Gabe’s story

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Ahhhhhhhhhh as I’ve said before, my mind is a wild, crazy, weird and unpredictable place. I imagine it to be a little like Mordor, Tatooine and Panem combined. Foreign, alien and primed for a revolution.

Oh. But I meditate, so that balances it out.

I’ve scrapped Girl Harbor. At least for now. 50,000 words in, and I realized – now is not the time for me to write that book.

Back to the drawing board, and I plotted a new romance about a wounded, ex-Marine and an emotionally wounded heroine. It incorporates military, small towns, second chances, healing, cowboys and …. apples. What? Yes, you heard me. Apples.

Now when I first released The Island, the one thing I kept hearing over and over was, please expand on Gabe and Michael. Immediately my mind went to Michael. He’s my BABY. Someday, I will go in depth on how that story evolved…but Michael was and will always be my baby. Naturally, I wanted to tell his story first. The entire thing is outlined and the first three chapters are written and I planned on finishing it in early 2018.

Then I meditated and Gabe’s story came crashing through. How he and Michael met. How their lives were shaped and how they became so intertwined together with each other the way they are.

So now, I have two manuscripts going and I couldn’t be more excited about the things that are coming ♥

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Saturday Top Six?

Apologies! I skipped my Friday Five – but in my defense, I was driving for nearly twelve hours! So I bring you Saturday Top Six.

Today: Top six things I NEED when I write.

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One. A scent. Weird? Certain scents just ignite something in me and this one in particular always does the trick. It smells all manly and woodsy to me, and for sure gets me fired up to write some romance!

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Two. Coffee or tea. Lately, it’s been green tea with matcha.

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Three. Snacks! I don’t even know how I can stand myself after posting all of these together. The smell of white woods, a cup of green tea and Wasabi peas – yet somehow I’m still alive! I love these things and they are the perfect little snack when writing.

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Four. Notebooks, planners and tons of pens and pencils to jot down dates, ideas, things to research – I have a million notebooks and calendars scattered around my desk.

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Five: My cat. If you hang out long enough you will discover I am somewhat obsessed with my cat (s) Meet Jojo, my beautiful baby. She is just about as obsessed with me as I am with her. Her little friend Hazel, however, besides me giving her food – really doesn’t care about me much at all.

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Six. A break. Tuesday night Trivia at The Red Monkey is the perfect break!

 

On vacation, relaxing and writing!

My vacation so far has proved to be relaxing! My mother and I rented a gorgeous house right on the beach in Rockaway, Oregon. In our downtime, I’ve been writing and she’s been reading The Island! It’s been all too entertaining watching her reading it, her reactions to certain things and begging me to tell her about stuff before it happens. It’s cute. And she is a hardcore Michael fan, which surprised me, I thought she’d be totally Gabe! But she’s loving it.

I’ve hit about 2,000 words in my next book. I have a LONG way to go!

Absolutely Humbled

In 2013, as my father was dying from liver cancer, and in the months that followed, I wrote a book.

I had a dream one night about these three people in a tent. They were all kind of snuggled up together and when the woman got up in the morning, she found a note taped to the outside of the tent that said “threesome” and she joined several other people at a big table in the jungle for breakfast, laughing about the note. I literally became obsessed with it. Who were they? Why were they all in the tent? I forced myself to dream about them again and it kept evolving.

I sat down to write what I thought might be just a quick little erotic story. Not even a short story, like something you might post on a blog or something – and it eventually evolved into the story that exists today. As I fell deeper and deeper in love with these three, I kept going back and toning down the sex more and more so it wouldn’t wind up being some dirty book that you might read in secret. A lot of people have asked, and yes, a lot of myself came out through Amie. Though no, she is not me. (But I wish she was … I mean, those two guys???…)Her name was something else in the beginning, but I ended up hating it. I scoured Facebook friends for names, and that one popped up and I loved it.

I sent the book off to some e-pub romance store that I cannot remember the name of. Ninety days later the editor wrote me back saying she loved the first three chapters and wanted the rest. Ninety days after that she wanted to publish the book…but the terms were bonkers. Even as a brand new unknown author, I couldn’t do it. So I sat on it.

I shared it with a group who fell in love with it – and that’s when I started to see some flaws in the story. And I sat on it again.

But my dream has always been to write. I have stories upon stories in my head. Some sweet. Some dark. Some steamy. I decided now was the time to try and make it happen and I sat down with my laptop and began poring over the story again. Re-writing the scenes that bugged me, or didn’t have the emotional depth I wanted. I edited. I re-wrote. I edited. I re-wrote, until one night I anxiously hit that publish button on Amazon.

