Wednesday, 17 October 2012

WIP Wednesday: Now Say Penis

Man! I haven't done a WIP Wednesday in a DOG'S age. Well, you guys, that ends today! 

You see, I'm working on my first solo novel! It's a contemporary comedy! There's a porn store! It's contracted with Riptide Publishing!

I guess I'll just give ya the working blurb:

Rear Entrance Video: The Roommate

Teacher hopeful Christian Blake, short on cash, moves into a house full of guys, quickly falling for the one roommate who'd be the worst for his apple-polisher image. Things go from bad to worse when his ailing aunt admits that the porn store that's being paying his tuition so far is about to go under... unless he takes on full time management duties. Will Christian be able to balance the less-savoury aspects of his real life with the ideal one a teacher is expected to live? And can he save the store and his aunt from bankruptcy?

AAAAAAAAAND here's the excerpt, in which our hero applies for a job.

“Alright, Christian. Standard interview. Tell me a little about yourself.” 
 Seriously? Well, he had asked her for that. “Uh . . . my name’s Christian, I guess. I’m twenty-four. I go to SFU for teaching school.” I’m sexually repressed, closeted, and have the hots for my drug dealer roommate who may or may not still beat my ass for making a pass at him. 
 “And what makes you want to work here?” Because I can’t stand to see my aunt lose one more fucking thing to this disease. 
“What do people usually say to that?” 
Vicks’s bland interviewer face cracked a little, a smile showing through. “Depends. A lot of applicants treat this place as a joke, so at this point they’ll take out their big brass balls, slap ‘em on the table, and outright say to me ‘I get to look at titties all day.’”  
Christian curled his nose, in mirror of her gesture. “Well, at least that’s not a danger with me,” he said, and this time Vicks laughed. 
 “No, I don’t suppose it will be, considering when you walked in here you looked like you just stumbled on a mass grave. Okay, next question, and this is a serious one. Can you really handle this place, Christian? You look a little uptight. Calling you ‘clean cut’ would be a total understatement.”  
Christian looked down at his neat powder blue button down shirt and tie and khakis, all clothes he’d bought a couple of weeks ago. “Well, this is an interview, isn’t it? I mean, don’t judge a book by its cover, right?”  
“True enough. Okay. Well, the next question is usually ‘Are you a pothead’, but I guess we’ll take it as a ‘no’ with you?”  
“Uh . . . yeah.”  
“Good, good. Now say ‘penis.’”  
“Say ‘penis,’” she repeated. “Look, I know you probably think this place is a bit of a joke, but it is a pretty delicate business. If you look at customers weird or they think you’re judgmental or laughing at them, they won’t come back. So you have to be able to talk to them without getting flustered or revealing the fact that you clearly have a stick up your ass. Sorry, probably the wrong choice of words with a gay guy.”  
Excuse you, if I was still having sex, I would be a top thank you very much.
 “Penis,” he said. His mouth tried to twitch, from nerves maybe, but he managed to smother the expression (or at least he hoped he did).  
“Okay, that was an easy one. Now ‘pussy.’”  
 “Not quite so good. How about another boy part then. Balls.”  
That was easier. “Balls,” he recited back, very proud of himself for keeping a completely neutral tone of voice. 
 “Hard mode,” she said. “Gaping anus. Double penetration.”  
He gripped the edge of the table so hard he thought he was going to carve gouges in it with his nails, but he said both and didn’t laugh. After that, she had him recite the dirty alphabet from “ass-to-mouth” to “whores” (because there weren’t any dirty words starting with x, y, or z, apparently). A whole dictionary of filthy words, many of them the kind of slurs he’d never even consider using, running the gamut from sexist to racist to homophobic and back again. But by the end, he’d mastered his pokerface to Vicks’s satisfaction.  
“Okay, so you have the vocabulary downpat. Now it’s time for your practical,” she said, cracking a bottle of water and taking a long drink without offering him any. Which was outright torture because he was parched. “So say I’m a customer and I call you up asking you to tell me the week’s new releases.”  
“Do people really do that?”  
“Yep.” She slid a piece of paper to him. It was a typed list of movie titles; an invoice from their distributor, by the looks of things. “Here’s this week’s order. Read them out to me.” 
“You want the job or not?”  
Christian cleared his throat. You’re doing this for Aunt Beverly, he reminded himself, . . . and to prove Max wrong about you. “Okay, uh . . . Your—seriously?—Your Mom’s a Slut She Takes It In The Butt.” He gasped for air, like he’d been underwater.  
“What volume is that, again? I’ve already seen up to 3.”  
“Volume . . . volume . . .” He squinted at the invoice. “Seriously? Volume twenty-six?”  
“Click, I just hung up on you. Try again. Next one on the list. This time, see if you can get through it without saying ‘seriously’ every second word.”  
Come on Christian, at least try. We both know this interview is a complete fucking show trial, but you don’t need to rub it in her face. He looked down to the next title. Read it once, then read it again, to make sure he was actually seeing what he thought he was. 
Put his head in his folded arms and laughed until he cried a little. 
He sat up straight again. Cleared his throat. Took a tissue from Vicks and dabbed at his eyes. “Queef Queens,” he said, blank-faced, completely serious, the corners of his mouth vibrating with the effort of keeping them downturned.  
Vicks’s serious face cracked into a big grin, and suddenly she was laughing too, pounding her fist on the rickety old desk as big hysterical tears squeezed out the corners of her eyes and smudged her perfect cat-eye eyeliner. “Okay, that one is funny,” she gasped, and then, “Shit, I think I peed a little.”  
Which, in a truly bizarre turn of events, only made her laugh harder, until she had to excuse herself and make a teetering and incredibly precarious-looking pregnant lady run for the bathroom.  
He got the job.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Announcement: Good news, I'm Cheap!

