Archive for the ‘One Shot’ Category

Not the greatest day

Friday, December 1st, 2017

This morning I had to go to the hospital to have a “suspicious tumor” surgically removed. I find out on the 15th if it’s cancer.

I found out tonight that my main publisher Loose Id is closing. That happens in May. You can read more about it here.

I’m…tired. So I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do. All but one of my currently in-print books are with LI. I could resubmit elsewhere, but LI was rock solid and now they’re shutting their doors. I could self-publish, but I’ve done that twice and hated it both times. I could, well, stop.

I don’t know.

And come to think of it, how screwed up am I to be more upset that my publisher is closing than at the idea I might have cancer?

Maybe I need to step back and get my priorities in line.

Straightforwardness

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Main characters in my finished and published stories, ranked in order of straightforwardness, starting with the most straightforward and ending with the least:

Rafe Dirisio — (Lone)
Paul Graham — (Paul’s Dream)
Joe Wilson — (A Picture’s Worth)
Kian Somers — (Paul’s Dream)
Zakai — (Paul’s Dream)
Joel Beckett — (Want Me)
Keith Taylor — (Chasing Winter)
Ace Donovan — (One Good Hand/One Good Year)
Riley Jameson — (One Shot)
Walker Cain — (Want Me)
Nick Carlyle — (One Shot)
Spade Hart — (One Good Hand/One Good Year)
Seth Anderson — (Lone)
Draven Donnor — (Just Perfect)
Mason Ripley — (A Picture’s Worth)
Asher Croft — (Paul’s Dream)
Jesse Winter — (Chasing Winter)
Dorian Burns — (Lone)
Cody West — (Just Perfect)

You might be thinking, “What?! How is Jesse so far down on the list, and how is WALKER square in the middle??” If you are thinking that, what follows is what passes for logic on my end:

First, this list only gauges straightforwardness, and does not take badassitude into account. Though, really, when you think about it, Jesse is plenty badass. Whenever Keith–who is gigantic and endowed with freaky super strength–steps out of line, Jesse never hesitates to knock him right back into it.

Second, the ranking is value-neutral. So whatever nefarious schemes a character might have going on (I’m looking at you, Draven), they don’t count for anything in this list.

Last, straightforwardness does not mean trustworthy. So, while Spade is arguably the most trustworthy character on the list, he waits till damned-near the end of the first book to tell Ace what he is, which Ace doesn’t take well. At all.

But anyway.

Jesse is in the bottom three because through most of Chasing Winter what he says and what he’s thinking are totally out of sync. For example:

“You always told me that willpower could accomplish anything.”

If I had known he’d remember every damned thing I said, I would have tried harder to stay away from such trite clichés. “Yes, I did say that.”

Or–

Keith grinned. “I’m making you uncomfortable, aren’t I?” He left the couch and searched out his briefs. “I’ll get out of your hair.”

I grabbed the top of the couch with my right arm and pulled myself up to watch him dress. Now that he wasn’t touching me, I felt…oh, God, I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. “Thank you.”

And he’s like that through most of the book. So now he’s on the bottom of a totally arbitrary, written-by-the-whim-of-the-author list on straightforwardness.

Jesse was fairly easy to place. If you’ve read Just Perfect, then you know why Cody ranks rock-bottom. No brainer. Same with Rafe and Paul. Rafe wears his heart on his sleeve and is always sure everyone around him knows where he stands. Paul’s heart is frozen solid for a while, but even then everything he does has a reason and he has no qualms about explaining those reasons to you.

Walker wasn’t so easy. Sure, he locks Joel to him in a horrifying spiral of magic that pretty much ruins both their lives, but remember–nefariousness has no weight on this list. He’s also a liar by nature, which would naturally rank him lower. But he doesn’t fuck around when it comes to his obsession with Joel. Never deviates. Never lets Joel forget that he’s never going to deviate. So, yeah, horrifying. But hey, straightforward.

You’re probably safer if you just don’t believe in anything Dorian does or says. Ever. I know it sort of worked out in Lone, but dude. Trust me on that one.

