I’ve been writing lately! I’ve been editing and proofreading and writing outlines and blurbs and first drafts, and it feels wonderful.
I had a bad case of writer’s block this year. I couldn’t seem to get anywhere on the third book in the Shores Series and no new ideas were coming. So I put everything aside and went to my writing archives. The cutest novella was sitting there waiting for me. It’s called The Kinsey Scale, and features two college guys who are forced to be roommates and finally navigate through to a happy ending. I revised and expanded it and sent it in to Dreamspinners, who will publish it in early November.
Here’s the official blurb:
Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.
Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.
Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.
Novellas can be a challenge—you need enough plot and character development to ensure a satisfying conclusion. But I enjoy writing novellas because there is less chance of getting lost in the woods and wondering just where the heck I was going. My third Shores novel is still languishing in one of those forests—someday I’ll brave journeying back in.
As often is the case when I write, a secondary character jumped out and demanded his own book. This happened with Aidan in the Serpentine Series, Cody in the Wild and Precious series, and Anthony in Stories from the Shore. The character in The Kinsey Scale that commanded my attention is Jerry. You will see why when you read the book. Jerry is self-possessed, somewhat abrasive, and has a tender heart he likes to keep hidden.
Here’s my working blurb for this next novella in what is now called the Campus Connections series:
Jerry Helman is a survivor. As an out gay boy growing up in Texas, he was bullied mercilessly and he survived by being fierce. He knows his worth and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. Now a college senior, Jerry has close friends and a sweet ex-boyfriend, and he’s not wanting for sexual partners. But he keeps his heart so hidden he’s forgotten he has one. When his friends persuade him to help out Arlo Barnes with a certain project, Jerry’s heart makes a sudden appearance. And Jerry doesn’t like it. Not one bit.
College junior Arlo Barnes wants to make up for lost time. Arlo is sweet and strong, a caregiver type who also has a black belt in martial arts. But he feels hampered by his lack of sexual experience. He’s recovering from being dumped by his only boyfriend and needs help in getting himself out there. Enter Jerry Helman, “sexual stud extraordinaire” according to Jerry’s friends, and perfect to help Arlo enter the gay sex arena. Jerry coaches Arlo to ask for what he wants, in sex and in life—something Arlo struggles with. The struggle deepens when Arlo discovers that what—or who—he truly wants is the seemingly unattainable Jerry Helman.
That’s what’s happening in my writing corner. I’ve also been reading some fantastic stories that I picked up in Dreamspinner’s $0.99 Pride sale and will share about them next month.
Until then, happy writing, reading, and living!
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.