Looking at the date for my last post I see that time simply got away from me. I really need to work on that.
A lot has happened since May. In the past 10 months, I’ve had pneumonia twice, crashed my health, published another book, all but finished its sequel, advanced in a third, dusted off a fourth, found a wonderful editor, lost and I mean lost my cover artist, found two new cover artists, combined two books into one, went to a writers conference, joined a local critique group, did a radio interview, cut back on guest blogs, tried to be visible on Pinterest Twitter and assorted social media, gave Facebook another frustrating try, and discovered this business often comes with professional promises that aren’t kept. Ah, live and learn.
So in year two of this grand adventure, I’m older, I’m certainly wiser, and friends tell me my writing has grown. That was definitely the point of going with erotic romance first. When I re-tackle my 5-years-in-the-making series that’s been sitting on the shelf for two years, I know it’ll look polished. That story is truly a labor of love. Having gained the experience I set out to gain, I know I’ll do right by it.
I’m savvier to the ins and outs of things. I understand most of it. Recently, I even tried my hand at self-publishing through Amazon – a trial and error doozie but so far so good. I not only figured out how to get a very good looking (if I do say so myself) book up and running, I saw a jump in my sales ranking this morning. I hope to see a larger jump tomorrow! :)
My new book Loving Leonardo is an unusual love story, unusual in that it’s a polyamory tale involving two men and one woman in late-Victorian England. First off, I like stories that twist conventionality and make you think. I set out to write a gay love story because I have author friends who did and had a measure of success for their effort. I also want to live in a world of tolerance and maybe my story will have a small effect for good if it’s out there in the world. I see people as people and what I think of them has never been influenced by who they love. With that in mind I created Loving Leonardo.
As a reader, I love books with Easter eggs scattered here and there – those little eureka bits that make the story feel like it was written just for me. I occasionally like to add those to my stories too for the same reason. I want my readers to feel the stories are written just for them for in many ways they are. My second novel Dreamscape with its mysterious underpinnings was exactly like that with clues right out in the open for the sharp reader to stumble upon.
I did a good deal of research for this latest book. My main character Nicolas is an art historian employed by the renowned Ashmolean museum. Nicolas can’t help but compare life to art and because of this, he leaves many references to artists and artworks scattered throughout the pages. Consider them Easter eggs for my readers. It isn’t necessary for the reader to look up the artworks, though to see what he sees will certainly add color to the tale. I handpicked them carefully to capture each moment in Nicolas’ mind.
In my research I also discovered another interesting thing that I’d never known. It was such a surprise given the state of society that I even added my finding in the beginning of my book.
Here’s what I wrote:
Liturgical documents of the early Christian church in the 10th through 12th centuries show ceremonies for same-sex unions between men. Curiously, the doctrine based upon love and acceptance is now used as an instrument of hatred and bigotry by some. In many contemporary Western cultures, there are those who consider homosexuality and bisexuality to be abnormal. The truth is homosexuality and bisexuality are seen in many species throughout the natural world including the primates of which humans belong. Historically speaking, homosexuality and bisexuality have been part of every race and culture, socio-economic class and educational level, and have existed since the earliest of human societies. To some cultures this duel-nature was seen as a divine gift. Possessing two spirits was a powerful and celebrated occurrence.
The following tale touches upon the many shades of humanity from love and friendship to obsession and prejudice.
That’s certainly something to think on.
Here’s the blurb:
Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can’t decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal.
After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist’s long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure of sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci’s book is far more than meets the eye.
My friends came over Friday night to help celebrate the new release with the standard champagne and cheesecake. Lots of laughs that bunch. I dedicated Loving Leonardo to family and friends as a group. My way of having them live forever.
I’ve spent the last few days promoting. Right now I have the book enrolled in Amazon Kindle’s KDP program. To people who have Prime memberships on Amazon, my book is free to borrow. Somehow that translates into $$ for me. The KDP program has a free day set-up. I can choose to offer my book free to those that want it five times in 90 days. My first free days start October 9th and run to the 11th. This should get great exposure. Apparently in the Kindle Prime end of things, each “borrow” figures into a pool. I hear the pool is something like $500k and the more borrows of your free book, the bigger your piece of the $500k. Be sure to go get your freebie this week! LOL
If you go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009LS3H6Q