Pre Order Crossing The Line Today!

The pre-order is up for new novel Crossing The Line. It’s had a lot of advance praise already from people in the EMS field who were given review copies.

You can see it at Amazon here and at Smashwords here (all ebook formats). The print copy will be available at launch, which is September 21st. Around that same time there will also be a hardcover special edition featuring extras from the author and the cover artist.

cover image ctl

Book Expo America Went Well

All my fears and anxieties were unfounded. We had a great trip to NYC and it was a lot of fun to share our company message with all the attendees at BEA.

20150527_101025

 

 

If we do this again I will have a better idea of what kind of decoration to bring. My display looked a little dinky but it did what it needed to do.

 

 

There was a lot of positive response. A lot of people liked our concept of love stories with physically disabled main characters.

 

 

 

We were able to hand out a number of ARC copies of the new novel Crossing The Line.
20150527_121613

Crossing The Line: Book Description

We have the back cover copy for out new book Crossing the Line by Caitlyn Armistead (coming out September 21st, 2015. Pre-order links coming soon!)

Here it is…

Sergeant Nathan Thompson is a combat medic who took an early retirement from the military after losing his leg in Afghanistan.  Megan Henderson is a dedicated paramedic who has saved countless lives. When they’re forced to work together, tensions flare—Nathan thinks Megan is a condescending know it all, and Megan resents a partner who might not be able to offer 100%.
But as they work together, responding to calls at car wrecks, nursing homes, and for drug addicts, their mutual respect grows. Though Megan is a married woman, she can’t help but feel drawn to Nathan’s confidence and compassion.  Maybe it’s her imagination, but he seems to feel the same way about her.
Then Nathan starts noticing the mysterious bruises appearing on Megan’s arms, and her excuses just don’t add up. The next life Nathan has to save may be that of his own partner—if only she’ll let him.
There will be a cover reveal soon. The cover is being custom created by famous EMS artist DanSun. We are so excited and proud to feature his artwork!

DLP has signed a new author!

We are very pleased to announce that we have a new author writing at Dev Love Press. Her name is Caitlyn Armistead and her novel Crossing the Line will be published in September 2015.

We’re working on writing the book description now but I can tell you that it is a story about EMTs falling in love on the job. One is a war veteran and a single leg amputee and the other is struggling in an abusive relationship.

When Writing About Disabled Characters, Don’t Do This

When you’re writing a book with a character who has a disability that you don’t have yourself there’s a lot of care and research to put into making sure you represent the disability well and contribute positively to the fight for civil rights that people with disabilities are engaged in.

But today I’m going to talk about something else. I have found that in books with characters with disabilities it has become very popular to put in a single sentence about “creepy devotees” and how your character isn’t one.

A friend of mine shared a few examples (and the fact is you can take just about any book published in the last ten years with a disabled character and find sentences like these)…

He had heard all the rumored reasons for why he never had a date at office parties, ranging from some sort of self-imposed sexual exile out of a dislike of women with strange kinks to the ongoing question of how well his plumbing worked. The folks in the first camp would probably be disappointed to learn that there weren’t hundreds of women lined up outside hotel rooms across America with fetishes for men who couldn’t wiggle their toes. The one woman with such a kink who’d found Micah had been strange in bed. It was not an encounter he wanted to repeat.

Lohmann, Jennifer (2014-09-01). Winning Ruby Heart (Harlequin Superromance) (Kindle Locations 350-351). Harlequin. Kindle Edition.

***************************************

Sweet Jesus. Hopefully she wasn’t one of those stump fetish freaks who could only get off with amputees. He’d never been with a woman like that, but lots of guys he’d met at the VA talked about being approached by women—and men—with that bizarre fetish.

James, Lorelei (2009-08-15). Shoulda Been A Cowboy (Rough Riders) (Kindle Locations 1301-1303). Samhain Publishing, Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

************************************

“I didn’t know it then, but there are people who have to take care of someone to feel important about themselves. And there are people attracted to people in chairs because they’re in chairs, like some people prefer blondes or breasts or whatever.”
“That’s creepy.”
“Tell me about it.
That’s one of the things I loved about you from the minute I met you. You don’t pity me or feel sorry for me for being in a chair.”

Richardson, Lesli (2009-03-27). Cross Country Chaos (BookStrand Publishing Romance) (Kindle Locations 4474-4479). Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

These quotes show a stunning lack of any kind of understanding of what devotees actually feel. The lack of compassion also floors me.

Why is it okay to talk about an entire group of people that way?

Here’s something people don’t seem to comprehend, being a devotee is a rough life. You tend to be extremely isolated, feeling alone and frightened of your own sexuality. When you do start trying to understand it and connect with people, every where you go you hear that you are a “freak, creep, monster, fetishist” and more. You never hear anyone talk about what you are without also calling you a creep. You try to escape to fiction and read books where the love stories match what makes sense to you in your core being and the reward you get is a slap in the face. You can’t escape the judgement even in books and movies.

