Posts Tagged 'Bold Strokes Books'

BSB Author Interview with Samantha Hale

By Connie Ward

What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I’ve always loved books. As a kid, I would read anything I could get my hands on. I was just fascinated with the way authors could create these entire, imaginary worlds, and so of course I had to try it out for myself. It became something that I did for fun, something to keep me amused on a rainy day or when my friends couldn’t come out to play.

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to take my writing seriously. Up until then it was just a hobby, and I never really considered that it could be more than that. But I think that wanting to become a writer was the inevitable next step.

I’d spent so many years being so captivated by books that I’d read and loved, and almost as many years writing stories of my own that, naturally, I started to think about publishing my own work. My school offered a couple of writing classes, which of course I took. I tried to learn as much as I could about writing, about style and technique. And I wrote, I filled notebooks with story after story. For years. Until finally I felt like I was ready, that I had a story worth publishing.

What type of stories do you write?

I’ve played around with various genres, but the majority of my stories are young-adult ones. Most of them are coming-of-age type stories about friendships, families, and romances.

And why?

I like writing about the dynamics between people. Whether it’s friends, siblings, lovers, I like to explore the relationships by setting up a scenario for my characters and then letting it all play out.

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

I think they are, for the most part, bemused by it. None of them are writers, so they don’t really get why I choose to hole myself away in my apartment for hours on a nice day, but they’re supportive.

Where do you get your ideas?

It’s hard to pinpoint, exactly, where an idea comes from. It can be anything, a song lyric that strikes a chord, a quote from a book or movie, something said in conversation, or sometimes seemingly from nowhere at all.

I’ve taken concepts or themes from an older, abandoned piece of work and taken them in a new direction and ended up with an entirely different story. And I’ve sat down in front of my computer without a single idea in my head and just started writing.

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

I don’t do much in the way of planning. Most of the time I’ll start a story with an opening line and a vague idea of what it’s going to be about. I don’t usually know what’s going to happen in a chapter until I’m actually writing it.

What makes Everything Changes special to you?

Everything Changes BSB_EverythingChanges_covis my first published novel. So, that’s special. Seriously though, Everything Changes was a labor of love for me. It took me almost ten years to complete. I wrote the first draft when I was in my early twenties but was never completely satisfied with it. I didn’t know how to fix it so I put it aside and moved on to other projects. I kept going back to it though, tweaking it, trying to get it right. Seeing it in print, after so many years, and so much time spent working on it, is incredibly gratifying.

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

I try not to mirror myself or people in my life in the characters. I try to make the characters as unique to themselves as I can. I want the relationships and interactions within the story to be genuine to the characters and the situations they’re in. And I don’t think I could do that if I were modeling a character after someone in my own life.

Sometimes, traits that I recognize in myself or in a friend will pop up. It’s inevitable, but it’s never a conscious decision to put them in there.

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?

The first lesbian author that I ever read was Radclyffe. Up until I started reading her Provincetown series, I wasn’t even aware that gay/lesbian-themed novels even existed. It was an eye- opening experience for me, seeing lesbian characters depicted in print like that.

And it opened up a world of possibilities for me, as a writer, allowing me to be freer in my own writing.

Do you have a favorite of this author(s)?

I think Safe Harbor will always be my favorite of Radclyffe’s novels. It was the first of her novels that I read.

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

To new writers I would suggest, write as often as you can. Short stories, novels, poems, whatever keeps you feeling passionate about writing. And find yourself a good support system, whether it’s in your real life or online. Surround yourself with fellow writers who will offer honest critiques, support, and encouragement.

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

When I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. I’m still as much as a bookworm as I was when I was a kid. I also love to travel. I’ve been all over the world, and there are still so many places that I want to visit. I dabble in photography and am currently attempting to teach myself how to play the guitar.

