Friday, August 28th, 2009
Writing Bittersweet….


Now that Bittersweet is out, I’ve had some questions about it and wanted to share what happened during the writing of Brand and David’s story. It taught me a few things, trust me.

When I signed up to write two stories for the Hot Comforts anthology from Manlove Romance Press, I pitched the ideas for Giving Thanks and Bittersweet. Several other authors also joined the anthology and it was scheduled for around Thanksgiving 2008.

Because these stories are part of an anthology, it means they really can’t be too long. 20,000 words is a LONG story to have in an anthology. So there’s a maximum reasonable size the editor and publisher expect.

Giving Thanks went pretty well and relatively quickly. I’m happy with it and it really told the whole story I wanted it to.

Bittersweet is a whole other case. I knew a bit about the conflict and the fact it’s very much based on not judging someone by their appearance or what you think they might be like. When I started writing the story, though, I really got into these characters. I sent the first chapter to my test readers and one of them immediately replied that this was NOT a short story.

But it had to be. It needed to be. I literally spent months fighting with this story and trying to force it into an appropriate size and structure. But it fought back. Every time I tried to force Brand and David to get in bed, it came out horribly. Every time I tried to gloss over their personalities and foibles, they seemed like plastic characters. I rewrote it so many times I delayed the whole damned anthology. My deadline was blown and I was so frustrated and in despair it was awful. There’s just no way these characters would behave that way.

Finally I had to step back for a bit from my attempts to force my will on the story and I wrote another chapter, letting myself write what was demanding to be written. There’s a lot of background. There’s a lot of detail and some scenes that don’t have to do with sex but let the readers learn more about who these two people are.

I liked it. It flowed again.

So I finally accepted I could not shoehorn a Happily Ever After into this story. I took it to the point of a Happily For Now but there’s a lot more of this story to come. I’m going to write the rest of their story and see if I can sell it because I want to tell it. There’s pain, misunderstanding, assumptions, sex and love to go.

I know I’ve seen one opinion so far that there wasn’t enough sex and I spent time on things that didn’t matter. I hope that’s not the majority opinion because I love these two characters and the have a compelling and beautiful story to finish. But I did want to share what happened to me while I wrote this story :)

Bittersweet can be purchased from Aspen Mountain Press!

Sunday, January 11th, 2009
Fiction With Friction – Cross His Heart
February 8, 2009toFebruary 14, 2009

The fabulous gay romance authors on the Fiction With Friction blog are planning a week of Valentine free reads for your enjoyment. Stop in and see what we’re offering from February 8th through February 14th.

Sunday, November 30th, 2008
Elisa Rolle Reviews Giving Thanks!

The lovely Elisa Rolle has reviewed Giving Thanks on her blog and says (in part):

I like the story: it’s nice and tender. Troy and Derek, despite Derek’s reluctance to come out, are a very communicating and supporting couple; Troy never once makes Derek feel wrong for not presenting him as lover to his family, and never once let Derek without his support, even when Derek is stubbornly invading the kitchen with an huge amount of food they can’t possibly eat in two. On the other hand Derek is very comprehensive of Troy’s work, and how it’s very tiring for his lover, and so he tenderly takes care of him in the best way possible: even when he is suffering for his father’s reject, he still finds time to take care of his lover and to be always open and “straight” to their relationship. Derek doesn’t hide to suffer alone, he shares his pain with a gentle smile on his face.

The story is not very long, 51 pages, but it’s a very nice fast reading in the warm atmosphere of the holiday season.

You can read the entire review here on Elisa’s blog.

You can find buy links and more about Giving Thanks here on my website.

Sunday, November 30th, 2008
Friday(ish) Flash – White Mountain (m/m)

Friday Flash

Today’s Friday Flash is a m/m offering from the land of my cougar shifters. Hope you enjoy it!

(Archives are on the website, if you want to read the offerings of past weeks)

White Mountain
(c) 2008 by Maura Anderson

“Is that all you need for now, Mr. Hollister?” The overly made-up blonde store clerk fluttered her false lashes and bent over a little so he could have an unobstructed view straight down her cleavage. Too bad she was too young, too human and far too female, she was certainly more than willing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday, November 14th, 2008
Two New Reviews for Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks has been out a week and two generous reviewers have taken the time to read and review it already. Their opinions have really made my ugly week at the Evil Day Job better!

I hope you’ll take a look at not just the reviews for Giving Thanks but all the other great reviews offered on these two blogs.

Ebook Addict told me I wasn’t allowed to tell her husband she bought it, but named it both a Must Read and her Recommended Thanksgiving Read for 2008. She says (in part)…

I love holiday stories love, forgiveness and happily ever after, and this one surely didn’t disappoint me. This was my first book by Maura it won’t be my last!!

Derek and Troy will grab your heart from page one and you won’t want the story the story to end I kept putting the book down not because I didn’t like it but because I knew the end was near and just was not ready to let them go. The love that Derek and Troy have for each other is really going to give you that little knot in your throat. You will be crying, laughing, angry and HOT all in equal parts, It is a wonderful Thanksgiving story that I will be reading over and over and every Thanksgiving to come!!!!!!!!

I wish I could say more but it seems that everything I tell you would ruin the story for you and I don’t want to do that so please don’t miss out on your chance to buy this great story I promise you won’t be sorry.

You can read the entire review (and others) on Ebook Addict’s blog.

Wave from Reviews by JesseWave managed to somehow sneak in a read of Giving Thanks around her bulging shelves of TBR and gave it 4.5 stars out of 5. She says (in part)…

This is Maura Anderson’s first M/M story and I think it was a very good debut for her in a different genre. The characters were well developed and three dimensional and the author didn’t shy away from the intimate sex scenes which were warm and loving in addition to being very hot. The author obviously has a lot of experience, due to her many het romance books, in making sure that her protagonists are real. This is the first book that I have read from Ms Anderson and I was impressed. Giving Thanks is a “feel good” story – it’s about Thanksgiving after all, but the author didn’t just phone in the story – she took the time to introduce some complexities into it and gave us a picture of a loving family headed up by a very strong mother who dealt quite effectively with a bigoted husband that was still living in an era where being gay was reprehensible.

The story was funny and heartwarming and filled with lots of delicious food. I could feel the aromas wafting into the book – either this author really loves food or she’s trying to make gluttons of her readers. I hope that this is not Ms Anderson’s only venture into the M/M genre because she seems to have an instinctive touch for creating gay male characters that are real and not caricatures. I recommend that you buy this book as a great start to the Thanksgiving holiday. My only regret was that I could not live in Troy’s and Derek’s world a little longer.

You can read the entire review (and others) on the Reviews by JesseWave blog.