Riley was also hard to place. One Shot’s told from Nick’s point of view, and he’s royally freaked out through most of that story, so it’s hard to gauge how much of Riley’s actions are warped by that filter.

Seth was a pain in the ass. He’s got that crazy Ravager-magic-want-it-now-so-will-HAVE-IT-NOW thing going on. And first instinct is to rank him higher because even in human form he’s all “Look at my massive brown puppy eyes don’t you want to pet my hair?” But Seth doesn’t even know himself, so by default that cripples his ability to be straightforward with Rafe.

So that’s my logic, such as it is. I think it’s pretty easy to see why I put the others in their places on the list.

My question: Do you agree with me? Disagree? Where would you rank these guys, and why?


Interesting fact: I was not aware that “straightforwardness” was a legit word until I typed it up for the first time and didn’t get the red spell-fail squigglies. Prior to that I’d assumed I had made it up. “Squigglies,” however, is apparently fake, which feels wrong to me. >.>

Help a Fab Editor

Friday, April 27th, 2012

My editor at Loose Id, Raven McKnight, is ill and is currently trying to get her health insurance to do right by her.  She’s a total fighter, but fighting requires being able to sit up and breathe at the same time, and she can’t even get *those* meds.  So Katey Hawthorne got a bunch of us together in order to raise some money that will help her do just that.

How can you help?  Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/for-raven. There’s different ways to donate, and each donation level gives you a chance to win a different prize.  They’re awesome prizes, for a very good cause.

Raven edited “One Good Hand,” “One Good Year,” and “One Shot.”  She’s sharp, savvy, and not afraid to rip a manuscript apart in order to make it better.  She also keeps me from losing my damned mind at the height of edits and in those tense days just after a book release.  She’s a great editor and a credit to writing.

Let’s help her out.

On heroes, villains, and what I can get away with.

Friday, January 20th, 2012

A while back I got a rejection letter (I know, shocker, right?). It was nice as far as rejection letters go. Said my writing skills were tight. The story itself was too dark, though. I know this because the word ‘dark’ was used five times in two paragraphs.

It made me realize that I’m not so good at telling my heroes from my antiheroes from my villains, and that this could actually be a problem.

click the pic to learn more about One ShotSometimes I don’t cross a line by much and an editor will tell me how to revise. In the original manuscript of One Shot, Riley was much scarier than he is in the published version. When I made him nicer I made the mistake of not toughening up Nick by a proportional amount, but Nick’s still a little hottie in my book so that’s okay.

click the pic to learn more about Want MeWalker Cain from Want Me, however, didn’t get dialed down at all. For good or ill, it was one of the reasons I chose to self-publish. It meant I could go crazy with the storyline. I got to write a character who literally had no concept of right and wrong, not even as other people saw it. He wanted. He took. That was his life. Unfortunately what he wanted most was Joel, and the spiral they were thrown into as a result turned out to be razor sharp and painful for both of them.

Ahh, how I loved that book.

Still, there was an element of likability to Walker. Partly because he just didn’t know any better. Innocence born from madness.

click the pic if you'd like to learn more about Just PerfectDraven Donnor is not mad. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And he knows that almost everything he does is not right by human standards. So that would make him a villain, yeah? Except that he’s not human. He has a moral code, but it’s a product of who he is, of a culture very different than ours. And when it comes to Cody, he’s all about loving, he’s all about protecting, he’s all about getting closer. So he’s got flaws, but he also has one really, really good trait. Maybe that makes him an antihero. But…

When he becomes an assassin, he finds that he enjoys his job. That never changes. No angst. No crisis of conscience. Plus at the beginning of the story he steals from Cody. His best friend. Which brings us back into villain territory. On the other hand, from his perspective he is a natural, right being, rightly doing what comes naturally to him. Then again, most villains think the same thing about themselves, meaning Antihero Upgrade denied.

As you can see, I’m not entirely certain how I should feel about my newest character. But I feel for him all the same. He is Draven and I love him. Just like I love Walker. Just like all those psychotic characters I adore so much in anime. (I’m looking at you, Akabane.)

