay in Alabama. He needed a catalyst to make the decision, because his parents, even after the adoption, wouldn’t be enough to make him stay. I made him Ray Andrews’s best friend so that he would have some kind of common ground on which he and Brian could form a friendship. Even though Adam never really had a shot at Brian’s heart, he did have a friend for life. It took Adam a while to come to terms with Brian’s decision to leave for California, even longer than it took Brian to find Jamie. Just like Micah finding Alex, it took Adam finding Sam to understand Brian’s need for Jamie. Once that happened, he found that he could be Brian’s friend again which is how he showed up in Jamie’s hospital room in the third book.

Kyle Barnes

In Alabama, completely lost without Jamie and outed in his small community, Brian needed a gay role model. Without that influence in his life, he might not have made it. Brian’s troubled childhood coupled with his isolation at the hands of his peers could have pushed him past his breaking point if he hadn’t found Kyle, Sensei, and Adam in the second book. That sentiment was demonstrated by Brian’s question of why they couldn’t have just killed him instead of beating him within an inch of his life.

Micah Burrows

Micah was the biggest surprise of the series, to be honest. I never expected his character to fill out like he did. Originally, he was just a sex buddy for Brian in San Diego because I didn’t think a healthy red-blooded eighteen year old gay kid would just choose not to have sex if the guy he searched for wasn’t even on the radar—especially one newly free to explore his sexuality without fear of parents or homophobia. I’ve seen books where the main character waited YEARS for his long lost boyfriend to come back. While I don’t doubt that it could happen, I don’t find that scenario terribly plausible. Micah was the perfect person to teach Brian about the pleasures of casual sex. Open and completely honest with himself about sex and what he wants, Mike believes in sex as part of a relationship, but had never really experienced that for himself. Until he met Alex, it was more of a theoretical concept for him. He got Brian in touch with his own pleasure.

Micah is modeled somewhat from my friend Devon Hunter. Both models in the adult industry, Mike and Devon have quite a bit in common when it comes to their attitudes on sex, love, porn, friendship, and loyalty. One of the best things I got out of writing the Waiting for Forever series was my friendship with Devon Hunter—he’s a an amazing, thoughtful, and loyal friend, just what Brian and I both needed at that point in our lives.

Alex Hunter

Alex is another character who surprised me with his depth. I’d never intended for Alex to teach Micah about love, or for him to have more than a superficial role within the studio as an outsider than Brian felt bad for. As I started Jamie’s story, however, he desperately needed a friend. He needed someone good and sweet and kind to balance out the horror of Steven O’Dell and someone to talk to about the heartache caused by Brian showing back up in his life. So, on the surface, Alex was introduced as kind of a whiner and a loner, but you don’t see the complexity of his character and his relationship with Jamie until we switch to Jamie’s POV.

Sweet, blond, and a little emo, he needed to be everything Micah wanted in a boy and more. He’s the definition of a pocket gay and I loved him from the moment he started talking to me. I’m so glad that he and Micah got together, because Micah taught Alex that he was someone worth standing up for.

Em

Poor, sweet Em. In the series, we don’t know much about his background except that he grew up in foster care. He’s actually a Venezuelan-born immigrant who migrated to the states with his mother. She died of cancer when he was just six. Em didn’t have loving foster parents like the Schreibers. He was shifted from home to home with too many kids and too little affection. Sexually abused by one of his foster “brothers,” he uses sex to get the affection that he needs so badly. If men are taking him to bed, even for a few hours, he can feel loved and needed. Micah, though a casual relationship, became his best friend and lover. When he left Em for Alex, it messed up Em’s world.

Depressed and scared, Em tried to latch on to Jamie, someone just as broken and needy as he was. Brian had left Jamie just as Mike had left Em. They had so much in common. It nearly worked, and Jamie would have been good for Em, had it not been for Brian. After Jamie, Em went through a string of older guys, practically begging for the kind of love that Mike had with Alex or Brian had with Jamie. He never realized that love was there all along until Leo got fed up with watching the revolving door of men in Em’s life. Em was Leo’s definition of a lost boy and he’d loved him almost since he’d moved in as a teenager.

Leo

Leo is the father figure in the band of lost boys at the boarding house. An activist, a papa, and a friend, he dedicates his life to taking care of boys that end up on their own in San Diego without friends or family because he knows exactly what it’s like to be thrown away and left with nothing. The character is loosely modeled after Michael Macina who graciously allowed me to use his image on Leo’s bookmark for the series. Michael (@MichaelsThought) puts up some of the most amazing tweets and blog posts letting those in our community know that they are loved and cherished. His beautiful messages are an inspiration to me and many others who need a little love in their lives.

