I’m so excited to be here to talk about my new novel, A Bolt of Blue. It’s an m/m/m contemporary romance, and it’s my very first book! I really hope readers end up loving these three boys as much as I did.
Today I’m doing an author Q&A! Since this is my first book, I don’t have a huge amount of experience to draw from for some of these questions, but I gave it my best shot. ☺
Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?
LGBT romance is my favorite genre to read! So naturally it’s the genre I want to write. I’ve tried writing other genres, and I actually do have the seed of an m/f romance I plan to write eventually, but LGBT is what inspires me.
How much research do you do when writing a story?
The majority of research I’ve done so far is just about the setting. This book is set in the Chicagoland area, and I’ve only been to Chicago once for one day so I did a lot of research about the city. How long would it take to get from point A to point B using X method of transportation? Which hospital would this character go to? What is the weather like in January? February? March? I did fudge some of it a little bit, so if you live in Chicago please don’t judge me too harshly. ☺
One of my MC’s is on the baseball team at University of Illinois Chicago, so I did a lot of research on their baseball program as well, figuring out what their playing schedule is like, which teams they play against, where they travel to. Mitch’s baseball schedule in this book is based on UIC’s actual 2016 schedule, though I fictionalized some scores, and I think I have them play on a day when in real life the game was canceled due to snow.
But aside from settings, I’ve mostly tried to write about things I have personal experience with so I don’t have to do too much research! I don’t know if that means I’m super authentic or just really lazy.
What are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
I think the best source is just reality. I like to think that all my characters have distinct voices, but the truth is they all have a little bit of me in them. So I just channel that part of me, and then I see what comes out! Like the character of Ian, for example, is really just my snarky side with the filter removed completely. Mitch is the more conservative part of me, the part that wants to be a good person and do the right thing. The part that’s very family-centric. And Dusty…Dusty’s the least like me, actually, but he has bits of me. He’s no nonsense. He’s a realist. He has a very deep core. And he’s a closet musician.
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
Title, hands down. Naming characters is pretty easy. Most of the time I just sort of know what their name is, and in cases where it doesn’t come right away, I’ll figure out how old the character is, and then I’ll just look up popular baby names from the year they would have been born and go through the list until I find something that jumps out.
And cover art? Easy peasy. You just hire someone incredibly talented and let them take the reins! Although I admit it was a bit challenging to find stock photos that I felt accurately represented my characters. In the end I’m really happy with how that turned out.
No, the title is by far the hardest part. Although the blurb comes in at a close second.
Tell us about your current work in progress and what you’ve got planned for the future.
I am currently writing a YA novella about a romance between two boys who are seniors in high school. It’s very different from A Bolt of Blue—there’s no sex in it at all! My goal for that one is to explore just how romantic you can be with just kissing. It’s a bit tropey, but I hope the characters and their relationship can transcend the somewhat cliché premise.
And then when promo for A Bolt of Blue slows down and I have a little more time to breathe, I plan to really focus in on my f/f novel. It’s a romance between a bisexual woman who finally gets to explore the lady side of her sexuality for the first time, and a lesbian woman who’s been burned in the past by girls who were just “experimenting.”
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
Don’t quit! I actually started A Bolt of Blue probably…five years ago? Maybe more. Don’t give up—we live in a time where it’s easier than ever to get your book out there, so if you want to write, DO IT! For me, I really struggled to finish anything I started. I found that joining a critique group where I had people giving me constant feedback and looking forward to the next chapter really helped give me the motivation to finish. So find yourself a cheering section and keep plugging along!
About A Bolt of Blue
Ian Golinski has been in love with his best friend since he was fourteen years old. When he finally decides to confess his feelings, he finds that his perpetually single friend isn’t so single anymore. What’s a boy to do when he has to share the love of his life with someone else? Especially someone so damn hot?
Dusty Smith has finally found The One. The only problem is The One clearly has feelings for someone else, even if he doesn’t realize it. Dusty has to convince his lover that they’re meant to be. But how does he do that when the other man turns out to be perfect for them both?
Mitch Becker likes things nice and simple. But as his relationship with his boyfriend heats up, he starts developing feelings for his best friend. Suddenly his life is one big complication. How can he choose between two soul mates?
Find out what happens when three men ask the question: What if we don’t have to choose?
