This post continues to explore a few publishing possibilities. I have about ten options in mind, out of hundreds, and the options seem to change as something ‘new’ catches my eye. By new, I often mean a story that I started a long time ago and am still writing.
The last post ended with a paranormal story, about a young man and his relationship with one of this ghosts in his newly inherited run-down mansion. Paranormal is a genre I have started writing more of, but not in the horror sense. Every story still comes down stronger on the romance side.
The story option this post starts with also deals with a ghost.
This particular story is only a couple of years old and it’s only been in recent months that I’ve really started writing it. As yet, it’s untitled.
Fletcher’s brother is killed in a car crash. Several months later this dead kid starts texting him. Understandably, that doesn’t put Fletcher in a good headspace. Worse is that Gabe says it wasn’t a simple accident, and that he didn’t cause it. He wants Fletcher to uncover the truth.
Fletcher agrees, of course, but finds himself uncovering a brother that he really never knew. Struggling with that knowledge, Fletcher also has to deal with growing feelings for a young man who’s in the same game that Gabe was.
Compared to the other option, this story is only a quarter through. However, it does seem to be easier to work on. Fletcher and Shylo are a hoot as they try to sort out how they feel for each other. I have no idea what could have killed Gabe (a clear toxicity report and no random injuries) but he’s insistent he didn’t cause the accident. It’s a mystery I have to clear up as much as Fletcher! It’s set in New Zealand, though the actual location is currently unknown.
Of all the options, this story is the one that would take the longest to finish.
Couldn’t believe he’d picked up his brother’s phone instead of his own. Sinking to the bed, he found himself replying to the last text with, Gabe?
Almost instantly came Hey kid, u r usually quickr
‘It’s fucking two in the morning,’ Fletcher growled out first and then texted I was asleep.
Then This phone is dead. It probably could have been fixed but what was the point? And Fletcher still didn’t know why he’d even accepted it. As a memento it was a dumb one.
Yeah well so am I came back, followed by Kinda weird but hey. How r you?
Fletcher looked at the letters and words. Gabe had often been spare in his text but fast, but the speed at which these texts were coming in and the length surprised him. You’re not actually texting, are you?
No. R u?
That was more like Gabe. Fletcher grimaced. Yeah, on a dead phone. I’m dreaming
No, ur not Flitt. I hope anyway
Fletcher kind of hoped he was because this was too weird, and too painful. A dream at least he could let go once awake.
Love is Complicated
Before I’d even published Threatening Sky, this story was the original contender for being next. It’s about the terrible power of love, and how it can blind a person to reality.
It’s violent and difficult and complicated. Joshua’s boyfriend is abusive but Joshua is in love and will not see how serious the issue is. That is, until he meets Gale and starts to truly realise that his relationship is not normal.
But there’s no on/off switch for loving someone, and Joshua’s torn between Shaun and Gale. Unfortunately, it will take something extreme for him to fully cut Shaun out of his life. And, by then, he may have lost Gale too.
No one really wants to admit they enjoy writing dark things, however I find themfairly easy to write. Somehow, the darker, deeper, angrier feelings are easier to get across. In any case, I also wanted this story to show that it’s not easy for someone in an abusive relationship to get out of it. I’d probably been reading too many ‘nice’ things when this idea popped up.
The story is about two-thirds complete, although it currently weighs in at less than 40,000 words. I can’t really even call it a novel! There’s a gaping hole in the middle, so it reads like a tale of two halves. However, I know what’s supposed to be there: a focus on Joshua’s growing ‘something’ with Gale and the loosening of Shaun’s grip on him. Both of these things lead to that ‘something extreme’ I spoke of earlier.
My bowling wasn’t monumentally crap. After six ends, twenty-one was better than usual though not fantastic given the scores going up around me from my friends and in the other lanes. I picked up my green eleven-pound ball.
‘Hey, can I offer a tip?’
The question came from a decently hot young man standing a few feet away. His hands were in his pockets in what seemed an almost hesitant gesture. I snorted. ‘I’ve already got it. Don’t give up my day job, right?’
He gave a sudden grin. ‘Well, yeah, but I meant a real tip.’
Considering he’d been bowling strikes more often than not in the next lane I couldn’t be offended. ‘Sure.’
‘Right.’ He came forward. ‘So I’ve been watching you a while.’
I reddened, hoped he didn’t notice. Entertainment for others was a whole different kettle of fish to providing amusement for my friends.
‘You’re throwing gutter balls because you twist your wrist just as you release the ball.’ He demonstrated.
‘That sends the ball in the direction you’ve aimed,’ he said. ‘If you keep your wrist straight, you’ll bowl straight.’
Biting down on my lip kept my amusement back. I wondered if he’d heard himself. Maybe he didn’t realise he was talking about straight wrists to a gay boy.
‘Give me your ball.’
I cracked a grin, couldn’t help it. A brow rose a second as if he wondered about backing away, but then I held out my bowling ball. He grinned and took it from me, slotted his fingers where mine had been.
I hesitate to tell people I write gay fiction because you can practically see their thoughts: oh, you write porn. What the hell? Gay fiction does not equal porn. However… hot gay fiction (which does seem just hooking up physcially with a bit of a story) is incredibly well-selling so it’s not to be sneezed at.
