An interview with A. M. Leibowitz @amyunchained @supposedcrimes #interview #YLOH

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you’ll know I love A. M. Leibowitz, so I’ll let it just sit at that as you read this awesome interview!


 

Young Love, Old Hearts: Interview with contributing author A. M. Leibowitz

What was your inspiration for “The Artist as an Old Man”?

Probably the fact that I’m turning 40 later this year.

No kidding. That’s it?

Well, partly. I think that I have a different perspective on aging than many people. Not a better one, just different. I’m actually really excited to turn 40! I was thinking about what it would be like to be with someone twenty years younger (geez, that’s half my age!) and how that would look in another 40 years. I liked the idea of showing a May-December couple where one partner was experiencing the effects of old age.

The story isn’t just about that, though.

Right. My other inspiration was a recent conversation about an incident with my grandfather where he was supposed to be interviewed by someone from local public television, I think.

So is it based on a true story?

Not really. The events of the story are unique and, to my knowledge, have never occurred.

Was Aaron inspired by your grandfather?

A bit, especially that he’s an artist making mosaics (my grandfather made his living in ceramics) and Aaron’s love of learning. Otherwise, he has a bit of several people in him who have had a profound impact on my life.

Aaron is Jewish. Was there a reason for that?

Well, I mean, I come from a mixed Jewish/Christian background, so I like to explore both those sides of my family’s heritage. Other than that, I just like writing people of faith, regardless of what form that takes. Aaron came to me as a fully-formed character. He simply is who he is.

Were the juxtapositions of prison camps, war, and disease intentional?

To an extent. They were never meant as comparisons to one another—it was more about the commonality of loss and grief. Some things were purposeful, however, such as Aaron’s remembrance plaque in his studio. We sometimes ignore the fact that Nazi death camps weren’t limited to rounding up Jews, and we also forget that there are intersections in people’s identities. It’s really important to understand that men who lived through what Kenny and Aaron did have a vastly different perspective than Millennials or even Gen Xers like myself.

This is definitely not your usual more light-hearted kind of story.

Nope. I tend to like to incorporate both humor and hurt, but this one came out more as heartache.

So you weren’t talking about a zombie apocalypse toward the end, when Aaron reveals his mosaic.

Er…no. But true story: I had several beta readers, and some of them really were confused about what the references to death meant and thought it was something dystopian or supernatural.

Really?

Yes. I promise this is not horror or science fiction; all historical references are to real things. I’d thought I had provided plenty of information about the era in which it’s set (mid-1980s), including mentions of twentieth century wars, music videos, and a Kodak Disc camera. Apparently that all wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to change too much, so I threw in a line where Kenny references the year. Hopefully readers will get it.

Would you consider Kenny and Aaron to have had “insta-love” or to have moved too fast?

It could be read that way, but I’ll leave that up to readers. I can’t say too much without spoilers except that these were two men who needed each other, and it happened to lead to more.

On a parallel subject, did you mean to imply they hooked up and didn’t use condoms? That’s really unlike you.

Ha! Yeah, I have a bit of a reputation. Since the sex isn’t graphic, readers can assume whatever they want, but context and history should be taken into account. In my mind, no, they probably didn’t, but what might be more important for readers (if they even notice or care) is to think about why they wouldn’t have, especially given their conversation beforehand. I will tell you that absolutely nothing in this story is accidental.

Your characters like to make appearances in your other work. Will we see Aaron or Kenny again?

You never know. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see if they pop up somewhere.

Excerpt:

 

The negotiation had been scheduled for three p.m. on Wednesday. Mr. Rubenstein’s neighborhood was a bit challenging to navigate, and Kenny arrived at two minutes past the hour. He knocked on Mr. Rubenstein’s door, his stomach in knots at meeting the artist himself.

 

When the door opened, Kenny was met by a short, muscular man with dark hair, graying at the temples. He looked far younger than his fifty-three years. He had a long, sloping nose and John Lennon-style glasses. His face dissolved into a deep scowl, and Kenny sucked in his breath, stepping back a few paces.

 

“You’re late,” Mr. Rubenstein snarled. “Come back tomorrow, and if you show up on time, I’ll consider letting you in.”

 

He slammed the door, leaving Kenny standing on the stoop, staring. Malcolm was going to kill him, and then he was going to fire him. He might bring him back from the dead just to do it all over again. Kenny gripped his hair in his hands. Nothing for it but to go home and call Malcolm. At least Mr. Rubenstein had left room for him to try again.

 

Which ended up being exactly what Malcolm told Kenny to do, right after he threatened to not only fire him but put him on the three a.m. trucker shift. Malcolm didn’t explain how Kenny could do that if he were fired. Not in the mood for either outcome, Kenny promised to be on time the next afternoon.

