Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my partner BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Moving sucks

but! we're in the new house.

I feel like a bad blogger. You can tell when we closed on the new house, yeah? I haven't posted since then, really. we turn in the keys to the rental Monday, and I couldn't be happier.

XXOO y'all

Julia

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Elusive sleep and silly words on the page

Insomnia has always been an issue for me. It's hormonal. Used to be the last three days before my period, but these days, at 44, my hormones are screwed, so for the two weeks between ovulation and period, I am a rampaging monster, all aches, pains, haywire nerve endings and throbbing veins in my legs. TMI, I know, but it's important to set the scene.

So, anyway, I can't sleep. I'm trying to write instead. Problem is, I can't make sense of anything. Nothing wants to be right when my brain knows it should be asleep. No one writes shit like, 'Twas brillig in the slithey toves" when they're high. They do it when they can't sleep. When you're high you think you're brilliant. When you're sleep deprived, you just want your fingers to work. Sigh.

Also, I want ice cream, and we have none. RR, New Mexico? Not a late night town. Groceries all close at 1am. Bah. BAH

Anyone want to play Scrabble?

XXOO

Julia

Friday, October 03, 2014

working on moving - or how a writer loses 2 weeks of writing time

Tuesday- closing 9:30 to almost noon because escrow officer was late

On the plus side, I learned all about what our realtor used to do for a living, and about his inn in Espanola.

Wednesday - took load to house, paid bills, took load to house. Door guy. Bought paint. Turned water on

Thursday- painted new office, cleaned out nasty kitchen drawers, dismantled weird kitchen VCR and icky space saver can opener. Meet floor guy for estimate, met with exterminator

Friday- Tried to meet ADT but failed. Got groceries. Napped because otherwise I was going to die

Upcoming

Saturday- teach gluten free baking class, take 3 loads to house, second coat of paint in office

Sunday- PAINT ALL THE THINGS

Monday- Do non-writerly work. All of it. Now.

Tuesday: Try to write O.O Meet door guy for estimate

Wednesday- sit at new house and cool my heels while waiting for ADT guy at some point between 12-5pm

Thursday- Moving boxes and painting anything not done

Friday- prepare for yard sale. make signs. WRITE

Saturday- yard sale - Anyone want shoes size W 9 1/2 to 10- carlos santana boots, steve madden heels, steve madden boots, etc- hardly or never worn

Sunday- recover from yard sale

Monday- take loads of stuff to house to save ob movers whose estimate freaked us out

Tuesday- clean all the things for new appliances to arrive

Pant. Pant.

Yikes

XXOO

Julia

Monday, September 29, 2014

BA Tortuga Talks about Say Something

Grins

Hey, y’all. I wanted to take over my wife’s (still incredibly cool, btw) blog and squeal about my new release, Say Something.

Sometimes you write something and it’s more than another story. Sometimes it burrows down into your soul and you find yourself lost in a whirlwind of information.

These boys are that for me.

Mike and Jenson were born in a rush. I was taking a few days off writing. I’d just finished writing The Terms of Release and I wasn’t ready to take on another intense pair.

I wasn’t ready, damn it, but the boys didn’t give a rat’s ass.

Kenny Chesney came on the radio, I started crying, and six months later, I stopped.

Mike and Jen are dear to me and now they’re y’all’s. Be good to them, huh? They deserve it.

Much love, y’all.

Say Something is out today from Dreamspinner Press and I’m proud enough to bust.

Official Blurb:

Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it's too late.

Paperback buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5481

Ebook buy link:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5480

Where to find BA:

http://www.batortuga.com -- website

batortuga.blogspot.com – blog

@batortuga on twitter

https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Excerpt:

He parked his old Chevy out on the maintenance road and watched the last rays of the sun go down. He pulled out the pack of smokes and tapped the end against his palm a few times before pulling off the plastic. He’d have one while he waited.

The humidity made everything lazy, even the mosquitos, and he couldn’t help but think that tomorrow he was going to be out here, just another redneck driving down gravel roads acting like that was something special, and Mike would be in his perfectly clean little Toyota with his boxes and his books, heading to the East Coast.

It wasn’t fucking fair.

Oh, not that Jenson wanted to go back East anywhere. What he wanted was Mike. The trip to the beach had given them some stolen kisses and a few quick gropes, but Jenson wanted more.

He wanted full-on naked. He wanted to fuck. He wanted to hear Mike beg for it. He knew Mike would.

