A warm welcome to author Ashavan Doyon joining us today to talk about the rerelease of “Loving Aidan”.
Ashavan talks about writing and brought a wonderful giveaway with him!
Welcome Ashavan 🙂
Thank you so much, first of all, to Dani and the crew of Love Bytes Reviews for having me today!
Loving Aidan was not my first novel. Before I came to romance, I had written a half dozen full length novels. Memories of an Imperfect Ghost. Zeriphas and the Bones of the World. The Aeternity Matrix. You can probably guess that I leaned heavily toward fantasy and speculative fiction. But after over a decade of trying to get gay characters through the slush pile at agents and traditional publishers, I’d given up.
Not on writing. I’m a writer, it’s in my blood.
I’d given up on publishing. So I wrote for fun, mostly. National Novel Writing Month. Fan fiction. Yes, there is a Luke/Noah (ATWT), Drarry crossover fanfic with my name on it that spans over 200,000 words and has five sequels. I wrote it as a dare. I blame Dani. That’s how we met. Not “Oh, hi, I’m Asha” but actually talked and got to know each other. She’s a secret Drarry fan—actually not so secret.
Loving Aidan for me was a giant risk, opening myself up again to the cruelty of rejections, reviewers, and editors who thought they knew more about gay sex than the writer with the gender ambiguous name.
Don’t get me wrong. My editor was brilliant and did a wonderful job helping me steer the draft into something that shines. I love this story. I love everything about it, from Aidan’s flamboyant wardrobe to Steven’s way of teasing Aidan even though he’s so not sure of himself yet. I love Sammy getting jealous and being possessive and dominant. And I love the whys. Why does Aidan love that Sammy gets possessive? Why is Steven so shy with Aidan and so confident with women? Why does Steven cheat on all his girlfriends? Why does Aidan have that flamboyant wardrobe? When a man expresses so clearly, what is he hiding?
I certainly didn’t plan for this one story to spawn a sequel. A broken-hearted character who still needs love. I had readers write to beg me to see that story. And I wrote it. And then another (I’m a sucker for redeeming characters, so I chose a character you’ll love to hate by the end and gave him a story too).
They’re all great stories. Even though Torquere has closed, you’ll still get to see them again. Purple Horn Press will be putting out all four of the previously published College Rose Romance stories by the end of the summer. Even better? Book 5 is almost done and will go right into editing. I expect it to be released this year, probably sometime this fall—Forgiving James.
Right now, you have a chance to meet Aidan. About half my readers hate Sammy. I don’t blame you if you do. But I hope you’ll give both Steven and Sammy a chance. Aidan has a difficult choice in the end, and you won’t all be happy with me. But I hope I redeem myself for the doubters in Book 2, which will be back out in April.
I will give out one copy of either Loving Aidan or American Pride to one lucky commenter who has a question about the story, or the College Rose Romances Series, or about my writing, and can tell me about their favorite high school/college drama club or theater experience. (That’s two things, a real engaging question about any one of several things, and a personal story). Have at it!
Samuel Riley is gorgeous—tall, muscular, and intelligent. The girls love him. And so does his roommate, Aidan Flemming. Secretly, of course, because even the out and proud Aidan knows there are limits to Sammy’s acceptance. Cursed to watch as Sammy dates half the co-eds on campus, a lonely Aidan spends his time writing, helping Sammy and his friends survive literature classes, and recovering from a disastrous love affair that left Aidan heartbroken.
But when happiness finally comes for Aidan in the body of his roommate’s fellow rower, all that changes. In Steven, Aidan finds happiness and romance. The rower, a blond, blue-eyed Adonis, makes Aidan feel desired and appreciated. But their very public courtship stirs up controversy and violence, and Aidan’s life gets very complicated.
Attacks rock the campus community, and in the middle of the upheaval, Aidan finds himself noticed by the last person he’d expect. Samuel Riley, his roommate, his impossible dream, and just possibly, a very jealous suitor. But the jealous suitor has a girlfriend. And she is not happy.
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Ashavan Doyon may have been a yeti in a prior life or possibly part giant. Either that or Texan air seriously messes up child development. During the day he’s a quiet and unassuming assistant at a liberal arts college in New England. At lunch, in the evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, Ashavan writes—with keyboard sounds on, because typing should make noise, beautiful clicky-clacky noise. He grew up reading fantasy classics and science fiction stories, but loves most speculative fiction. Growing up there was no such thing as a happy gay love story, and Ashavan writes to put those stories, full of fragility, beauty, even terror sometimes, into the world.
Consumed outside of his writing by a life with his husband and their ancient pug, Ashavan lives in Massachusetts and frequently complains about the snow that he never saw growing up in Texas. He went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a degree in Russian and East European Studies with a focus in language and literature. Ashavan continues to adore speculative fiction and can often be found rereading the classics he grew up with in his spare time.
On the web at www.ashavandoyon.com
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/ashavandoyon.writer
On Twitter at @ashavandoyon