 

Author bio:

 

  • A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. Ze keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. Hir published fiction includes hir first novel, Lower Education, as well as a number of short works, and hir stories have been included in several anthologies. In between noveling and editing, ze blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and hir family at amleibowitz.com.

 

Find me on the Internet:

 

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

 

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OIC158W (A. M. Leibowitz)

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AMLeibowitz

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyunchained/

 

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 

Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

Verso and Recto by Geonn Cannon

Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

A Blizzard’s Blow by Adrian J. Smith

Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

Slice by Ralph Greco Jr.

When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

That December by Lela E. Buis

Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

The Arrangement by Helena Maeve

When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

New York Minute by Stacy O’Steen

Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

The Artist as an Old Man by A. M. Leibowitz

1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

Adjunct Hell by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

Say You Do by Kassandra Lea

Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 

Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble ||
Add to Goodreads

 

 

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

 

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The Joy of Writing for an Anthology guest post by @LelaEBuis #guestpost #YLOH @supposedcrimes

I’m excited to have Lela over on my blog today, mostly because I loved her short story in our anthology!


 

The Joy of Writing for an Anthology

Magazines can be a hard sell for a writer. If it’s a popular magazine, you have to visualize something like 500-1000 manuscripts stacked in the back room, with one or two lowly slush readers doggedly slogging through the pile. Maybe it will avalanche and your submission will slide unheeded out the window, or maybe yours gets stuck somewhere under the bottom and the janitor sweeps it out years from now. After six or eight months, you send a query and get an instant rejection. So, was that because you had the audacity to query, or was it because they’ve really lost your manuscript? Maybe you just had no idea what they’re looking for.

Anthologies, on the other hand, take a lot of the guess work out of what the editor is seeking. Often anthologies are themed, and the editor gives you a prompt to write from—a general direction and maybe some hints about the characters, theme and conflict. Presumably there will be a smaller slush pile, too. This suggests you can find compatible markets by sifting through anthology calls and writing stories to suit. Over the years, this certainly has increased the number of stories I’ve had published. That’s a definite joy!

 

Website: http://lelaebuis.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://lelaebuis.wordpress.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lela.buis

Twitter: @LelaEBuis

Please promote: http://www.amazon.com/Competitive-Fauna-Collection-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00OKILOJO

 

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 

Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

Verso and Recto by Geonn Cannon

Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

A Blizzard’s Blow by Adrian J. Smith

Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

Slice by Ralph Greco Jr.

When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

That December by Lela E. Buis

Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

The Arrangement by Helena Maeve

When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

New York Minute by Stacy O’Steen

Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

The Artist as an Old Man by A. M. Leibowitz

1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

Adjunct Hell by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

Say You Do by Kassandra Lea

Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 

Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble ||
Add to Goodreads

 

 

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

 

 

 

 

Debut author Stacy O’Steen guest posts! @torn_treasure @supposedcrimes #YLOH #guestpost

Stacy and I met in a bar on a dark and rainy night in the beginning of November over two years ago. Since then, she and I have become fast and close friends. And her writing ability has grown tremendously! I’m so excited to have her here for her first published piece.


 

My short story New York Minute, as you probably could have guessed, is set in New York City. I honestly have never visited New York. I love the idea of the city and I have heard that everyone that goes there loves it. The reason New York Minute is set there is because I was binge watching way too much Gossip Girl at the time. Lol. My husband always jokes that if I was dropped in the upper east side I would be able to find my way around simply due to watching so much of that show.

 

Seriously though, I loved the scandals in Gossip Girl and the infinite possibilities of a city that large. I did do some research so I wasn’t just spouting out untruths, resulting in a million tabs up on my computer of the upper east side and Brooklyn.

 

Also, I feel like New York is the backdrop for some many stories about big dreams. I want Colton to have the movie star back drop even if his dream is only one of returning to a sense of normalcy and a place he can call home. I think dreams are important no matter the perceived impact and I wanted Colton to reach for his.

 

I would love to one day travel to New York City and if anyone has a dream of opening a restaurant in New York please feel free to call it Le Canard Humide and please write me to tell me about it!

 

 

Website: www.stacyosteen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stacyosteenbooks

Twitter: @Torn_Treasure

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/StacyOSteen

Endless Days of Summer to be released July 1st

 

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 

Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

Verso and Recto by Geonn Cannon

Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

A Blizzard’s Blow by Adrian J. Smith

Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

Slice by Ralph Greco Jr.

When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

That December by Lela E. Buis

Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

The Arrangement by Helena Maeve

When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

New York Minute by Stacy O’Steen

Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

The Artist as an Old Man by A. M. Leibowitz

1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

Adjunct Hell by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

Say You Do by Kassandra Lea

Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 

Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble ||
Add to Goodreads

 

 

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

 

Defeating Writer’s Block with @HelenaMaeve #YLOH #GuestPost #amwriting

Helena is someone who came to my attention well before we were put together in an anthology. She is a writer of great skill and many abilities, and I’m certainly honored to have my story next to hers in Young Love, Old Hearts. even seasons authors have struggles, and Helena talks about them candidly.


