Archive for the ‘One Good Hand’ Category

It’s simple math, really.

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Sometimes I storyboard. I take a pack of index cards, write down all the scenes that are jumbled together in my mind (one scene per card), and lay them out on the carpet. This way, I can see if the storyline and character arc makes sense. I like storyboarding more than outlining because I feel as if I have more leeway to add scenes, delete scenes, and shuffle stuff around (this advantage, of course, is all in my head because cut & paste lets me do all of that on the computer). It’s a way of getting organized that works for me.

Below is one of the cards from a novella I just finished:

Recognize those names? 😉

Wishful Thinking – Self Portrait

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I always wonder what people think of me the first time they meet me in real life. I’ve had fans believe to the core of their being that I’m one or another of my characters, and that can be intimidating because they never pick the ones that are messes (Ace, Nick). They always seem to think I’m Paul or Charlie (Paul’s Dream, Flow). It doesn’t help that every once in a while I do have a moment of bonafide cool, but said moments usually cost me mad cool points and I have to spend weeks, even months recouping.

At any rate, I drew a rough comic depicting how I’d like to be and how I am. Sort of. Posting it below. 🙂



Wishful Thinking by ~rpm77 on deviantART

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Note: For those who didn’t get a chance to read it, “Flow” is a story that was originally up at the Evolution Forum. I’ve since taken it down because, pending massive rewrites, I’ve gotten permission to submit the story to a publisher. While I’m daunted by the prospect of writing what will essentially be a whole new book, I’m also wicked excited. 😀

Writing as Therapy

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I’m not one to hash out personal problems with writing. When I was a kid I kept a journal off and on, and one sporadically in college and law school. That was as close as I ever got to consciously trying to work my issues out on paper. When I write fiction, it’s usually to escape, and to get myself an HEA (Happily Ever After).

A few weeks ago, my mom officially became a five-year survivor of cancer. As the doc told us that five years is usually the magic number for cancer patients, and that chances of recurrence were now much, much lower, I released a breath I’d apparently been holding for half a decade. I was so grateful I didn’t even put up a fight when she asked to watch Twilight as her celebration present.

With any luck, we shall never again speak of sparkly vampires in this blog.

But it was a very good day. And since then, the loss of that subtle bit of tension has relaxed me in a dozen different little ways, and I’ve been remembering a few snippets here and there from when she was first diagnosed.

One of those snippets was a story I’d started called The Companion. If you’ve been following me since I started writing on the Evolution Forum, you might remember the blurb I used to have for it on my website. It was labeled as an “in progress” story and I was ticking along with it, sure that it was going to be done in short order. Then my mom got sick and I dropped it. After a few months I even took its description off my site.

Alexander, one of the main characters in the story, had a grandfather who died of cancer. Taking care of the person who raised him shaped a huge part of his personality, and he’d wake up in cold sweats remembering. In the end I just couldn’t deal. Hit too close to home for me. Unlike a lot of other writers out there, I just wasn’t strong enough to delve that deeply into my own feelings and experiences.

Or so I thought.

In the last week, as I looked at the books I already have out, I realized I’d been doing exactly that.

Take Chasing Winter, for instance. In the beginning of that novel, Jesse is fun and full of life. Then he’s crippled by an accident and his entire view of the world changes. He’s cold, bitter. It takes him a long time to learn to live again.

I’ve never been hurt physically like Jesse, but I did have to drop out of law school due to an illness. In hindsight I see that law school wasn’t for me anyway, and not because I couldn’t hack it–my grades were good and I would have made a fair to decent lawyer. But I sure as hell felt broken in the aftermath of me leaving.

In Want Me, Joel’s secure life is turned upside down, and even though it’s a wrenching journey, he finds talents inside himself he didn’t know he had. I’ve been there. Although without a crazy ass hottie trying to seduce me at every turn, which was probably a good thing. Probably.

Lone, my newly released werewolf novel, features a character who’s dealing with someone close to him finding out who he really is. That’s happened to me. I’ve been in the other person’s shoes, too, having to absorb that someone wasn’t who I’d believed, and then having to decide if the “new” person was still the person I cared for.

Even though I don’t dive into a story intending to tackle a deep-seeded personal issue, I do go in with the intent of making my characters as real as possible. Realistic responses to stress, believable emotions, etc. In order to achieve that, sometimes I have to take a good hard look at personal experiences I’d much rather forget. As far as the story goes, such introspection is totally worth it. Everyone knows what it feels like to be rejected. Everyone knows how it feels to want something so badly it twists your stomach into knots. Everyone knows what it feels like to be alone.

In that way, every writer has a connection to their readers. It’s all about building a believable bridge from the story to those basic emotions.

If I get a bit of a catharsis while doing it, bonus. If a light bulb happens to go off in my head and makes me go “Ahh, I get it now,” even better. But it’s not something I go hunting for, and I can say from experience that most of the time that little light doesn’t even flicker until I’m re-reading the story years later.

But I figure it must help, even if I’m not aware. Maybe in some little way it makes me stronger, and the stronger I am, the more passion I can embrace. The more passion I can embrace, the better everything around me becomes.

Huh, sorta like Ace and Spade. I just realized that.

