Wow– I didn’t realize until just now how my blog has been all work and no play! Well on Friday, I promise a warm, gooey family post, because even though it’s been all about the work, the fact is, I still have a warm gooey family at home and they deserve some blog love. Alas, today I am committed to a work post, and that’s not all bad because I’ve got some purty cover art to shows you.
See? Is it not beautemous? This is the cover for Under the Rushes, which is out sometime this month! (I know– stuff just got scheduled weird and it’s sort of all out at the same time. I’m going to have a BIG BLANK SPACE during January, February and March, during which the only thing that will be published is City Mouse and that’s only if Aleks and I can get our schedules together and finish it. (We’ve been working on it–that is looking likely.) But this is my steampunk cover, and part of the reason for the delay in the cover art was that it had to be REALLY FRICKIN’ DARK. It’s hard to convey that feeling of, “This character is at the end of his rope in a dark techno-Victorian world and he’s pretending to be a guy like Christopher Nolan’s Batman except with twistier sexual issues” with enough verve. Anne Cain knocked it out of the park in the end, and I love this–the more I look at the cover model, the more grim he looks, the more tired… and the more handsome he looks, just with too much grimness for it to be the first thing you appreciate about him–and that’s Dorjan, and that’s one of the reasons I love this so! I’ll post more info when it gets announced–but hopefully there will be more gooey family stuff between now and then, cause I wanna write gooey family knitting joy for once!
Today’s post is called “The Next Big Thing” and it’s sort of a writer’s game of tag. One of us will post, and then link back a week ago to the person who asked us to post. In my case, the delightful Miss Belinda McBride tagged me, and these are the questions we all must answer.
Now, as it turns out, the book I’m working on now is Forever Promised, which is the fourth in the Promises series, and which, I think, has plenty of love going out for it right now. So I’m going to talk about Bolt Hole which I just finished.
Where did the idea come from for the book? Four years of working at T.G.I.Fridays as I was going through college.
What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary, mystery cozy
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? Okay– I was going to spend all morning on this, and then I realized that Mary found me a model instead, and that was going to work for me! The only difference between her guy and mine is that Colby has darker hair. And Terrell, well, I’ve always sort of liked Nick Cannon, even when he was on Disney. He’s got better teeth than my guy, but he’s also got nice eyes, with the laugh lines in the corners, and, even after all these years of being in the media, sort of a shy, self-deprecating smile. Mary had me a hotter guy, but Nick was, well, just better for the job. Besides–he looks older than the guy playing Colby, and he should. Terrell is thirty, and Colby is twenty-four.
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? Waiters in love try to figure out world politics and who killed their manager while they explore the personal dynamics that make it so easy to make love and so hard to make things work.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre. Who Killed His Editor by Josh Lanyon, I guess. For my own stuff, it’s the closest thing I’ve written to Clear Water.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? Well, working in a socially diverse place for fifteen years didn’t hurt, and neither did the sad statistics that tell us how hard it is to be black and gay. And, of course, those four years at T.G.I. Fridays. My husband’s best friend as we were going through school was black–he and his wife both worked restaurant jobs with us. One night, Michael wanted to take us to his and Cristina’s favorite Mexican restaurant, but he couldn’t quite remember where it was–you know how people drive when they’re lost? Yeah– we were doing that down Folsom Blvd., when suddenly, I notice a cop car in front of us. And one behind us. And one on either side. They were just waiting for Michael to do something wrong, so they could search him and see what one black man was doing in the car with three white people. Finally he made a hinky–not an illegal, mind you, but a hinky–U-turn, and we spent the next forty-five minutes pulled over, while they interviewed him in the cop car and kept shining the mag-lights in our faces and asking us all if we were all right. I wasn’t all right by the time we were done, I was pissed, and it was my first real understanding of racism in America. Terrell sees it first hand. I hope I did it justice.
What else about your book might interest the reader? I was surprised that, for all of the exploration of race, sexuality, politics, and what a dark place the world in general was in regarding all of these things, that in spite of all of that, this book had some really funny moments. Terrell is grumpy, but he’s also sort of idealistic. He thinks Colby can do no wrong, but Colby is young and impulsive and has a temper, and so does Terrell. That and the natural material of working in a restaurant with Door-ho’s and window-dicks– it had some nice moments of humor to balance out all of the darkness.