And the winner of an eBook copy of Heidi Cullinan’s newest release, Special Delivery, is… Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Special Delivery
…today’s the last day to sign up for the giveaway to win an eBook copy of Heidi Cullinan’s upcoming re-release, Special Delivery!
The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST TONIGHT so don’t forget to go to the giveaway post and comment with your email address to be put into the drawing.
Winner will be picked after the giveaway closes and announced tomorrow morning (Tuesday, February 4, 2014).
So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up!
And good luck!
Heather C: Since the first year Gay Rom Lit was created, Nikyta and I have managed to attend the retreat every year and meet a ton of amazing people. One of those people is Heidi Cullinan, who is not only a great writer but a lovely and entertaining person as well…
TBG: There’s a scene in Special Delivery where the characters visit a sex shop. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in a similar situation?
Heidi: Oh, lord. Well, a million years ago when we were first married, my husband and I would go to a local sex shop in Iowa City—rent movies, buy toys, try out the arcades. It was a very openly gay friendly shop, though not exclusive, and we really liked it. One day a friend of ours was curious, and he went with us. He took in the full experience, including the arcade.
Well, Dan and I went in one booth, he in one next door. He dropped his keys and then was all, “This floor is sticky.” Which…yes. Worse, though, his booth had a glory hole, and while he is not gay he gives off a heavy gay vibe, always has. Someone apparently wanted to get something going, because the next thing we heard after sticky keys was, “There’s a hole in the wall. There’s something coming through the hole. Oh my God, there’s a…”
We left shortly thereafter, and we just don’t speak of that night very often.
TBG: You have been known to dress in drag at some of the big writing conventions, how long does it take for you to get into character? Is it true that you use your own characters for inspiration?
Well, this is kind of a recent phenomenon, though most recently now I’m getting in drag as a favor to friends/fans. It started last year at RT, where I was supposed to dress up as “something” for an event, and at a loss I took Damon Suede’s partner’s suggestion I go as a trucker, because that’s one of my books, and it’s easy. He meant put on flannel and a cap, but I’m a Virgo and I like details, so I thought, well maybe I can do a beard with eye shadow. It turns out I can—the effect was so strong my daughter freaked out because she didn’t recognize me and thought a stranger was in the house.
At that RT event, most people didn’t know who I was—which kind of lost the promotional angle, I have to say. That one hour was supposed to be it, but then someone had a bad day and had missed the event, and as a favor I put it back on. This led to Damon Suede staging urinal poses, all kinds of wicked dancing with pretty much everyone, and a promise I would wear it at GRL.
In Atlanta I went as a trucker and a cowboy, so people called one look Mitch and one Travis. I’ve gone to the Blazing Saddle in Des Moines in drag and have been told I need to do it again. It’s fun, and I don’t mind, so I imagine this is not the end of the shenanigans.
I call my drag persona Calvin Fine—getting into character happens with the clothes and makeup, which take about an hour to get fully into. As soon as the beard starts going on I feel like I’m getting there. Once it’s on, everyone views you differently. A lot of people never quite believe it’s me. It’s really interesting to see how drag affects people. I will say I confuse a hell of a lot of gay men, though most seem to regard it with delight.
TBG: In Dirty Laundry, Adam was a really broken character with a serious condition. How did you tap into that kind of psyche and what kind of research did you do on his condition?
Heidi: My husband and my daughter both have clinical anxiety, so this is not something I’m unaware of. I have a good friend who has OCD, and I grilled her extensively before I wrote too much of Adam, as well as read a lot of books, articles, case studies. The one thing I was adamant about was he was not going to be cured, and in no way was BSDM his medicine. In my experience mental illness, in addition to being simply another bodily condition to be managed like diabetes or allergies, is about finding tools and levers and crutches to get around problems. Anxiety doesn’t go away with medicine or will. It must be managed and respected as a present force in one’s life, and it’s not shameful, no more than is my gluten allergy.
TBG: Does your husband read your books? If so, what is his favorite?
Heidi: He reads everything first, and if I were to not give him a book he would be hurt and think I was upset with him. He feels very proprietary about Special Delivery, which he should because it was his nagging that got me to finish it. He likes The Pirate’s Game because it’s dedicated to him and because there’s a lot of messaging between us in there. But his favorite is Love Lessons. He’s reading Fever Pitch right now and he says all he wants to do is go reread Love Lessons after.
TBG: You’ve written BDSM, historical, sweet contemporary, bears and twinks! Is there any type of story you haven’t written that you want to try?
Heidi: I’d like to get into the full LGBT alphabet soup, and I’d like to weave some heterosexual romances in eventually as part of the worlds, especially the Love Lessons series, but right now I’m barely keeping up with myself, so we’ll see.
TBG: You are heavily involved in RWA and have recently been interviewed by a major news outlet, how do you see yourself topping this in 2014 as an author? As a voice for the M/M genre?
