Saturday, September 28, 2013

What a Roller Coaster of a Week!

 Click link for a sing-a-long while reading. ;-) 

      How to begin… 

     Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have noticed that I've had a bit of drama on there. Seems I've been the target of some cyber bullying. Every time I post a slightly suggestive photo I get flagged as posting something inappropriate. It has gotten so bad that I can’t even post in a private group! It really is ridiculous. Some people really do need to get a life. And to those who are following this person…this isn’t high school, so grow the fuck up. 

     It was such a major distraction that I lost focus and couldn't concentrate on getting my work done. Subsequently, I’m running a bit behind this week. Trying to catch up is never fun, but I’m plugging along. Almost there. 

     The big news is that My Hero is finally done and is being formatted as I write this.
Hopefully it will be up and ready for purchase in a few short hours. I hope everyone likes it. This story wore me out. The two main characters totally hijacked this story and wrote it the way they
wanted it. There were days I was so frustrated with them that I had to turn the computer off. They would not stay out of bed. Like so many twenty-something’s, they have a very high sex drive and it shows—boy, does it show. (My Hero is now available on All Romance Ebooks, it seems.)

                     My Hero

     Now before some people arch their eyebrow and think ‘Sex scenes should only help move the story along…’ well, I agree—and they do. I hate it when a sex scene appears out of nowhere. But these guys…well they just had a story to tell and they went with it. They are young. They aren't secure in their emotions, and one is sexually confused, but they seemed to have pulled it together. What I thought was going to be like a 20k story ended up being more like 60k. Truly, I thought I would have this story done three weeks ago. Nope, didn't happen. Oh well, it is still football season and there is a lot more to it than just football, but it I think it will be a nice read for those feeling the fall-like temperatures here. 

     As GayRomLit gets closer and closer, I become more and more anxious. Why? Well I’m going to be meeting a lot of people that I admire, and I’m sure I’m going to be a bit star struck. Then there is this whole thing about my first major publication with MLR being released right in the middle of it. As if that wasn't nerve wracking enough, the book itself is more than a little controversial in content. 

     P.O.W. is not going to be for everyone, but I wanted to highlight an issue that is largely ignored and needs to be addressed. Unlike the works that I currently have published, this is completely different. It is hard, gritty, in your face and full of angst. If I've done my job well, it is going to leave you a shaken, soggy, emotionally drained mess. However…it does have a very nice HEA, so just hold on for the ride and be assured that you’ll get there and hopefully be the better for it.

     One more thing...please support our folks in the military! They do a damn good job for not a lot of payoff.

    That's all I got for this week. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

     Max  ;-)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where Does the Time Go?

     Where does the time go? 
     First, I need to apologize for not posting last week. It isn't that I didn't write a blog, but after I reread it, it was so whiny and bitchy I decided to just skip it altogether. Yeah, it had been a particularly rough week. So…moving on. 

     Now I need to figure out what to put on here this week… 

     Ran into bit of an issue with My Hero, which I had hoped to have up for purchase by now but my editor didn't think the ending worked, so I’m rewriting that. Of course after three new chapters later, I still haven’t gotten it finished. Errr. Still working on it, so hopefully I’ll have it done by this weekend. Keeping fingers crossed. 

     The countdown for GayRomLit (GRL), being held here in Atlanta has begun. I’m so excited to be attending this year. I’m also blown away that my book, P.O.W. is being released right in the middle of it. Actually, I’m scared shitless! This is a story that is really unlike anything I've written before, so I’m unsure how it is going to be received. It’s has content that I know will make some people very uncomfortable, and…well it won’t be for everyone. 

      Why? It is a tough, gritty in your face and a somewhat violent book. There are several torture and rape scenes, which really got another author all up in arms. (Well, it isn't her book so she can shove it.) It isn't something that I took on lightly, but after many hours of research, I found out it does happen. Unfortunately, this happens more than you may think but is almost never talked about. I actually got the idea from CNN. Thank you Anderson Cooper.  

     Why would I write something like that? Well, I’m gonna tell you. I initially wrote it for an open call submission. When I saw the open call I only had eleven days to write it. I got it done in ten. The big problem was that I didn't have the time to sit down and get it polished up. It was rejected. No big surprise. 

     I plugged along on it, got it polished up a bit and put it away. Went back to it, tweaked it here and there, and put it away. Sent it off to a beta reader and she added some suggestions, and yep, I tinkered with it and put it away. Gave it to someone else to read and was encouraged to submit it to Man Love Romance (MLR). Pulled a blurb and synopsis out of my ass and sent it in. By the way, I hate
writing a synopsis, and blurbs even more so. I’m just not very good at it. BUT here is the funny part: I had found a blog on how to write those done by an editor. I followed the instructions she gave and sure enough I got a decent enough piece out of it. Little did I know at the time that it was written by the editor I was about to submit P.O.W. to! What are the chances? 

     Before I submitted it to MLR I did go and read their guidelines. Of course one of the big no-no’s was no non-consensual sex. Well, I submitted it anyway. The worst they could say was no, right? I think it was like ten days later I got a phone call from Kris Jacen. Not an email but a phone call. You literally could have knocked me over with a feather. 

