Blog Hop – Let’s JitterBug

The always fun Christopher Koehler invited me to take part in a Blog Hop. Get your dancing shoes on!

What’re you working on?

I’ve been busy finishing up 3 projects.

  • Feathers From the Sky, my short story that is included in Dreamspinner Press’s Advent Calendar

Cal Thompson is going a little mad over the Christmas holiday, stuck in a tiny house with fourteen members of his immediate family. There’s no privacy and no boyfriend to help him cope—because Philip is still a secret, though not for long. Cal’s family knows he’s bisexual, but they’ve always assumed Cal would marry a woman and be fruitful and multiply. Just as he’s ready to set the record straight, his parents tell the family they’re selling the family house and tip this introvert’s world on edge.

Philip Sherman arrives at Cal’s family home to find his lover mourning the loss of his home, paralyzed by the abrupt and unexpected announcement that trumped his own. Though Philip takes the setback in stride, they won’t be able to avoid the calling of their hearts for long: Cal needs to reveal the truth of his relationship with Philip to his family, and Philip has a question he’s desperate to have answered.

  • Private Display of Affection is released December 12, 2013. It is my young adult adaptation of portions of Spark. It’s Hugo and Kevin’s junior year in high school with a whole lot more of their back story added. This will be published under my YA pen name Winter Sandberg.

Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.

At a summer job he meets and befriends Kevin Magnus, and before long, their friendship becomes something more. Kevin knows this will anger his overbearing father, so he decides to protect his secret by dating a girl at school.

Hugo plays along, but it’s still hard to watch the two of them together just to make Kevin’s homophobic father happy. And when Hugo’s father dies, he realizes he can’t go on living the lie. He comes clean to Kevin, who decides Hugo’s true feelings are more important than his father’s expectations.

One fact remains: Kevin and Hugo’s relationship must always be hidden behind friendship, lies, girlfriends, or secret kisses. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings?

  • Flare – Book 3 of North Star is released January 13, 2014.

Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus are learning to live again after the death of Kevin’s wife, Erin. They’re doing everything they can to make a stable home for Kevin’s kids, but that stability is threatened when Kevin is served legal documents: Erin’s parents want custody of Brooke and Finn.

Meanwhile, Hugo is offered several acting jobs; to encourage him to take them, Kevin hires a nanny who is very hands-on with the kids. But Hugo feels distanced from his new family, so he makes the decision to leave his eclectic neighborhood and moves in with Kevin. He quickly finds he has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites, and Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” make Hugo feel anything but welcome. Yet, he keeps his concerns a secret and tries to take it all in stride.

When Brooke is bullied about having two dads, Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good. The stress will force him to make a choice: does he stay and fight for the family he loves, or does he walk away to let them live in peace?

I’ll get links to you as soon as I have them or you can keep track on my Upcoming Projects page.

How does it differ from other writing in your genre?

Moving over to YA with Private Display of Affection, even after working with these men throughout Spark, Fusion, and Flare, it was a challenge. I had to tone down sex scenes, but there is still quite a lot of sex in the book. I also wrote with a bit more humor and was able to put Kevin in a few completely humiliating situations which were a lot of fun to write. I cackled while writing two of those.

Why do you write what you do?

I write a lot about families and I suppose I do that it’s there is no “normal” family. We all have disfunction, some more than others. It’s fun to poke and prod family dynamics.

What’s your writing process like?

It’s changed a lot over the years. It used to be me and my laptop in bed. I typed close to a half million words on that computer before it died. Now I have an iMac so I’m stuck at a desk, but I recently bought an iPad but have yet to really use it for writing. No matter how I write, I need a drink (coffee is preferred) and my feet are propped up in front of me. And I often get lost in research.

I tagged two more people to hop along with me. Check out N.R. Walker and Jamie Fessenden‘s blogs to see how they answered, and don’t forget to visit Christopher Koehler’s blog too.


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