Archive for the ‘Lone’ Category

Amber Quill Press is shutting down

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

One of my publiahers, Amber Quill Press, is shutting its doors for good. Their official closing date is March 30th, but they’re already beginning to wind things down.

This means that two of my books — Lone & Warm Rush: Chasing Winter — are going out of print. That makes me especially sad, since those were the only books I had available in paperback. If you were planning to buy the hard copies of either of those novels, I’d do it now. I’m not sure when exactly they’ll be pulled down, but if what happened to Want Me was any indication, the prices after AQP closes could skyrocket to $150. I love Lone and Warm Rush, but they are definitely definitely not worth that much. O.O

If there’s an upside, it’s that the e-book formats of both both books are seriously discounted on the AQP website, if you’ve been meaning to check them out.

It’s still sinking in that AQP is closing, so I haven’t decided what to do with my orphaned stories yet. Did you know that I wrote Lone especially for AQP? They were invitation-only and I certainly didn’t have an invitation, but I kept the finished manuscript under my bed for at least a year on the slim chance I’d receive one someday. Then, out of the blue, the invitation appeared in my inbox and I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the happiest moments of my life.That’s what I’m going to focus on for now. Business stuff later.

I’m not ready to say goodbye, Amber Quill, but I will say thank you for allowing me to be part of your writing family. I will miss you dearly.

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. >.>

Pretty Words

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Two things happened in my writing life recently that were kind of interesting and kind of related. First—I finished a novella. I think I’m going to title it Just Perfect despite the fact that it’s one of my darker stories but we’ll see. It’s in a revision stage, after which I’ll submit it to a publisher, so keep your fingers crossed. The second is that I’m currently working on another story and I finished writing a sex scene that I started in…2009, I think. Yeah, I got stalled pretty badly there. It might have been a good stall though because when I look at the plotline it doesn’t seem believable to me anymore, and I think I’ve got a better direction now for the book. Silver lining and all that.

The thing that kind of relates these two stories is language. When I was writing Just Perfect, I was afraid I’d lost the sense of lyricism I was so proud of in books like Lone and Paul’s Dream. Some might say I’m a little too in love with that sort of writing, but I’m really attached to pretty words, sentences that flow. The language in Just Perfect is hard, straightforward, and to the point. It wasn’t until I’d finished the story and read it all the way through for the first time that I realized this was Draven’s (the main character’s) voice, and that it fit. He’s an assassin, after all. And one who likes his job.

The story I’m working on now has more of the pretty words I thought I’d lost, which makes sense. Both characters in this one are nicer, gentler, a lot more innocent. They think differently so they express themselves differently.

I forget, sometimes, that it’s the characters who set the tone for a story, and that as long as you stay true to them, the words may not always be “pretty,” but they’ll always flow. And just because I’m stretching my writing muscles from time to time, doesn’t mean I’ve lost my touch.

It might even mean I’ve gotten better. (This is me, trying to be more optimistic as per my New Year’s resolution.)

😉

Reviews!

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Still settling in from Yaoi-Con. Somewhere in between me realizing I don’t have enough shelf space for my new manga and me realizing I don’t have enough wall space for my new art, I got a couple of sweet reviews:

Lone Cover -- Click here to learn more about the story

Boylove Addict wrote that “This book is literally going right into my keeper shelf.” They said some other great stuff, too, and you can read the full review at:

http://boylove-addict.livejournal.com/58769.html

You can also learn more about Lone (as well as read an excerpt) on my site.

Paul's Dream Cover -- Click here to learn more about the story

Paul’s Dream left Serena Yates at Queer Magazine Online “totally breathless,” and I’m stoked over that. She also used words like “amazing,” “engaging,” and “evil.” I probably shouldn’t be *as* stoked over that last one, but hell, drawing up a no-holds barred villain was surprisingly difficult.

To read all of this review, go to http://www.queermagazineonline.com

And of course you can check out more Paul’s Dream stuff on my site.


I think jetting off to San Francisco did me good. Wrote 2700 words yesterday and plan to write tonight. Hoping this means I’m slipping back into a good groove.

Lone’s Book Trailer is in a Contest!

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I entered my Lone trailer in a contest. You can check it out along with the other entrants at Entries Part 1, and Entries Part 2. The voting rules are:

  1. Votes will be counted via email.

  2. One vote per person and per email. No multiple email accounts should try to vote over and over again.

  3. Send vote to thepenmuse(at)gmail.com, subject: Entry #

  4. Voters you have until Monday Jan 18th!

A lot of good trailers are entered. Even if you don’t vote, they’re fun to watch. 😀

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!

Things that keep writers up at night.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I go through a lot of revisions. Before even submitting a story to a publisher, it’s quite possible that I’ve combed through it at least ten times before sending it in. This does not include the rather complex system of beta readers I have, each with their specific purpose in vetting my story. Does the concept make sense? How are the characters? Does everyone remember to take their shoes off with the rest of their clothes during sex? Did I use that semicolon correctly?

Overkill. I know this.

Yet there are still errors.

My editors at all my publishing houses are excellent. They find stuff that no one before them found. They spot plot holes I hadn’t even considered. I may grumble and grouse about how they want me to butcher my work of art, but after the first few minutes I get over it because they’re usually right. I make those edits. I start to feel good. Comfortable, even.

Yet…

Below are two short passages from two different novels. Non spoiler, but both containing pretty horrifying typos. Typos that were caught in the late stages of editing–in the case of Lone, the final pass before the manuscript was set to go to the printers.

From Lone:

He grinned and walked around to the side of the house, where an older man was shopping wood. He had the same Dirisio jet-black hair, with shocks of white at his temples.

Should have been:

He grinned and walked around to the side of the house, where an older man was chopping wood. He had the same Dirisio jet-black hair, with shocks of white at his temples.

