Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Off to the Rodeo...

Every year I head up country to one of the local rodeos. Its a great weekend hanging out with old friends, making new ones, and cowboy (butt) watching. I always volunteer one or both days, clank cold brewskies with the crew, kick up my dusty boot heels at the dance and drool over the cowboys, er... horses.

When I'm not writing, I'm drawing. Last year I snapped off 1100 references photos for a rodeo-themed series of drawings. My focus was mostly on the horses - I grew up with them, had a couple of my own, and long for the day I can afford to get back in the saddle. This year however, my photographic eye will let the horses rest in favour of those gorgeous, rugged men we all love. And Good Lord! Who doesn't love a cowboy?! Its those sexy, snug Levi's and worn boots that do it to me every time.

Who knows, if I'm lucky I might even have myself a story-worthy experience. ;-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three to Tango

The coolest thing happened in front of my computer screen the other day. An email arrived from one of the ladies in my romance writer's critique group, Chloe Cole, asking if I'd like to co-author an M/M novella with her.

Uhm... Hello! Is water wet?

I think my answer was somewhere along the highly intelligent lines of "DUH!" or maybe it was "HELLYA!" But you get the point.

Chloe's writing is distinctly different from mine, and I love her style. The combination of our voices could turn out to be something really special. At least that's what we're hoping. We're kind of flying by the seat of our pants since co-authoring is new territory to us both, but so far, the instant message brainstorming is off to a great start. We've come up with our story idea, story location, three main characters (complete with personalities, physical descriptions and professions), and we are currently plotting the outline. Then we get to write!

To say I'm stoked is an understatement. This project is a great challenge for the both of us, and regardless of the outcome, our craft will grow from it.

Its a win-win all around, me thinks. :-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Verbotene Liebe

In researching material for my first M/M romance novel, I discovered a most beautiful and wonderful couple: Christian and Oliver.

Christian Mann (Thore Schölermann ) and Oliver Sabel (Jo Weil) are characters on the German soap opera Verbotene Liebe, which translated means "Forbidden Love". As with any soap opera, there are a whole host of entertaining and annoying characters, as well as a far share of silly and far-fetched story lines, but the story of Christian and Oliver comes across so real, so true - and utterly infectious. One can't help but love these two characters. I absolutely adore them and am now thoroughly addicted to their story. Yeah, so addicted that I went on a marathon bender and watched all 297 episodes over the weekend, and like a junkie, am in withdrawals waiting for the next episode to air.

Fortunately us ChrOlli (as they are often referred to) fans, a wonderfully kind lady in Germany has taken the time to not only post episodes of the show on YouTube, she's also translated and subtitled them into English for the rest of the world. Danke Nanna! You rock. :-)

This clip is from one of my favourite episodes. Christian finally stops fighting how he feels for Ollie and well... sigh... its "the" moment. Yes, they are fictional characters, but still, who wouldn't want to be loved like that? To be looked at like that? Major kudos to the actors for bringing so much feeling and intimacy to their roles.

"Just For You" Inspiration

You know how when you read a story you tend to visualize what the characters look like? We usually see the hero as looking completely different from how the writer saw the him. I can't even begin to tell you how not impressed I was with the casting of Stuart Redman and Frannie Goldsmith when they made Stephen King's The Stand into a movie. Not that there's anything wrong the actors they chose, they were just so not how I saw them.

Some writers have a clear image of the leading men in their minds, while others need a little visual aid to keep them focused. Some tack pictures of their favourite actors, rock stars, models, or even friends and family, around their work area. Some draw pictures of their characters. Some take bits and pieces from random images and paste them together to create their "perfect" hero. And some writers don't bother at all.

Coming from an artistic background, I'm a highly visual person and tend to draw my characters. Occasionally, however, I come across a photo that just screams "that's him!" And that's how it was with the two heroes in my new book (current working title Just for You). I came across a photo of Matt Schiermeier and Cameron Earnheart (you'll have to google them because I can't legally share the photos) and they hit me like a two-ton heavy thing. This was them! Not to mention, I just love this photo. These two are simply beautiful. And yes, seriously hot.


My first introduction to male/male romance was in the paranormal romance series, Black Dagger Brotherhood, by J.R. Ward. Each book in the series is threaded with two or three sub-stories, each of which, so far, have become main stories as the series progresses. A few books back in the series, one of the sub-stories focused on two young male vampires discovering, and fighting - well, one of them is fighting - their feelings for each other. Their story is told with such heart, such depth, you can't help but fall in love with them in turn. After the latest book in the series, their love story took an unfortunate turn, and I actually cried. Fortunately for me, and a whole slew of BDB fans, the boys are going to get their own story and their happy ending. Which I have to say, makes me most happy.

Since then I have discovered several wonderful writers and stories in this genre. I love love. I love how the heart wants who it wants, no matter the boundary or prejudice, and fighting for that is, in my opinion, where true romance lies.

The heart does not see age, race, gender, religion, ego, status, class, wealth, power - it only knows love. It seeks the beat that matches its rhythm. We search for it all our lives. We want to love and be loved. But what if that love came in a package we weren't expecting? Do we embrace it or turn our back on it? If there is only one great love, how can we take the chance of being forever without it? What if that marrow-deep, heart-wrenching love came in the same gender? What wouldn't we give for it?

I hadn't ever thought about writing anything other than heterosexual romance before, but the idea of M/M began to seed itself in my mind. There was something incredibly appealing about it to me. Some dynamic I can't quite put my finger on. And when ideas starting dancing around in my brain... well...

I am currently near the end of a paranormal romance novel, stuck at a bridge point in the story. I went to sleep one evening thinking about this particular story when a dream woke up me in the middle of the night. An amazing dream where two men were having a rather heated argument. The tension that surrounded them was so thick, so aggressive and emotionally raw, I had to get up right then and get them on paper. These two men are the heroes of my first M/M romance, and I'm so excited to tell their story I'm afraid I'm letting my almost-finished novel slip to the side a little. I am so totally in love with these two new characters, I find it difficult to think of much else.

I hope you will join me in my journey to publication, and along the way, help keep me on track. And just maybe, share a few stories of your own.

All the best, L.C.