Dude, where’s your sequel?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, May 15, 2008.


I’m currently working on One Good Verse, the sequel to One Good Hand(gamblers, yaoi, hot hot guys. Mmm). People have asked after it (fan mail rocks!), and I finally seem to have gotten my writing mojo back, so it’s truckin’ along a lot faster than it was previously. Feels good. But, hmm…

I’ve never written a sequel before. Sure, when I start a story I usually have a whole world in mind. Sometimes I have a series arc from the get-go, and other times things develop over the course of writing the first book. Often I storyboard subsequent novels to make sure I don’t forget the finer points. But with One Good Verse I realized in a quiet sort of rush that this is the first time I’d actually tried to put down a bonafide sequel.

The idea is, well, freaking daunting.

I wonder if the second book will do the first justice. I wonder if readers will like Anthony and Michael as much as they did Ace and Spade. I wonder if I’ve totally lost the ability to write.

Okay, I go through that third one with all my books, but still.

All this is exacerbated by this warped delusion I have that I’m a lazy bum that’s unable to finish anything. Logically, I know this just isn’t true. Want Me came out early this year. The re-release (and omg, overhauled) edition of Warm Rush: Chasing Winter is tentatively slated for this summer. I have several stories nearing completion.

Still, it feels good to finish things, and I’m working hard to complete One Good Verse because I think it’s a sweet book with just the right amount of angst. I adore Anthony and Michael, who both seem perfect on the outside but have some pretty substantial flaws when you dig a little deeper. I hope readers find them as fascinating as I do. Of course, I won’t find that out until it’s done and read.

So I’d like to know—Have you ever had a crisis of faith when writing a sequel? Or, if you’re not a writer, have you ever hesitated to do something a second time for fear of not living up to the first project? If so, I’d love to hear about it and how you got over the hurtle. Would definitely help me get over these insecurities, knowing others go through the same thing. Less insecurity = More writing. And I’m all about more writing.

One Good Hand is on sale now!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, December 25, 2007.


http://loose-id.com/detail.aspx?ID=628

Yes!  Ace & Spade are hanging out at Loose Id!  From the looks of it, they’re having a ball. 

I have this thing I watch whenever I need a virtual happy dance.  It’s ridiculously cute, but I burst into hysterical laughter whenever I watch it, which is why it’s been dubbed my virtual happy dance.  Sharing it here is sure to KILL my cool points, but the fact that One Good Hand is on sale once again makes up for that.  I think.  Anyway, laugh with me:

http://sasukeyaoi.deviantart.com/art/NaruSasu-013-FLASH-35790390

Merry Christmas. 

One Good Hand has a cover *and* a release date!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, December 16, 2007.


I just got news that One Good Hand is being re-released from Loose-Id on Christmas Day. I’m getting all kinds of presents lately, because the story also has a brand new cover:

Nice, yeah? My very first yaoi cover, and Anne Cain did a great job with it. Ace and Spade look like they’re having a helluva time.

In One Good Hand, Ace wins a man in a high-stakes poker game. That’s a first for him, even though he’s been gambling big—sometimes winning, sometimes losing—for years. Right now he’s at the top of the food chain in a sea of sharks, and he’s totally unprepared for Spade’s kindness, his playful and seductive touch. I said a while back that these two are one of my favorite pairs. After starting many (and even finishing a few!) stories since OGH’s first publication, I still feel that way. Ace has a perfect poker face and an attitude to match, but in seconds Spade slips in on him, intent on giving his new “master” everything he wants. It’s… {happy shiver} …so much fun to watch.

If you’d like to read more about One Good Hand, you can on my website at http://www.rowanmcbride.com/stories/onegoodhand/. You can also see how they meet by reading the excerpt there. Ace in his element, Spade getting a handle on Ace. They have chemistry from second one, and it never gets old for me, no matter how many times I visit them.  I guess every writer thinks that about their characters, but I’m so absentminded that I actually blank on the names of mine once in a while.  I’d never forget Ace and Spade. 

A reviewer at Coffee Time Romance said that “One Good Hand will definitely make a nice hot read for a cool fall night.” I’m pretty sure it’ll work just as well for those brisk winter nights as well.

One Good Hand has a home

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, November 8, 2007.




One Good Hand has been picked up by Loose Id! It’s scheduled to come out next month. How crazy fantastic is that?

This book kicks off One Good series, which features those oh-so-hot Senai servants as they fulfill the hidden desires of their masters. One Good Hand was originally published at Twisted Shift, and is still one of my favorite stories. And because I’m giddy, I’m going to share why.

  • Mmm, Spade. Sexy, enigmatic, always knows just what his master wants and is all too happy to grant it.

  • Ace is an incredibly talented card shark. When away from the poker tables, though, he’s an adorable, kissable mess.

  • Ace and Spade together, on a couch.

  • The first elevator kiss I ever wrote.

  • This line: “Welcome home,” he said, his voice like Fifth Avenue silk.

  • Did I mention that the Senai live to fulfill your desires?

That’s just a taste. There are so many other things I love about this story. And the best news? Now that One Good Hand has a home, I can finally sit down and finish book two—One Good Verse.  Will be sharing more about that one very soon. 

Woot!