Today's a guest-blogger day here, and I'm very pleased and excited to introduce my Twitter-bud, Brien Michaels, who's celebrating the release of his debut novel, Sparks Fly, available now from Etopia Press!
Niiice cover, eh?
Take it away, Brien! :)
So, for those of you who aren’t following me: today’s a pretty huge day in my life. Sparks Fly, my m/m urban fantasy/horror novella is officially on sale from Etopia Press! It’s my very first release day and I couldn’t be happier. The road to get here was so long and winding that I nearly gave up, but I’m glad I didn’t. Hell, the road to write this was so long and winding that I wanted to print it out and burn the pages and permanently delete the file. But, again, glad I didn’t. It was just one of those experiences.
It all started a few days before my vacation last year when a publisher I’d really been trying to get with put out a submissions call for stories about the end of the world. I jumped at the idea because, hey, even though I was still new to the world of writing romance and erotica, horror and fantasy were my thing. So almost immediately, the gears started turning and before long, I had this wonderful idea for a story about a group of people who knew death was coming for them. It so wasn’t as Final Destination as it sounds.
But then vacation started, and everything changed. My family and I flew down to Florida and things went from bad to worse. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, by the time we actually made it onto the boat for the cruise to the Virgin Islands we were embarking on, the story in my mind had totally changed. In the new story, all the women on the planet had died except one, and all the men who were left were on a journey to find her. I just didn’t know quite how they would get to her.
The ship we were on was just one huge disaster, and I couldn’t actually enjoy being on it at all because I got this massive headache every time the bloody thing moved. Yeah. By the second day, I’d found my mode of transportation for my men. Can you guess what it was? A giant cruise ship. After I figured that out, I was all set to start writing. Now, like the lovely Cat, I am more of a pantser than a plotter and I started the book out with only the barest knowledge of where it was going. I knew the bare bones, and that I had two otherwise straight men who were going to be falling for each other.
But as my time on the boat got more and more irritating, the situation my heroes found themselves in became more dire. By the third day (this was an eight day cruise, mind you), there was a killer on the boat, picking off the other men one by one and leaving their bodies mutilated and, in some cases, totally unrecognizable. By day four, I was so annoyed that I couldn’t write fast enough for my brain and had a full synopsis already written and I was only about six or seven pages in. I should probably leave out that it rained on every island we went to except one…
At any rate, while the title does share its name with a Taylor Swift song, it refers not only to my heroes relationship, but also the very real sparks they see just before each corpse on the ship is discovered. The story is just as dark as that two-week span, but I love it nonetheless. It’s one of those that, by the time I actually finished it, I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. Partially because it meant that I could finally let the vacation go, but also because it was a far more solid story than I’d thought it would be with so much bitter emotion behind it.
The publisher I wrote it for ultimately passed, but that didn’t stop me from submitting it, and look where it is now. On the New Releases page of Etopia Press! Now, those of you who’ve been following me so far on my blog tour know that the final sentence is about to be unveiled. What is this Final Sentence, you ask? Well over the last week, or so, I’ve been releasing sentences from the book, and whoever can put them in the right order, or the closest to it, will win a free copy in their choice of digital format. Just head back over to my blog and make a comment on my post there with the five sentences in the order you think they go in. It’s that simple.
The final sentence is: “He would have sworn the man was normal if not for the swirling grey masses where his eyes should have been and his skeletal hands.”
And, since I love Cat so much and I was a reader long before we became author pals, one random commenter on this post will also win a free copy of the book. I hope you guys like it!
Thanks for having me, Cat!
You can find me online at: