Tag Archives: Behind Closed Doors

OUT OF MY MIND paperback giveaway

I’m giving away two paperback copies of OUT OF MY MIND to two lucky readers. You can enter the giveaway on Goodreads with a few easy clicks of a button.

The giveaway runs until September 18th.

OUT OF MY MIND is also available for pre-order on Amazon or Kobo currently. Your fall will not be complete without Mac and Gideon.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Out of My Mind by A.J. Truman

Out of My Mind

by A.J. Truman

Giveaway ends September 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The Henry and Nolan story that wasn’t

In Behind Closed Doors, there’s a story about Henry having to spend a daylong road trip with the sullen, brooding Nolan. I loved the way this story turned out. Too bad it was supposed to be a full-length novel.

In the M/M genre, authors release books in quick succession. The best authors release a book every few months. I wanted to keep up with that pace, and I thought I could. In the original backmatter of Out in the Open, I said the next book was coming in spring 2015.

I planned to write a novel from Henry’s point-of-view. Henry was introduced briefly in Out in the Open. He wasn’t planted to be the protagonist of a future book. He just showed up the story. I turned to him when thinking about expanding the Browerton universe, but the problem was that I had already given him traits and a backstory. In Out in the Open, he tells Ethan that he’s been dating a guy in the closet for a few months, and hasn’t even told his friends.

That was canon. And I had to try to build off that. How do you write a story about a guy with a secret boyfriend that’s still fresh and different from your first book? At the same time, I had recently watched this phenomenal film called Weekend. It followed 2 guys over the course of a, um, weekend. They have sex, talk, have sex, talk, connect. It was like watching a play. I wanted to do something like that with Henry’s story.

I came up with a story about Henry going home for Thanksgiving break and trying to deal with his boyfriend and family. He rides back with Nolan, and the two characters intersect over the weekend. (Weekend, go figure)

The story sounded good in my head, but when I tried to write it, it was a slog. I struggled to write a complete novel. There wasn’t enough plot. The worst part was that it was dark. Henry’s relationship with his boyfriend was effed up. Nolan’s sullenness stemmed from an effed relationship with a high school friend. There was a suicide, sexual assault, cheating, depression, anger, breakdowns, jails. Happy Holidays?

Plus, Nolan and Henry weren’t intersecting enough. So I was writing 2 separate stories, in effect, and both were downers.

Now, I have no issue with dramatic stories. But things weren’t clicking on this one. And I realized that my books have humor, heart and hot guys. I was missing humor. This was not the type of story I was meant to write. Meanwhile, I had this self-imposed spring 2015 deadline breathing down my neck, which was effecting my writing and making me second-guess everything.

That’s when I decided to chuck the novel. This was not the Henry story I wanted to write. I turned my attention to short stories as a way to get my writing groove back. I had some ideas for stories with Browerton characters, and I just went for it, not worrying about spring 2015.

One of the stories revolved around Henry and his closeted boyfriend. What if I could write a story exploring that relationship? I had a great idea for a story that only took place in Henry’s boyfriend’s bedroom. Like a play. It was hard to reconcile how Henry could be in this relationship for so long. And why did he tell Ethan but not his friends? And yet again, Henry’s story went dark.

It was claustrophobic and seriously effed up. There are plenty of great stories with that criteria, but with Henry’s story, there was always something missing. The final piece of a puzzle. Just like with the full-length novel I trashed. It didn’t have the spark of the other stories. Is this the story I wanted to saddle Henry with? He wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t deserve this. I felt like he wouldn’t be able to interact with other Browerton characters after going through what happened in this short story.

So I trashed it.

I was frustrated. Kicking myself, literally and figuratively. Why couldn’t I write this kid’s story? There was plenty of really interesting elements I had come up with, but the finished product wasn’t coming together. I gave it serious thought. What did I want to say? What did I like about Henry’s story? Well, I loved the road trip aspect. I love the idea of two strangers getting to know each other over one day. Maybe I could write Henry and Nolan’s story on the roadtrip and leave out what happens after they arrive. The journey could be the destination in this case.

Two and a half days later, I had written their story, Road Trip Cone of Silence. It poured out of me. I was smiling to myself as I typed. This was it. I knew it. I felt it.

I had finally cracked Henry’s story. It took me 70,000 words to get there, but it was worth it. You learn more about yourself from what you get wrong than what you get right. I learned what I wanted in my stories.

This was a trying experience, but ultimately invaluable. It’s not the gold standard of how a writer should act, frankly. Maybe I should’ve stuck it out with the novel or the first short story. I doubt I’m the first writer this has happened, too. In the future, I may try to push through. With humor, though. I can’t write without humor. Overall, I’m proud of myself for seeing it through Henry’s story.

So if you’re curious why there was such a long wait between books, and an even longer wait between novels, here you go. Trust that I have been writing. I’m not perfect. I’m just a working writer.

Behind Closed Doors – Available Now!

What better way to kick off the 4th of July than with some hot guy-on-guy fireworks?

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS coverBehind Closed Doors is now released, available for purchase, out there in the flippin’ open to be read and (hopefully, fingers crossed) enjoyed. It was a real journey getting to this point, but I’m ecstatic and proud to have the next Browerton University book published. This book would not have made it without my fabulous readers.

You inspired me. You motivated me. I never would’ve considered writing a prequel or trying my hand at dual POV (both firsts for me) without your suggestions. As I always say, I love hearing from readers, good or bad, and I always respond.