From One Shot my upcoming novella:

Riley touched our noses together. “And, for the record, I don’t think you’re sexier than me.”

Should have been:

Riley touched our noses together. “And, for the record, I don’t think I’m sexier than you.”

Two TOTALLY different meanings there, gaw.

Now, let me just say that I like to think of myself as pretty good at catching my own mistakes. I know my beta readers rock, and my editors are amazing. Still, though it was no one’s fault, the above errors were a last minute catch, and every time something like that happens I ask myself compulsively “What if we hadn’t…?”

Which, of course, inevitably leads to “I wonder what else we didn’t…?”

And suddenly I’m staring up at my ceiling fan at four in the morning.

Part of being a writer is letting your cherished story go. For me, “letting go” means not looking at the book months (if not a full year) after it’s out there. Even now I suspect there’s a spelling error in Lone but I refuse to look. At this point there’s nothing I can do about it and who needs the stress?

By the time a story of mine goes to publication, I’m so sick at the mere mention of the title that my stomach twists. But eventually I always go back, read through it again. I can honestly say that even though I sometimes cringe at a turn of phrase or grammar error, I’ve never been ashamed of any of my stories. Now that I’ve gone through this process with five releases, it’s a comforting thought, despite my tendency to freak out.

So that’s one of the things that keeps me up at night. I’d wager I’m not the only writer out there who goes through it. As usual, there’s no real point to this post. Just thought I’d share that a part of me lives in a constant state of fear. 🙂

Let’s get ready to ramble.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Yeah, that New Year’s resolution I made to come up with better blog titles? Not happening.

Last week I participated in an M/M writing workshop at Romance Divas for the Not Going to Conference Conference. I have to admit, I was nervous. I’m still at that stage where I believe 80% of writing is magic, so I was unsure whether I had anything constructive to offer. But as we settled into a groove, I found I had tips to share on characterization, point of view, and even writing sex scenes. Working with the other authors was a lot of fun, and even though I was one of the writers giving the workshop, I also learned a lot.

I also popped in on other workshops. Sasha White’s “Coping With Burnout” thread turned out to be a godsend for me because I was rocketing in that direction. Truth is, I’ve been feeling off my game lately and spending a week talking about writing really helped. Now I’m going to try and take things a little easier for a while, as well as write some stories for fun. And not feel like a slacker when I watch other writers do their thing. Very important.

In keeping with my whole relaxation theme, I finally got to read volumes five and six of Totally Captivated! LOVE it. Recommend and was sad to see it end:

Totally Captivated Cover

The second quarter stats are in for Lone, and it turns out I made the top ten list at Amber Allure:

1) Allergies by T. A. Chase (Gay/Werewolf)
2) Lone by Rowan McBride (Gay/Werewolf)
3) Satisfaction by M. L. Rhodes (Gay/Contemporary)
4) Bottom’s Up: Kinky Orgasm by Amanda Young (Gay/Contemporary)
5) Most Likely To Succeed by Shawn Lane (Gay/Contemporary)
6) David’s Dilemma by Lynn Lorenz (Gay/Contemporary)
7) Bring The Heat by M. L. Rhodes (Gay/Contemporary)
8) Car Wash by Shawn Lane (Gay/Contemporary)
9) Carey’d Away by J. M. Snyder (Gay/Contemporary)
10) Betrayed by Cassie Stevens (Gay/Contemporary)

How cool is it that the top two slots are filled with werewolf stories?

Jumping to another subject (this is a ramble, after all), if you’re like me and enjoy bishies and muscle, please check out Yayoi Neko’s art at http://thundertori.deviantart.com/. I love the way she combines power and beauty in her work.

In totally random fun, Katrina Strauss has posted a vid from a Japanese game show on her blog: Bloggin’ it with Katrina Strauss. As a result, I’m currently trying to find a way to work the term “acrylic kiss” into a story. Lol.

I feel like an amazing amount of stuff has happened over the past two weeks. Of course, when I start to write it all down, it starts to get fuzzy. Hopefully, if I remember more, and it’s interesting enough to write about, I’ll think of a better blog title. 🙂

Wow, time for a belated happy dance. :)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

I’m way late in sharing this, but for the month of May I was on the Amber Allure best seller list:


What’s Hot?
May 2009
Best Sellers!

1. Lone
– Rowan McBride
(Gay / Werewolf)

2. David’s Dilemma
– Lynn Lorenz
(Gay / Contemporary)

3. Bottom’s Up:
A Kinky Orgasm

– Amanda Young
(Gay / Contemporary)

4. 629 Miles To Love
– Fae Sutherland &
Marguerite Labbe
(Gay / Contemporary)

5. Tangled Web
– Cassie Stevens
(Gay / Suspense)

6. Satisfaction
– M. L. Rhodes
(Gay / Contemporary)

7. Sins Of Arrogance
– India Harper
(Gay / Suspense)

8. NEG UB2
– Rick R. Reed
(Gay / Contemporary)

9. Bounty Of The Heart
– J. M. Snyder
(Gay / Historical)

10. Playing The Field:
Play On

– J. M. Snyder
(Gay / Contemporary)

I’m siked and honored to be at number one. You guys rock.

Lone also made it as high as the number four slot on All Romance eBooks. I took screencaps of both, and will be putting those up on my website as soon as I get a chance, because I’m a geek that way. Sigh.

Cherry on top? Received a review from Fallen Angel Reviews a few days ago. They gave Lone a Recommended Read. 🙂

Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read image

All this warrants a happy dance, right? I think so too:

Book Giveaway!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I just got my author copies (print) of “Lone” and I’ve decided to give one away this Saturday via my mailing list. To enter the drawing, just sign up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride/. If you’re already a member of the list, no worries. You’re automatically entered. 😉


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