Brandon

When I close my eyes and think of Brandon, I see a beautiful blond, funny with a little overinflated sense of self; he represents the straight guys in gay porn because they certainly exist. Whether you fall on the side of their inclusion or exclusion, the reality is that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Straight porn is all about the women, and the guys are there to serve a function. In gay porn, a guy can make a name for himself, garner more work, and in Brandon’s case, feed his family and put money back for his kids’ college education. He would do anything for his girls, including his wife. Well, except maybe be faithful. As an adult model, however, he is pretty desensitized to sex – it serves a series of functions: pleasure, profit, release, etc. Since he’s not emotionally attached to any of the girls that he picks up, or the boys that he picks up with his wife, he doesn’t consider it cheating. He loves his wife and his daughters with everything that he has, everything else is just noise.

Steven O’Dell

Steven O’Dell is a pretty sad creature. Yes, everyone hates him because he beat Jamie, got him hooked on drugs, and forced him to do porn. I’m not saying that he’s not a jerk. What you don’t see in the books is how he would do anything for his brother and how much he loves his brother’s kids. Most guys wouldn’t give up a Saturday to help their brother put up a tree house for the kids if they didn’t. His addiction and his choice of drugs made him the person that he became. In high school, he played football and even got a scholarship to play college ball before his parents were killed in a car accident and he had to give it up to care for his younger brother who was just two years younger. No way would he let his kid brother end up in foster care.

As a result, he missed his chance at the good life, went to trade school, and became an engineer. Working his way up through the ranks from maintenance man to engineer took a long time, but once he was finally on top, he was as meticulous as he was irresponsible. It took a huge effort to hide his drug use from management, and an even bigger effort to hide his dealing. But throughout it all, he was terribly alone. When he found a boy crying in the restaurant bathroom on his lunch break, he fell in love—just as if he’d found a stray puppy. He wanted to take Jamie home and feed him and take care of him, but like a lot of little kids, he didn’t know how much work it would be and that frustrated him. He took that frustration out on Jamie.

From Jamie to Em to Steven O’Dell, the main characters of Waiting for Forever each have their good and bad points. There are no devils and no angels in the series, though some might view them in that way. I’m sure those who read the series cheered at the death of Steven O’Dell, but listening to his voice in my head, I could hear just how lost he was. All of my boys were lost at some point in their lives—the key to Waiting for Forever was helping some them to find themselves and realize what kind of amazing people they are. They may be fictional characters, but I promise you there are boys out there who look at Brian or Jamie and say “that’s me”. If the books can help them feel less alone, help them feel like there are others out there like them and that if they hold on just a little longer, their lives will get better—then I’ve done what I set out to do because no kid should ever feel like suicide is their only option.

 

Waiting for Forever: Choices

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Published June 3rd, 2013

Part One: The Throwaway Boy

As the country’s religious and secular leaders battle over equality in the abstract, Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield live in the crossfire. In their little town of Crayford, Alabama, loving another boy is the worst kind of sin. Best friends since childhood, they explore their love and each other in Jamie’s backyard tree house as they hide from the world. They happily plan for the future together—until their lives are rocked when their secret is exposed and Jamie’s family intervenes.

When hatred turns to violence in their sleepy little town, Brian tries to cope with the loss of his best friend, who is stolen in the night. In desperation, he turns to Adam, a new friend with a shared pain. Can Adam fill the hole left by Jamie’s absence? The answer will change everything.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J. P. Barnaby.

 100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

From Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3878&cPath=864

Part 2: Destiny is also now available through Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3955

Part 3: Determination will be published on August 1st.

 

About Jamie Mayfield:

A survivor of the ex-gay residential institution The Sunshine Center, fictional author Jamie Mayfield went on to find his voice in novels. Always a great lover of books, Jamie found his passion as he began to pursue a liberal arts degree in creative writing. An avid reader, he’s a fan of gay romance, suspense, and horror—though not all in the same novel.

Jamie lives in San Diego with his fictional husband, Brian. He writes YA fiction as a way to let kids know that they have an entire LGBT family all around them. Above all, he wants them to know that they are not alone. It does get better.

Jamie Mayfield is a fictional character from the acclaimed Little Boy Lost series by female author J. P. Barnaby.

Website: http://www.JamieMayfield.com

Tumblr: http://JamieMayfieldYA.tumblr.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/JamieMayfieldYA

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/JamieMayfieldYA

 

*Originally published as part of the Little Boy Lost blog tour on Leontine’s Book Realm — http://www.leontinesbookrealm.com/2012/06/little-boy-lost-feature-jpbarnaby-talks.html

 

Tomorrow: a guest post by Jamie Mayfield

Jul 23, 2013 by

 

WaitingForForever1Choices_headerbanner

Jamie_CartoonOkay, so tomorrow is a very special day. I’ve got a guest post from the one and only Jamie Mayfield, not the first fictional character I’ve hosted on this blog, but certainly the first fictional author I have!

Jamie Mayfield is the alter ego of very real author J.P. Barnaby, who created the character as one of the two protagonists in her ground-breaking, award-winning series Little Boy Lost. LBL tells the story of Brian and Jamie, who meet as kids in Alabama, fall in love as teenagers, and are separated by homophobia. Their quest to reunite is a beautiful thing, of tears, trauma, horror and despair. (Yes, horror and despair can be beautiful in the hands of a talented writer, which J.P. surely is.)