The very thought made his dick hard in his jeans and made him curse when his cigarette burned his fingers.

He heard a husky chuckle. “You ever going to learn how to smoke, man?”

Jenson turned to see Mike wandering over, coming to sit next to him on the tailgate. On the wrong damned side.

“Scoot, man,” Mike said, and he did, because he was always willing to do for Mike.

“What’s up, Mike?”

“Been a long couple days. You?”

“Been trying to decide if I have to apply for jobs.” He sighed. “You all packed?”

“I am. Yeah. I wish you were coming. It looks like a kick-ass campus.” Mike took a smoke, lit it, and the flame shuddered in the wind.

“I ain’t smart like you.” What else could he say?

“I’m not all that. I just….” Mike shrugged. What was Mike going to say? That Mike had tried? Because that was the God’s honest truth. Mike fought for it, worked hard.

Jenson did too. It just didn’t matter. He wasn’t school material. He lit another cigarette, trying not to cough. Lord.

“You think you’ll stay at home?”

Like it mattered. Neither one of them could afford long-distance phone calls, and Jenson, well, shit, he wasn’t much of a letter writer. Maybe postcards, if he remembered to buy stamps.

Jenson nodded. “If they’ll let me. If not, I’ll try cowboying out with the C Bar.” Mr. Carlson ran a huge Beefmaster operation.

“Such a cowboy.” Not like Mike. He was gonna be something bigger than a shiftless drover.

“I don’t know what else to do. Be a drunk like my dad, I guess.” He laughed, trying not to sound so damned bitter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Labels in fiction, or why I hate the word Manlove

Okay, I know it might piss some folks off, and that's not my aim here. I want to say that upfront. I'm making a very personal statement about the label "manlove" as it applies to what I read and and write.

I hate the word Manlove. At its most harmless it seems relatively easy to understand. A construct, like bromance or manhug, used as a descriptive. People wield it to indicate male/male fiction in the same way they say I write m/m, pronounced em-em at conventions or to people on the bus who ask what people write when faced with a writer. For what it's worth, I also dislike the em-em phenomenon, as well, because it's a way of ducking the commitment to say I write gay.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand the distinction people are trying to make. The long and rampaging argument about GLBT fiction versus gay romance versus women writing romance with two men has worn people down, and they see Manlove as a compromise, I think, one that removes the need for the bluster, one that finds commonality with other writers who pen the same kind of prose. I have more than once been told by readers that I write really average guys who don't seem gay so much as into this one man they've fallen for, which is absolutely fair. I like to explore all sots of relationships without stereotypes, I think. At least I hope that's where I land in the great scheme. I can happily point out a good many books I've written, though, where the characters identify as everything from in the closet to way out and flaming!

! Why then do I hate Manlove?

Because I think it's disingenuous, at best. At worst, it's like "girl on girl action" a phrase designed to delineate lesbian film/fiction/media from girls getting it on to titillate men. Saying I read and write Manlove is tantamount to admitting I'm willingly misappropriating someone's culture, that I'm co-opting part of the GLBTQ experience for my own use and discarding the rest. As someone who self-identifies as part of the queer community (a woman married to a woman, mostly bi on the sliding scale of sexuality) the whole idea of taking the LGBT out of gay romance makes me squirmy and uncomfortable. The idea, too, that readers want what one m/f author at a con recently called "Alpha-Alpha males" in their romance and that no gay man can provide that also makes me a little nuts. I know at least three gay men writing romance alongside all of us right now that would qualify as the kind of alpha males readers love to see.

I think that taking the LGBT out of the "m/m" romance equation widens the gap between detractors who say women shouldn't be writing gay romance rather than closes it. I think,very much like Emma Watson recently said so eloquently, gender (and I'll add in sexuality) should be a spectrum. It's okay for men to be sensitive. It's okay for women to be strong. And it's okay for gay men and lesbians and bisexuals to be represented in all sorts of different ways, rather than being pushed aside in favor of a fetish-ized fantasy of men on men or girl on girl action. The implication of Manlove just makes me grit my teeth before I shout, "You keep saying you support the gay community, so why isn't it okay to be gay? Why does it have to be Manlove?"

I'm eager to hear what y'all think. Feel free to discuss, but please keep it friendly!

XXOO

Julia

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Georgia Knights excerpt

Hey y'all!

How about some menage action?

