Cheers, everyone, and welcome to the Mapping the Forest blog tour with author Brandon Witt! Brandon’s here sharing a bit about how two of the characters in the book came to be, and he’s also offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card (P.S. – he’s offered a couple of book recs right here in his post, for your consideration), so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
Thanks for joining me for one of the release day postings for Mapping the Forest!!!
Sometimes you do thing with good intentions and a leap of faith, hoping that it all turns to gold and doesn’t bite you or others in the ass.
A year or so ago, our fellow author, Eric Arivn, was needing a piece of medical equipment to help his quality of life.
(Side note: Here is a link to Eric’s books. Please go buy them all. You won’t be sorry. I love each of them, but my personal favorite is Woke Up in a Strange Place. It changed my life, literally—but that’s a different story.)
The required piece of equipment was expensive, and it was the holidayish season, and funds were growing thin. I put out a call for people to make a donation of a certain, sizeable amount in order to be a character in one of my books. Honestly, I was afraid no one would take me up on the offer and it wouldn’t do Eric any good. I was also afraid someone would.
Four people did, in all.
Two of them make their debut in Mapping the Forest. The first person was my friend Rob. In many ways he was an answer to prayer. I wanted a member of my circle of friends in the Rocky Mountain Boys books to be in their fifties or sixties. Rob was (fifties, not sixties). I’d also wanted to write a character who was living a healthy life with HIV, Rob is. I wanted a character who was kind, dynamic, caring, and interesting. I sat down with Rob for the first of our interviews, expecting that he’d probably just be a side character in one of the books. Though we were friends, I had no clue about the twist and turns in his life. By the time the interview was over, Rob had cemented himself as one of the five friends that would each get their own book in this series. He’s not the main character in Mapping the Forest, but you’ll meet him. And you’ll love him!
The second person who took the offer was Nancy. (She wanted her character to be called Rosalind.) I knew a little about her through Facebook, but not much. I was nervous when we finally set up a time for a phone interview. I didn’t know what I was going to do with a female character who was older than Rob’s character. Again, I anticipated having to explain that she would be a minor, but pivotal character. That phone call lasted for two hours and I had tears from laughter more than once. Nancy was brilliant, irreverent, sarcastic, and cussed up a storm. Her life was intriguing and captivating. I felt like I’d been given the gold standard of pre-made characters. Though she won’t be one of the Rocky Mountain Boys, she will play a pivotal role in all five books, especially Mapping the Forest and the second in the series. Honestly, I’m pretty sure she steals the entire show in Mapping the Forest. (side note: since the interview, Nancy has become an author herself. After picking up Eric’s novels, please snag Not All Angels Have Wings).
I can’t wait to hear how much you love Rob and Rosalind. I’m so grateful for their generosity and love—-and for sharing their lives and personalities for me to play with in Mapping the Forest!
Please wander over to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words on November 7, to hear about how the title came to be and about an act of good intentions that didn’t go so well.
About the Book
Happily ever after has no map, but sometimes fate sends a guiding light.
Gabe Rice, a seasonal ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park, can’t seem to get his life on the right trail. He loves the rugged beauty of the land, and there is no place he would rather live than the mountain community of Estes Park. But after six years, Gabe is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get a full-time position or find love. When Gabe sees Luis—and hears his gorgeous singing—he’s compelled to meet him.
Luis Martinez, the new owner of a hotel and steak ride business in Estes, left California and a career as a therapist for a fresh start in Colorado. But even the beauty of the mountains can’t help him forget the past or move forward. Unprepared for his strong attraction to Gabe, Luis is ready to run and hide from emotions he never thought he’d have again.
Suddenly the path ahead opens to a future that looks brighter for both of them, if they can find the courage to walk forward—together.
About the Author
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….
Mapping the Tour
October 28 – MM Good Book Reviews
November 2 – My Fiction Nook
November 3 – Open Skye Book Reviews
November 4 – Prism Book Alliance
November 4 – The Novel Approach
November 7 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 9 – Love Bytes