Bargains And Giveaways

Tomorrow (8th April) my novella, The Playmaker is released with Less Than Three Press. Order directly from the publisher here. Otherwise, it’s available at all the usual e-book retailers (Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance, Kobo).

Or you can take your chances on a giveaway. Less Than Three Press have one running until 20th April on Goodreads. Comment to be entered in the draw.

Plus, I have some swag of my own to give away. Comment to enter the draw. Winners will be picked by random.org.

Wednesday, I’ll be giving away a signed (by me) copy of the Dreamspinner Press Random Acts of Kindness Anthology (UK participants only, I’m afraid). Draw takes place on 15th April at 9pm BST (UTC+1).

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Thursday, I’ll be giving away a copy of The Playmaker. Draw takes place on 16th April at 9pm BST (UTC+1).

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Friday, I’ll be giving away a $10 e-voucher to spend on the Less Than Three Press website. Draw takes place on 17th April at 9pm BST (UTC+1).

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Let me know what you want to be entered for in your comment e.g, Wed, Thur, Fri. or RANDOM, PLAY, GIFT, or All! I want it all! Or anything that floats your boat. 😉 Entering one draw does not exclude you from being entered for the others.

If you’re picked, I’ll need a postal address for Wednesday, and email addresses for Thursday and Friday, which you can send to me at mrslaneswift@gmail.com. (Obviously, I will never share your details with anyone.)

Upcoming release: The Playmaker

It seems appropriate, as the Six Nations tournament ended this weekend, to announce the upcoming release of my novella, The Playmaker. Out on 8th April and available direct from Less Than Three Press or all major ebook sellers (see below for links).

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Ask Meg, and she’ll say she’s content. A promising career, a steady boyfriend—her future is secure. Just like her position on Brentley Women’s Rugby Team.

Her fascination with Jacqueline, the team’s wild and beautiful flanker—that’s nothing more than infatuation. When Jacqueline unexpectedly corners her and kisses her breathless, Meg is blindsided.

Forced to admit her secure future isn’t nearly as appealing as it had seemed, Meg realises she has two options: keep playing it safe or change the game.

Less Than Three Press / All Romance Ebooks / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo

My Writing Process Blog Tour – Romance is Romance

I’ve picked up the baton to blog about my writing process from Charlotte Comley, my friend and fellow writer, who runs The Writers At Lovedean.

A day early, just because…

1. What am I working on?

I’m actually between projects. For the last few months, I’ve been focussing my efforts on editing and polishing. At the end of April, I finished and submitted a novella and a short story. Both are adult romances. One is a free read which will be published in an anthology as part of the ‘Love’s Landscapes’ event hosted by the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads.

This last week, I’ve done a lot of reading, both for pleasure and as a beta reader for other writer friends. I consider this as important as working on my own writing: learning from other writers, sharing the work, being connected.

Starting Tuesday, a new project begins—my first novel! I’ve been planning (in my head mostly) and thinking about this for months, so I’m actually very excited to finally start getting the words down.

The story is a paranormal/near-future sci-fi gay romance, set on Hayling Island (I may change the name for the novel), which is one of my local haunts. There will be plenty of action, some trauma and, needless to say, lots of love.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t think it does. The romance genre has many sub-genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, period, contemporary, military … the list goes on and on. That holds true whether it’s gay or straight romance, or any other combination of individuals in a romantic relationship. This next time, I just so happen to be writing about two men falling in love.

Maybe when I have more work ‘out there’, I’ll be in the minority as far as romance writers go, as I don’t plan to stick to writing one type of ‘pairing’.

So far, I’ve written a novella where the romance is between a lesbian and a bisexual woman and a few short stories where the romances are between gay men. My first attempt at a novel (finally ditched as a lost cause year ago) was about a straight woman who learns how to thrive, including sexually, living alone after divorce. Thus far, I haven’t attempted to write about any polyamorous relationships. Which is not to say I won’t.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Love stories allow me to submerge myself in the rush and excitement of new love, then bask in all the ways the characters can work at making that love last. Exploring emotional and physical connection, particularly sexual connection, I suppose that’s what drives me.

I’m also a sucker for a happy ending, particularly if there’s heartache and obstacles to overcome in getting there. Romance with its pre-requisite happy-ever-after is such a blissful escape—cuddles and chocolate for the soul.

4. How does my writing process work?

Usually I spend a fair bit of time day-dreaming about my main characters before I write anything down, to see whether I fall in love with them enough to commit to a story. It’s rare for me to be struck with enough passionate inspiration to simply dive in.

If it’s a short story, I’ll get directly down to writing once I’ve formulated a rough idea in my head and maybe typed a few notes.

For longer stories, I’ll use a notebook and/or post-its (though I’m going to make better use of Scrivener for my next project) to make notes from anything to places and dates, to character traits or significant events. I use Pinterest boards for visual references, people and places mainly. I also have music playlists (that evolve with the characters and the story) for getting me in the right mood and for inspiration.

Once I have some sense of my characters, and their place and time, I get typing.

Usually, I research as and when I need to as I go along. Sometimes, if I need to do more, I’ll have lists of bookmarks that I can return to, or separate files of information.

I try to type linearly—start at the beginning and keep going until it’s done. That doesn’t always work. Actually, it rarely works. So I just keep typing because there’s always cut and paste. Or cut, cut, cut, DELETE.

I’m a lot less worried now than I used to be about hacking out thousands of words if they aren’t working.

When I get blocked I get on my cross-trainer, cut the grass or do a pile of ironing. Something mundane to let my mind go where it will. As I get more and more experience, I’m beginning to trust that if I let my mind go, it will eventually take me where it needs to. Often that isn’t anywhere near where I thought I was going in the beginning.

Next week…

I am passing the baton onto the truly lovely Jenni Michaels. She’s a busy woman, not just with her own writing but in her tireless encouragement and support of fellow writers. So it just might be that she doesn’t write her blog piece next week, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t worth a follow.

She can be found on Twitter and her blog.