-- or how a terrible experience makes for a fun story.
Okay-- so a couple of months ago, I wrote THIS POST. In this post I talk about being sent to stay in a nameless hotel in a sleepy seaside town that we shall from here on out call St. Aubrey's. Shannon, DSP's girl-Friday-genius was my escort, and we were following a GPS voice who kept saying, "Turn left on St. Truth-be-Well."
Uhm, St. Truth-be-Well? We could see no such street.
Eventually we found this nameless hotel (which we shall NOT call it the actual name of the place, because, well, I WROTE about this hotel with another name, and I should like to not be sued) and in the meantime, we were tired and punch drunk and giggly about St. Truth-be-Well-- because, honestly, it sounded like a damned funny name for a book.
Anyway, when I wrote that post, I was down in, uhm, St. Aubrey's, for a con (which I thoroughly enjoyed, btw) and while we were there, we ate across the street at the FA Cafe. (Stands for Fucking Awesome. You can see something about it here and here.) Our waiter there was really pretty. So pretty that Elisabeth Staab, Damon Suede and I were all, well,writing him as we ate breakfast. Who was he? What kind of romantic life did he have? Which guy would we pair him up with.
And then, in the course of one of our panels, our moderator dropped half of a cockamamie plot in my lap and said, "Okay, you need to include this hotel, the ocean, and a guy with a bloody bump on his head-- write!"
And since the guy we'd just been talking about over breakfast was fresh in my head, I spun a yarn about our waiter at the FA Cafe. I called himDale.
Now, let's flash forward a couple of months.
We're in a hotel room in Chicago and Lynn West is there and so is Elizabeth North and so is Shannon, and we're talking about what my next project should be. I was this close to finishing Christmas Kitsch,and I needed something for Elizabeth fast. I remember this because Shannon was cuddled up against me, and she said, "What about St. Truth-be-Well!"
And there I was, in front of a new audience, and suddenly our tale of that weekend spilled out-- the terrifying hotel room, the cute waiter, the GPS that kept trying to tell us to go to a street that never appeared on the road when State Road 312 (say it out loud-- you'll see what happened) was right there. It made for a great story, and I thought, "Yes! This shall be my next story! It practically writes itself."
But who was going to be my other hero?
Well, the next day we all went to a pub about a block away from the hotel, and we were greeted by the most adorable little leprechaun of a man. We started talking about how he would be perfect for Dale, and we told him who we were and asked him if he wanted to be in my next story. He said, "Yeah! Absolutely!" We said, "It's gay romance, is that okay?" and he said, "What's my name? Can I be Carson?"
I said, "That's an awesome name!"
He said, "I used to love Johnny Carson when I was a kid!"
And I thought, "Aha! Carson shall be a comedian in his spare time!"
And he said, "What's my last name going to be?"
And I said, "O'Shaughnessey!"
And he got very sober and said, "Really? My father-- well, he passed away five years ago--but before that, he was dating a really awesome woman named O'Shaughnessey."
He was perfect. And I was stunned. This story-- it's almost the anti-Amy. It's fun, it's quirky, and it was a joy to both live and write.
And it's proof that hello, sometimes the gods actually write your stories for you.
I"m sort of excited, because this story has been reviewed and recced already--
Here at the USA Today blog
Here at The Tipsy Bibliophile (and the boys have their own cupcakes!!!!)
M/M Good Books
Here at The Armchair Reviewer (July 24th)
And tomorrow, it will be at the PRG.
It is already available here at Dreamspinner, and tomorrow it will be available at Amazon, All Romance e-books, Barnes & Nobles, and all of the usual places.
So if you're interested, take a road trip with Carson and meet Dale-- after taking a Left at St. Truth-be-Well!