Five Hours is kind of in-between. There is no sex, but it’s erotic and it’s supposed to be. It also has a plot–one of the few where I actually knew what was supposed to happen right from the start! That makes this one of the better options to publish. It’s all but complete, it’s hot, and it’s short.
The current title relates to a particular time-frame set within the story. Alex has to spend five hours (one a day, generally) with the Prince of Albany learning various things (I’m not giving the plot away!). In return, he’ll receive the Prince’s real name, needed for an article he has to write.
Names always have power, and the Prince has kept his identity secret for many years. He’s not just going to give it over to some straight kid who comes asking for it because it’s needed for a writing-group initiation. He’s going to ensure Alex earns the right to know his real name.
Leighton Hall’s writers are head-hunted all over the country, so earning a place in the group is Alex’s ticket out of town and away from a domineering father. But is his desire to join the group strong enough to get him through what’s coming? Or will he give in to his father who has forcefully forbidden him any contact with the members of the Jardinian Gardens?
I’m actually leaning towards a different title to this story, one which brings it a bit more in line with the actual ‘type’ that it is. In general, this novella is all but complete. I’m mostly struggling with not making it longer! I suspect it might have an epilogue, the first I’ve ever written.
The Prince sipped from his glass, watching me over it, and all my nerves started pinging. He asked how the article was coming along.
I strove to keep his gaze. ‘Minimally.’
He smiled and put the glass down. ‘Let’s see how tonight goes.’
I prickled all over. There was no dinner to take up the hour this time, and my heart went back to hammering my ribs. I had to hold my glass in both hands so the trembling wasn’t overt.
I almost dropped it when the Prince took it out of my hands. For a moment I regretted not sculling the wine. He set the glass on the table with his, then turned back to me. ‘Stand up.’
Somehow I managed to be both hesitant and panicked and if the Prince hadn’t grabbed me I’d have tripped. My face heated and for a bare moment my eyes stung with embarrassment.
As he let me go he said, ‘Alex, relax, I’m not going to hustle you down that end of the room.’
The bed end.
‘We’re going to be working this way.’ He turned me slightly.
That’s when I noticed the large draped object.
‘Mirror,’ he said, walking to it. ‘As large as the rest of this place, but it helps with tonight’s lesson.’
He nodded. ‘Come over here.’ He crooked a finger and I moved like he was reeling me in. He motioned where I should stand and then asked if I’d ever looked at myself in the mirror naked.
This is a story about a vampire who doesn’t want to be one. Even though Lysais is incredibly powerful (his converter lived in the time of Augustus) he resents the conversion and how it shatters his dreams.
This incomplete novel is sitting at over 200,000 words, rivalling the Watching Clouds series for sheer size. To gain some control, it has been cut into four parts that each deal with a specific moment in Lysais’s life. Each one will probably end up about 70,000 each.
Bitter Sweet is one of the few non-gay pieces that I’m writing. There are gay elements but Lysais isn’t gay himself. Romance runs through the latter parts and has to survive some dark times, including several attempts on Lysais’s live (by humans and vampires).
As Lysais fights for the life that he had, the life that he has, and the life that he wants, he finds out who his friends are and just how much of a key resilience is to his survival. He must also come to terms with the fact the resented conversion has in fact saved his life.
This piece below comes from the first book, currently subtitled New Lysais.
‘Three days after you were converted you stepped in front of a train and tried to kill yourself.’ A statement, not a question.
An answer came anyway. ‘Yes.’
‘We didn’t find you until six days later,’ Samuel said. ‘How did you survive?’
A shrug of the shoulders with a head shake, then Lysais murmured he’d drunk from his wrist when he’d been able to move.
‘The thing is, Lysais,’ Alexander said gently, hiding his shock. ‘When we found you, you were only nine days old. Granted an immortal, but none of us can recall a new conversion surviving such severe injuries alongside deprivation of blood.’
‘I haven’t lied.’ The whisper was directed at twined fingers. ‘Nine days before that I had a life. I was going to see a scholarships officer and…’ Next thing Lysais was sobbing into his hands.
The councillors regarded each other. No one expressed doubt about the veracity of the tale; they all heard and felt this young vampire’s distress. Richmond swore softly. ‘I don’t know that Caleb will like this. The converter could still be foreign.’
‘He spoke English,’ Lysais stated, straightening and striving for control.
‘I meant foreign as in simply not being a part of our community,’ Richmond explained, tried a reassuring smile. ‘Would you recognise him if you saw him again?’ If they didn’t realise what the loss of colour on the youngster’s face meant, the accompanying expression made it clear: I never want to see him again. Just the sort of reaction to convince Richmond there was a great deal more to this conversion.
Where to go from here.
I feel like the eight stories highlighted over these two posts represent the ‘best bets’ for publishing. I just don’t know how to narrow them down to one.
Perhaps I don’t have to. Maybe I just go ahead and say ‘these are the next in line’ (in any order) and get serious about all of them? They all have work to do, and Fletcher’s story needs a title, but I know they will all be satisfying to work on. And all satisfying to see published.
Hopefully a later post will detail progress!