collaborations

Something New in the Works That’s Still a Secret

I can’t talk about it much right now. But I will soon. The contracts are signed and the works are in progress.

I’m going to be collaborating with another m/m romance author I’ve never worked with before. You all know him well; you all love his work. We’re collaborating on a project for Ravenous Romance that I hope will be released before Christmas. It’s a novella collection, with one 25,000 word novella from me, and one the same length from this other author.

I will post more about this soon. I just don’t want to jump the gun because I’m so excited about working with this author. I’m sure he will say something, too. We actually haven’t discussed that part yet because we’ve been so busy brainstorming about ideas.

But all I can say is that it’s been a wonderful experience. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve been enjoying working with this author.

Something in the Making…Thanks to E-books

About a month ago I was approached about doing something with another author whom I’ve always admired. And though I’ve never collaborated with anyone on anything, I was extremely interested.

So the publisher introduced us…we’d never met…and the e-mails started flying. After a great deal of brainstorming, we came up with a concept, a theme, and a deadline.

Nothing is in writing yet so I can’t give out details. But I can say this much. It’s most likely going to be a novella collection, it’s going to be m/m romance, and it will be out before Christmas.

The whole idea of collaborating has been very nice. The other author and I get along wonderfully and it’s an experience I’m looking forward to. For years I worked on anthologies with many other authors, for Cleis Press, Alyson Books, and one other gay press. I’ve also worked with a few European publishers on short story collections. It’s actually my favorite way to write and I’m glad that all the new advances in digital technology have allowed authors to have this kind of freedom. And as a reader, I would imagine people are having just as much fun as I am buying short stories, novellas, and full length novels. It’s hard to believe we didn’t have those choices five or ten years ago.

Titles…To Collaborate or Not…

I think choosing book or story titles for all authors is a different process. And, some authors are far more clever than others.

When it comes to titles, I’m either hit or miss, clever or lost. And I’m never actually certain when it’s going to be hit or miss either. With A REGULAR BUD, I guess I hit it right on the nose. And this surprised me. I thought the title was mundane (if not a little trite) and never expected the sales of the story to be very good. I was wrong. It’s been on a few bestseller lists for over a year now. And sales have been great. Why? I couldn’t even begin to explain it.

With STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM AT THE PLAZA, I thought I’d nailed the title. But I was wrong again. I missed that one by a long shot. Even though this story had been published years ago in a small book by a large LGBT publisher, someone else released an e-book with a title similar right around the same time I released my story, and my story disappeared into cyberspace. Bad timing; wrong title. Had I known ahead of time, I would have changed my title immediately. Oddly, this story has received probably the best reviews of anything I’ve ever written. But it never sold as well as I’d hoped it would. And I think a lot had to do with the title.

And this is why I’ve come to really depend on a collaboration with my publishers and editors when it comes to titles. With every single Ravenous Romance book that’s been released, each title has been a collaboration. Most of the RR titles originated with Lori Perkins, one of the publishers at RR. She’s unreal when it comes to titles. She gets them in seconds, where they take me weeks. And a few came from Holly, the other publisher. And right now, this very week, we’re deciding whether or not to title a new release as His Tuscan Embrace, or, Hot Italian Lover. Personally, I like them both. But I’m just too close to make the final decision and I’m letting Holly make it for me. I know that sounds indecisive, but I’ve learned the collaboration between author, editor, and publisher usually works out best in the long run.