 

Defeating Writer’s Block

Helena Maeve

 

When I stumbled across the Young Love, Old Hearts submission call, I was waging battle against the gods of writer’s block. I can only assume they felt neglected after a few months of solid writing and decided to exact punishment. And I, a mere mortal, felt powerless against them.

Rubbish. Although it sometimes seems otherwise, writer’s block is not an external force besetting us. Its power is only fuelled by our own actions. In my case, it was a combination of exhaustion, lassitude, and the persistent fear that I’d already written my best ideas and whatever came next would be drivel. The more I repeated this to myself while trying to come up with the next novel, the next novella, and the deeper I seemed to sink into writer’s block.

Pursuing submission calls and looking outside one’s playground can be a solution, but sometimes there are deadlines involved and writer’s block can’t simply be ignored. A few strategies have worked for me in that regard.

Food. Eat your feelings, as they say. I’ve found that going out or cooking something nice at home can take my mind off the problem I’m struggling with. Setting aside the troublesome white page sometimes unlocks the kinks in our minds on its own, but even beyond that, our brains need sustenance as much as our muscles. For some people, that’s coffee or tea. For me, it’s a good meal at my favourite restaurant, alone or with friends.

Reread. Chances are you’re not blocked on the first thing you’ve ever written. So go back, pick through the archives and see how you did it before, what ideas you tried out and took to their logical conclusion or dropped halfway there. I’ve rediscovered many old drafts this way, and some are now well on their way to becoming fully realized novels. Other times, it’s simply useful to have tangible proof that the inner bully is wrong.

Routine. It may seem counter-intuitive when you’re battling a lack of inspiration, but sometimes sitting down in the same spot every day and going through the motions of trying to write can wear down the inner critic. Once that’s done, it’s much easier to trust that whatever ends up on paper can be used or learned from or revised. Too often we treat first drafts as a measure of our talent because we compare them with published works. We don’t see the thousands upon thousands of words that our favourite authors balled up and tossed into the wastebasket on their bad days. We just focus on our own.

The biggest trick of all is not to be discouraged by writer’s block. I’m still working on remembering that myself. On my bad days, I set aside the manuscripts that won’t cooperate. On my good days, I try to remember that there was a time not so long ago when I could write without questioning every word I put on paper and remind myself that the slump won’t last forever. Apparently even cold November rain can’t do that.

Website: helenamaeve.com

Twitter: @HelenaMaeve

 

Excerpt from The Arrangement:

Cyril brandished the bundled envelopes before he felt compelled to say something as inappropriate as that. “I wanted to drop these off.”

August cut his eyes to the package.

“I see.”

“You look well.” Cyril cleared his throat. “Probably should’ve led with that.”

“It’s kind of you to say.”

Yet August made no move to take the money from him. Aware of Lloyd watching them, Cyril lowered the parcel. “Please take it. Doesn’t feel right to keep it.” It hadn’t felt right whenever he slid it into his back pocket at the end of the night, right before letting himself out of August’s house like a cheap hustler, but he’d taken it.

August had made it plain when they started that the fee was non-negotiable.

The elevator doors slid open with a muted sigh, cleaving through the tension Cyril had felt building between them.

The sound distracted Lloyd from pretending he wasn’t eavesdropping.

August greeted his neighbours, but he was quicker to turn his attention back to Cyril. “Would you like to come upstairs? The way we left things… doesn’t sit well with me.”

There was a right answer to go with that request and it perched on Cyril’s tongue with a glut of colourful language.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the one he offered.

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 

Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

Verso and Recto by Geonn Cannon

Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

A Blizzard’s Blow by Adrian J. Smith

Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

Slice by Ralph Greco Jr.

When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

That December by Lela E. Buis

Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

The Arrangement by Helena Maeve

When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

New York Minute by Stacy O’Steen

Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

The Artist as an Old Man by A. M. Leibowitz

1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

Adjunct Hell by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

Say You Do by Kassandra Lea

Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 

Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble ||
Add to Goodreads

 

 

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

 

 

The Art of the Farce with @Racheline_M & @ErinMcRae #guestpost #YLOH @supposedcrimes

I’m so excited today to have Erin & Racheline here with a fantastic guest post! They are cowriters in every sense of the word, which is something I love partaking it. So give them a round of applause!

***

One of my and Racheline’s favorite story elements to play with is farce. Sure, we write a lot about death and coping with the difficult realities of relationships and life, but we even in our most serious stories we keep coming back to farce. After all, there can be farcical elements even in the midst of crisis, especially when crises keep happening right on top of each other.