In that series, Jamie wants to become a writer. So when the time came to revise the series for a young adult audience, J.P. became Jamie, to fulfill his dream.

The 3-book YA version of the LBL series is called “Waiting for Forever.” The first book, Choices, was published by Harmony Ink Press on June 6th.

I’m a huge fan of J.P.’s work. I love well-written, believable characters, and J.P. excels at crafting real imaginary people. In tomorrow’s post, she’ll give us some insights on developing characters that you will fall in love with.

WaitingForForever1Choices     WaitingForForever2Destiny     WaitingForForever3Determination

A single step…

Jul 3, 2013 by

There’s an old proverb that says “The longest journey begins with a single step.” Yeah, well, maybe in Proverblandia or someplace. Usually with me a journey begins with lists, hysteria, more lists, crises, catastrophes, more lists, nervous stomach, outbreaks of diseases ranging from scabies to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, more lists, complications, leaky toilets, urgent edits, late trains, and the dreaded Holiday Airport Syndrome. All of which I have experienced over the course of the last month. Okay, not the scabies or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and I still have the Holiday Airport Syndrome to look forward to. But the rest of it.

I’m a bad traveler. I always say “I hate to travel, but I love having traveled.” See, I’m a bit of a control freak. When I drive someplace, I calculate the time I will arrive and usually am correct, plus or minus ten minutes. You notice I mentioned “lists” in the above litany? Yeah. I’m that person. I have a spreadsheet of what I’m bringing. And I have a spreadsheet of where it’s going in the luggage. And a spreadsheet of what luggage.

In my carryon, I have everything I could possibly need if my checked luggage gets lost or delayed. Or that I could possibly need if the plane crash-landed on a deserted island. I’m the person Sawyer from Lost would rob for stuff. I’m obsessive about being sure nothing is outside the TSA limits, but everything that falls in that category is in my backpack. Which I can barely lift. I’m pretty sure I have two of some things.

I have a calendar in my backpack with the dates, times, and locations of all the activities we are going to be engaged in. Along with the confirmations of same, showing the same information. Along with duplicate copies of etickets, boarding passes, and hotel confirmations. Of course, I have copies of my passport. I also have copies of all of the above in a Dropbox file for retrieval in emergencies.

I am leaving the office in 32 minutes, headed down to the Palmer House across the street, where I have reservations on an airport shuttle which will whisk me to O’Hare. Given that tomorrow’s a holiday, the whisking will probably be more like a stop/start/stop/start traffic jam, but my flight’s not ’til 9:45. I may need all that time.

Poor Marie Sexton has probably already arrived at O’Hare and is sitting somewhere reading while she waits for me to slog thru TSA.

Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe everything will go smoothly, and having my toilet spring a leak at 11:30 last night and having electric lines go down across the tracks and making me a half hour late for work this morning are my problems for today. My optimist self says “could be!”

The control freak is congratulating herself on booking a flight four-and-a-half hours out.

 

And before I knew it…

May 31, 2013 by

So, okay, a couple of weeks ago I was GChatting with Marie Sexton, as one does, and she mentioned that she signed on as a Keynote Speaker for the UK Meetup 2013, which is an event held in Great Britain for the local m/m writers there. This year’s is only the second or maybe third one they’ve had, but it’s drawn a lot of interest, both with UK writers and non-UK. It was one of those things I’d look at and dream about, but never thought I’d actually go to.

And then Marie mentioned she didn’t have a traveling companion and really didn’t want to travel alone… and before I knew it…

ukmeet  Guess where I’m going in July??

I’m really psyched and freaked out about it! I was to the UK a few <cough, twenty-eight, cough> years ago and have wanted to go back ever since. Now I can!

We’re actually arriving on the Fourth of July and spending a week in London doing touristy things, including a pop over to Paris for a day through the Chunnel. I mean, really. One has to.  I’m hoping to hit some of the spots I missed last time, like Canterbury and Windsor Castle, as well as my favorites from then too.

And we won’t be alone! My Chicago peeps Harper and Sue are going to be there at the same time, and Belinda McBride might come early too and do some touristy things. We’re all set with plane tickets and accommodations, and I have been making Lists. We don’t leave for a month, but I’ve already started packing…

In between the packing and the panic attacks, though, life has been going on. I just sent off the second batch of edits for Love, Like Water, so I’m hoping I’ll have a release date soon. I also set up a Cafe Press store for it, like I did with Finding Zach and Kindred Hearts, and am thinking about carrying an LLW tote bag around the UK.

On the Illumination front (if you recall, that is the new title of Going Like Elsie, about Miles and Adam), the cover is in the sketch stages and looks pretty good! LC Chase is doing the cover; I really love her work, so I’m happy! Should be getting the edits any time now…