A Bolt of Blue is an m/m/m contemporary romance with a happy ending and no cliff-hanger. It is approximately 90,000 words and is a stand-alone.
Available at: Amazon
An Excerpt from A Bolt of Blue
I’m not sure I heard him right. Even if I did, I need to make sure I’m really clear on what he’s saying. “What do you mean?” I ask.
Ian sighs into my ear. “I mean, what if it was the three of us? Together?”
“All three of us?” I’m like a parrot.
“And how would that work?” I know how it would work sexually. I’ve seen plenty of porn, and there are a lot of really creative possibilities when you get three guys together. Just thinking about it is getting me hard.
But I don’t think that’s what Ian means. At least, that’s not all he means.
“Well, I don’t know exactly. It’s not like I’ve ever done it before. But I think…I mean, you have feelings for me, right?”
He sounds so timid asking, and I wish he was here so I could show him how much he doesn’t need to worry about that.
“You know I do.”
“And I think Mitch does too. I hope he does. And I know how you guys feel about each other. So if we all feel that way, then why can’t we be together? There wouldn’t be anything to be jealous of. We would all be in it together.”
I have to admit, it sounds appealing. Like really, really appealing.
But it won’t work.
“Mitch would never go for it. He’s way too traditional. He wants the white picket fence, the kids, the dog. The whole domestic bliss thing. He wants to get married. You can’t be married to two people.”
“Not legally, no. I know it’s crazy. I’m just thinking out loud, mostly. But I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s the only way we all get what we want. Why can’t we all have what we want?”
“Because that’s not how life works.”
“Well, it should.”
Yeah, it should.
“It would be nice,” I say.
“Can you picture it?” Ian asks. “Will you think about it with me for a minute?”
“So imagine you and me. It’s a Sunday morning, and we sleep in late and then get up and make breakfast. Are you imagining it?”
I nod, and then remember he can’t see me. “Yeah,” I say.
“Imagine we spend the whole day just hanging out. Like we did that one day, remember? Only we don’t have to keep our distance. We can touch each other. I can brush your arm with my hand when I walk by you in the kitchen. You can kiss me in the bathroom when we’re brushing our teeth.” The picture makes me smile.
“And then imagine that Mitch comes home. He was on a road trip, and he’s tired. And you’ve made dinner for him, and we all eat together. And then we sit on the couch, and I rub Mitch’s feet and you play with his hair. We’re watching some dumb movie on Netflix. Can you see it?”
“Yes, I can see it.” I can, too. And it’s so sweet it makes my chest ache. I can practically smell Mitch’s hair, and hear him purr at Ian’s touch. He loves to have his feet rubbed.
“And then the movie ends, and we all go to bed. Together.”
I smile at that. “Who’s in the middle?” I ask.
“Me,” Ian says without hesitation.
I imagine myself spooned around him, my hands brushing along his stomach while he pushes his ass into my groin. And all the while I’m looking into Mitch’s eyes. He’s on his side facing us, reaching out to touch Ian’s face, but he’s looking at me. He’s so content and happy. He’s in love.
I see him kissing Ian. Softly at first, but then with more intensity. I see my own hand running up and down Mitch’s arm while he presses his body against Ian’s. I hear the soft, wet sounds of their mouths moving together, and I reach out with my own tongue to trace the shell of Ian’s ear.
“Dusty? Can you see it?” Ian asks, breaking into my reverie.
“Yes,” I breathe.
“Is it beautiful?”
“Tell me again why we can’t have that?” Ian asks.
I think about what Erik said to me the other night, about how I always play it safe. And where has it gotten me? He wasn’t just talking about my career. Maybe it’s time I took a risk for love. Honestly, at this point, I have nothing to lose.
“Maybe we can,” I say.
About Nicky Spencer
Nicky Spencer is a romance writer of all pairings. Nicky is a firm believer that love conquers all–that’s why her favorite theme is forbidden love. If two (or three!) people shouldn’t be together, Nicky will find a way to get them there. When you love someone, nothing else matters.
Nicky live in Salt Lake City, Utah with no husband, no kids and a part-time dog. She loves to read, write, listen to podcasts, watch baseball and waste time on the internet. She is firmly anti-oxford comma.
As part of this blog tour, Nicky is giving away an ebook copy of A Bolt of Blue!! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.