August 13, 2013

Gay Romance: Your Happy End @acosmistmachine #RLFblog #superhero

Your Happy End 
EE Ottoman welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book,
Your Happy End
Genre: Gay Romance, Queer Superhero Romance
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover artist: Megan Derr
Length: 14,000 words
Heat rating: quite kinky to exceptional (depending on your glove kink)
Tagline: Love and robot spiders.
By day Jun is co-owner of a comic book shop. By night, he provides the high tech gear used by superhero team Ghost Hawk and The Spider. Cooper is the computer genius and information specialist behind the vigilante known as The Shadow Avenger. Attraction and a love of graphic novels make for a good start, but if they want to last Jun and Cooper will have to overcome secrets, danger, Cooper's past and Jun's firm belief that people in the superhero business don't get happy endings.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Jun is in his mid-twenties, he designs and builds high tech equipment for superheroes.
Cooper is also in his mid-twenties, and works as in information specialist for another superhero.
Jun was still bent over the counter reading the comic spread out in front of him, and Cooper did his best not to look at the page but caught a glimpse of a spandex-clad man kicking another in the jaw. He felt a little queasy at the sight and looked away back to Jun's bent head.
Jun looked up as soon as Cooper's graphic novel hit the counter in front of him. "Hey." He flashed Cooper a cheery smile. "Cooper, isn't it?"
"I … you remembered." It came out too soft and slightly weak; Cooper mentally face-palmed.
Jun arched one slim eyebrow. "There are just not that many people who wear sweater vests in Hawaii."
Cooper could feel himself blushing, damn his pale skin, and he ducked his head. "Where I work is very air conditioned." And underground, but he didn't say that. Plus it was a cotton sweater vest, barely a sweater at all, and the button-up shirt he was wearing under it was short sleeved.
"It would have to be." Jun swiveled his chair towards the old-school cash register and rang him up while Cooper dug in his jeans for his wallet.
"You're wearing a hoodie." Cooper ducked his head again when Jun looked back at him.
"Touché." Jun sounded pleased, not annoyed, so Cooper risked looking back up at him. "But in here's pretty well air conditioned too." He slipped Cooper's book into a bag with the shop's logo printed on it. "You like graphic novels?" Jun asked as he slid it across to Cooper. "You buy a lot of them."
"Yeah." Cooper looked down at the paper wrapped book, feeling the weight and shape of it in his hands. "I think the combination of writing and art can be an incredible storytelling tool. It's a different kind of storytelling too. I think graphic novels artists, especially indie artists, tend to tell stories around ideas and concepts more than characters and plots."
"There are definitely graphic novels that tell stories about characters and plot, though."
"That's true," Cooper conceded, "but I still think the specific combination of art and writing found in graphic novels is better suited to be concept driven than prose."
Jun tilted his head to the side. "Yeah, I can see that. I guess the stories and characters are what I love about comic and graphic novels, though, just like with prose-based novels. I guess in that way I tend to think of them more closely related to books than pieces of visual art. Generally, when I think back to my favorite web comics, for instance, I tend to gravitate towards the ones that tell interesting stories over the ones that are just beautiful to look at."
"You read web comics?" Cooper asked, ducking his head when he realized Jun might take offense at the question.
"I love web comics. Some of that stuff rocks, not to mention being a great way for female artists, queer artists, and artists of color to get their work out their because, let's face it, mainstream comics is a pretty messed-up place in a lot of ways, and there is all this amazing subversive talent just ready to totally change the landscape of comics which sadly goes to waste."
Although Cooper was totally on board with Jun's argument, he felt like he really didn't have anything to add. After a moment of mental fumbling he decided anytime he could get away with not opening his mouth and embarrassing himself should not be wasted and simply nodded his consent.
"Well, I should let you go." Jun looked back down at the utterly mainstream comic book in front of him and Cooper scrambled frantically for something to say to keep the conversation going. Up until then he'd never gotten past a soft 'Thank you' after Jun rang him up.
"Do you like pizza?"
Jun looked up, eyebrows arching in surprise, and Cooper was sure at this point he had moved past blushing into spontaneously combusting territory.
"I mean …" He couldn't think of what he meant beyond the obvious question about pizza and so opted to stare fixedly at the glass countertop and wish to God he could turn invisible or teleport or something.
"I like pizza," Jun said.
Cooper thought he might actually start hyperventilating and die on the spot. He could feel the tell-tale edge of a panic attack coming on, and if anything, that just made him mad. He was not going to have a panic attack over something like asking someone out. Hundreds of thousands—probably millions—of people asked other people out on dates every day; he was not going to lose his shit over that. To panic over Kaniela trapped in a Plexiglas coffin at the bottom of the ocean with no hope of escape would be one thing, but not asking Jun Maliit out for pizza.
Luckily there were no Plexiglass coffins in sight, and Jun was still watching him with an expression Cooper couldn't read on his face.