It’s like this… Imagine you are a gay man. All around you are examples of heterosexual love. It surrounds you constantly and you long to see the kind of love you’re looking for rather than watch movies and read books about hetero relationships. So you find m/m romance and you dive happily in ready to take a break from the real world and enjoy one where a relationship like what you are built for is reflected. But now imagine that EVERY m/m book had the characters insisting that they weren’t actually gay. Yes, they were having gay sex but it was different. They aren’t like those scary, creepy, bizarre gay people. That’s what it’s like for devotees, the vast majority of whom have never done anything scary or creepy in their lives.

If you want to write about devotees even in a single sentence, I urge you to read (W)hole by Ruth Madison. It is a deeply personal and honest account of what many devotees experience as they grow up.

I will never publish a book that talks about devotees like in those examples. It is both lazy writing and cruel to a large portion of your target audience.

I think writers do this for a few reasons.

1) They feel like this is a thing that gets talked about and so they need to address it in some way

2) They think it makes them look cool and sophisticated that they know about it

3) They want to make sure no one thinks their characters are one of those people.

But you don’t have to comment. You don’t have to say anything about people you know nothing about. Just keep your mouth shut on the subject. Write your characters falling in love, caring about each other, finding a deep soul connection and leave it at that. There is no need to prove that you know what a devotee is or to prove that your character isn’t one. Whether they are or not, the point of these books is to see people fall in love and in that aspect it makes zero difference whether your character has any devotee tendencies or not.

 

Book Expo America: Need Advice

One of my goals for 2015 (post about my other goals soon!) is to have a booth at a book conference. And that goal is coming true in May of 2015. Dev Love Press will have a table at Book Expo America.

There are two aspects of BEA and we are only going to be at the trade portion this time, but hopefully in another year we’ll be able to also go to the book fair that’s open to all readers.

I’m super excited about this opportunity but I’m also not sure what to expect or how to prepare.

So, has anyone been to BEA before? Please comment and tell me what it’s like, what to bring, what you wish you had done, etc.

By the way, I’m really pleased with some of the projects I’m working on to make the table eye-catching. For example, the most interesting thing I’m doing is modifying Barbie and Ken dolls to turn them into characters from our books.

Here are the works in progress for Stewart, Jake, and Kassie

charactersjakesteart
Yes, Jake still needs clothes. Going to the store today to get him an outfit and to get a doll for Elizabeth!

Also, Kassie isn’t an alien. Those coffee stirers are to curl her hair!

I’m also going to make little copies of their books for them to hold.

Character Development Tricks (Nanowrimo prep)

National Novel Writing Month is November and so October is the time to start getting prepared and figuring out what you’re going to write. Today I thought I’d share with you some ideas to help you develop really interesting characters or give more depth to characters you’ve begun to think about…

Alignment

Dungeons & Dragons players will tell you one way to figure out a character is to think about where they fall in the alignment chart. There are two lines on the chart: a measure of morality and a measure of ethics. Chaotic Good, for example, might be a character like Robin Hood who doesn’t follow the rules but cares about doing good things.

You can get a better sense for the nine alignments with any fandom you’re into. Do an image search for “marvel alignments” and you’ll get a chart showing how the Marvel heroes and villains fit the alignment chart. In fact, just do an image search for “alignment” and you’ll see an amazing variety of characters and public figures organized by their D&D alignment. (There can be disagreements depending on who created the chart. Not every character is easily categorized).

family guy alignment

I find that thinking about the alignment chart helps me write characters that aren’t all me. I look at where I am and then I purposefully pick a different square to explore having a mindset different from my own. (My friends and I aren’t entirely sure where I fit, but we’re thinking I’m probably Lawful Neutral).

Here’s one for Game of Thrones season 2, here’s charts for The Big Lebowski and The Office, here’s one for The Big Bang Theory. Okay moving on now.

List Your Favorite Characters

When you think about what characters you still love long after you’ve finished a book or a TV show or a movie, who comes to mind? What characters are so strong that you remember them more than the story they were in?

I think of:

  • Abby from NCIS
  • Parker from Leverage
  • Long John Silver from Treasure Island
  • Delenn from Babylon 5
  • Dr. Brennan from Bones
  • Anne from Anne of Green Gables

Look for what draws you to these characters. What qualities do they have that make them really interesting to you?

Unexpected Combinations

One of my favorite ways to create interesting characters is to make combinations of characteristics or professions that go against stereotype.

For example we could say Abby is a goth with a heart of gold. Booth from Bones is a sniper who is also a devout Catholic. I’m stuck on TV shows today for some reason, but you get the idea.

One way to do this is to look up lists of clichés and mix them up. Take half of one and blend it with another, change the gender, etc. Here are some cliché character lists:

List of Traits

Take a list of personality traits like this one and just read through them. See what jumps out at you. Circle some. Think about how they might work together in unexpected combinations.