Welcome back to Love Bytes! Over the past several weeks, I’ve been writing and editing nearly 24/7 to bring you my upcoming novel, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, and to co-write a new novel with Shira Anthony, tentatively entitled Solitary Man.
One of the edicts we often hear as authors is: only write what you know. While I have written quite a bit about what I do know, I don’t shy away from writing about what I don’t know. I take time to do research, speak with people in the know, put my story to pen, and listen to my beta readers and editors. It’s tough writing about something we don’t know and it’s terrifying to put our heart and soul into a work, and then throw it out there for all to see. We wait with ‘bated breath in hopes our work is well received and pray we don’t have a nervous breakdown in the process. Yet, in the end, the reward is often much greater than it might have been had we written familiar content.
Now try doing all that at the age of 13.
During the time that I’ve been pounding away at the keyboard, my good buddy, Timmy, put together an incredible short story about an intersex character—something he knew nothing about until he came to know me. Though he has spoken with me at length, he took the time to do hours upon hours of research, put his pen to paper, go through the editing and beta reading processes, and now waits with ’bated breath to hear what all of you think.
As with anyone, no two intersex people have the same experiences and, while it has become fashionable of late to write about intersex people, rarely do authors capture the uniqueness of being born…well, unique—good, bad, or indifferent. Join me in celebrating Timmy’s wonderful story, And It’s Only Just Started.
And It’s Only Just Started
Damn! If my hands get any more sweaty or shaky, I’m going to drop my books. Taylor said he would meet me tonight to talk, and I really don’t think I can go through with it. I know I need to tell him, and our relationship is moving so fast that I’m afraid he will find out before I get up the nerve to say anything. No! I can’t let that happen. Taylor is my first boyfriend. He is everything I want, and I can’t lose that by being a coward. Besides, doesn’t he deserve to know I’m not what or who he thinks I am? Of course, he does, but shit, it’s so hard. I try daily not to think about it myself, not that I can forget it. How can you not think about your differences when you are in a constant battle to hide them? When I started school in the sixth grade six years ago, I didn’t know I needed to hide. That was a mistake, and it ruined my life for 3 years.
I remember the first day I went to school. I was so excited. I was eleven and starting my first year in middle school. Before that I was homeschooled. I didn’t go out much, but Mom did a lot of field trips. I really should have known something was different. Every time I had to go to the bathroom, it would be time to go home. Just like that, in the middle of the trip, we would leave. She said it was because those bathrooms were dirty and full of germs, but she used them just fine. That first day in middle school was when I learned just what the reason really was. Continue reading here.
Raidean’s Story ©2015 Timmy Ashton. All Rights Reserved.
It goes without saying that this story is very special to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it, Timmy. A special thanks to all of you for reading Timmy’s story.
See you back here next month on Tuesday, March 17th!
Coming in April 9th from Harmony Ink Press
Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.
Available from: Harmony Ink Press
Όμορφη. Ómorphi. Greek. Meaning pretty
Pretty. adj. /pritē/ Pleasing by delicacy or grace
High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together. Read an excerpt of Omorphi
Available from: Harmony Ink Press
Caleb had one mission in life.
To keep his boyfriend safe.
They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen. Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally. One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe. Read an excerpt of Safe.