 

“Adjunct Hell” is no exception. Carl is waiting to hear back from the tenure committee on whether he still has a job or not. He’s also conducting — and trying to keep secret — a relationship with his student, Phil, who’s a couple decades older than he is. Add in gossipy students, meddling colleagues, and Phil’s ex-wife who just happens to know the dean, and farce becomes essentially unavoidable.

 

Farce is more than just a hilarity-inducing plot device, though. In life, everything happens at once, all the time. Often, disastrously. Like the Thanksgiving where I, in one 24-hour period, got stuck in a snowstorm driving home, was trapped in the middle of really intense family drama over pierogies (my father-in-law is Polish), misunderstood an email and thought all of my friends hated me, and got Racheline’s and my first novel contract — while I was at a bar.

 

The contract aside, that was a weekend I could have done without. But still, even in the midst of it all, while the terrible kept piling on, it was kind of funny. Farce is all about that. It’s the way we make one of the most pain in the ass truths of life part of our story while also keeping it — the story and our lives — fun.

 

Social media links:

 

Joint Blog: http://Avian30.com

Joint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline

Erin’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/erincmcrae

Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m

Erin’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8323893.Erin_McRae

Racheline’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1015335.Racheline_Maltese

 

Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae are also authors of the following series:

 

Love in Los Angeles: http://avian30.com/books/love-in-los-angeles/

Love’s Labours: http://avian30.com/books/loves-labours/

 

Excerpt from “Adjunct Hell”:

 

“So apparently your classmates have a betting pool going,” Carl says as soon as Phil picks up the phone.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yes. About whether and when the old dude with the crush is going to get with the professor.”

 

Phil makes a strangled noise. It takes Carl a moment to realize he’s laughing.

 

“It’s not funny!” Carl protests.

 

“It’s funny.”

 

“I’m still waiting on my boss to tell me whether or not my colleagues hate me and whether I, you know, still have a job. The last thing I need is rumors about me and a student…” Carl trails off in despair.

 

“It’s a school. Do you have any idea how many rumors are flying around? Or how many professors are banging their students?”

 

Carl collapses face down on his bed and makes a pitiful noise into the phone.

 

“Look, I know this is making you crazy,” Phil says soothingly. “But whatever it is has been done, and if they wanted you gone, you’d know. There is also absolutely nothing you can do about it right now. So,” he says, and Carl can just picture him settling more comfortably in his bed, in which they have not spent nearly enough time together. “Tell me about the rest of your day.”

 

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

Verso and Recto by Geonn Cannon

Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

A Blizzard’s Blow by Adrian J. Smith

Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

Slice by Ralph Greco Jr.

When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

That December by Lela E. Buis

Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

The Arrangement by Helena Maeve

When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

New York Minute by Stacy O’Steen

Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

The Artist as an Old Man by A. M. Leibowitz

1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

Adjunct Hell by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

Say You Do by Kassandra Lea

Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 

Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble ||
Add to Goodreads

 

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

 

 

Fangirl to Peer @amyunchained #loveisamess #authorcorner

I’d love to welcome A. M. Leibowitz to my blog today! One, she’s totally awesome and doesn’t know how fantastic of a writer she is, and two she really understands the word humble. A. M. is one of the newer authors at Supposed Crimes, but boy does she fit right in. Here’s her guest post for the release of Supposed Crimes’ first anthology.

Love Is a Mess: Guest Post

By A. M. Leibowitz

Including a story in Love Is a Mess is the first time I’ve put work into an anthology since my high school poetry collection. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about including my work alongside that of authors whose work I admire.

One of my favorite parts of being a writer is getting to know my colleagues in a professional capacity. It’s been a stretch, though, going from fangirl to peer. It’s so hard not to compare my work to others’. I suppose that’s a challenge for any author, but in my case, it’s partly because I love the work put out by my publisher. Most days, I can hardly believe I’m lucky enough to be part of that family.

Which brings me back to the anthology. What made this such a great experience for me was seeing my name listed with theirs in the same volume. There are some terrific stories in there, and I’m thrilled to be among them. It’s also been fun getting to know the people I’d never met before this collection.

There’s something for everyone in there. Even though these are undeniably queer stories, the array of feelings are universal. In being part of this work, I feel like I’m really part of something larger—and that, for me, is what makes writing so powerful.

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

 

Find me on the Internet:

 

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Amazon author page: A. M. Leibowitz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: @amyunchained

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AMLeibowitz

Lower Education cover reveal A. M. Leibowitz @AmyUnchained #MM #bisexual

Lower Education
By A. M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Publication date: November 1, 2014

Synopsis:

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.

That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.

Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

 

Lower Education Cover

Excerpt 1:

Alex spun around and threw his hands in the air. “Why are you still here? Go find someone else to bother.”

“What if I think the information you have is more valuable?” Phin crossed his arms and tilted his head, jutting out his chin.

“And what if I think you’re wasting your time? I have nothing here that would be of interest to you.”

The corner of Phin’s mouth curled upward. “I would say you’re mistaken. There’s plenty here for me to take interest in.” His gaze traveled downward slowly, making Alex feel exposed. Heat spread across his face, followed by a surge of anger. Placing his hands on the table and leaning toward Phin, Alex replied, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but it won’t work on me. Is this how you’ve handled your other clients?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, you do.”

“All right, you got me.” Phin chuckled softly. He moved in closer and lowered his voice. “I once signed an entire multi-year textbook contract on my appeal alone.” His smile faltered, and he looked away briefly. He snapped his attention back to Alex and narrowed his eyes. “You’re not the most difficult client I’ve ever worked with, though it’s close.”

“I’m not your client. There’s no reason for your behavior.”

Phin licked his lips. “I didn’t make a mistake in the bar the other night.”

Teasers:

 

 

 

Phin closed the gap and kissed him

Make US feel good steamy

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Find me on the Internet:

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

Goals for June

Each month I have a writers group meeting in Arlington, TX where we discuss what our monthly goals are. I think I might be a little overambitious this month, but I need to get it done. This group hasn’t met since March, so it was great to finally get together again, with someone new AND with great food.

My goals:

1. Edit DYING EMBERS
2. Write ASHES FALL
3. Write ACROSS WORLDS: COLLISION
4. Finish FLASH OF DEATH

I mean wow! I’m insane right? DYING EMBERS is already edited by me and the editor. I just have to go through her comments and make one plot point. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right? ASHES FALL is another story. I started this in January and got three chapters and the prologue done before switching my attention to another novel. ASHES FALL is the third and final in the James Matthews Series and I really need to get it written. I want it to come out before I go to Rainbow Con next April. I want both of them out, actually.

ACROSS WORLDS: COLLISION is the novel that I’m co-writing with Sirena. Yes, we finally decided on a name for it! We’re about 15k-20k words away from it being finished and ready for editing–which is another chore that I’m not looking forward to. We’re so close, and we plan on writing on it today. Maybe we’ll finish. We have had 10k word days before.

FLASH OF DEATH is the ghost story that I have been working on and was featured in my last WIPpet Wednesday. I can’t tell you how much I love CL and her spunikness. It’s about halfway done; I just have to add in the twist, and the fight, and maybe the sex!

Feel free to keep me on task and ask about it all. I’m sure I’ll need help in the motivation department to keep going!

Dying Embers: Take Two

I can’t tell you how nervous I still get when emailing my publisher (or the fact that half the time I’m still in wonder about having a publisher!). I’m not kidding. My first book, FOREVER BURN, has been out since March 1, coming up on three months now, and it seems to be doing fairly well (at least, the publisher says so). Before that book was released, in January (really, really early January), I emailed my publisher DYING EMBERS, which is the prequel to FOREVER BURN and Addison’s story.

She loved it, but said she wanted to wait until I had FOREVER BURN in my hands. However, she sent it back with the edits.

So now…five months after I got it back from her and three months after FOREVER BURN’s release, it was high time that I emailed her about it. I really needed to figure out if she was still planning on going through with publishing it, or if I needed to find someplace else. STILL THERE ARE NERVES! I had to call my bff, Katherine (who makes a wonderful side one-off character in DYING EMBERS, it’s hilarious really), and tell her to yell at me to send the email. Talk about ridiculousness.

Here’s how my email went.

Hey,I just wanted to double-check and make sure that you were still interested in this book. I was going to start editing it soon (crazy semester). I wanted to add in one more plot line in the beginning of it, to give some more edge and action through the first part of the story. I can easily do that as it’s not a main plot point, but it will add to the world Addy is coming from and to the issue of her transition to no longer being part of her old life.

I was also going to start writing the third and final one in June (Ashes Fall).

Thanks,

So…I waited at my computer, impatiently wanting that little number to appear at the tab so I knew I had a new email. The thing about my publisher, is she gets back to me like none other. She’s always getting back to me within a couple hours (unless I send it in the vast wonders of the night, then of course I have to wait a few more than usual).

One hour.

I’m not kidding: just under ONE HOUR!

That’s all I had to wait for the reply. The reply that basically gave me exactly what I’m going to be doing for the next two months and most of the summer. The reply that I really needed to get to boost my energy level.

Yes!

I was just thinking about Dying Embers this morning, while putting some paperwork together. I’m ready for the new project. When you’re done editing. :) Sounds like you’re taking on a lot!

