In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers– and their penchant for making good music when they weren’t getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams–made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.
Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he’s hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn’t flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that’s not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav’s help–but Trav’s not sure he’s going to survive falling in love with Mackey.
Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn’t do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey’s past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.
Yay! It’s out. I mean, it’s partially out. The first part is out. I mean, part one…
Okay, let me ‘splain.
No, too complicated. Let me summarize.
A year and a half ago, Mate and I went to a Muse concert in February. It was fucking awesome.
As I sat in the audience, trying to knit a cowl for Ellis Carrington (I loved how it came out, btw, but Ellis, alas, does not do cowls. Now I know.) Amy-way…
As I sat in the audience, I thought, “Rock star. Ooh… Rock star. And he leaves his first lover behind… and he falls pray to the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. And he comes out of it, and falls in love again… and then…”
I won’t spoil the “and then”. I will tell you this. Some of the pivotal scenes in this book? Some of the ones that will hurt you the most? They unspooled in my head, from beginning to end, as I was sitting in Arco Arena, listening to Muse.
So I asked Mary to put it in the queue as “Rock Star”. And I had to, by the nature of the queue, sit on that one for a while.
As I sat, it got richer, and richer. And then, right before I was scheduled to write this story, I went to the Electric Christmas festival at Arco Arena, and one of my top ten bands, Cage the Elephant, played. The lead singer, Matty Shulz, was cocky, irritating, hilarious, and–obviously–higher than helium. He was an obnoxious, egotistical little shit, but God did he have the fucking chops to back it up. Cage the Elephant? I still love them.
But when I found out that one of the guys on stage– the guitarists he fucked with the most as he was doing his stage histrionics– was his older brother?
Oh my God.
Mackey James Sanders and Outbreak Monkey were born.
And I knew it was going to be long.
Before I even broke paper, I foresaw 140K, easy. So I leaned this sucker down, took out the extraneous, but the core of the story– of Mackey and his brothers and of Outbreak Monkey and the music– that remained intact.
The result was 170K.
Which is way, way, over industry standard length.
I had nothing I could cut down– not and keep the story I wanted to tell. But publishing something that big is… well, DSP had already cut my Bitter Moon books in half, and published them separately– they’d established a precedent. But there was no good place to cut this to make it two novels. But it was the size of seven short novellas.
So Elizabeth and Lynn decided to make Beneath the Stain a serial release.
I was the one who proposed the extra content.
Like I said, in an effort to make an effective plot arc, and to keep the story from wallowing in its scope, I’d leaned it way down– and left out all sorts of things that I’d wanted to write. But if we were releasing the story as a serial, well, I wanted to give readers a reason to buy a serial. And what better way than exclusive content? So I suggested “DVD Extras” (which was what we called them, all the way up to the galley stage, where the term was changed to “Bonus Scenes”) and I wrote one scene for each section, and I wrote to answer the questions that I’d answered in my head, but didn’t answer in the story itself.
How bad was Stevie’s dad? How did Heather Sanders come to have four sons with four different fathers? How would Heath and Trav become fast friends, when they were so very different? How come Stevie and Jefferson look so much alike? How does Blake finally mesh with the band? What happened to he-who-shall-not-be-named after one-of-the-things-that-we-wish-hadn’t-happened? And, my favorite question/answer, how does a guy like Kell find a happy ending?
These were incidental considerations in the overall plot arc– Mackey was too self-involved and Trav too out of the loop to pursue those questions to their conclusions when writing from their point of view, and I’d leaned the test down too much for a secondary character info-dump to sit well with me.
But to write an extra section? That was perfect. I was thrilled and hooked– writing those extras were part of the best part of my summer.
So, today marks the release of the first part, and I feel compelled to post the release dates for all of them:
blurb– Part One of Beneath the Stain
In one breath of shotgunned pot smoke, Grant Adams breaks every taboo Mackey knows—and Mackey refuses to look back. In the shadows of their small town, Mackey and Grant carry on a precocious affair under the noses and behind the backs of girlfriends, parents, and overprotective older brothers. When Mackey’s band finally has a chance to make it big, Mackey and Grant are put to the test.
And fail miserably.
Part 2: Friday, September 5th
Part 3: Friday, September 12th
Part 4: Friday, September 19th
Part 5: Friday, September 26th
Part 6: Friday, October 3rd
Part 7: Friday, October 10th
Release of complete novel in either e-book or paperback: Friday, October 17th. (Yes– we will be at GRL–if you’re going, and you want it waiting there, be sure you go to the DSP website and sign up to have it at GRL!)
Now– you can get this story in five ways– and I”m going to cut and paste that part right here:
Did everybody see the highlighted part? I’m going to clarify it, because usually I’m not a hardass, and this needs to be said out loud:
YES, this book will be available from 3rd party vendors on October 17th– that’s amazon.com, allromanceebooks.com, barnesandnobles.com, and any other legitimate business man on the net.
NO–the EXTRA CONTENT will NOT be available after the book is completely released. So, if you want the extra content, the way to go will be the Serial Package– that’s essentially the price of a novella extra, to get what amounts to a novella’s worth of extra content added to the story.
Now, talking about cost leads me to
Tomorrow, I’ll be chatting on the DREAMSPINNER PRESS FACEBOOK PAGE for three hours– from 1-4, Pacific Standard Time. I’ll talk about Mackey and company, and I’ll have a promotion code for ALL WORK BY AMY LANE AT DREAMSPINNER PRESS. It will be good for two days– so Saturday and Sunday– and it’s onetime use. So THAT’S pretty exciting– be sure to get in on that.
I’ve already given you guys the blog tour, but I’ll give it again, because there’s a chance to win a Serial Package, as well as T-shirts and lanyards (if they ever arrive!) and other fun things. Be sure to visit these places and enter on Rafflecopter, kay?
August 22, 2014
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Sunshine Book Promotions
August 23, 2014
elisa – my reviews and ramblings
August 24, 2014
My Fiction Nook
August 25, 2014
Coffee and Porn in the Morning (aka Cupoporn)
August 26, 2014
Boys in our Books
August 27, 2014
August 28, 2014
Scrollin’ Them Papers
August 29, 2014
Regular Guys. Hot Romance
August 30, 2014
August 31, 2014
September 1, 2014
September 2, 2014
books are love
September 3, 2014
September 4, 2014
In The Pages of a Good Book
I’ve set up a FB Group– Amy Lane’s Stained Angels
— so you can go there to discuss the story and check out the swag and get a heads up on other promotions. Anyone can join, but beware– it’s going to be rife with spoilers, so visit at your own risk!
(One more thing, I promise)
has turned the first section into a playlist on Youtube.com– she was going to do all six segments, but I have it on good authority that she got a ROCKIN’ new day job, and she’ll probably have WAY too much to do to get all that done. That being said, I’m going to post the link to the first playlist, because it was an AWESOME idea, and I’m grateful 😉
I mean, even if I’m not done, I’m done.
But you guys– I hope you enjoy the stories, and the extra content and the chat tomorrow and the whole page for discussion. I’d love to see YOUR playlists, and PLEASE feel free to talk this story up and up and up, so that when it DOES hit amazon.com, people are DYING for it.
This story means a lot to me– I’m so glad to share it with you.