Archive for category dreamspinner

Preorder Books for GRL

If you’re going to GRL and want signed paperbacks of any of my Dreamspinner books (Blind Items, Four Corners, Playing Ball, The Stars that Tremble, The Silence of the Stars) you can pre-order the books and have them sent ahead. I’ll be at the Featured Author signing on Saturday (also around the convention, obviously). Books will also be available for purchase on site at a discount, but the selection will be limited. Here are some details

If you want either of my Loose Id paperbacks (In Hot Pursuit or The Boy Next Door) shoot me an email (kate at katemcmurray.com) and we’ll make arrangements.

weekend wrap-up

I had a really fabulous weekend. A bunch of staff and authors from Dreamspinner Press were in New York for a workshop, so I got to schmooze with a stupendous group of people. I’m a reader, too, so I of course fangirled over a few of them, and I got to see a few of the people I met at GRL and last year’s Rainbow Book Fair again, which was great. One thing I really love about this genre is that whenever I do events like this, I find that everyone is friendly and fun and supportive. Despite some transportation snafus (getting between Brooklyn and Queens is hard, yo) I had a great time. (I also feel like I’m gushing here. But I think it’s really good to get out there and meet other authors, if only because writing is one of those activities that can be really isolating. I know that I personally do not always have faith that I’m making the right decisions, so it’s good to have the opportunity to ask for advice or even just a hug. I’m also naturally an extrovert, so I’m always happy to go out and meet people.)

Saturday, I went to the Rainbow Book Fair and wound up spending most of the day at the Rainbow Romance Writers table. (Elisa posted photos from the event. There’s even one of yours truly.) The fair was bigger this year than last year and I’d say it was a resounding success. It felt like there was a pretty constant stream of people through the little Romance Row we had there with some of the other romance publishers. I met some readers and signed some books and had a lot of fun.

Now, onward! I’ve done a little writing over the last couple of days, and I’m working out which project to concentrate on next. (I always have, like, 5 WIPs going at a time. One of my critique buddies calls this “Project ADD.”) I’m spinning my wheels a little after a super productive January and February, and now that I’m kind of between projects, it’s tricky to settle on just one thing to work on. But I suppose a wealth of ideas is a good problem to have if you’re a writer, huh?

holiday shorts: 1 free, 1 soon

1. If you missed Dreamspinner’s Halloween Howl, it was a promo that went on all October in which authors contributed very short stories that were hidden around the Dreamspinner website. I wrote a story that I thought was maybe not the usual Halloween fare.

Let me explain: I grew up in the Jersey suburbs, in the sort of small but typical town you see on TV. Growing up, Halloween involved going door-to-door in my entirely residential neighborhood with a decorated pillowcase, usually with my best friend at the time and probably my brother, plus maybe some others, with at least one mom in tow. But when I moved to New York City, I discovered it was a different beast entirely. One of the weirdest things to me is that kids trick-or-treat at stores. I guess I can see why—going into a brightly-lit store on a major thoroughfare is safer than going door-to-door on a dark side street—but I still think it’s weird. In Brooklyn, there seem to be lots of weird rules about which houses you can go to. In the neighborhood of Park Slope this year, apparently there was some kind of collective decision that houses with decorations were open to trick-or-treaters, and houses without were not.

This year on Halloween, I was out with a friend on an unrelated errand in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Cobble Hill, which is a cute, quiet, fairly affluent neighborhood. My friend was born and raised in Brooklyn, and as we watched all the kids popping in and out of stores on Court Street, we had a very surreal conversation about Halloween. Mostly it went like this:

HER: Those kids are too old for trick-or-treating.
ME: Aw, come on. You never went trick-or-treating as a teenager? Back home, kids did that all the time. I did when I was sixteen.
HER: In stores?

So you see the fundamental disconnect.

Anyway, now that I’ve veered off topic (participating in NaNoWriMo makes me wordy!) I will say that in my neighborhood, the houses that want trick or treaters send a designated person to sit on the stoop and hand out candy, rather than waiting for kids to come to the door. That’s where the idea for “On the Stoop” came from.

Adrian is experiencing something that I think all transplants to NYC experience at some point, that disillusioned fatigue that comes from the city being harder to deal with than you ever anticipated. (“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” sang my fellow Jerseyan Frankie, and I think it’s really true, because New York will chew you up and spit you right out if you let it.) So he’s wondering if all his pain and suffering and rent money are really worth it as he walks home on Halloween night. Then he sees a handsome older man handing out candy on his stoop. They get to talking.

The story is available for free in PDF right here. Enjoy!

2. I think I’ve mentioned, I have a story in this year’s Dreamspinner Advent Calendar. It’s about a man who is in love with his roommate’s boyfriend. It was inspired in part by a Craigslist Missed Connection post I saw about a year ago, and I was so taken by the idea: the guy posting was in love with his roommate’s boyfriend but the roommate took the boyfriend for granted. A classic conflict, no? That’s where the story comes from.

The whole Advent Calendar collection is available here for pre-order. Individual stories will be available in December.

But if you’re brimming over with excitement, I’ve posted an excerpt for your reading pleasure.

