Wednesday greetings, Awesome Readers! Today here on Genre Talk, we’ve got DSP Publications author Lex Chase stopping by The Novel Approach Reviews as the 7th stop on a 9-part blog tour. So let’s just sit back and let her do all the work. ;)
Hello Internet! I’m Lex Chase and Carole and Lisa are awesome enough to have me over for Genre Talk! I’m here to share a bit about my upcoming anthology Checkmate Ever After from DSP Publications. It’s a story about the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, and the creamy middle of disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his rise to redemption alongside his sidekick/boyfriend Hogarth Dawson. In Hogarth’s happy, perky, way too much caffeine, way to little sleep POV, he relays Rook’s dark and angsty story through the rose-colored glasses of a hyperactive chipmunk.
So, one of the Genre Talk questions that I decided to write an entire post about is “what makes your book different from other m/m books.” I had been filling out the question, but this post ended up falling out.
There is a book of every flavor, and a different reader a connoisseur. Cowboys? Check. Firemen? Check. Cops. Cooks. Spies. Spooks. Sports stars and porn stars.
Welcome to the buffet.
There is nothing wrong with any of those tropes. And Rule #1 of Geekdom is “Don’t Be A Dick.” So many people already write those, and they do it far better than I ever could.
Now, superheroes? That’s my thing. Give me any “Superheroes in [FILL IN THE BLANK]” trope and I eat it up like the fistfuls. I have a hardcore weakness for Superheroes In High School. Don’t judge. My favorite movie of all time with this trope being Disney’s Sky High.
I grew up reading comics, drawing comics, eating, sleeping, and breathing comics. I was once considered a local guru on what was the hottest, what was appropriate for kids, that subtitled anime actually taught reading comprehension and fostered intrest in foreign language. Yes. Really.
But my problem with LGBT representation in comics is…a complicated thing. There was either LGBT slice-of-life stories, which I did rather enjoy. But, I could see that in my own life. So. Eh.
Enter “Gay Superhero” comics. You have guys with packages as large as baseball bats and are a veritable fountain of fluids. Overdrawn muscles, veins upon veins, and perpetual “O” faces. Straight up fap material.
I wanted saving the day. I wanted messages of with great power comes great responsibility. I wanted to see guys that I, you, everyone could look up to. Guys people wanted to cosplay and kids wanted to dress as for Halloween. I wanted heroes. Not a porn star in a cape.
One of the things I love about mainstream comics such as Marvel and DC, these characters being larger than life, they still have very human issues. Issues like infidelity, conflicting political and religious views, dealing with grief, addiction, alcoholism, HIV/AIDs, even rape. These characters appealed to those that didn’t think they had a voice. These characters never failed their readers as the world around them did.
These characters taught us how to pick ourselves up. How to take a stand. And how to fly.
These characters were never meant to be just as dirty as your neighbor’s crusty Penthouses.
That’s where Checkmate Ever After comes in.
It’s my love letter to superheroes and pop culture. From the references to the comedy, the very real human issues, and everything in the middle.
Rook and Garth save the day with heroic deeds, and klutzy misadventures, but never with the “healing power of cock.” Rook and Garth are extraordinary guys living in a world that’s more extraordinary than they are, therefore making them just okay.
It takes the whizz! bang! of shiny flawless superheroes, and injects a dose of reality into them. Rook may be able to bench press a Buick with his pinky, but he still puts on his leather pants one leg at a time. Garth can barely pay his bills and is an utter penny pincher. But they still answer the call to danger without a second thought.
They’re the guys that I want to communicate to readers young and old, you can believe again. That there is good in the world.
So. What makes Checkmate Ever After different from most m/m? Well. There’s no cowboys or firemen. Cops or cooks. Spies or spooks. Sports stars or porn stars. It has two dorky superheroes in love doing the best they can with what they got. It’s got guys living in a larger than life world, and being the voice of those voiceless bullied kids that hid behind comics and sci-fi/fantasy novels. It’s being the voice of those voiceless kids that grew into equally timid voiceless adults.
At it’s core, fun story full of humor and heartbreaking peril. But at the end of the day, I want readers to take away one thing:
You are extraordinary.
2nd Edition (Books One – Three)
The day disgraced superhero Memphis Rook literally fell into Hogarth Dawson’s lap, you could say it was fate. But the brawny Rook did nearly crush Garth’s pancreas. What started as two ships passing in the night ended on the weirdest adventure of their lives. Together, Rook and Garth form Checkmate, a daring super duo that keeps Axis City safe from a rogue’s gallery of nefarious villains, dastardly masterminds, and a coalition of calamity. Fighting evil wherever it appears-from reality shows to comic book conventions-Checkmate serves up knuckle sandwiches of justice. But by day, they’re a couple of broke losers who can barely afford a burger and navigating a weird thing called a relationship. Ain’t true love grand? Rook and Garth may be in over their heads, and even super heroes fail sometimes, but they’re ready to take a stand when no one else will. Don’t hate the players, because Checkmate owns the game.
1st Edition of Pawn Takes Rook published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013.
1st Edition of Cashing the Reality Check published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013.
1st Edition of Conventional Love published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.
And the all new fourth novella Miracle in Axis City and bonus short What The Water Gave Me, exclusive to the anthology!
About the Author:
Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure-and depending on how she feels that day-Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.
She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.
You can find her in the Intarwebz here:
Who is your superhero? Is it someone fictional? Or someone in your life?
Drop your comment below and click the giveaway banner to enter for a chance to win a 25 USD Amazon Gift Card!
Follow the Checkmate Ever After Tour!
12/3 – Tali Spencer
12/7 – Aidee Ladnier
12/12 – Gaylist Book Reviews
12/15 – Checkmate Ever After Release Day!
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