Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Chris Scully joining us today to talk about new release “Back To You”.
Welcome Chris 🙂
Hello! I’m Chris Scully. I’m thrilled to welcome you to my blog tour for Back to You, my new romantic suspense novel. Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some background on the novel and the characters, my thoughts on writing, and more. Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Riptide gift certificate. Thanks for joining me on the tour!
Shaped by Romance
I was an avid romance reader from about the age of ten (sneaking my grandmother’s Harlequins) up until my late thirties. It’s not all I read, but it was my primary go-to reading material, and I still have a huge collection of paperbacks I can’t bear to get rid of. For those too young to remember, the eighties and nineties marked a significant change in the romance market—heroines who weren’t virgins, oral sex, Fabio solo on the cover to name a few. Kathleen Woodiwiss, Catherine Coulter, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Christina Dodd, Brenda Joyce and Lisa Kleypas were among my favourites, my preference being historicals, although I did read other sub-genres too. And from an early age, I wanted to be a Romance writer.
In the mid-nineties, I joined RWA, took some creative writing courses, entered contests, but even way back then I couldn’t quite fit the mold. The feedback I received was positive, but kindly pointed out that the characters weren’t what they were looking for. At that time, I didn’t fully grasp the difference between romance and Romance-as-a-genre (with a capital R). Looking back, I see clearly that even then my heroines were different—they had complicated back stories, they were middle class, not nobility, they drove the story rather than the male protagonist. There was definitely a literary fiction bent and a healthy dose of feminism. My first completed manuscript was a gothic historical featuring a female physician who had accidentally killed a young patient and had to take a position caring for the son of a reclusive man. Yeah, that was never going to fly.
For a lot of people, the consistency of the Romance genre is a comfort. But by the time I hit forty, I stopped reading mainstream Romance because I grew tired of it; increasingly it seemed formulaic and stale. There was nothing new for me, and it certainly didn’t reflect what I wanted to see. This is not meant as a comment on the genre or its readers—it was me who had changed. I was simply at a different point in my life and no longer represented the target audience.
Those Romance authors I grew up with are darned good writers. My gripes were never with them, but with how the market seemed so limited. In fact, I still use those authors for inspiration and guidance. My years as a reader have had definite influence on me as a writer. For example, I subscribe to the standard romance template where the first kiss doesn’t happen until about the 25% mark, and the first love scene at the halfway point. If I have multiple points of view, I will alternate chapters to reflect that and establish pattern. My protagonists meet as early as possible in the story, and I still love a plucky protagonist. I also try to have internal and external conflict or a secondary plot. Romance taught me the foundations of good writing, and I’ve used that to apply my own style and interpretation.
In the last decade, many of the romance writers I grew up with have gone on to careers in hybrid fiction markets and I always wonder if it was a financial decision, if they too got bored with the Romance genre, or if they used romance as a jumping stone to what they’d always wanted to do. Regardless, this is potentially where I see myself these days. I should be so lucky to follow in their shoes. While there will always be a romantic component to what I write, it’s never likely to be mass market Romance-with-a-capital-R, and I’m okay with that.
About Back To You
Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.
Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.
As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.
Available now from:
About Chris Scully
Chris Scully lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.
Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.
Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.
Connect with Chris:
- Website: chrisscullyblog.wordpress.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/chris.scully.author
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/6152322.Chris_Scully
To celebrate the release of Back to You, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 17, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!