CHAOS IN THE MOONLIGHT
Hello everyone. I’m K-lee and this is my first time at The Novel Approach. I’m very excited to be included with so many awesome authors for this GRL countdown. This will be my third time going to GRL and second time as an author. But before I talk about that, how about if I introduce myself a little.
I’m a Western Canadian, the proud mom of three, and a cat-lover. I have a strong belief that I could watch sweaty, half-naked men with swords, or sexy dwarfs on a quest, for hours on end (and I most definitely have – I blame the OCD), but I’m also a sappy romantic who cannot NOT write an HEA, and it’s only recently that I’ve started calling myself an author.
It’s still a surreal thing to wrap my mind around, but…well, some of you might understand the jitters that can rock your insides when fantasy meets reality, and you’re suddenly expected to include yourself in a category you’ve always dreamed of being in. Writing and referring to myself as an author is like that for me, and to be perfectly honest, being published opened up a new part of my life, a part that had to be rediscovered when my kids were grown and I needed something just for myself.
I was first published in December 2011, thanks in part to the lovely SJ Frost who encouraged me to submit something to MLR. Glory behold! Finally Home was actually accepted and a new door opened for me. 2012 was a very prolific year with several short stories, anthology additions, and two print books published with both MLR—Lucius’ Bite-Family of Misfits 1, and with Less Than Three Press—Domestic Relations.
2013 has been a slower year, at least in terms of published works. I had a short story come out in January, but then nothing until July when my free story, Las Palabras de Amor, was posted in the GoodReads m/m romance group. Then it happened—I finished two novels at the same time.
Unbreak My Heart came out August 25 from Amber Allure (my first with them) and Ali’s Intuition-Family of Misfits 2 was released on September 20. These two books almost broke me, one more so than the other, and together they exhausted my mind and heart—hence, I was broken.
Between the two of them, I wrote 199,000 words in the span of six months, plus my free short and some (coughs) fanfiction. Is there any wonder I felt rode hard and put away wet? And do you know what makes it all worthwhile? It’s not the ten day book tour I did for Unbreak My Heart or my first time on the bestseller list at ARE. It’s not the fact I still cry when I read certain parts of the book or the lovely compliments about the cover.
For me, the validation of hours, weeks, months spent with a character like Brett Taylor, messing with my head and hurting my heart, came in the form of a single comment with the sweet words realistic, painful, and hopeful. That’s exactly how I wanted Unbreak My Heart to be perceived. It’s a love story, but not an easy one to sit back and watch unfold, or to write for that matter. I needed Brett to be strong and stubborn with a huge helping of soft and sensitive on the side. I was relieved when a reader told me they ached for Brett, but at one point were madder than hell at him, as well. That’s a win in my book—literally.
So back to GRL, I guess you could say I’m an old-timer with regards to attending. I went to the first GRL in fabulous New Orleans. I was there as a reader and I’m the first to admit I wad scared to death. Finally Home had been accepted just before that time so besides being terrified I was a little bit–a lot–elated. To be honest, I’m not one for crowds or socializing under normal circumstances so just being there was a complete shock to my system. But it went fine, more than fine, and I had a freaking awesome time.
One of the most important things I discovered was that despite some of the controversy our genre can breed, the authors I met and now call friends were open and accepting, people I just wanted to be near and hang around with. Some of my most memorable experiences were lunch with the fabulous ZA Maxfield, being introduced as part of the MLR family by my editor, finding more than one kindred spirit among authors and readers, and getting to know Mr. William Neale. Bill and I kept in touch after GRL and I was honored to call him my friend. For those of you who don’t know, Bill passed away suddenly in 2012. I believe he left only the best memories in a large number of people’s minds, and of course he left us his beautiful words.
GRL 2012 was different in a lot of ways from the premiere edition—bigger, more events, more people—but the feeling of belonging was still there. I was hobbling around on one crutch, nervous at being called an author for reals, and just trying to stand in the shadows where I could see everything but not have to become involved. I’m self-conscious that way. Of course, by the end of the festivities I was dancing my ass off with two of my favorite men in the world. Imagine the sight—two deaf fellows dancing in abandon with a woman with one crutch. My knee didn’t thank me in the morning, but it’s an experience I’ll always cherish and never forget.
That’s one of the biggest and most important parts of any GRL for me–finding those connections, making memories, sharing experiences that will last a lifetime. Now how about GRL 2013? New location, larger (don’t quote me on that, though), a little more structure, and overall what am I looking most forward to? Again, it’s not the fact I’ll be a supporting author with a few actual books to sell and sign, or the fabulous, interesting, and informative events and activities planned.
No. For me, it’s the people again. It’s making those connections, collecting hugs (lock that away in your minds – K-lee loves hugs), meeting authors and readers I haven’t met yet, and latching on tight to the ones I already know and love. In short, GRL is about the people, the personalities, the unspoken promise and allowance that anything goes. It’s being able to be who I really am with a group of people who understand just why reading and writing two men in a loving relationship is so important to me.
I’m going to leave you with a few random facts about K-lee, the writer, and the blurb from the book that broke my heart while I was writing it. Thanks for joining me in reading this post, thank you, Lisa, for inviting me, and I hope to meet (re-meet) some of you at GRL.
– I never refer to my books by their titles. Every one of my stories I associate more with the characters than the actual name. For example, I didn’t have a title for Unbreak My Heart until it was completely finished and ready for editing. Even now I still refer to it as Brett, just as Lazy Sundays is either (or both) Devon and Scott. Of course, I lucked out (or cheated) with Lucius’ Bite and Ali’s Intuition.
– I suffer more from muse-overload than writers’ block, something that could explain why I generally have more than five stories on the go at a time.
– My muse is an exceptionally bossy bastard. He physically inhabits whichever character he believes needs the most attention (he requested that I torment poor Brett a lot). He’s been known to scream and bounce himself off the walls of my skull if I ignore him or don’t abide by his wishes (demands). His favorite time to make himself known is at night (a lot of times after I’ve taken my sleeping meds) and in the tub (and yes, I do cave to his wishes and write on my iPad in the bath).
– I don’t generally have a specific playlist for each book I write, but I have been known to play one artist, album or even song for the entirety of said book’s writing. For Unbreak My Heart it was Christian Kane, except for the sex scenes, which for some unexplained reason became Backstreet Boys’ territory.
– The most important element of a story for me is the emotions of the characters. If I had to choose between writing a story that did not inhabit the inside of the characters’ heads and hearts but was laced with steamy smut, or one that was smutless with high emotional content, the latter would win hands-down.
UNBREAK MY HEART
Brett Taylor has been doing just fine living in his own little world for the past three years, thank you very much. Losing someone special is life changing, and Brett doesn’t understand why everyone and their damn dog thinks they can get all up in his business about him needing to move on. He managed to make the transition from musician to rancher without relying on anyone else’s opinion or help, and he certainly doesn’t need some city kid coming into his life to disrupt his routine–one that involves grief, isolation, and a whole lot of Jack Daniels.
Moving from one meaningless job to the next, JT Campbell is on a quest to escape his old life and figure out who he is and where he belongs. He’s not looking to save anyone, let alone a secretive, hotter-than-hell rancher who wears his heart on his sleeve. JT likes working for Brett, but Brett’s made it perfectly clear that any relationship between them other than a professional one will never see the light of day.
But when JT’s lust turns to love, and he gives in to his desire to find out what makes Brett tick, will his interest push Brett away? Or will he, through his patience and support, be the one who can finally unbreak Brett’s heart?
K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember.
She lives with a patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), and two also spoiled but beautiful cats. Her days are filled with texts and phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED