20Oct/17

Brian Peyton Joyner

October 21, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Brian Peyton Joyner as the guest on Episode 134: Bridge the Divide!

This week Brian Peyton Joyner joins the show to discuss his novel, The Wisdom of Stones, the struggle Brian went through coming out as a senior at a Baptist College, his podcast, and his Agreeable Disagreement movement!

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Bio:

Brian Peyton Joyner was born and reared in a small town in South Carolina. He spent the first years of his life living in a trailer in Iva, South Carolina, a town of about a thousand people. HIs Grandpa used to brag that at least it had a red light, whereas its rival city did not. When he was young, he moved to Anderson where he attended public school, including T.L. Hanna High. In 1988, he graduated top of his class. His valedictory speech contained so many quotes (many in Latin) that he’s grateful VCRs no longer exist.

He next attended Furman University, a liberal arts college that was affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention when he enrolled. His senior year, he came out of the closet and broke off his engagement to his high school sweetheart. That same year, Furman decided to break its ties with the SC Baptists and became an independent university. Coincidence? Albert Einstein said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Brian tends to agree with him.

During his first year of law school, he worked retail across Michigan Avenue from the man that would later become his husband. Even though they spent almost a year no more than a hundred yards apart, they didn’t meet until 13 years later.

In 1996, he took a job at one of the largest law firms in the world and moved to San Diego, California. Ten years later, he met his husband. They married on Halloween in 2008, and four days later Prop 8 passed.

For twenty years, he made his parents proud when he worked as a corporate attorney. But on August 1, 2016, he quit his job (and disappointed his parents). He’s now a full-time writer, speaker, and advocate for “agreeable disagreement.”

His debut novel, The Wisdom of Stones, was published in May 2017.

 

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13Oct/17

Hans Hirschi

October 13, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Hans M. Hirschi as the guest on Episode 133: Hits Close to Home!

This week Hans M. Hirschi joins the show to discuss his latest release, Disease, writing about the tough topics that face families of every type, and the upcoming GayRomLit Retreat!

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Bio:

Hans likes to read books that deal with issues he can relate to, tackling the big as well as the mundane questions facing humanity and particularly the LGBT community today, from parenting, family relationships, love, loss, but also difficult subjects like our environment, trafficking, child abuse, racism, global warming, aging etc.

He’s a fifty-year-old father who clings to the illusion of still being his pen-age of twenty-seven, despite his body’s daily wake-up reminders to the contrary. He’s married to the most amazing man, Alex, and together they have a beautiful four-year-old son, Sascha. He considers himself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively (a hobby) through another three. He has friends all over the world. When he’s not writing, he likes to do public speaking or training (where he has his professional background).

 

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06Oct/17

Raevyn McCann

October 6, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Raevyn McCann as the guest on Episode 132: You Are Too Comfortable, Keep Growing!

This week Raevyn McCann joins the show to discuss her evolution personally, the mission of NineStar Press, stories told in “own voice,” and creating safe spaces through literature!

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Bio:

Raevyn is a lover of books…just about any type. She is also Hispanic, panromantic, asexual, and genderqueer, which gives her a different view of the world around her. Her life-long goals have been to make a modest living doing something with books, visit Machu Picchu, and most importantly, build social consciousness in herself and others.

 

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29Sep/17

Keelan Ellis

September 29, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Keelan Ellis as the guest on Episode 131: I Have a Playlist for That!

This week Keelan Ellis returns to the show so we can discuss her latest release The One Thing I know, and its upcoming spin-off Everything I Have. We also delve into writing recent historic fiction and what to do when current media forces you to change your story!

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** To learn more about The One Thing I Know read Jayne’s review: http://www.wrotepodcast.com/the-one-thing-i-know-by-keelan-ellis/

Bio:

Keelan Ellis has been a writer her whole life, but has only recently stopped hiding behind her unexplored potential. Now that the authoring-floodgates are open, she’s got a million ideas about what to write next. Additionally, she’s got an amazing family, and her children astound her on a daily basis.

 

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June 10, 2016

Misinformation AnywhereYouGo It gives us great pleasure to announce Keelan Ellis returning as the guest on episode 061: Keep Your Word Count Up!
Join us as we discuss her past year’s journey, character building and politics, socio-economic elements to character and world building, non-romance mystery writing with a gay protag, and tease the upcoming series she’s co-writing.You can buy Keelan’s work here:

Follow Keelan on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Keelan Ellis has been a writer her whole life, but has only recently stopped hiding behind her unexplored potential. Now that the authoring-floodgates are open, she’s got a million ideas about what to write next. Additionally, she’s got an amazing family, and her children astound her on a daily basis.

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July 3, 2015

I'll Still Be There It gives us great pleasure to announce Keelan Ellis as the guest on episode 006: Ghosts Of Love And The Mighty Blog Tour!
Join us as we talk with Keelan about long lasting love, ghosts, and highly ambitious blog tours.You can purchase Keelan’s premiere novel here:

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29Sep/17

The One Thing I Know by Keelan Ellis

WROTE Podcast alumni, Keelan Ellis, has recently been with us to talk about her new novel, and what happens when media events force an author to change their story. To catch up with Keelan and get links to her work, listen to Episode 131: I Have A Playlist For That!

This first book in the B-Sides series is a change of mood for Keelan Ellis, whose paranormal romances I am familiar with. Set in the 1970’s music scene, it concentrates on the relationship between two men, one a studio musician, Henry, who has been offered his dream job, and Terry, the band’s front man, who is still reeling from the death of Dell Miller, the band’s creative life force.

I wasn’t really sure about this book at first. The lightness of touch which makes this author’s previous books so easy to read is absent, and in its place is something much grittier. It is a romance, but there are dark elements; drug use, addiction, inter-band squabbling, soulless sex just because its available, as well as painful stints in rehab speak true of the rock n’ roll lifestyle, which really isn’t as fabulous as people like to think it is.

I had to read back a few times to remind myself that this book was set in the 1970’s. The sense of period was lost in places, with only mentions of Rolling Stone magazine and the Beatles to pull it back. As both are still relevant today, it wasn’t entirely successful. Also, Henry seemed genuinely sweet and honourable, and I found it incomprehensible that he would just drop his knees the first time Terry demanded it. For me, it was a jarring moment that made it difficult for me to believe they would find their HEA, and it took a while for the romance element to find its equilibrium again.

But despite those elements which pulled my focus away from the central story, it was a very enjoyable read, well-written and researched. It’s so refreshing to read a romance novel that doesn’t make paper cut-outs of its characters. The reader actually sees Henry and the Vulgar Details working, doing their thing, practicing their craft, not just looking great in tight jeans and sweaty hair. It definitely isn’t all about limousines and mountains of coke (although there’s plenty) but about cleaning up vomit, paying for trashed hotel rooms, having to get on stage with crashing hangovers and fighting a grief that cannot be expressed.

And it’s important to note the book also attempted to highlight the attitudes towards gay relationships in 1970’s USA. The general assumption is that the era was free love and peace for all, but in reality, that only applied to men and women. Gay men were tolerated, but there was still a massive stigma that meant Terry had to hide his grief for Dell behind outrageous outbursts, eventually ending up in rehab, and Henry lived in constant fear of his sexuality being found out, therefore jeopardising his career.

So yes, this is a rock star romance, but scratch the surface and it is so much more. I read this book a couple of weeks back but it has stayed with me, which is always a good thing. A meaty, satisfying read for those who want their characters with grit and depth, and a realistic romantic premise. A strong start to the B-Sides series.

BLURB

Talented studio musician, Henry Cole, is offered the dream job of touring with popular rock band, the Vulgar Details. Things aren’t all rosy, though, as he is hired to replace Dell Miller, creative force behind the band, who recently flamed-out in a car accident.

