Archive for August, 2011

The Amazon Trail

Night Owl

It all started when I wouldn’t get up on Sunday mornings to go to church. I was an energetic, nervous baby dyke, and I simply could not sit still that long with nothing to engage me. And the old guy up front was talking Latin, for pete’s sake. So, over some of my most formative years, say 10 through 13, I got in the habit of staying in bed really late on Sunday mornings until my mother finally gave up trying to unearth me.
Sleeping late on Sundays led to the complete and utter pleasure of staying up really late on Saturday nights. That became my time. Listening to the alternative radio station, watching horror movies on the $15.00 used console TV and, by high school, writing love poetry to my girlfriend and my crushes.
It didn’t take long before I was staying up Friday nights and as many other nights as I could get away with. That usually depended on when my mother got up to wake my father in his recliner, turn off the TV and make sure he went to bed. Then she’d sleep a couple more hours before discovering my light was still on. The poor woman. Riding herd on her Lynches was an unwinnable battle. I remember her warning me, “You’ll read your eyes out!”
So here I am all grown up – or so I’m told. My night still doesn’t end until three or four in the morning. For most of these years I’ve fought myself, acting as my own insomniac mother and ordering myself to bed, then not complying. Mornings I was wont to beat myself up for starting work so late yet again and I’d tell myself I’d go to sleep earlier that very night, only to be lured by the sirens of stillness and solitude into another rendezvous with an absorbing book or a project I wanted to finish.
So sue me: nights are when my inner owl awakens and challenges my intellect. I get ideas then and work out knotty writing quandaries. I dream then, of what I might achieve given leisure and a long enough life. I read my eyes out. I delight at the 3:00 A.M. madness of the cats and try to quiet them so they don’t wake my wife, sleeping all lonesome in the next room.
But there I go, beating myself up again. My sweetheart doesn’t. I fear creating a rift in our relationship by abandoning her to the night, when in fact she is the one with enough insight to recognize and accept – and still love – this night-fired insomniac. Just make sure you sleep long enough to get at least seven hours, she urges. What a simple revelation: be who you are.
I work on west coast time so I don’t have to be at my desk and my job till noon. Why not answer the call of my nature, she reasons. When I force myself toward early sleep, I come wide awake next to her, wriggling and itchy and grabbing index cards or the iPod to jot notes. The early hours of the morning, the rich dark of deep night, fan the fires in me. Their light flares and I’m up again, much to the cats’ delight.
It’s taken most of a lifetime and a perfect match to understand this quirk of mine. My wife is teaching me what love really is as she embraces this flawed being. She’s teaching me that flaws are not flaws: they are what make us ourselves when we’re not trying to conform to someone else’s agenda of normal. What makes me this way? I don’t know the answer any more than I know why I’m gay or how I came to be able to put pretty words on a page or how my wife got so wise and understanding.
With August’s wilding of England; America’s confusion between religion and power, people and corporations; with people drunk on hate of gays and colors; with the abandonment of wildlife to bulldozing developers – how I wish my sweetheart had a counterpart who could marry the world and steer it, also, to simply love all its parts and stop trying to quash the differences among living things that make this earth whole in its glorious self.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2011
August 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Anniversaries

Earthquakes and hurricanes be damned! The Bold Strokes Books Authors’ Blog is celebrating its first anniversary on Monday. We will kick off the week with Lee Lynch’s Amazon Trails. We may also hear from a few other BSB authors- even some we haven’t heard from yet.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this past year of blogging. In appreciation for all of your support, BSB will be giving away a book a day beginning Monday  August 29 and ending Friday September 2. All you have to do to enter is comment. Please stop by and tell us what you’ve enjoyed this past year and also let us know what you want the authors to blog about in the coming year.

Going Evil: Keeping Romance Alive in Series Writing

By Nell Stark

Trinity Tam and I knew what would happen in Book 3 of the everafter series before we finished Book 1 (everafter) and began Book 2 (nevermore). It was always clear to us that in Book 3 (nightrise, released this month) Valentine the vampire would have to “go evil,” and her lover Alexa’s quest would focus on bringing her back from the metaphorical abyss.

Structurally, the loss of Val’s soul functions as a way to keep the romance story line alive in a series that begins, unorthodoxly, with the protagonists already together. Most romances start with the protagonists apart, and in many cases, they’ve not yet even met. But in the everafter series, Trin and I wanted to explore what happens when an established couple encounters life-altering circumstances. For the first two books, Val and Alexa fought to remain together despite the upheaval occurring both in their own lives and in the world around them. They endured every crucible in which they found themselves. In most romances, the main characters must overcome hurdle after hurdle in order to be together. In our romance, the heroines had to fight tooth and nail and claw to stay together.

But sometimes, life throws a curveball that can’t be dodged or hit out of the park. Sometimes, two people split up even when they’re perfect for each other. nightrise allows Valentine and Alexa to have a “traditional” romance—to find their way (back) to each other—even though they are paranormal characters in an urban fantasy setting.

If I’m being truly honest with myself, though, there’s another reason for why it was necessary for Val to “go evil.” Since the first chapter of everafter, Valentine has fought against her own nature. As the daughter of a wealthy Republican politician and as someone who was made a vampire against her will, she embraces neither her blood-family nor her blood-cravings. Instead of seeking to integrate all pieces of herself into a healthy whole, she repeatedly attempts to deny both her heritage and her intrinsic needs. When she “goes evil,” she finally stops fighting herself and becomes “free” in the purest sense of the word.

But in so doing, of course, she loses Alexa, the person who matters most in her life. So the question becomes: is there a future in which Valentine can acknowledge who she is and what she needs without being “evil?” And if so, what are the conditions necessary to make that future into a reality?

To learn more, we invite you to read the newly-released nightrise. If you do, please let us know what you think at nell.stark@gmail.com and 333tam@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. For more information about the everafter series, visit http://www.everafterseries.com/.

Thanks as always to Kathi Isserman and the exceptional cast at BSB (Radclyffe, Cindy Cresap, Sandy Lowe, Connie Ward, Lori Anderson, et al.) who do so much to make each Bold Strokes book a success!

Vlogging the Vlogger

While in the midst of vlogging with others, I was ambushed by some of my favorite authors: Trinity Tam, Rachel Spangler, Lisa Girolami, and Lynda Sandoval.

Vampire Slayers & Tennis Stars

What in the world do these two subjects have in common? One thing: Ali Vali is weaving stories about both these subjects for the pleasure of her many loyal readers. Check it out:

Southern Goth

Against the backdrop of a beautiful sky, Bold Strokes Books author D. Jackson Leigh talks about her southern gothic trilogy.


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