Best regards,

That’s it. “Yes!”

Best feeling in the world–at least until I went and participated and helped a good friend propose to his girlfriend with a whole song and dance. Elation surpassed by elation.

However, I am going to make a ploy. Check out FOREVER BURN and buy it if you want. If you do, and you read it, a review would be AWESOME. Right now, the launch date for DYING EMBERS is March 1, 2014. My guess is that will be bumped to September or October. So stay tuned for updates.

Forever Burn Collage

Forever Burn Collage

I finally put the collage together that I’ve been meaning to do. These are a few photos from people who bought “Forever Burn” and were kind enough to send me the photos of them holding it. I love the community, love, and care that this shows, and seeing all these smiling faces just makes me grin in response.

If you buy it, post a picture with you and the book (either print or ebook) on my facebook page. I’ll make a new collage with all the additions.

Good things come in small packages…

I just got home from one of the longest days at school. I’m looking forward to tonight and relaxing with a good friend and a great meal (that she’s cooking for me!). So, I checked my mail and in it was a really small, inconspicuous letter. I open in up and WOW! I feel so blessed.

It amazes me what people say sometimes about something that I put so much work into. The letter was a response to Forever Burn. My mom (who is my secret book pimp) handed out one of my books and this is the response of that person to reading it.

My mom and I were discussing my writing. She’s has a theory that as I continue to write, my characters will become deeper and have far more complexities than they even do now. I don’t want it to sound like my characters are only surface level, because they’re not. But I’m inclined to think that she’s write. She has yet to read the super secret project that’s not so secret–so, maybe her “theory” will change.

Anyway, if you want to read what the letter said, here’s a link to my FB page where it’s typed out for you.

Letter from a reader

The Next Big Thing: Blog Hop March 20, 2013

Hey y’all (yes, I’ve been living in Texas far too long). This is a blog hop. Don’t know what that is? Good, I didn’t either for a bit. Basically, this is a way to learn about some awesome and cool indie authors. I answer a few questions and give them a shout-out! I want to thank Sarah Hart for taking the time to explain to me exactly what this Blog Hop entails.

I will answer some questions and then give some shout-outs. Shall we begin? (Yes, that is a blatant Sanctuary reference, and if you have NOT seen that show go watch it. It’s amazing!)

1. What’s the title of your book? Forever Burn

2. Where did the idea come from? I worked security for three plus years and I worked very closely with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. Everyone thinks that firefighters go to fire calls…well, that’s really NOT the case anymore. After seeing how many calls that CPFR came out to where I worked, I started asking how many fire calls they went to. The answer was usually every 1 out of 10 or every 2 out of 10 calls were fire calls! I was a bit shocked. And, btw, those are fire alarm calls, not actual fire calls.

Needless to say, there was a house fire when I was working one night. Eight engines came out. EIGHT! and they were all so excited about it being an actual fire and what they had trained for. This book comes from that idea–that firefighters don’t really do what we think they do anymore.

3. What genre does your book fall under? This is an urban fantasy, lesbian novel, with a hint of crime and romance. As my friends father calls it…this thing is romancey! I do want to point out that it is NOT a romance novel, though; there is love, but that’s not the purpose of the story.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? My friend asked me this one time, and I actually sat down and did it all out. Now, if only I could remember it.
a. James–Jaime Murrey
b. Addison–Polly Walker
c. Max–Aleks Paunovic
d. Heath–Robert Lawrenson
e. Rob–Robin Dunne
f. Norma–Emilie Ullerup
g. Jean-Pierre–Eddie Redmayne
h. Cameron–Gabrielle Rose

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Nightmares, supernatural powers, firefighters and love–James has it all.

6. Is your book published by an independant publisher? It is! It is published by Supposed Crimes, LLC. My publisher is a fantastic and amazing woman, and we get along splendidly. Oh! And she’s always accepting submissions and is currently looking…so if you have an interest, check it out.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? So…um…it took my 19 days to write the first draft of this. I want to follow that up with the fact that it took me seven weeks to edit it (but I ended up on a deadline).

8. What is in a name? Is there a significance to the names of characters in the book? I am a strong supporter of deeper thinking and of causing questions to be asked. I want to not only tell a good story, but I want to make people think about something that they might not have thought about before. The name for James came quickly. I’ve always had an affinity for it. To give the name to my main female character was a bold decision that I have yet to regret. It causes a momentary confusion for the reader, an “is James really a woman, or is that typo?” After, I hope that either the name suits the character to where the gender of the name no longer comes into play, or the question is asked, “why not?” Why can’t we have characters with mis-gendered names in our stories?

