Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Game's Afoot

Time for you to go take a look at Haven Falls, if you haven't done so already. There's a plot blossoming involving my character, Lyle. You'll learn more about who Lyle is and what his history is as well as see him put in serious jeopardy!

Transexual hero, mild-mannered mortician, sexual adventurer, mystery man; Lyle Ashley Tate is all of these things and more, so follow his story at Haven Falls.

Haven Falls

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Michael James Romano, Haven Falls Resident

I have a new character over in Haven Falls. His name is Mike Romano. This picture is the nearest I have found to how I imagine Mike to look. I'm afraid I can't recall where I found it, so if it's yours and you want me to credit you or to take it down please leave a message. Likewise, if you know who the gorgeous man in this picture is please let me know; I suspect he's an actor, but I'm not sure.

Mike is 35, 6ft 7ins tall, with short, spikey, salt and pepper hair and an anchor-shaped beard. He's an ex- NYPD cop and sports an NYPD tattoo on his left shoulder and a 9/11 commemoration tattoo on his right shoulder.

Mike and Asher Rose are good friends. He started as Asher's bodyguard at red carpet events and is now his Chief of Security at his nightclub, Renegade Steele.

Mike likes swimming, sunbathing and dating both gorgeous men and hot women.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Lyle Ashley Tate

This is the image I now think of as Lyle. I've not been able to find out the original source of the photo, so if you own it please let me know. I'd love to be able to credit you. This is Lyle when he is dressed for work. He's a mortician.

Toughest Writing Task Yet

Yesterday I finished writing what proved to be the toughest Haven Falls entry I've written thus far. Indeed, it was the toughest piece of writing I've done anywhere as an adult to-date. There must have been about 15 versions of the text for 'Haven Falls #169 - Coming...To Blows'.

What made it tough? Well, for me the hardest part was writing with sensitivity and awareness of my intended audiences. Haven Falls is mean to be a way for the participating authors to 'give back' to their fans in a fun way, through the genre of Soap Opera. My primary audience, then, is my fanbase and that of the other authors participating in the Haven Falls project. I should know what my own fans want, right?

Too, though, I am aware of how much criticism has been levelled recently by the LGBT community towards authors of M/M Romance. I at least, in my writing for Haven Falls and elesewhere, seek to make tales that 'ring true' for those who share the orientation and lifestyles of my characters. This subset of readers are a group I am especially keen to court and to have to like my work, because this is my own community.

Maybe I made a rod for my own back when I chose to portray a transgendered character in this online roleplay, a character that has hidden depths, scary secrets, a complex history and who will have to face many challenges as his story unfolds. When I roleplay though I use my characters to explore the world, either theirs or my own. Lyle Ashley Tate is no exception to this.

I love Lyle. I admire him. I don't always like him, but he's important to me. I desire that my characters, including Lyle, are 'authentic', and that is also part of why this piece of text was so hard to write.

Whilst I don't consider that being 'PC' is something a writer should be constrained by, I also have a terrific depth of feeling towards the LGBT community. How was I, then, to write a piece that met my own needs as a writer and those of my character without stirring up a hornets nest?

I'm hoping that the version of the text which finally was posted comes close to fulfilling all of my goals in writing it. I wanted to progress Lyle's story whilst taking the opportunity that story offers to encourage empathy and understanding in my non-TG readers for transgendered persons and to do honour to those who are TG. Take a look, please, and leave me some feedback, either here or over on the HF website, but bear in mind I still have bruised ribs and a ringing in my ears from going ten rounds with this text!

The character of Lyle Ashley Tate is dedicated to my former partners Scrimshaw, Heather and Luvbnd, with much love.

Recommended Reads

I have been workng with A B Gayle on joint entries to the Haven Falls website. I've been impressed by Gayle's skill as a writer and the commitment shown to quality in writing. Indeed it is as a result of these conversations with A B Gayle that I decided to start my 'annexe' blog, The Artisan Author (see previous post).

I'd like to recommend the following texts to you all:

'Caught', by A B Gayle, available from 22nd September from DreamSpinner Press.

'Mardi Gras', by A B Gayle, available now from Noble Romance Publishing

I'm not going to provide any spoilers here. Go take a look at A B Gayle's website and you'll find excerpts and other information about all this author's works. Gayle writes engaging, well-informed, contemporary, thought-provoking stories. I adored both of the above tales and look forward to reading more. Gayle also writes non-fiction and is a sensitive and proficient editor, as well as being a very interesting and eloquent raconteur and friend.

The Artisan Author

I have opened an 'annexe' to this, my primary writing blog. I have named the annexe 'The Artisan Author'. Whilst this blog is where I talk about what I am writing and how it is going, where to access my stories and how readers can contact me or meet me at a signing, the annexe is where I intend to catalog some of the influences on my work and analyse or review some of the texts which I feel I have learned from as an author. The intent is to share what I have learnt with other aspiring authors, and perhaps others will in turn share with me.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A Thank You To My Readers and Co-Authors

I posted a new chapter for one of my FanFiction stories this evening and already, just 3 hours later, I have had 96 hits on it. Thank you to everyone who is reading my stuff over at FanFiction. I love writing Janto stuff for you all.

As noted previously, I've posted on HF again too, and will be adding to what is there later this week. I'd like to thank the readers of Haven Falls for supporting the project. I am loving participating in it.

Please do comment on what you read, it helps me to improve my work and gives that all important sense of who my readers are and what they want.

Special thanks to my fellow authors at Haven Falls too, in particular A.B. Gayle, Andrea Speed and Jessie Blackwood for their insights, prose, roleplay and friendship. Thanks to Remmy Duchene and Lee Owens for all the behind the scenes slog too.

Keep reading please everyone!