Halloween Howl at Dreamspinner!

Dreamspinner Press is doing a super cool promotion this month. Here’s the official word:

To celebrate Halloween, Dreamspinner is inviting people to come trick-or-treating at our web site. Thirty-one of our fantastic authors have donated free short stories. Search through the different pages on the web site for Gary the gargoyle. Each time you find him, click on him for a free download by the author whose page he’s hiding on! And make sure to check out the end of each story for a discount code good any time in the next year.

Spoiler: I wrote one of those stories. There’s also a sale going on for the rest of the weekend. Visit the website! Happy shopping!

sports romances, current events, and other news

By a weird cosmic coincidence, I read Amy Lane’s excellent basketball romance The Locker Room the same week that Rick Welts came out. If you haven’t heard, Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns, and his profile in the Times is pretty interesting, discussing how difficult it is to be gay and in the NBA in particular. This week some good discussion relating to homophobia in the pro sports world primarily given certain NBA players’ habit of using the word “faggot” as an insult.

What I especially loved about The Locker Room was that, while the characters struggled (rather intensely) with staying closeted in order to keep the jobs they loved, there was plenty of shop talk about basketball. I’m a big sports fan, so I like that kind of detail in books, and so many sports romances are completely lacking in detail—the hero is a pro athlete but his career is only referred to obliquely, for example, or he’s a retired player so the novel doesn’t talk about the sport at all. That’s not a problem here. I don’t really follow basketball, so I can’t speak to the veracity of the lingo, but games were described in detail, with points earned and types of shots taken, and other details describing the mechanics of the game.

Baseball is my particular sports-related passion. I’ve got the Yankees game on as I type this, actually. And yes, yes, I root for the evil empire, but I’m a New Yorker and I’ve been following the team since I was twelve, back during that period when the team was not so good. (They lost the first game I ever went to at Yankee Stadium, in fact.) I like all the nitty-gritty detail of the game: the stats, the rules, the history, and so forth. I’m working on a m/m baseball romance (that I might even finish one of these days!) about two players who fall for each other, so I’ve been thinking about how much detail to include. Because I could go on all day about batting averages and RBIs and OBP and so on, but of course, non-baseball fans might find all that difficult to follow. Then again, the best sports romances don’t inhibit your enjoyment of the story—I don’t follow basketball, but I enjoyed The Locker Room immensely. (Also, as far as my books go, Jase played college ball, and Noah mentions being a baseball fan.)

Although maybe I should start following basketball; they’re building that horrifically ugly new stadium for the Nets right in my neighborhood. And I grew up near the Meadowlands, so it’s like the Nets followed me from NJ to Brooklyn.

Completely unrelated: I’ve been watching the news about tornadoes tearing up towns through the south. The recent one in Joplin, MO, maybe hit a little closer to home for me than the previous ones. I have family in Missouri, albeit on the other side of the state, and I grew up hearing stories of tornadoes (there’s a rather legendary one about how my great aunt narrowly escaped one once). But more to the point, the entire town of Joplin was wrecked. I find myself wanting to do something, and if you have the same inclination, here’s a list of ways to help.

I’m hip deep in the first round of edits for my upcoming Dreamspinner novel Blind Items, so progress on the writing front is going well. No sports at all in this one, but it’s a very New York novel in my mind, about a writer who gets entangled with the subject of one of his stories. More on that as the release date gets closer!

not the end of the world

A few things to report:

1. Dreamspinner has a Goodreads group, and they’re looking for people to join. Tell your friends!

2. Speaking of Dreamspinner, I signed a new contract with them yesterday for an m/m contemporary novel due out this summer. I’ve been working on this particular novel for three years and I’m PSYCHED it’s finally making its way into the world. More on that once the ball gets rolling.

3. The hard drive in my beloved MacBook met its fate this weekend. The guy at the Apple Store Genius Bar could not have been more awesome, but there was ultimately nothing we could do. I have a shiny new hard drive now. Luckily, I have a somewhat recent system backup, but I ultimately lost a few weeks of work. It was upsetting, but I spent a big chunk of yesterday piecing together what I had and messing around with the new version of Scrivener (which I hadn’t had much chance to do since I bought the upgrade). (Why yes I am kind of a Mac nerd. How could you tell?)

It’s funny; I think computer issues are up there with 21st century writer’s greatest anxieties, and I was really devastated to have lost some of the work I’ve done recently, but you know, in the grand scheme of things? It’s not that big of a deal. I mean, I can rebuild it. (We have the technology.)

4. Just a reminder, if you’re in the New York City area, come by the Rainbow Book Fair this Saturday. I’ll be there with a bunch of other Dreamspinner authors. Details on the events page.

Dreamspinner promotion

Dreamspinner Press is doing a great promotion this month:

This year let Dreamspinner make your eBook dreams come true. Each day from Dec. 26- Dec. 31, we will draw one name from the customers that purchased during the month of December to win every eBook on their wish list.

So, say, you moseyed on over there to buy Kindling Fire with Snow (I mean, just as a suggestion) and then saw a bunch of other titles you liked. You could win them by adding them to your wish list. Pretty cool, huh?