Dreamspinner Press, J. Scott Coatsworth

Guest Post: Between the Lines by J. Scott Coatsworth

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One of the best things about being an author is that you get to write what you love. For me, that’s always been sci fi and fantasy.

But growing up as a gay kid in the closet, I also wanted to read more about people like me. But I was afraid that if I wrote about them, others might think I was gay – something that had to be avoided at all costs.

Eventually, though, I came out – but my writing didn’t. I still tended to write the same heterosexual characters. And then I stopped writing.

Then about two years ago, I got bitten by the writing bug again. With some encouragement from my husband, Mark, I picked up the metaphorical fountain pen and set to it once more.

But this time was different. This time I decided to write about my family in the LGBTQI community. My fiction took on a new life and energy, powered by the revelation that I had things to say, both in sci fi and fantasy and in my own community.

And about my actual community. My first stand-alone novella, Between the Lines, is one of which I am fiercely proud. Not just because it’s the first thing I’ve written with my name (only my name and no one else’s) on the cover, but because it’s about my adopted hometown, Sacramento. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and some of my favorite places are included. A few of them appear under their real names, while others have been fictionalized. But when I read the story, I can see in my head exactly where each scene takes place.

Sacramento is a quiet place for a big city, and it’s a political town. As the state capital, it’s where all the major policy fights happen, and it seemed like the perfect place to set my political magical realism tale.

If you read it, I hope you like it – it’s my little love letter to Sacramento.

And if you are considering becoming a writer, here’s some advice. Write because you have to, because the words are burning you up inside and are trying to get out.

Write what you love.

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BTL CoverBlurb: Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the Chief of Staff for a Republican California State Senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.

Sam Fuller is Brad’s young, blond, blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad break-up, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.

While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a new light. And nothing will ever be the same.

Categories: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt: It began with a medallion.

The piece was a simple wooden disk, hand carved with the shapes of leaves and forest boughs and polished by centuries of use, giving it a patina of great age.

It sat upon a small green velvet pillow—the kind jewelers sometimes use, rather unsuccessfully, to enhance a plain necklace of false pearls. The kind you might expect to find on your grandmother’s settee, in a slightly larger size, embroidered with “Home Sweet Home.”

Yet there was something compulsive about it—something hidden in the dark crevices of the carving, filled with the dust of ages.

At least that’s what Brad would recall years later, when he thought back on the first time he saw it: the moment when the lines of his mundane life suddenly snarled, snapped, and ultimately recombined into something quite different.

Of course, he didn’t know any of this at the time.

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Author BioAuthor Bio: Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

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One thought on “Guest Post: Between the Lines by J. Scott Coatsworth

  1. Pingback: More Stops on the Mighty Blog Tour

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