Or rather . . . my book's on sale.

To celebrate their birthday, Riptide is doing weekly super-sales of books. This week's special is the Staff Picks Super-Sale: Perfect Prose! which includes my short story Cruce de Caminos.

All this week until Oct. 13th, you can get the entire collection (which includes titles by myself, Aleksandr Voinov, Elyan Smith, and others) for 50% off, or buy individual titles for 30%. So if you read The Druid Stone and were thinking about checking out the prequel starring Sean, now is the perfect time!

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Release: The Flesh Cartel Episode 1

Start off your October with some thrills and chills with The Flesh Cartel, the new Riptide serial being co-authored by Rachel Haimowitz and yours truly. Episode 1 is all about a kidnapping gone wrong and two brothers willing to do anything to stay together. It's dark, intense, suspenseful as hell . . . and yours to buy, if the warnings don't scare you away!

Here's where to get it:

Want to know more? How about following this week's blog tour? On our first stop, Rachel and I pop by for an interview with Darien at Pants off Reviews, where we talk about where we came up with the idea for The Flesh Cartel, if we're worried about reader reactions, why we're not calling the book BDSM, and most importantly, dropping an exclusive spoiler about where the series is headed. Oh, and did I mention one commenter there will win a $10 Riptide gift certificate? That's enough to buy the full first season with change to spare! 

And don't miss our stop at Smexy Books tomorrow, where I sing the praises of the serial format. (And no, it's not a cash grab!)

And since it's become a bit of a tradition, here's Five Facts about The Flesh Cartel.

1. Rachel and I have different "actors" playing Dougie when it comes to our mental image for the character. In my head, he's performer Johnny Rapid (link sooooo not safe for work!).

2. The whole thing is All My Fault. In a group chat with Rachel and Sarah Frantz (our editor), I mentioned I had a story idea gnawing at me that nobody would ever ever publish. Challenge accepted, I suppose!

3. The little prologue with Nikolai at the beginning of Episode 1 was written after both episodes of season 1 were completed, because we realized at the end of the season we wanted to introduce Nikolai as a POV character but it seemed a little late to just . . . toss him in. In the end, we loved the ominous new opening!

4. Even though the serial format was a part of the original concept I pitched, it took a full month of badgering to convince Rachel to give it a try. Her main worry? Overcharging readers. What a selfless little sweetheart she is! Luckily, she figured out a way to keep the format but allow readers the option to pay the exact price they'd pay for a novel. 

5. Partway through edits, I lobbied to have the character of the doctor's assistant deleted because she squicked me out. So, you know, there is a limit, apparently. Ultimately, we chose to keep her . . . with a couple of tweaks surrounding her character.