Henry is all too aware that he’s no replacement for someone like Dell. He’s not the only one who feels that way, either. Terry Blackwood, band front man, has been giving him a hard time even before the tour start. He seems to resent Henry’s presence beyond all reason. What Henry doesn’t know is that Terry and Dell’s relationship was both intensely close and fraught with conflict.

Terry’s grief over Dell’s death is overwhelming and threatens to destroy not only the band but his life. It doesn’t help that the new member of the band makes him feel things he doesn’t want to. Worse, when he sings, Henry sounds just like the man Terry cared so deeply for.

With so much at stake, everything could come crashing down around them and mean the end for the Vulgar Details. Or, just maybe, Henry and Terry will find the one thing they need most.

Sometimes redemption comes from the last place you expect to find it.

22Sep/17

Robert Hyers

September 22, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Robert Hyers as the guest on Episode 130: Is It a Line I Should Be Crossing

This week Robert Hyers joins the show to discuss his release Spinning the Record, writing short stories, and queer theory!

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** To learn more about Spinning the Record read Jayne’s review: http://www.wrotepodcast.com/review-of-spinning-the-record-stories-by-robert-hyers/

Bio:

Robert Hyers is the author of the short story collection, Spinning The Record, available from Lethe Press. Two of the works included in the collection were finalists for the Saints and Sinners Fiction Contest. Robert Hyers teaches first year writing at Riverside City College and has been known from time to time to be a visiting fiction writer at River Pretty Writers Retreat.

 

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15Sep/17

J.S. Fields

September 15, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.S. Fields as the guest on Episode 129: Lesbians in Space!

This week J.S. Fields returns to discuss her latest work, Ardulum – Second Don, how wood science has grown since her first book, and why being a vendor at a Pride event is different from a book event.

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Bio:

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. She enjoys roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, but prefers female pronouns.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Her current research takes her to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where she traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. She lives with her partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.

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June 23, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.S. Fields as the guest on Episode 117: And She Really Liked Ladies!

This week J.S. Fields joins us to discuss her latest work, Ardulum – First Don, wood science as sci-fi technology, and being a queer author and educator in a sometimes conservative field.

Follow J.S. and support her work:

Bio:

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. She enjoys roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, but prefers female pronouns.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Her current research takes her to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where she traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. She lives with her partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.

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08Sep/17

Eliot Parker

September 8, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Eliot Parker as the guest on Episode 128: Show Up and Keep the Chair Warm

This week Eliot Parker joins the show to discuss his new release A Code for Murder, characters with flaws and drive, and then shares some advice for authors prepping for interviews based on his own experience as an interviewer!

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Bio:

Eliot Parker is the author of three novels: Breakdown at Clear River, Making Arrangements, and Fragile Brilliance. He currently teaches writing and literature at Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, West Virginia, and hosts the television show “Chapters” across the Armstrong Television Network, which profiles authors, editors, and publishers in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

 

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07Sep/17

When Heaven Strikes by F.E. Feeley Jr.

I was scared to read this one at first. The striking image on the front cover hinted at a plot concerning wild weather, but I could have been wrong. It could have been an allegory for the chaos that religious fervour can wreak on innocent lives. What if I was disappointed?

Turns out, it is both, and I wasn’t disappointed. First off, it is books like this one that make me love my job. After an easy-going start, the author draws the reader into the lives of Ted and Anderson, before focussing on the aftermath of a homophobic attack that has totally unexpected results. Both parts of the book are cleverly interwoven, yet easing towards an inevitable and dramatic climax.

As an inveterate storm-watcher, I was waiting for the tornado to hove into view, and it does, but I’m not saying when. Everything I was expecting to happen, didn’t happen. I really hoped the author wouldn’t succumb to the normal romantic tropes, and he doesn’t. I was expecting a book full of rage against the religious machine, but the outcome is more one of forgiveness.

This is such an elegant book. The sex scenes are beautifully choreographed, the progress of Ted and Anderson’s relationship feels totally real. Yes, love does happen at first sight. Then the reader gets sucked in by the secondary characters, the most surprising of which was the fire and brimstone preacher and his son. Again, expectations confounded at every turn.