The Riting Life or all Misspellings and Typos Being the Intent of the Author

By David Holly

Witch title brigs us to a discusion (sic) of tgpfgrapal errors (sic), otherwise known as the writer’s inability to spell authorial brain farts—or finger farts because the brain is imagining a story that is travelling by neural impulse down the writer’s neck and down the writer’s arms and into the writer’s fingers and coming out the pads of the writer’s fingers onto a keyboard (sick). Oh, my God—The Humanity!

 

On a purely personal note, I write to avoid clichés like the plague, clichés in language and clichés of thought that rain down like cats and dogs. I write to avoid allegory that brings a tempest in a tea pot or sentimentality as American as apple pie. However, there is always some sentimentality that will wiggle in on pretty puppy paws and wag its tail until I give it a bed in my manuscript, and there is always the lurking cliché, the cliché that is so cliché and so lurking that it hits the nail on the head so well I don’t even recognize it as a cliché, because it creeps in lurkingly (on little puppy paws) and toes the line.

 

Then too, and by too I mean also and added on, there is repetition, which repeats repetitively until it repeats itself beyond all previous repetitions. I can’t say enough about this problem.

 

As one of my college professors warned his befuddled student (me) so long ago, the writer must suppress his or her sesquipedalian tendencies and eschew obfuscation. So we pick the perfect word, but it turns out not to be so perfect because the readers think it means something the writer never intended.

 

Take my novel, The Raptures of TimeThe Raptures of Time 300 DPI (yes, please take it, and by take I mean buy the damned book because it needs to sell ten million copies because it’s brilliant and meaningful and thrilling and it will give you a hard on—even if you are a female).

 

When I fished about for a title for The Raptures of Time, and as Thoreau wrote, time was a stream that I went a fishing in, I spent a hell of a lot of time seeking a word that would convey the idea of being carried away through time and another dimension while also being carried away by extreme sexual ecstasy. Certainly the primary meaning of rapture is being lifted up, even out of oneself, by gusty emotions or sexual transport. The first known use of the word rapture occurred in 1594, a while before John Nelson Darby came along and applied the term to Christian eschatology and created the “rapture” of dispensationalism.

 

Could I have ever considered that my title might lead readers to assume falsely that my gay erotic novel might connect up with the so-called Left Behind series?

 

So take note, fellow authors, beware, for you too may be rabidly incoherent and end up mentally masturbating metaphorically instead of writing something meaningful and profound like these meaningful and profound words of expert advice.

BSB Author Interview with Kris Bryant

By Connie Ward

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What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

 

I’ve always loved books. I think I learned to read before I learned to walk! Growing up, that was my only escape and my only form of entertainment when playing outside wasn’t an option. I loved how a book could take me anywhere and introduce me to all different types of people. I could pretend to be the characters and could continue the story long after I was done reading the book. I’ve always wanted to write because I want to give that feeling back to my readers. I want to create memorable and relatable characters that stick with my readers after they’ve closed the book or turned off the Kindle. I like being creative and free and throwing ideas down on paper to see what sticks.

What type of stories do you write?  And why?

I enjoy writing lesbian romance because women are complicated and I find it fascinating to witness, whether real or fictional, two women working through emotional differences and personal boundaries and trying to make their relationship work. I like to build up tension because when you are starting a relationship, there is a lot of gentle pushing and pulling toward and against one another to see how compatible you are sexually, emotionally, even financially. I try to express those feelings so that my readers can experience them alongside the characters, too. Writing, to me, is simply capturing life onto the page.

I write a lot of poetry as well, and if a thought stays with me longer than a second, I want to write about it. Poetry is the best form of expression for me. I love that I can take a single idea and strip it down into words that build it back up again maybe in a different way than I would expect. I love the manipulation of words. Every word in a poem has a meaning. It’s there for a reason. A poem really is the perfect little quick story.