"Would you like to go out with me and get pizza?" Cooper asked, clenching his hand until he was sure he was leaving marks in the soft cover of the book he was still holding. "On a date," he clarified, just to make extra sure they were both on the same page with this.
"Yes," Jun said, surprising Cooper enough to look back up at him.
Jun smiled up at him. "Really," he said. "Where would you like to go?"
How did you get your start in the industry?
I had been writing for myself or publishing on the internet for free for years never thinking I could actually get published. Then I saw an open call over on Less Than Three Press' website and it looked fun and I was between jobs so I had some spare time. I sat down and wrote what would eventually be the short story 'Regarding the Detective's Companion.' When I submitted it I never thought it would be accepted and was shocked, but very happy, when it was.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love coming up with new characters, getting inside their heads and figuring out who they are and how they think. I love world building, getting the opportunity to design a culture from the ground up is incredibly exciting and challenging. I am getting more and more found of writing plots and coming up with increasingly complex twists. I also love writing about sex, figuring out how the characters feel about their bodies, their sexualities, themselves as sexual people (or not), their kinks and their desires ... It's just a lot of fun.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I consider my writing to be a job and thus try to treat it with the same level of seriousness as I would any other job. I try to make time everyday for writing related work. Responding to my publishers and editors as promptly as possible is important to me, as is being thorough and trying to be as professional as possible.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Truthfully being an author is the least stressful job I've ever had. Being a full time graduate students is lots more stressful as is any of the other day jobs I've held. Writing, editing contacting people about cover art and such is what I do to unwind. I have learned to pace myself though, to take some time off and spend it with my family or just make myself a nice dinner and what something fun on tv.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
I think aspect of most people I've met end up to some extent in books. I am very paranoid about writing someone, living or dead, too completely into a book though and usually try very hard not to do that. I want my characters to stand on their own and not be tied to an actual person. Places though -- houses I've been in or streets I've walked down -- will sometimes appear in my stories whole sale.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I've been a full time student for most of my life. Right now I am in graduate school studying intellectual history. I've also worked as a paralegal in legal aid, as an intern in a human rights investigation office, as part of an youth ministry team, as a fast food employee and I am now working for resident life at my university.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I think Your Happy End would be a good one if you were looking for something fun and sexy but didn't know where to start. It's a short, light hearted story that doesn't take itself too seriously and isn't too deep or angsty. I think it would be an enjoyable read to dip your toes in the water, especially if you were a superhero fan or a fan of geeks falling for other geeks.
If you love fantasy or horror but weren't too sure about the whole gay romance thing then I'd definitely keep my eyes out for my upcoming novel Like Fire Through Bone which is fantasy/horror adventure story with a solid romantic subplot and some pretty hot sex scenes. There is definitely enough fantasy and horror there though that I think genre fiction fans would enjoy it.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read a lot of LGBTQ romance and erotica. I also love reading fantasy, science fiction, and gothic horror. I read a lot of non-fiction both for research for my writing and for my history degree. Every so often I read mystery and historical fiction as well.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
It's hard to say. I think ebooks are the way of the future although I doubt paper books are going anywhere anytime soon. We will continue to see more small presses springing up and do quite well. Although I do think there is a case for self publishing, there will definitely continue to be a place for traditional publishing.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I adore Halloween. I love watching horror movies, reading horror stories and making slightly scary food, getting dressed up. It is one of my favorite times of the year.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I very rarely getting truly bored because I am almost always doing something. When I have some spare time though tend to I cook, usually something complicated and time consuming. I knit, I just finished knitting a Doctor Who replica scarf. I wanted it to be as close to the one Tom Baker wore in Ark In Space as possible. I read, I watch tv, mostly though I write.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Mark Gatiss with glasses, his natural hair color and some awesome suits. It would involve mummies, haunted houses, ornithology, mysteries in Manhattan's Chinatown, fashionable menswear, and a great deal of alcohol and geekery.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, tomato slices, olives, veggie sausage, and goat cheese
I'm always ready for unexpected wormhole through space and time or possible rescue abandoned kittens
When I'm alone, I talk to myself, but mostly write
You'd never be able to tell, but I am just a little bit weird. And unusually short.
If I had a halo it would be made from the bones of my enemies.
If I could model vintage inspired menswear I'd do it in a heartbeat
I can never be a professional pole dancer because I'm not coordinated enough
Previous Books
Less Than Three Press:
Heart of Water and Stone
The Kraken Lord and the Eater of the Sun
Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets
Changeling Moon
"Regarding the Detectives Companion" in Private Dicks Anthology
Storm Moon Press:
"Business Makes Strange Bedfellows" in Blood and Lipstick Anthology
"The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis" in Queer Fear Anthology
"Weird Magic" in Dracones Anthology
Books Coming Soon
Dreamspinner Press:
Like Fire Through Bone
Less Than Three Press:
Memory of Blood and Lotuses
Selume Preforre
Song of the Spring Moon Waning
A Matter of Disagreement
If you want to win a free ebook copy of Your Happy End comment on the give-away on my blog at:  the give-away runs until August 17th. Good Luck!
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