"Alton has a place almost up to the falls," Caid whispered, breath hot on her neck.

"Okay." She sounded like a phone sex worker, all breathy and husky.

They packed up the pizza and headed out, Alton hustling them back to her little rental SUV. He didn't give either one of them time to think, either, just groped them both impartially.

"Alton, you're dangerous. Sit in the back seat."

"What? Why?" He pouted at her, but Caid punched his shoulder.

"Because no one can drive with you all over them, Alt. Get."

She gave in to her baser instincts and went up on tiptoe to kiss the corner of Alton's mouth. "I have to focus, huh?"

"Oh." Alton blinked, those pretty gray eyes bright. "Got it. I'll just sit in the back and..." He made an unmistakable motion with his hand.

She swatted him, chuckling. "Now, now. Don't pop too soon." She winked at Caid, offering him a quick kiss, too.

Caid surprised her with a kiss that curled her toes, capturing her mouth for a long moment before moving away. He went and sat in the passenger seat, staring, focused.

"Oh." Wow. Okay. Driving.

Driving would be good.

Really.

"Yeah. Turn left at the light, honey." Alton pointed before sliding into the backseat, his hand patting her ass on the way by.

"Georgia." She got moving, got behind the wheel and got them going. The windows were down, the wind cooling off her too-hot skin, even as the humidity made things a little sticky.

"Huh?" Both Alton and Caid said it, both of them staring at her.

Lord. It was like watching howler monkeys tilt their heads when they heard a whistle. They were never going to stop with the pet names. "Nothing. Left?"

"Left." The town they'd gone to was only fifteen minutes down the road or so from Haley Falls, which kind of boggled her high desert girl mind. Where she lived you had to drive two hours to get anywhere.

It got darker and darker as she drove, the trees thick. She started to worry -- what exactly was she doing? Heading into the woods with two men she didn't know?

"Okay, right here, sugar." Warm hands fell on her shoulders, Alton rubbing a little.

She slowed down, those thumbs working out the tension that had started building.

"It's okay, honey." What, did they both read minds? Caid was all about soothing her, too.

They parked in front of a simple, sweet-looking cabin, all of them breathing hard enough that the windows fogged up. The sound of hunting hounds made her jump a little. "Should we go in?"

"You bet. Come on in, folks." Alton led the way, the place a combination of historical log cabin and newer log home. The inside was just as much a mixture, with simple hooked rugs and a couple of fine art prints on the walls. That was about all she got to notice before Alton turned and grabbed her, though, spinning her for a kiss.

Oh.

Her arms wrapped around his neck, and she pushed up into the kiss, her body rubbing against Alt all the way. Caid moved up behind her, hands sliding around her waist, and his heavy heat pressed against her, somehow far more aggressive than she expected. It made her moan, found her hips rocking back and forth between them, caught in a perfect position.

Find it here! And Amazon and ARE!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A few tips for authors who are going the self-publishing route

Hey y'all

Most of you know my alter ego, Lorna, is a publisher. I don't format the book files or create covers, but I do market, categorize, advertise, deal with distributors and write checks.

Today I was poking around the new releases on ARE and saw a couple of self-published books that had some great covers. So I clicked on one to see what it was about.

O.o

o.O

The blurb was very non-specific. The hero was mentioned, and he falls in love, but they never tell us with whom. (who? I hate who and whom)

So I looked for categories. Um. Nope. Romance general, uncategorized.

So, I thought, maybe tags. Nope. Nada.

Okay, so the second book seems to indicate that these are m/f, right? Maybe. The love interest's name is unisex. Mainly girls, but who knows?

Y'all, can I share something I've learned in 15 years of romance work and 20 of library circ work? People want to know what they're getting. That's why library cataloging was invented. To make it easy to find what people want, or need, to read. Tell me if it's m/f or m/m or menage. Tell me, since it's clearly dystopian in this case, if it's futuristic, or alt universe, or steampunk. Tell me if it's bdsm or vanilla. Hell, give me a flame rating! Fill out your whole meta data! I'm not even going to go read the sample if I have no idea if this is something I want to read.

I'll pass right by and go for a book with just as cool a cover that tells me, "You like what I'm about!"

Take the time, y'all. Tags are so important, and so are categories. Ponder them for a bit. You're not narrowing your readership, you're helping your readers find you.

Gotta say, they were neat covers, though!

XXOO

Julia