 

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

I’ve always had a solid support group in my family and friends. When my friends from high school found out I was going to be published, they squealed and hugged me and I never felt so accomplished. They are the ones who have known about my passion and my dreams for several years. I’m very close to my family and they, too, have been supportive. My dad has always been proud of everything I’ve written. I’ve given him several books of poetry over the years and can still bring tears to his eyes. My mom supports me, but she doesn’t understand why it’s such a passion for me. English is her second language so it’s hard for her to grasp my ideas. As long as I’m happy, she’s happy. And then she tries to feed me. My sister, my polar opposite, my best friend, was also extremely proud of me and complimented me for sticking with it all these years. I have a strong core of loved ones, and without them and their encouragement, I probably would not have pushed myself to get published.

Where do you get your ideas?

My ideas come straight from my interests. For example, music is a very strong part of my life. One day, Ali Hart showed up in my head—a tall, lithe, sexy musician with a guitar slung on her back. I didn’t know her name then, just what she looked like, her music, and some personal struggles. I knew I had to tell her story. Even famous people are normal people. They have problems and fun times and down-to-earth families like most of us do. Funny thing happened though. Bethany Lange showed up in my head, too, and I liked her struggles and her personality more so I wrote the book from her point of view. I let the book come together on its own. I knew they were going to end up together, but I really didn’t know how that was going to happen. I was just there managing their relationship.

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

I don’t write with an outline. I sit down with my characters and start writing. I know the end result, and as long as I get there, I’m fine with whatever happens in between. I was horrible at “showing my work” in school so I scoff at outlines now! Whatever works is my mantra.

What makes Jolt special to you?

JoltJolt 300 DPI is special to me because it’s the first thing I’ve written that somebody else liked enough to want to publish it. The first draft was third person and all over the place. My editors really pushed me on this book and I love the rewrite. The final is definitely better than what I originally presented to Bold Strokes Books. I like it because I like my characters. They would be my friends in real life. They have strengths and weaknesses and flaws and things about them that make me love them both. They are real women with simple and complex problems.

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

Both of my main characters have a little bit of me in them. It’s difficult to write about people and not have some of your own traits filter in, especially when you are writing in first person. Bethany has my wallflower side and can shut down when hurt. Ali has compassion and is very close to her family. The rest of my characters have faces and some characteristics of people who are in or have been in my life, but for the most part, they are more of an “idea” and end up being a mix of people I know or want to know.

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?

When I decided to write a lesbian romance, I didn’t want to read other lesbian authors because I was afraid of subconsciously stealing their styles. Then I convinced myself that it was okay to read one or two books just to get a feel for what women read and what they want. Well, my Kindle is full now. I couldn’t stop reading. I randomly picked Radclyffe and Syd Parker and gobbled up their books. Then I branched out, and now I admire many authors out there, including Lynn Ames, Melissa Good, Georgia Beers, Suzie Carr, Lori L. Lake, R.E. Bradshaw, and so many others. It’s hard to narrow it down because every woman has a different style of writing, and it depends on my mood on who I want to read. After reading a ton of books, I decided it was time to write one of my own.

 

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

My suggestion for new writers is to write about what you know and love. Start there. Get to know your characters and figure out what they like and their flaws and what makes them tick. If your manuscript is chosen for publication, listen to your editors. They are going to frustrate you, push you, high-five you (yes, this can be done through Track Changes), hurt your feelings, throw you a compliment here and there, but they will make you a better writer than you thought possible.

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

I love traveling. This is a beautiful world and I want to see as much of it as I can. When I’m not writing, I’m trying to figure out where I can go for an extended weekend. I also enjoy hiking, going to concerts, photography, and spending time with my dog, Molly. I have a simple Midwest life, but I love it.

