I have a new book, Too Stupid to Live, coming out Monday. The book tells the story of Sam (secondary character in my novella Whitetail Rock, available for free in many places, including my website) and Ian (secondary character in The Fix, also available many places, but let me give you my handy website link). But in spite of the fact that I’m dealing with old characters from an established—although short—series, TSTL will be the first in a new trilogy called Romancelandia.
In other words, I’m taking characters and beginning anew. It’s not some kind of marketing ploy, though (no, the crocheted penises I’m giving away on the blog tour are the marketing ploy—check the details out here, or just enjoy the image included with this blog post), I actually have many reasons for starting over with these characters, not the least of which is because when I wrote Whitetail Rock, I wrote it intending it to be a one-off, largely because it was a freebie written as a gift to M/M romance readers. I had no plans to write a story for Sam. That came along later.
By the time I wrote The Fix, I had a plan, but it turned out to not be a very well-developed one. I introduced Ian in that story, but he wasn’t what I thought he was (I’ll go into this in more depth on my blog tour, beginning January 14—details here). I struggled with the character I thought he was for a while, then I took a break, and when I came back he was different. I had to rewrite chunks of the story, but I’m much happier with him the way he is now, because (weird as this may sound) he really worked on himself. He made a conscious effort to change his life, and then he took positive steps to make those changes.
In other words, Ian started over. As a matter of fact, the book begins with his new beginning. Here’s a short excerpt from Chapter 1:
Ian Cully locked up his house—ex-house—one last time and contemplated throwing away the key.
Nah, quitting his job, selling his home, and moving the hell out of California was probably symbolic enough. Instead he just watched the brass glint in his hand. Then he stared at the deadbolt and the knob.
It isn’t too late to go back to the department and drive a desk. That thought triggered a sudden and visceral flash of scraping his back on the asphalt and the sound of his skin sizzling.
Yeah, fuck it. He wanted the hell out of California. Wanted to live around family he liked. Put some distance between him and his dad.
“That’s it?” his cousin Jurgen asked from behind him.
He should probably stop standing on his porch—former porch—staring at the locking hardware. “Uh, yeah.”
“C’mon then. I want to get moving before dark.” Jurgen’s feet scuffed on the wood as he turned, and then Ian felt the boards give as he thudded down the steps.
He stared some more. Jurgen didn’t say anything else, even though he was probably waiting by Ian’s truck, back crammed full of stuff, ready to take off after the moving van that had left a half hour ago. Leaving the porch had been to give Ian space, although he knew damn well Jurgen wanted to get home to his boyfriend.
Still, Jurgen’d probably wait half the day if Ian needed the time.
Ian turned around, shoving the key in his back pocket, and headed down the stairs. Yeah, it was time to leave. Get rid of the last of the old life, because he was sure the hell ready for a new one.
At any rate, once I figured out I was starting over with the story of Sam and Ian, I took another break from writing and I reconfigured not only this plot, but figured out it would be a series, and loosely plotted the next two books. As a very wise author once said, coughJoshLanyoncough, it’s better to plan your series from the beginning than to realize after you’ve written book one that you want a two and three. (Or something like that. I’m sort of paraphrasing.)
And now that Romancelandia Volume #1 is almost out, I’m feeling really good about that decision. Nearly as good as Ian feels by the time Too Stupid to Live ends. I’m totally a fan of new beginnings.
I’m going to paste in the blurb—if you’re interested in buying TSTL, you can preorder now from Riptide Publishing (follow the link below the blurb) and get the book at midnight on the 12th EST or GMT -4 (that would be tonight, FYI). If you don’t order from Riptide, you’ll have to wait until the 14th. And psssssssst! It behooves you to read all the way to the end of the post.
Too Stupid to Live Blurb
It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?
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How many of you read all the way down to the end of the blog post? If you did, you get a prize. Well, a chance at a prize. I’m going to give away an electronic copy of Too Stupid to Live to one commenter here. Make sure you leave your email address if you want to win. At midnight (EST or GMT -4) January 12th I’ll chose one commenter at random to win. As soon as I hear back from the winner, I’ll send out the book. Good luck!