Heidi: Happily I’m not even past president this year of RRW, though I’m standing by ready to help the board with whatever they feel would best serve the organization. Mostly what I focus on is getting gay romance and LGBT romance into the mainstream, to not have us be a separate category but a full, present player in the romance genre. I’m always trying to network with broader romance communities, and above all I’m doing my best to write quality gay romances in all subgenres of romance which represent the LGBT community and promote equality and acceptance and open minds.
TBG: What most interests me about Special Delivery, and I believe we’ve briefly discussed this before, is Sam’s relationship with his mother and how her death is a bit of the catalyst that allows him to take the trip with Mitch. Can you tell me a little on that and about how, in your opinion, Sam grows throughout the “road trip” experience?
Heidi: When I first started writing Special Delivery, Sharyle was alive and well, Sam’s sounding board when he came home from adventures with Mitch. I had a hard time making the plot work that way though, and eventually I realized for Sam to grow he had to leave home. The going away from what he knew was a vital part of him realizing his full self, the leaving behind the roles he’d accepted, the false-truths he’d internalized.
However, he was never going to leave his mother, not for anything, even if she told him he had to. He would never, ever have left her to take care of herself even for a little while, especially not to have a sex adventure with a trucker. And so I had to write it that Sharyle passed away before the book started, that her loss was part of what pushed him to leave Middleton and take a leap into a new way to look at life.
I do feel like she’s with him all the time, though, on his trip and in his life, period. He is her in so many ways, which of course is the best tribute. In many ways he was always the man he is at the end of the book, but he’d shut so many options for himself off, resigning himself to a future Middleton would accept. Yes, he has a lot of crazy sex on the way to Las Vegas, but more than anything those encounters are part of the chrysalis he eventually bursts out of to claim his full self. It’s the difference between someone who knows they could finish that novel or song or climb that mountain or learn that dance step and someone who actually does go get their brass ring. It wasn’t so much about what he went and claimed as the fact that he did it.
TBG: What does your workplace where you write look like? Are there any weird or interesting things you surround yourself with? Any quirks you have that gets the inspiration flowing?
Heidi: I write in this little room off my daughter’s room—I’m not sure what it was meant to be, because it’s not exactly a nursery, but it has these shuttered windows between my space and hers. It’s about six by twelve, with a closet where I keep all my promo stuff and notes. I have a big white board beside my desk where I keep to do lists and map out stories and try to hatch plots. I have a glider rocker in the corner which is mostly inhabited by cats, and there’s other cat furniture in here as well. There are three big windows behind me, but the glare really gets my monitor, so I keep the curtains shut.
My office is a kind of terra cotta with peach trim, colors I chose when we first moved in and which I would never change. I love those colors when I work. So warm and inviting, like a soft fire. I have some knickknacks, but not many, and I have to keep everything dusted and clean because I have a dust mite allergy, and it’s a toss-up as to which space I use more, this or my bedroom. I use a 27” iMac to write everything on, and while that screen is huge, sometimes I wish it were even bigger. I like to spread all my applications and notes around.
I don’t have much in the way of books in here, because they collect dust like crazy, but I have a small bookshelf beside me that has my books, my Tarot cards and reference books, and all the tax documents I do my best to keep up with all year. I also have my two favorite stuffed animals from when I was a kid as my mascots.
Thanks for having me by!
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.
Book One of the Special Delivery Series
When your deepest, darkest fantasy shows up, get on board.
Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent, long-haul trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to a fling, and when Mitch offers to take him on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure. Mitch is sexy, funny and friendly, but once they embark on their journey, something changes. One minute he’s the star of Sam’s every x-rated fantasy, the next he’s almost too much a perfect gentleman. And when they hit the Las Vegas city limit, Sam has a name to pin on Mitch’s malady: Randy.
For better or for worse, Sam grapples with the meaning of friendship, letting go, growing up—even the meaning of love—because no matter how far he travels, eventually all roads lead home.
Warning: This story contains trucker fantasies, threesomes and kinky consensual sex.
Available February 4, 2014 from Samhain Publishing and wherever books are sold. This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
Don’t forget about the Giveaway!!!
Heidi has offered to give away one eBook copy of Special Delivery. The giveaway starts now and will end next Monday, February 3rd, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST. After which the lucky winner will be randomly picked.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your email address and you’re in!
Make sure to follow the blog for the winner’s announcement post or check back next Tuesday, February 4, 2014, to see if you’ve won!
Check out Susan65’s review of Special Delivery to see what she thought of Sam and Mitch!
Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Special Delivery
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Heroes: Sam Keller and Mitch Tedsoe
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 379 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Available at: Samhain Publishing & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent, long-haul trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to a fling, and when Mitch offers to take him on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure. Mitch is sexy, funny and friendly, but once they embark on their journey, something changes. One minute he’s the star of Sam’s every x-rated fantasy, the next he’s almost too much a perfect gentleman. And when they hit the Las Vegas city limit, Sam has a name to pin on Mitch’s malady: Randy.
For better or for worse, Sam grapples with the meaning of friendship, letting go, growing up—even the meaning of love—because no matter how far he travels, eventually all roads lead home. Continue reading →
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