My book has been live for exactly a week. And I want to thank my friends first for reading it and giving me the confidence to realize it IS a good story. I want to thank my friends who have recommended it to their friends. And to everyone who has purchased it, and left me reviews. I feel like I’ve been walking around on cloud nine! Reading the comments I’ve been left literally puts me in tears that people see what I saw in these three! So thank you!

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Writing Rituals

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*also spoiler alert if you haven’t read The Island yet*

I always wonder what other writers rituals are.

As I was sitting yesterday and outlining my ideas and researching a particular town, I lined up my cup of green tea just so. I had my pen and paper. Candle lit. I had my earbuds and I made a playlist.

Michael’s story is exciting me. When I first sat to write The Island, he was my baby, my favorite. In fact, the whole time I thought it was going to be Michael that Amie found herself closer to. As I wrote (my stories tend to unfold for me as I go along despite my best efforts to stick to the plan) I realized it just wasn’t plausible for it to work that way. I cried like a damn baby when he left because that hadn’t been my original intent – yet it made SO much sense.

He was underestimated, and while Amie has a deep emotional connection to Gabe, her connection with Michael starts out as very physical.

So when readers asked for a prequel or even for the stories of the guys – I knew Michael would be first. I want to get in his head. I want to go on his soul-searching journey in Alaska. I can’t wait to flesh out his depth since I purposely left him only skin deep in the original story.

So back to my ritual.

It’s always the same. Green tea (won’t lie…sometimes there is wine) pad and pen. I burn different scents to get me in the mood too…I’m scouring stores as we speak for the perfect scent right now! And my playlist of course. The Island was A LOT of Joshua Radin. I can’t even listen to him now without thinking of that book!

So what are yours? Do you have any? Do you have anything that you HAVE to do or can’t do in order to write?

Inquiring minds want to know.

WHO ARE THE CHARACTERS IN THE ISLAND? PART THREE: MEET GABE.

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Name: Gabriel Johnson…if I have a middle name, I don’t know it. Its not on my birth record anyway.

Place of birth: Los Angelas, California

Parents: Don’t know them, but I was born, so I assume I have them.

Ethnic background: Yeah…you’re asking me a lot of questions I don’t have answers to.

Places lived: Los Angelas, Sacremento, San Diego, Ghana, India, Hawaii, and Tucson.

Relationship with God: I’m a little more Buddhist in my beliefs, but I’m not opposed to the idea of there being a higher power.

Overall outlook on life: Letting go gives you power. It gives you power over your suffering, sadness, attachments and past. It’s easier said than done, but it’s how I survive.

Do you like yourself: Yeah. I’m a good dad, a good husband and a good friend. I treat everyone with respect and so yeah, I’m cool with me.

Political leaning: Are you trying to start an internet argument? Whatever…I lean left if that’s what you want to know.

Best way to spend a weekend: Just hanging with the kids and the wife. We barbecue a lot, swim when it’s warm, work in the garden a lot. We’ve decided to try a self-sustaining lifestyle and we have a great garden going on – homesteading is where we see ourselves going. I learned to make soap and stuff…it’s pretty cool. I think it teaches the kids a good lesson.

Biggest trauma: yeah, let’s skip that one.

What does he care about most in the world: Family

 

WHO ARE THE CHARACTERS IN THE ISLAND? PART TWO: MEET MICHAEL.

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Name: Michael James Frey

Sex: As often as I can

Age: Then or now? In the book I was 22 when it started. I’m 29 now.

Where and when were you born? I actually don’t know where I was born. It could have been a number of places my mom wandered to.

Family members?  Next question.

In what situation is your self-esteem is at risk? Everything. I’m pretty hard on myself.

Is there anyone in your life that you are attracted to? Besides Amie? Shit…no one.

What scares you about this person? That she’ll finally figure out that I’m not good enough for her.

What do you think he/she can do for you that no one else can? She pushes me to be a better person all the time. Not, you know, by what she says – it’s just how she makes me feel. Like I wanna be constantly better.

How would you change the world?  The things around you? The people around you? That’s a really hard fucking question. Can I just say that maybe people should just stop being dicks to each other…I don’t know. Sometimes I can’t even watch the news, it just makes me too mad.

How do you learn best? Hands on, I’m not much of a reader. So I learn when someone shows me, after that – I’ve got it.

What are your goals in life? Right now? To be the best Dad I can be…maybe have another one?

What do you like best about your best friend? He’s always there for me, no matter what I do or what I fuck up along the way. Which is a lot. Dunno, I don’t know where I’d be without Gabe.

What do you like least about your best friend? That he knows me better than I know myself…and he’s always right.

What do you think other people think of you? I really don’t give a shit.

If you could change anything about your life what would it be? Nothing. My life is pretty close to perfect now.