Please consider rating and reviewing BCD (and Out in the Open) on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you feel comfortable. Reviews help readers discover new authors, so feel free to spread the word.

Behind Closed Doors is available to purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Smashwords. I hope it brings  a smile to your face, a tear to your eye, and a warm feeling to your no-no place.

 

 

Friday Writing Update – June 12

And…it’s Friday. I’m hoping to get some good writing done this weekend. I’m trying to write two manuscripts at the same time. Stupid, or stupendously awesome? The verdict is still out. My plan is to work on one project during the week, and the fun project on weekends only. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Writing Update

This is why none of my stories have paragraph indents, capital letters, or the number 1
This is why none of my stories have paragraph indents, capital letters, or the number 1

I’m aiming to make this a weekly segment. It’ll give me accountability for projects. Also, as my readers, I want to keep you guys in the loop. Conversely, if you don’t want to know how the sauce is made, feel free to skip this part.

Behind Closed Doors is currently getting formatted for its ebook debut. Once I have that back and to my liking, I can begin sending out advanced copies for judgement reviews! Let me know if you’d like an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Notecard Strategy

I’m a big fan of outlining my stories and getting the structure just right. First, I do freewriting, then I organize those mangled thoughts into the spine of a story. I want to make sure I have a beginning, major plot points, and an ending. Next, it’s onto the notecard stage.

The final product, separated by major plot points
The final product, separated by major plot points

I write out all the story beats on index cards and plot them out on my dining table. Seeing a physical representation of my story helps me figure out how it flows and where to insert some plot puzzle pieces. I rearrange notecards to get the plot just right. I make sure subplots are distributed throughout the story, not just crammed into one section.

Figuring out the plot is my favorite part of writing, so I may go overboard compared to other writers. I know writers who write first and ask questions later, and they turn out beautiful books. There is no one way to tell a story or write a book.

And then my cat likes to give her opinion of the story.  cat on notecards

She’s very opinionated.
cat on a dining table

 

EXTREMELY OPINIONATED

cat on table closeup

Do you have any writing strategies? What are you up to this weekend?

 

Friday Writing Update – June 5

TGIF! Another week bites the dust! I’m hoping this weekend is better than last, when the biting, cold wind and torrential rain made me skip going to the Lana Del Rey concert I was so jazzed for, and had been so jazzed for since January. I’m going to get some writing done and hopefully see that new Melissa McCarthy movie SPY, which is getting ridiculously great reviews.

Writing Update

This is why none of my stories have paragraph indents, capital letters, or the number 1
This is why none of my stories have paragraph indents, capital letters, or the number 1

I’m aiming to make this a weekly segment. It’ll give me accountability for projects. Also, as my readers, I want to keep you guys in the loop. Conversely, if you don’t want to know how the sauce is made, feel free to skip this part.

I’ve been working on final edits to Behind Closed Doors, getting the last pesky comma in order. I’m sending it off to my formatter this weekend. If you’re interested in getting an advanced copy to review, feel free to contact me.

I continued freewriting and brainstorming my next Browerton book. I’ve come up with some scenes I cannot wait to write. (and will probably need to fan myself while I write them) Next week, I’m aiming to bring the story to the notecard phase. Pictures to come!

I begun writing a new project. This is actually a young adult project I’ve had on my mind for a while. I love using the summer as writing motivation, trying to write a book between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The sun’s out when I wake up early. It’s too warm to stay in bed. I can celebrate my writing days with ice cream.

This weekend, I’m aiming to writing 10,000 words. It’s a fun stretch goal. I’ve done these 10k weekends in the past and challenged other authors. We’d give each other updates during the weekend and see if we can hit our goal by Sunday night. Let me know if you’re writing this weekend, and we can play together.

What are you up to this weekend? What are you working on? I hope you have great weather whatever your plans may be.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

UPDATE: Behind Closed Doors is now available to add on Goodreads.

I am super-duper-califragi-excited to reveal the next book in the Browerton University series. And it’s hot. Hotter than the sand under your feet.

Behind Closed Doors is a collection of short stories, all revolving around different twosomes at Browerton. Characters you met from Out in the Open are back. Many readers kept asking me for more of Greg and Ethan. While that couple has their happy ending, I started wondering what Greg was like before that fateful law lecture.

I also loved exploring the lives of side characters like Henry and Blake. Their stories may turn into full-length novels if there’s enough interest in following these characters.

I should tell you that I picked the cover because it best represents the thematic elements uniting these stories. Not because this guy has a ridiculous body. No, that didn’t factor into my cover decision at all.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS cover

At Browerton University, a lot can happen behind closed doors.

Two frat brothers can reveal their true feelings. An honor student’s dark past can come to light. Ten hours in a car can turn strangers into lovers. And a coach can teach his star quarterback a very valuable lesson.

Catch up with some familiar Browerton students and meet new ones. Four stories. Four doors. Endless possibilities.

  • Door Number One: The Whitmore Room  (Out in the Open prequel)
  • Door Number Two: Is There a Porn Star in my Class? 
  • Door Number Three: Road Trip Cone of Silence 
  • Door Number Four: Coach’s Revenge 

Behind Closed Doors is a collection of gay new adult romance stories filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. The book is intended for audiences 18+ as it contains explicit sex and language. Approx. 30,000 words.

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Behind Closed Doors will be available for purchase on June 30th. I’ll have the Goodreads page up shortly, and the Amazon pre-order link later this month.

Let me know what you think in the comments!