Today we have a guest post from Lynn Townsend, whose novel Blues came out from Torquere this week. Sometimes, our plans don’t pan out the way we expect. Sometimes, that’s a really good thing. Blues was one of those books.
In the beginning of January, 2012, I wrote:
More detailed plans:
Finish writing Blister Effect (a 10-15k short story) by Jan 15th, get to betas and get submitted by Jan 31st
Plot out and write Roll, a 3-5k short story and submit by Feb 29th
Plot out and write Alive and Kicking, a 3-5k short story and submit by March 15th
Plot out and write a tentacle sex story, 20 – 25k, due for submission March 25th
Plot out and write Picking up the Pieces, a 15 – 20k short story, due for submission March 31st
Plot out and start writing Nocturnal Equations, a 10k short story, due April 30th
Funny how plans kinda fall apart even as they come together…
Alive and Kicking never got past the planning stages, Blister Effect got picked up, published, and recently reprinted as part of London Steam, the tentacle sex story ended up being re-written about 8 times until it became Situation Normal, published in my Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology, Picking up the Pieces got scrapped, and Nocturnal Equations became Synchronous Rotations, also in the London Steam compilation novel.
Roll, on the other hand… Roll was meant to be a short story about a country boy and his rich, city boyfriend who end up having sex in the haymow.
Vin took a deep breath, reminded himself that he had really good health insurance, and leaped, hands clutching the knots in desperation.
He dropped a stomach-clenching ten feet before the rope caught him up and away. He shrieked, fingers bonding to the knot. Beau’s laugh dopplered up to Vin’s ears as he swung, spinning wildly, through the gold-dust flecked air, the ground a whirlygig of straw beneath him. The rope reached the end of its arch with a thrumming note, then swung back. Vin found himself attempting to do higher level mathematics about arc, velocity, and the possibility of getting smeared on the top of the barn. Gravity equals four times pi squared length over time squared? Was that right? How was he supposed to do physics when he was getting ready to die? For that matter, why was he trying to do physics equations while having a near-death experience?
“The hell you say!” Vin shouted back.
“Let go and I’ll blow you?”
“Well, in that case.” Vin opened his hands at the end of the third swing, as he was slowing appreciably. He fell, laughing in mixed excitement and trepidation, into the pile of sun-warmed hay.
“I think you owe me a kiss, now,” Vin said, holding out his hand. Beau grasped his fingers and hauled Vin to his feet.
“At the very least.” He plucked several strands of hay out of Vin’s hair and handed them to him, bemused. Beau’s mouth was soft, his skin tasting of salt and hay and that flavor that was distinctly Beau’s own. Beau hooked a heel around Vin’s leg and dropped them back into the pile of hay, which was not quite as romantic as Vin might have hoped, hay being much scratchier and sharper and pokier than previously imagined. There were also a number of prickly things and the whoosh of fresh hay dust into the air sent Vin into a rhapsody of sneezes.
Somewhere — somewhen? — Beau had found a folded-over blanket that smelled strongly of horse and spread it over a pile of hay. “Here, Sneezey Dwarf.” Beau rolled them over several times to the blanket, covering both of them with a generous amount of loose straw. A sheaf of blade-ended alfalfa poked into Vin’s back as Beau worked his shirt off, but as soon as Beau’s mouth came down on that sensitive strip of flesh just below his navel and just over his waistband, Vin forgot all about such minor discomforts.
Vin twined his fingers in Beau’s hair, pushing urgently southward until Beau was forced to snag both wrists and pin them over Vin’s head, pressing his lover firmly into the soft — if somewhat scratchy — mound.
“Patience is a virtue,” Beau scolded, licking Vin’s bottom lip teasingly.
“And you decided I was virtuous, when, exactly?”
“Oh, well, right, in that case…”
That one little idea ended up spawning off a three novel series – the second book of which, Blues, just came out from Torquere Press.
Somewhere along the way, I got lost in Beau and Vin’s world; the characters are sometimes more real to me than my day to day like. I still keep in touch, even though I’ve already finished writing book three. (Don’t worry, there are at least 2 more books planned in the series, although I’m moving away from Beau and Vin as main characters…)
So, if you have time, drop in on my facebook party where I’ll have some games and prizes tonight at 6pm EST
And be sure to check out Roll, which is currently on sale (20% off!) with Torquere Press and you can get another 15% off with the code “winter2015” today only
Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What’s worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that’s made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.
When Vin and Beau’s happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world?
Sometimes finding yourself means losing everything else…
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.
“Do I even wanna know why you’re practicing your evil laugh?” Beau skated in. He threw his pack on the floor under a chair in the front row, his impressive biceps flexing smoothly. His sweet, southern accent polished all his words until they were warm, fluffy, polite versions of their intended selves. Vin wasn’t sure Beau would ever master the sarcastic comment; his normal speaking tone was so adorable that it was hard as hell to tell when he was actually angry.
“She’s plotting to assassinate me and take over the club,” Vin lied.
“Well, then,” Beau said, pulling Vin into a swift embrace, “I should get my kisses in while I can.” Vin quivered under Beau’s powerful hands. Vin’s fingers tangled in Beau’s blond curls and he pulled his lover in for a kiss. Beau sneaked his tongue out, licked at the ticklish corner of Vin’s mouth and took full advantage when Vin gasped to plunder Vin’s mouth more fully.
“Oh, for God’s sake,” Jody exclaimed. She inserted her hip between the two of them and twisted, pushing them apart. “I know you two got a fuckin’ room, so go –”
“Fuck there?” An unfamiliar voice piped up into the conversation. Vin focused, still befuddled by Beau’s kisses. A new man had entered the room, Beau’s age, but not at all shy or nervous, and grinned at them.
“Something like that. Knock it off with the public displays.” Jody shook her finger at Vin.
“Not on my account, I hope,” the stranger said. He was watching Beau’s face with interest. “I was enjoying the show. Charles Allen. Transferred from University of Michigan.” He offered his hand to Beau first, which Beau shook. The newcomer was dark-skinned, with a crop of shiny black braids poking out from under his cap. He had a wide, eager smile, and those honey amber colored eyes that only black men seemed to have.
“Beau Watkins,” he said. “And my boyfriend, Vin Reyes, the club prez.”
“Gathered that,” Charles said. He hadn’t released Beau’s hand, the strong, dark fingers lingering. Vin raised an eyebrow. Beau went around the room, pointing and naming those he knew, gracefully removing his hand from Charles’s grasp without giving offense, as if he hadn’t even noticed the lingering caress. For all Vin knew, Beau hadn’t noticed, and it was only with jealous lover’s eyes that Vin was seeing an interest in his boyfriend.
The churn in his belly was familiar. He’d spent most of the last year watching Beau date other men up until Vin got stupid enough–or maybe just desperate enough–to blurt out the truth in a moment of weakness. Not that the results were bad, Vin chided himself, but his self-esteem had taken a knock by how ridiculously immature and uncool he’d acted.