Addison was far more difficult. I certainly wanted an androgynous name for her; I wanted a slight mystery behind who she was. I have a certain affection for all names that begin with the letter “A” and can never resist adding at least one character in a story with a name as such. Addison, and subsequently, Alyssa (Lily) were these two characters. Addison’s name is androgynous by nature, and I wanted an assumption to be made that she was a man. This was helped along with her title and position at the Fire Station.

9. What is your writing process? I write every day. Okay, well, I try to write every day. If I’m not writing; I’m editing. If I’m not editing; I’m writing. I might not be working on novels; I might be working on shorts, or papers if my instructors decide to have an assignment due. In the world of no classes and no school, I wake up in the morning and edit until noon or one. I always finish the piece or part I’m editing. Sometimes it is one piece, sometimes two. Sometimes my own work, and sometimes it’s for a friend. After editing, I write. I write for hours. When I want to get through a chapter or a certain part before bed, I’ll turn all electronics possible off. No twitter. No television. No facebook. I’ll turn my music up as loud as is appropriate (my playlist ranges from Ice-T to movie scores to gospel to country). I type as fast as possible. Editing can and will always happen later.

My motto is two-fold: I cannot edit what has not been written, and I cannot improve without continuing and practicing.

10. What are you working on now? Currently, I’m working on an entirely new series. This is not an Urban Fantasy novel and is slice-of-life crime, following around a patrol officer on her daily routine with a few snippets into her personal life. She meets up with the Law Enforcement Chaplain, and they become close very fast. I’m over halfway done with writing this at the moment, and by the time this blog hop is posted, I plan on being done with the writing and on to the editing.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog hop and my answers to the questions! I answered far more questions than I had to (so, if I shouted out to you and you end up posting this, you do only have to answer five questions). Forever Burn was a blast to write and will always have a special place in my heart.

Forever Burn is out and available worldwide now. Feel free to check it out.
Amazon: Kindle and Paperback
Smashwords (for all the ebook goodies)
Barnes and Noble: Nook and Paperback

The following are my shout-outs! Some are aspiring and some are published. Please check them out and support all Indie Authors! (that’s because we’re the best)

1. Graham Powell
2. J.M. Cataffo
3. Sirena N. Robinson
4. Elizabeth Delana Rosa
5. Carolyn Gray
6. Victoria Rivers
7. Jenn Monty

The Downward Spiral

So…I finished writing my 85k word novel yesterday in a massive rush of typing away during spring break and now…now I’m not sure what to do. Spending so much time on one project, where my entire focus is only on that, is fantastic but when finished leaves a very odd feeling. It’s like a large part of my life has ended. Yes, yes, I know there is still editing and hopefully publishing, which means more editing down the road, but right now? Nothing.

Today, I went to church, taught my kids all about Palm Sunday (yes, I know it’s not Palm Sunday yet), went to the yarn store (aka Joann’s), crocheted half a Luna Lovegood scarf, cleaned my kitchen, dining room, and living room (rearranging part), watched about seven episodes of Eureka, went to McDonald’s (because really, who after spending three hours cleaning wants to cook), played with the kitties and sat here staring at my computer screen trying to figure out what to do. Needless to say, my life is never one of idleness. I’m still sitting here trying to figure out what I should be doing. Part of where this blog is coming from.

Maybe we should create some sort of writers support group for when everything is finally finished and complete and DONE. It seems so final, but it’s not. Nothing is ever final. It has been suggested by fellow writer and friend, Carolyn Gray, that I start the next book. My response? “Oh, hell no! No way!” It’s been suggested I write on some fanfic. My response? “Yeah….no.” Relax? “Obviously, I do not relax well.”

So, after all of that, I’m still left with the feeling wrapped in the center of my chest that I should be doing something, that my fingers should be typing, my head working through plot points and my heart pounding because of the scenes. But I shouldn’t. It is finished. At least for now (I feel like Jesus should have said that, he would have sounded in the groove). My deadline for editing this recently completed novel (the super secret project that’s not so secret) is May 1, so I will have to get on the editing band wagon asap. However, for the rest of today, I’m left with such an odd and strange feeling. Perhaps tomorrow with more work it will fade into the background.

Best wishes to all,

Adrian

oh! and go get my book Forever Burn…*stares you down until you get it*

Book Lauch Party rehashed

Welcome! I had to cancel the original party due to the flu-like cold and ridiculously high fever I had. This one will NOT be canceled. I’m bound and determined that if even sick, I will still go!

So, come and join me in celebrating the launch of Forever Burn. There will be cool swag that I’m giving out and I know some people want some things signed. Come one, come all!

When: March 26, 2013 at 6pm
Where: Gingerman Pub Fort Worth (right off Camp Bowie)
What: CELEBRATION!

Yes, I know it’s a bar. If you are under 21, you can still come. They stop allowing underage in after 9pm. We’ll probably be hanging out outside. Also, Tuesdays are Pint Nights at the Gingerman. Drink one and you get to take your glass home with you! Isn’t that awesome (no, I do not spend too much time at this bar).