This says something serious about my psyche. I’ve yet to figure out what, exactly. As the writer of such stories, am I the hero or the villain? Maybe I’m trying to write the best story possible with a concept that’s always intrigued me, and maybe I hope Just Perfect catches on and its popularity will let me write more of it. Some of the stories I’d like to tell are cool and dark and possibly twisted. And I believe they belong on the shelf right next to my fluffy stories, because I love fluffy too.

Perhaps my ultimate goal is to bring balance to my backlist. That’s a worthy aspiration, even if the road is five times as dark.

Does that mean I’m the antihero?

Or am I just a writer with wicked thoughts, trying to see what xe can get away with?

Like P.L. Nunn’s art?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Katrina Strauss was kind enough to drop me a line letting me know that P.L. Nunn is selling prints of many of the book covers she designed for five dollars each. One Shot is on the list, and in case you forgot what that one looked like—because, ya know, I don’t post it nearly enough ;)—here it is below:

One Shot Cover -- Click here to learn more about the story

A lot of other great covers there as well, and the site in general is much fun. You can check it all out at http://bishonenworks.com/art_gallery/main/display.php?id=43.

Nice way to kick off the week, yeah?

Awesome Review for "One Shot"

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

One Shot Cover -- Click here to learn more about the story

Bitten by Books wrote that “One Shot is by far one of the best romantic eroticas that I have ever read.” They also said a lot of other great things about the story, and you can read the full review at:

http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=21997

And you can learn more about One Shot (as well as read an excerpt) on my site. 😀

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

***

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. 😀

Fiction? Reality? Eh. It’s a fine line.

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Thought I’d share one of the articles I’d read while working on One Shot:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7577501.stm

Will it have accidental side effects similar to the ones in my story? If so, then I’m thinking a needle in the arm is definitely worth it. 😉

"One Shot" is on Sale!

Monday, October 5th, 2009

😀 😀 😀

One Shot is available now from Loose Id!
Buy it now at: http://www.loose-id.com/prod-One_Shot-1023.aspx

Click the pic for more information on One Shot

Nick Carlyle understands the intricacies of his job better than anyone. He lives to crunch those numbers and his skills are valued throughout the company. If his personal life might be lacking, he doesn’t notice, especially whenever he steals a harmless glance or two at Riley Jameson’s tight body. But he’s the boss, and that means look but don’t touch.

When a universal flu shot is developed, it’s hailed as a miracle, and rightly so. But the seemingly harmless side effects begin to change the world, warping the statistics that Nick’s always used to guide him through life. Everything he thought he knew is suddenly upside down.

No one changes as much as Riley. Suddenly the young man is bigger, stronger. He’s also aggressive in ways Nick isn’t prepared for, and for the first time analyzing the numbers does nothing to help the situation.

Now, his numbers only add up when it comes to Riley.



One Shot Available now at Loose Id

Available now from Loose Id.

Excerpts, Awards, and Opinions

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

One Shot

I have an excerpt up for One Shot! You can check it out, along with the blurb and other good stuff, on the story’s page on my site: http://rowanmcbride.com/stories/oneshot/. Let me know what you think. 🙂

Lone

Lone has a page now for the Recommended Read stickers it has received since its release, as well as the various screencaps I couldn’t resist taking because I’m a digital packrat and {sigh} a geek (although, on a totally unrelated note, my geek card has been taken away, upgraded, taken away, and upgraded again several times over the past week, lol). Check out the brand spankin’ new awards page at http://rowanmcbride.com/stories/lone/lone_awards.html.

Thank you to everyone who’s read Lone. It’s had an amazing response and it was a pleasure building an awards page for it.

Want Me

I’m holding a poll on my Yahoo!Group (the platform I use for my newsletter) regarding Want Me. You have to sign up for the mailing list to vote, but it’s a very low traffic list (news only, my record being five updates in one month) and you can always set your preferences to “no mail.” Whatever option you decide, I’d appreciate your input. The link to my newsletter is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride and the direct link to the poll is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride/polls.

I think that’s it! I had a fab time at Dragon*Con. I’m planning on posting a more detailed update regarding the convention (plus pics!) on this blog in the next few days. W00t!