News and Whatnot!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this already, but remember how Carina liked my pitch on Twitter and then requested a look at the partial manuscript and query? Well they took a look at it and THEY WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE MANUSCRIPT.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

So I have been pounding away on that book, tentatively named Business and the Beat, with much excitement.  And in the meantime have been enjoying the launch of In Another Country with Painted Hearts Publishing–it’s gotten some lovely reviews! Pink Heart Society said this:

There were moments of vulnerability that really clawed at my heart. Jeffries nailed            the ebb and flow of tension in new relationships. I must also mention the great use of        consent and safe sex practices as well. High five for that! I will be recommending this        book the next time I’m asked for something unique and full of the feels.

Plus they put the book on their finalist list for Best Romantic Suspense! Thanks, y’all.

And AND I made my first book, the f/f paranormal romance novelette Spark & Change into a paperback! Did it mostly for the learning experience but I was surprised at how much it meant to me to hold a physical edition of one of my books. Very cool.

I have ideas for the next two standalone full novels, plus two probably-shorter pieces (maybe it would be good to work on the shorter pieces for self-publishing while working on the Carina request?) And I keep thinking that I ought to write a series since everyone says that is what readers are really looking for, but standalones are what keep jumping into my brain and I hate to make those ideas wait. (Probably if I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and brainstormed series idea, though, Things would Happen.)

And oh lord I have *so* much still to learn about the business end of things, and about advertising and other marketing, and aieeee. I’m listening to lots of podcasts on those subjects, and just bought a book about doing newsletters.

This is a full-time job, y’all! Unfortunately I already have one of those? (This is not a complaint. I’m having fun learning despite the overwhelm!)

Oh, and here’s some news for any Headstones fans out there–their old records are on Spotify now!

Affectionate forehead bumps,

 

Kellum

So Much Happens!

My second book came out on Thursday! In Another Country is a slightly historical (1990s) m/m romance set in Fayetteville, NC. Closeted bisexual cop Declan meets hot Mountie Tupper, in town for an anti-terrorist training at Fort Bragg. Dec’s always stuck with a “one night” rule with men–but can he withstand Tupper’s charms? (Spoiler: he cannot.)

So that was very exciting! And Painted Hearts Publishing let me know that first day sales had been “very respectable,” which 1) YAY and 2) I did not know publishers DID that, how sweet!

In other bookish news, a while back Carina Press had a Twitter pitch day, and I took a shot at it–and two of their editors wanted to see more! Whoo! I put together a query, synopsis and sample and sent it out yesterday–one day ahead of the deadline, GO ME. (And I am here to tell you that synopses are NOT FUN.) So fingers crossed on that one. Meanwhile I need to finish writing the book! I’m about 17,000 words into a probably-50,000-word draft. (This is the ‘shy gay financial planner/cheerful pansexual rockstar’ one that was sparked by *those pictures* of Jason Momoa about to jump on Henry Cavill’s back.)

And after that I have the plot of a het romance (go figure!) roughed out on index cards. And there’s a paranormal maybe romance/maybe not lurking around at the edges of my brain. I HAVE TOO MANY THOUGHTS.

 

 

 

 

(Spoilery) Review: Rend, by Roan Parrish

“We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout…”

 

That’s what happened to Rhys and Matty–married after knowing each other just a couple of months. Now almost a year into their marriage, Rhys takes his band on the road–and Matty starts to come apart at the seams. Can they hang onto a happy-ever-after when Matty can’t believe anyone would really stay with him?

Y’all, I loved this. Roan Parrish always has smokin’ sex scenes and she did not disappoint on that front, hoo boy. But it was also really emotional and angsty and deep–Matty has a seriously awful backstory full of abandonment, and his struggles over whether or not he should be truthful about everything with sunny Rhys felt very real. And man, some of his nightmares creeped the shit out of me, and I am not that easily crept.

And I loved that it wasn’t an easily fixed “magical healing cock” situation. Rhys’s love is necessary for Matt, but it isn’t sufficient all by itself. Matt gets therapy, and gets help from friends both old and new. And his job is shown as a part of his healing–it’s important to him that he has a chance to help kids in situations as rough as his used to be. The happy resolution feels well-earned and real.

Content: Abandonment, very brief mention of childhood sexual abuse (not either of the main characters), spiraling mental health including intense insomnia and forgetting to eat.

Notes: comes after Riven in the series but you don’t need to read Riven first.

OH. (My revelation about writer podcasts)

So lately I’ve been listening to a ton of writing/writing business podcasts–largely Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing,” Mur & Matt Wallace’s “Ditchdiggers” and Joanna Penn’s “The Creative Penn.”

And they’re chock-full of useful information. (And sometimes sexy, sexy accents. David Gaughran, guest on alllll the podcasts, please.)

But it finally occurred to me the other day that, for me at least, information isn’t the main benefit of these podcasts–immersion is.

Because when I bracket my day job with twenty-five minutes morning and evening of many different people talking about writing, it seems very natural to come home and spend a large chunk of my evening writing rather than all the zillion other things I could be focusing on. Because that’s what *everybody* does, right?!?

Anyone else out there with nothing but writing podcasts in their ears right now? Does it work that way for you?

Catching up!

Whoo! It has been a bit of a whirlwind hereabouts. (More literally than I would have preferred, in one case.)

Book things first: my f/f paranormal romance novelette Spark & Change is out! And people seem to like it, which is awesome. (I love my Goodreads reviews. Thank you, you lovely Goodreads people.) It was a lot of fun to write and I’m so loving that other folks are enjoying it too!

And I’ve mentioned that I have a publisher for the m/m novella–and now that we’ve signed the contract, I can tell you that it’s Painted Hearts Publishing and, barring complications, I expect the book to come out early in 2019! I’m super excited about officially being a Hybrid Author, and I can’t wait for y’all to meet Declan and Tupper.

As for Fun Life Stuff, we recently had an excellent though too short visit from friends who taught a weaving class at my library, ate lots of good food with us (how had we not been to Legend Brewery before? yum) and got the short version of the Peak Richmond Tour (VMFA, TPot Bridge, and breakfast at McLean’s.) And last night we saw the always-fabulous Bootleg Shakespeare from Quill Theatre (the actors have their parts and scripts for a month but don’t rehearse together until the day of the performance.) The ragged rough punkiness of it always lends some humor to even the tragedies when performed that way, but it never detracts from their impact–adds to it, I’d say. Last night was Lear and it was amazing–Foster Solomon in the lead and John Mincks as Edmund were particularly jawdropping.  (And I think it was the third version of that play I’ve seen and I’ve *just* now realized how to remember which is Edmund and which is Edgar–EdGar is Good. EdMund is Malevolent. Duh.)

As for the overly literal whirlwind, as the edges of Hurricane Florence blew through Richmond they spawned a *lot* of tornadoes, so I ended up spending an hour hunkered in a windowless back room of the library with bunches of patrons while everyone’s phones alerted them to tornadoes touching down closer and closer. That was…not fun, but I am grateful they never touched down ON us. Phew.

I’m trying to sort out some issues with MailChimp, and I hope I can get a newsletter actually going soon. Meanwhile I’ve gotten off to a good start on a m/m story–can’t tell yet if it’s going to be a novella or a novel–inspired by those fabulous “Jason Momoa sneaking up on Henry Cavill” pictures. And I have a het romance burbling away on the back burner. Wheeee!