Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's Time for The Truth Inside

It’s a new year, and with it comes the first book in my new series. This year, I’m dipping my toe into the new adult fountain with the release of The Truth Inside. Publicly anyway. This is not my first new adult rodeo, but that’s a story for another time. Today, I want to focus on what’s important.

The Truth Inside is the first book in my New Beginnings new adult series. At this time, there a total of six books planned. Each book will be a standalone romance novel that focuses on the journey of one young couple. All of the characters are friends and will appear in each other’s books. Reading each book is helpful but not necessary to understand and enjoy each book individually.

The Truth Inside is the story of Nate Holland, a transgender MMA fighter. Nate’s had so much rejection in the past from parents to peers that he’s decided to keep his birth gender a secret. Things get complicated when he meets Natalie Cox. Nate finds himself falling for her but still afraid to take that leap and tell her the truth. When he finally does, Natalie’s reaction is the last thing he expected.

The preceding paragraph was not a spoiler. Readers learn early on that Nate is transgender. The story isn’t about the readers trying to unravel Nate’s big secret which is held until near the end of the book. It’s about Nate’s journey as a transgender man and athlete and how that affects his relationship with his friends and ultimately his girlfriend.

This story isn’t about going for the shock value. I’ve read far too many stories labeling themselves as romance novels that are all about how everyone reacts to the trans character. Often, these stories are erotica, which is fine with me since all of my novels feature some pretty graphic sex scenes. My biggest problem with them is that the trans character doesn’t reveal his or her truth until in the midst of getting hot and heavy with the new love interest. Once that happens, the scene and usually the book as a whole, tends to focus on the reactions of the non-trans character and how that person copes.

That’s not to say there aren’t books out there with solid story lines that explore a trans character’s journey. There are, and I’ve read a few. That’s the problem. There are so few. Certainly not enough when you think of how many transgender people are in this world.

With Nate’s story, I wanted to stay true to what it means to be transgender. I wanted to tell as beautiful story that didn’t demean what it means to be transgender. I am not transgender, but I did my best to provide an accurate and beautiful portrayal, thanks in large part to the number of transgender people who have been open to sharing their stories with the world.

In keeping with the spirit of authenticity, I somehow managed to convince transgender activist Jeffrey Rubel to lend his image to the cover to portray Nate Holland. That’s right, Jeffrey donated his image and time with no expectation of compensation, which is never going to stop amazing me.

I hope that I’ve done this story justice. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, I ask for only two things. First, please review the book on Amazon. The more reviews it gets, the more we can spread the word about this book. Second, tell others you liked it and encourage them to read and review.

Thank you for taking the first step on this journey of New Beginnings. The book will be out 1/30/18, but you can preorder your copy now.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What's the Plan?

Happy New Year, everyone! Is it me, or does it seem like 2018 came up fast? Last week, I told you that we’d talk about my writing plans for this year. As promised, here they are.

First, I’m tackling a new book series this year. Don’t worry. I’m still going to be writing romance. Honestly, I’m not sure I could write another genre. I’m just going to be taking on a new subgenre. My new series is called New Beginnings and it will be a new adult romance series. Right now, there are a total of six books planned for this series, but there may be more. We’ll have to see what happens with the characters. The first book, The Truth Inside, is scheduled for release on 1/30/18. Keep watching my social media for news about the preorder.

This year, I’m making a commitment to do more promotion of my books. While I keep up with my social media accounts, or try to, I’m not very good at promotion. In the past, I’ve had an issue with my budget. Truthfully, I didn’t have one. That changes this year, starting with my first book of the year. So far, I’ve already scheduled a book trailer for The Truth Inside. By the end of the day, I will have also scheduled a book tour. By this weekend, I will have ordered several new promotional pictures to use on my social media sites. I’m also planning to take a look at the wonderful World Wide Web to see what other efforts I should pursue. You’ll have to bear with me if I’m slow to start on this since it’s all new to me.

Instead of only offering my new books in electronic format, I will also be making them available in paperback. This is for my new adult series and any books that I publish from this year on. I may consider going back and making my prior books available in print format. That's still up in the air.

I plan to be a best-selling author this year. Other than writing a great book, this is something I have little control over. That’s where my promotional efforts come in. With any luck, investing more time and money in promoting my books will translate to more sales. At the very least, I would like to be an Amazon best seller, but I would absolutely love to be on the New York Times and/or USA Today best seller lists.

I would like to go to at least one author event this year, but I can’t make any promises. I’m an indie author who not only has a small budget but also a day job. Both of those things make it difficult to travel, but maybe I’ll get lucky. Maybe my first book of the New Year will do so well that I’ll have the money to go to an event this year. I’ll keep you posted.

I think it’s time I joined Romance Writers of America. I’m a romance writer after all. If I’m going to invest in promotion of my books, I think I can invest in this as well.

This year, I also hope to gain some new fans and see more Amazon reviews of my books. Only time will tell if this happens. I’ll let you know at the end of this year when I do my annual recap. Until then, wish me luck!