Kings of Ruin- A Guest Review

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MEN IN BLACK, ROCK N ROLL, AND LGBT YA ROMANCE HAVE A BABY? KINGS OF RUIN THAT’S WHAT! When I got this book in the mail, I was very intrigued by this book. The thought of alien cars and LGBT romance novels fitting together really caught my attention. The book that I shall be reviewing today is Kings Of Ruin by Sam Cameron.Kings of Ruin

 

Excerpt from back of the book:

 

“Danny Kelly cares only for rock ‘n’ roll and fast cars. Too bad he’s stuck in the capital of country music and he’s banned from driving until he turns twenty-one. Plus he likes other boys, a secret that he’s vowed to keep until he graduates high school. When his stepdad’s new truck roars off on its own, Danny discovers a secret that is endangering cars and drivers across America. It almost kills Danny, too, until he’s saved by seventeen-year-old Kevin Clark. Kevin’s gay, handsome, and confident, but working with his dad’s secret government organization has left him lonely. It’s going to take a weekend of car chases, fiery explosions, and country-western singing to save the citizens of Nashville from certain death—but can Danny protect his heart and secrets as well?”

 

 

Let’s jump into this review before a King pops up!

 

What I Disliked About This Book:

Timing. I know this book was made to be a fast read, but for someone like me who likes to savor the story and take their time getting to know the characters, this pace is far too fast. I feel as if I almost got whiplash reading this.

This somewhat goes hand-in-hand with this timing; I wish I would’ve gotten a better idea of the relationship between characters. How much does Danny hate Junior? How are things between Kevin and Mrs.Morris? Does Kevin see this woman as a friend? Perhaps a motherly figure? Due to the fast pace I couldn’t get a good grasp of character’s relationships.

What I Liked About This Book:

 

The concept. I really liked the idea of this book. I have never seen a book with an idea like this and I love that it’s unique! The idea was also executed very well.

Visuals. Even though it has a fast pace, this book makes sure you know what certain scenes look like. What color was that car? It tells you, but it also tells you what Danny sees. Which is very cool. You’ll get brand names, and sometimes you even get descriptions of sounds. This book really immerses you.

But what I liked most about this was that Danny and Kevin’s romance WAS NOT the main issue of the story. This story shows, that yeah there are two gay teenagers who meet, but they have more important issues than falling in love. They have a world to save from aliens! That’s important!

 

 

All in all, this book was really fun. Reading this book felt like a high-speed car ride, fun and fast. I would give it 3.5 BatSabers and I would recommend this book to a couple of people. It’s truly unique so if you are looking for something different to read; try out Kings of Ruin?

BSB Author Interview with C.A. Popovich

By Connie Ward

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What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

 I was one of the few of my classmates in school who enjoyed writing book reports. I kept a diary, and to this day, I journal. I wrote articles for a self-help magazine, and I wrote the real-life story of my parents’ immigration to the United States—all nonfiction stuff. In the summer of 2009, I found myself living on unemployment and ensconced myself in a friend’s enormous collection of lesbian fiction. To say I was hooked would be an understatement. I discovered a connection, a familiarity, and recognition of myself in the work. From that point on, I’ve been working on acquiring the skills to become an author of lesbian fiction, specifically romance.

 

What type of stories do you write?  And why?

 I write romance stories with happily-ever-after endings. It’s what I love to read. I’m fascinated by the chemistry between couples. What draws a woman to one particular woman? Why not to the one standing next to her? Or to her best friend? Why the one running the cash register at the grocery store? In my opinion, there is so much pain and suffering in the real world that, when I read, I want to remove myself from all of it. I hope what I write will give readers the same escape, even if only for a few hours.

 

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

 My family/friends are supportive of my writing. What do they think about my writing? I guess I’ll find out when they read my first novel. My ninety-one-year-old mother has read the “mom” version and liked it. We’ll see what she thinks of the final version.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

 I’ve often found inspiration from country music. There are so many interesting story lines interwoven in the love songs. I also have found bits and pieces that come out of the news. One day I heard a report about a man offering a million dollars to any man who could sweep his lesbian daughter off her feet. Mostly, I’d say that I gather ideas from snippets of real life. I mingle them in my imagination and try to figure out what sort of conflict might arise.

