Pardon my ginormous fangirl squee – Josh Lanyon tagged me in “The Next Big Thing” blog hop with the answers to his ten questions for Blood Red Butterfly last week so it’s now my turn to answer questions! But before I do, if you haven’t found out about Josh’s WIP, GO NOW. And take a few minutes to read the Christmas Codas Josh is posting this month on his blog as Christmas prezzies — sigh-inspiring scenes between our favorite characters from Josh’s books! Awesome, awesome, awesome!
Anyhoo, I just released my holiday romantic comedy, I Don’t: A Christmas Wish and since my head’s still in that oh so happy world, I’m just going to run with that here…
The ten questions are:
1. What is the working title of your book?
At least he isn’t pregnant.
Seth Murphy campaigned for Maryland’s Question Six, wildly celebrating the Election Day victory for marriage equality. Divorce attorney and live-in boyfriend Owen, however, believes just as passionately that the gay community should focus on a plurality of equal rights protections instead of allocating so many resources and man-hours to one hot button issue.
Owen won’t marry Seth.
Relationship deteriorating, the couple visits the Murphy farm outside Brunswick for Christmas. Seth’s family never considered that Seth and Owen wouldn’t be first in line for a marriage license as soon as same-sex marriage passed. When they find out there won’t be a wedding, their season of miracles is invaded by pornographic gingerbread cookies, frowning church ladies, and a determined father with a tactical assault shotgun.
Neither Seth, Owen, nor their love may survive the family holiday circus to say, “I don’t.”
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I live in West Virginia, but we’re just a stone’s throw from the Maryland border and do pretty much everything in Maryland. So even before Question Six and same-sex marriage made it onto the ballot for Election Day, I’d been embroiled in months of conversations, inevitably leading to thoughtless & insulting remarks — many from people I’d considered dear friends. By early summer, I desperately needed a way to process the Question Six debate that was fun, hopeful, and absolutely nothing like what I was dealing with. Like my hero Seth, I didn’t dare to hope we would win, but I needed to believe. Badly. And I needed to laugh.
3. What is the genre of the book?
M/M romantic comedy. Oh, and a holiday story too. Ho ho ho
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t (hardee har har) keep a tally of actors to compare my characters against as I roll a story along. My heroes each just sort of look like themselves. But if I have to pick…Ryan Gosling for Seth. Michael Fassbender for Owen.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After same-sex marriage is voted into law, activist Seth wants to marry live-in boyfriend and divorce attorney Owen, who passionately believes LGBT resources should be focused on other equal rights protections, but when Seth’s outrageous family scrambles to change Owen’s mind, even Seth may be forced to say, “I don’t.”
But this is more fun:
Shotgun wedding? At least he isn’t pregnant.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
This is my first non-promo self-published title. Considering the story was contingent upon same-sex marriage winning the popular vote (which had never happened before) in Maryland, pitching this story to one of my publishers after Election Day, yet in time for the Christmas holiday season….uh no, that wasn’t ever going to work, LOL. My publishers would’ve done obscene things to voodoo dolls in my likeness and justifiably so. I wasn’t willing to let this story whither on the vine, though — Necessity, thy name is Self-pub.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh geez, I don’t know. I started developing it last summer? I kept telling myself that I needed to work on other things. This wasn’t supposed to ever see the light of day. But I kept returning to I Don’t whenever I needed a pick-me-up, which was often. It didn’t occur to me that — HOLY COW, we WON, YAY! YAY! YAY! — I could run with this story until probably a week after the election. Then, I was thanking God I’d invested so much time playing hooky to write, revise, and scrub I Don’t into shape, you bet.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are a lot of m/m holiday stories out this year, a sweet selection of great holiday reads for m/m fans. I wouldn’t dare compare myself or I Don’t with any of those stories and writers, but of the treasure chest of holiday stories, I especially liked outrageously fun goodies from K.A. Mitchell (Wish List — fangirl SQUEE #2, LOL) and L.C. Chase (Mister Romance). Stories involving same-sex marriage, though? I really have no idea. Most of the time I write what I do because I can’t find what I want on the market or because I want MOAR. To date, I’ve never seen a RomCom in which one hero is an activist for s/s marriage while his hero 2 (for whatever reason) is morally opposed. Doesn’t mean those books aren’t out there. I’ve just never seen them.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
LGBTQ friends, family, and acquaintances in Maryland who persevered in spite of the signs, rallies, and campaign slogans. All the people who cried along with me on Election night. The couples who announced their engagement as soon as the vote was called and the ones who are getting married at 12:01 on New Years Day. Doesn’t get much more romantic and inspiring than that.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Although Seth’s family is very, very loosely based on how wild and crazy my family can at times be, the cookie and wooden spoon gigs in the story are totally made up, never happened. Same goes for the shotgun. My older brother almost blew my foot off once, though, and instead shot a hole in our living room floor. I’M STILL LOOKING AT YOU, BRO. Unloaded, my ass.
I’ve tagged other writers with The Next Big Thing so be sure to check in with Madeline Ribbon, J.A. Rock, Dev Bentham, Valentina Heart, and Trista Ann Michaels on December 13th. So stay tuned for lots more good stuff!