Facebook Event Page

Forever Burn eBook now Avilable!

This is a fantastic email to get from my publisher! The Ebook is now available. I’m saying it once. Buy it!!

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smashwords

Author Copies

My copies have officially arrived in the mail!! w00t! Just in time for me to leave for the weekend.

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Fucking Fucks! (Cursing in exposition)

I need to preface this post with the fact that I am NOT against cursing in books. So, I am NOT against cursing in books.

Have you every seen the movie “Good Will Hunting”? I read something recently where it started to turn into that movie. For the first ten pages there were no curse words, not harsh or crass language. Then suddenly, it was like WHAT THE FUCK? <== see what I did there?

Anyways, suddenly the word “fuck” was used in every other sentence. The word lost its meaning.  I am not opposed to using curse words in exposition or in dialogue, but you have to make them worth while.

For example: I have a scene in “Forever Burn” were Max is freaking out because he feels completely helpless and pulled in ways he never thought possible. He didn’t know what to do and the frustration just continued to build. EXCERPT TIME!

In frustration, he tossed the piece of paper with Rob’s name and number into the trash bin and stood up glaring at the telephone.

“Fucker.”

The word slipped through his lips.  It was rare that he cursed, but the harsh word sounded throughout the deadly silent room and filled him with a sense of pleasure.

“Mother fucker!”  He shouted it louder this time.

The knot that had been held tightly in his chest and stomach released and everything tumbled down.  He sat back in the chair, his hands covered his face, and his mind reeled with the reality.

The tears fell unbridled.

See, the cursing plays to the mood of the character and exactly to what is going on in that moment. But if the word overused, if the meaning behind it is overdone, then it loses all its impact.

Just food for thought.

The First

Had to share! First book, that I know of, has arrived! Katherine wins (if there was something to win other than the book, lol).

When you get yours, take a self and either tweet it to me or post it on my fb page! It’ll be fun to see them all and maybe ill make a vid or collage when I get enough.

Enjoy!!!!

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James meets Heath

This is one of my favorite scenes. Mostly because James is extremely annoyed.

‘Mr. Sheriff’s Deputy with the extra smelly cologne’ had his hand on her leg and a soft look on his face. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Her brow narrowed and wrinkled between her eyes. It was a look she often gave when trying to figure something out. There was something off about him, yet something overwhelmingly pleasant as well. “You good?” She didn’t know why she asked it back, but she couldn’t help herself.

He nodded and smiled, his white teeth showing and his eyes crinkling in the corners. “Yeah, for now. Don’t ask me tonight though.”

James cocked her head to the side reading his name badge. She hadn’t seen him around and in a town this size she knew all the officers of law. “Deputy Taylor.”

“Heath Taylor, at your service ma’am.” He bowed his head slightly.

“First off, don’t call me ma’am.” James jumped down from the truck and started for the back to check on her supplies. “Second, I’m James.”

“James? What’s your first name?” He followed her and stood closely as she opened a storage hold, the hinges swinging up until she set the metal leg in its locked position so she could dig around inside.

She was having a slight issue with how close he was to her, but let it slide without comment. “James Matthews. My mother liked jokes.” The last statement was bland and obviously not the truth. She shut the door and looked to her left noting that the people from her station were starting to come back; she could feel their adrenaline running around and their minds whirling. She knew what each was thinking and feeling without looking at their faces. Adrenaline was always a good sign and one that she took to steady herself. The boys started to round up all the supplies, used and un-used while cleaning up the area as best they could.

“What you did today was really brave,” his voice was hushed and his eyes cascaded across her face, tracing the lines of her cheeks and jaw.

Taking a moment to pause, James realized that she had no idea what she should say. She was never good with compliments, but this one was extremely odd coming from him—he didn’t seem like the type to give out compliments. “Ummm… thanks. Just doing my job, you know.” And really, she was. This time she had done little outside of her job description. “You know we’re not just fire anymore, we’re fire and rescue.” Giving a quirk of her lips and showing some teeth in the smile, she hoped it was enough for a quiet hint.

“I love your eyes.”

James stepped back and blinked: obviously not enough for a dismissal or a hint. She really had no idea how to reply to his comment, and she was beginning to feel rather uneasy.

“I mean, they’re so unique and expressive.” He amended, trying to explain away his sudden outburst that had clearly made James uncomfortable.

Air was slowly pulled into her lungs and she let it out in a rush deciding on what to say. “Yeah, everyone says that, try to be a bit more original.” Turning on her heel, she made for where her Battalion Chief was standing and away from the nosy and creepy deputy.

All Rights Reserved Copyright 2013 Adrian J. Smith

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