In fact, this book IS like a tornado, throwing the reader into a spin. I loved that the ending made me cry. That is what books are supposed to do. Entertain you, anger you, make you feel. This book has all the feels, and much, much more. A masterclass in how to craft an MM romance, and support it with a plot that is so much more. A strong contender for my Book Of The Year.

BLURB

Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.

Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.

Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.

Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.

04Sep/17

King Of The Storm (The Godhead Epoch: Book 1) by B.A. Brock

You can find out more about the mythical B A. Brock and find links to his work on Episode 124: Renewal, or Handsoap For The Masses.

REVIEW

Don’t be put off by the “Book One,” subtitle. This is a standalone story, told in the first person by Perseus himself.

Oh Perseus! You are a total fox, with an innate ability to stumble into trouble. The Perils of Perseus, perhaps? Lightning bolts from his talented fingers don’t save this young man from getting trashed at various points throughout this great re-imagining of a familiar tale. Yes, it has the obligatory recounting of Perseus fighting Medusa, and conquering the Kraken whilst rescuing Andromeda from the waves. Those tales are essential to the story of Perseus. But here it is expanded, as we follow our favourite demi-god from callow youth to warrior hero and devoted father.

Then the fantasy part kicks in, and this is where the real fun starts. Perseus is also a hard-lovin’, hard-drinkin’ guy, who falls in love with fellow student Antolios, and their love story weaves throughout this well-researched and lovingly-crafted novel. There is a LOT of meaty, succulent M/M sex, great well-rounded characters, and a a faithful adherence to familiar legends, as well as giving Perseus his own demons as he struggles with the responsibilities of being a demi-god.

The LGBT stance is solid throughout, even though Perseus does love Andromeda, and even (gasp!) enjoys sex with her. (FYI, MM romance fascists, this is plausible fantasy, so untie your knickers) but his heart and mind belong to Antolio. Perseus steadfastly refuses to accept his destiny for the sake of love, only to find that Destiny has a habit of rearranging things the way they ought to be.

This book had the ability to catch my breath, break my heart and make me laugh. There was an almost gleeful meddling with the normal romance tropes. This is no ordinary love story. The hero swashbuckles, screws and drinks his way through the pain of continually having to part with his true love, but he is also determined to be a good father and decent husband to Andromeda. It is when the human world and godly world collide, there are bound to be storms overhead. It is a complex story, handled with intelligence, and entertaining as hell.

The modern language (“no shit!” “Seriously?”) sits surprisingly well in the Ancient Greek setting, rendering this novel devoid of the pomposity that is sometimes found in stories of the Ancient Greeks.No doubt some scholars of the Ancient Greek myths will have a conniption at this.

And I say, good, because they are just myths, and we are at liberty to play with them as we please. I would hazard to guess that Zeus himself would be highly amused at the way his son is portrayed; as a sometimes drunken, lecherous, fiery and obstinate Demi-god with just as many problems as humans have, and an equal propensity for  trouble. Rather like his father, I’d imagine.

BLURB

In Epiro, a kingdom in Greece, Perseus is prophesied to be a great demigod hero and king, with a legacy that will shape the world of Gaia. When he was born, his grandfather exiled him, and his mother brought them to Seriphos, where she created an academy for demigod youth. Perseus trains there and waits for the day when he will be able to take the throne of Argos.

Despite potential future glory, Perseus’s fellow students think he is weak. By the time he reaches manhood, he has given up the hope of having any real friends, until Antolios, a son of Apollo, takes an unexpected interest in him.  Perseus and Antolios fall in love, but Antolios knows it cannot last and leaves Seriphos.

Perseus, grief stricken and lonely, rebels against the Fates, thinking he can avoid the prophecy and live his own life.  But when the gods find him, he is thrust into an epic adventure. With his divine powers, he fights gorgons and sea serpents, and battles against his darker nature. Perseus strives to be his own man… but the gods have other plans.