     We talked, she as a little concerned about how graphic some of the ‘scenes’ were and said the editor I would be working with may ask me to tone them down some. Guess what… he didn't! Of course there were a lot of edits, not all that bad, but the main content of the book was left intact. 

     Here is where I need to explain some things about me I guess. I don’t write in sex scenes for the sake of having a sex scene. Personally, I've never liked that and after reading Ryan Fields blog and how he approached the subject, I felt justified. If a sex scene doesn't move the story along then it doesn't belong there. No matter how hot it is, it needs to go. So when I wrote some of these scenes, they had a direct bearing on the story. I didn't just throw a couple of guys out to be gang-banged to titillate. I know some people get off on that, but that was NOT the purpose of those scenes. The rape scenes went to show the character of these men, what they went through and more importantly how they survived. I also wanted to draw attention to some of the after effects with PTSD. 

      I did a special dedication to those in our armed forces, but it wasn't enough. I don’t know that it would ever be enough. When I hear of military personnel being overseas, especially the Middle East for three and four tours I just cringe. No one should have to be put through that. Marines, who are the best of the best in my humble opinion, always seem to get the worst of the worst. It was those men and women who I had in mind while I wrote this. 

     So… Hoo-Rhaa. Gotta love them Marines. 

      One more little thing before I go to get ready for some serious football watching: Autonomous body parts. Let me just set a few people straight on this. I happen to fucking like autonomous body parts. I know it is all wrong and Theo Fenraven would probably use my own cattle prod on me, but I do. Don’t ask me why, but I do. 

      I read ‘Cry to Heaven’ by Anne Rice years ago and I've never looked at a man’s hands the same. The way she wrote that was just pure sex! I mean I threw some serious wood over that scene. Granted, I have toned it down somewhat, but damn, when I want to write about a hand touching and feeling through the treasure trail as it looked for the precious
treasure, in my mind, that hand is just a hand and not attached to anything. It has a mind of its own. Yeah, kinda creepy and Adam’s family weird, but that’s just the way I’m wired I guess. Weirdly wired. 

      Have a great week everyone! 

      Max ;-)

p.s. the Marine I used here has got to be one of my favs. Enjoy?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's Football Time! Hell Yeah!

     Yup-yup, it’s Saturday, which means its blog day! YAY!

(Normally I would have had this done way before this, but a certain Mr. Vaughn has decided that DICK-tracting me is now a favorite past-time of his! Grrrrr.)

      Let me start of by saying I FUCKING LOVE FOOTBALL! I have been so looking
forward to this year’s season I can’t even tell you how much. What is not to love? A bunch of hot sweaty men, banging the hell out of each other in tight, almost see through pants? Come on. What gay man could resist that? 

     I loved going to the game. The tailgating ritual, the camaraderie, the atmosphere charged with electricity. Yeah, I love it. That is why I wanted to do a football story.
 (Nothing wrong with a little gay hazing while tailgating.)

      With that being said, it’s been a particularly strange week for me. I've been trying my best to get this football story completed but these youngsters have just taken off with my story. Grrrrr. I swear, I've never written so many sex scenes in one piece before, but they just can’t seem to stay out of bed. Sigh…to be twenty-something again. Anyway, I finally got them corralled and headed in the right direction. The ending was completely different than what I had in my outline. Two more characters showed up, which meant an epilogue. They almost got away from me again, which would have meant another chapter or two, which just wasn't gonna happen. Nuh-uh, nope. So I got it all wrapped up and am now proofing, polishing and getting ready to send it off to my new beta(s) to see what they think. Then off to my fabulouso editor K.c. Wells for her to rip it apart. Then I’ll get to fix all that, then back to the beat for a final review and then, yep then, I’ll get it uploaded. Yippee!

      I have got to take a moment to thank A.j. Corza for the remarkable job she did on this cover. She never ceases to amaze me. Let me tell you, she nailed this one. We went back and forth a few times, chatting about particulars and then WHAMMO, she’s got it done. I still can’t believe that she is willing to work with me. I mean, she has done some covers for those like Poppy Dennison, K.c. Wells, Cherie Noel and Silvia Violet and many others. I really feel special, let me tell ya. If you get a chance, pay her site a visit. It’s amazing. 

     The other good thing that happened to me this week was that I got a very nice email from Jerry Wheeler announcing those who would be included in his new Bears of Winter Anthology. The cover is beautiful, as you can see. Unfortunately, I wrote this just as my beta reader had a stroke, so I was completely on my own on this one. It was a mess, I hate to admit. Sorry, Jerry, I’ll try and do better in the future. It wasn't all that bad I don’t suppose, but he did a great job on smoothing off the rough edges. For a writer, sometimes what looks good and makes sense to us doesn't  always translate. We need good honest feedback so that we can see things through others eyes. It really is a must. A really good beta reader is worth their weight in gold. Couldn't do this without them! So thanks to all the beta readers out there, you guys rock. 

      What’s next you ask? I’m so glad you asked! While in Florida I had a Plot Stallion tromp on my head one day. Hold on, I’m gonna tell you, sheesh… A widower, a Marine with PTSD, and a wonderful dog named Bonnie. And yes, that is all I’m going to tell you. 

     Answer to a question I had from a reader this week: Yes, I work naked most of the time! 
Nope, it isn't me but close enough!  ;-)

           Have a great week everyone! 

          Max ;-)