 

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

 When I set out to write Edge of AwarenessEdge of Awareness 300 DPI, I figured I’d outline and plan it all out, because I tend to be organized. I found that didn’t work out so well. I suppose the artistic side of me wanted attention, because I discovered I was able to put scenes down on paper much easier if I wrote them without planning. I gave in to that but tended to write the scenes that were foremost in my mind, so I ended up having to rearrange quite a few of them. But I believe it was Nora Roberts who said, “You can’t fix a blank page.”

 

What makes Edge of Awareness special to you?

 

Edge of Awareness is special to me because it’s my first published romance novel. The writing and editing process was a tremendous learning experience. I’ve heard several other authors say that their first will always be special. If you’re referring to the content, I’ll say it was special because it’s based on a blend of several individuals I know, who’ve struggled to reconcile their Christian faith with their sexuality.

 

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

 I’ve found that Sam’s Club is a superb place to find inspiration for characters, so all the characters in my book are figments of my imagination. Having said that, I know real men and women who have, and still do, struggle with trying to figure out where they fit into God’s plan as homosexuals. I believe all writing is filtered through the eyes and ideas of the writer. I have life experiences, prejudices, opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints that influence the words I choose and the way I use them. I suppose my characters are a conglomeration of all the people I know, ever have known, and who shop at Sam’s Club.

 

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?

 I can’t remember the author of the first lesbian romance I read, but I can recall the first one that inspired me. Radclyffe. Radclyffe was the first author I felt I could trust to deliver a happy ending. I grew to trust that one of the main characters that I’d fallen head over heels for wouldn’t die at the end. I knew immediately that I wanted to write those kinds of stories. My partner tells me I have a hard time hurting my characters. She’s right. I’m working on it. I go back and forth with my Radclyffe favorite, but I’ll settle on Love’s Masquerade. Maybe because it’s about romance writers or because I believe Haydon Palmer is one of the most romantic characters she’s written. I just love it.

 

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

 New writers need to keep writing. I found it difficult sometimes to keep my butt in my chair. Especially when I wasn’t sure where the next scene was going or coming from. I’ve developed a solution that works for me. I make myself write something, even if I end up deleting it later. Every November there is an Internet event called NaNoWriMo. Google it. I found it to be a wonderful way to get myself in the habit of writing. I turned out fifty thousand words, most of it crap, but some of it was good.

 

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

For fun, I read. I enjoy walking outdoors too. I go to a little park nearby and watch the birds and squirrels as I hike around the path. When I really need a diversion, I watch Law and Order, Special Victims Unit.

What’s in a name?

BY C.A. Popovich

 

I started my first serious venture into writing romantic lesbian fiction with short stories, and I wrote them as Carol P. When I finished writing my first novel, Edge of Awareness, Edge of Awareness 300 DPII pondered the author name I would use. It would be, after all, forever and always on the cover of this and subsequent books.

I made up different pseudonyms and asked other authors why they chose the name they did. I contemplated using a fictitious name with two syllables. Then I came up with one with three syllables and one with four. I thought of the names of all the talented Bold Strokes Books authors, and I fretted. I searched the BSB Website for any that had five syllables and determined I might be all right.

I decided that I would just use my real name. It has been my name since I was a year and a half old. My last name came from my now deceased, father, whom I loved and respected. My parents were Jugoslavian immigrants after World War II and became citizens shortly after settling in Michigan. Their story is one of courage and perseverance, and I’m proud to be their daughter.

My first name came with me when I was adopted, and my parents chose not to change it. I considered using my birth name to write under, which would have been only four syllables. It’s pretty much all I know of my birth parents, other than that they were married, and my birth father died before I was born. I also know that they had other children. I had two male siblings and one female sibling. I don’t know their names, but I know mine.

I have yet to set up a a website, but you can contact me at capopovichfiction@aol.com and on facebook at CA Popovich.

Twitter: C.A. Popovich


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