Welcome to another edition of the Countdown to GayRomLit 2015. Today we’re pleased to have author Nico Jaye with us. As you enjoy her guest post, be sure to pay special attention to the giveaway she’s offering–an ecopy of her novella Where There’s Smoke.
Being an “Author” at GRL with Nico Jaye – The Importance of Just Right: An Encouraging Word to Short Authors
Hi there, everyone! Nico Jaye here to chat about all things m/m romance! Well, maybe not all since that’s rather ambitious, but some stuff, anyway. *grins* Thanks so much to the folks at The Novel Approach for hosting me as part of the GRL Blog Tour. I’m really excited about meeting all of you fellow m/m enthusiasts in San Diego next month. :3
To clarify the title of this post, it’s not intended only for authors who are vertically challenged. 😉 While I do count myself among those numbers, I’m here to deliver kudos and pats on the back to authors out there who write short stories and novellas.
Going to GRL as an author is a scary as hell prospect for me. Exciting, too, but pretty scary. Imagine the whole looks-around-at-everyone-then-points-at-self-“me????” reaction. I’ve only ever written short stories and novellas, after all.
Am I even a real author?
Then I checked, and there are almost a dozen stories with my name on the cover. Yeah, I did a double take when I looked that up, and it pretty much blows my mind. Half of them are freebies, and none of them is novel length, but still… *mind blown* That many?? When I started writing m/m romance in 2012, I never would’ve predicted I’d have so many stories to tell. However, after writing my first story for public consumption, I simply kept on going.
I got my start by writing a freebie for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s annual writing event. It was a wonderful experience, and Cam and Brad are two characters that remain close to my heart. Shortly thereafter, I saw a submission call for an Olympics anthology. Eager to continue writing, I birthed some plot bunnies, corralled them, and submitted a story that, to my surprise and delight, was accepted for publication.
Holy shit. I was a published author.
I continued to write and submit, and, thankfully, received responses that were mostly positive. But what I wrote was all short. Some very short and some novella length, but all under that magical 60,000 words “this is a novel!” mark.
Unlike some authors, I peek at reviews now and again. The angst that goes into that decision is a topic for another blog post, but my point is I’m fully aware of this comment that I so often see about my stories: It was too short.
It’s not that I wouldn’t like to write a longer story. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to have a nice, juicy novel to my name. It’s not that I don’t secretly (or not so secretly?) want to hold a paperback in my hands that contains a precious story written by little old me (an actual, ohmigod, book with pages and a glossy cover and everything!).
All of those things would be awesome.
So far, though, they haven’t been right for me. I write the stories I have to tell, and those stories have been shorter ones.
What I’m trying to say with this post is that short is okay.
I’ve never written with a word count goal, aiming to get a story to XYZ words. Honestly, my brain just doesn’t work that way. The way it works is “heyyyy, wouldn’t it be cool if Joe met Jack in a vet’s office? What if they were neighbors? What if Joe loved OITNB, but his internet was down, and Jack said, “hey, why don’t you come over and watch it at my place?” What if their dogs fell in love?” Essentially, I write the story I have to write, no more and no less.
If you’re out there and you’re an author, aspiring to be one, or simply thinking about picking up proverbial pen and paper, then say it with me: short is okay.
I’m going to GRL as a supporting author—an author of short stories and novellas—but dammit, I’m going as an author! Because, short or not, my stories are out there, and I’m damn proud of having written them.
As long as you’ve told the story you have to tell, you’ve succeeded. It doesn’t matter if it’s five pages long, fifty, or five hundred pages. What matters is you’ve said what you had to say, and you’ve brought your characters to life. You’ve accomplished something wonderful; don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Short is okay. Really.
Because, maybe, short is actually just right.
P.S. Also, once you finish that story, remember to have a celebratory cupcake, refreshing beer, or unicorn glitter cocktail, too! You deserve it. 😀
I’d love to give one of you blog readers a taste of my (short) stuff! 😉 Leave a comment by 11:59 pm Pacific time on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, for the chance to win an e-copy of my short contemporary novella Where There’s Smoke.
A terrible breakup in his early thirties left David shying away from relationships. For years he’s been content with his solitary life, finding fulfillment in his career, books, television show marathons, and his cat’s companionship. When David meets his neighbor Zach, he can’t tell if Zach is just being friendly or if the handsome fireman might actually be interested in him. The more time they spend together, though, the more David questions his resolution to remain single. If Zach can extinguish the flames left by David’s past, David might finally break away from his structured life and take a chance on love.
Author Bio: Nico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues. Her favorite stories are those that marry smut and fluff (a.k.a. smuff) into a gooey ball of HEA and fuzzies.
An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order). After starting as the pitcher for Team Awesome (literally) and visiting places like South Africa, Oman, and Fiji, Nico discovered that letting the boys in her head tell her where they want to go could actually be the most exciting journey of all.
Find out more at www.nicojaye.com.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified