Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest Post: KC Wells

Today I have the wonderful KC Wells!


Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.
K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter...
The laptop still has no idea of what hit it... it only knows that it wants a rest, please.
K.C. can be reached via email (k.c.wells@btinternet.com), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld), on Twitter (www.twitter.com/kcwellsworld) or through comments at the K.C.Wells website (www.kcwellsworld.com ) K.C. loves to hear from readers.


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A second pair of eyes:
I’d not been writing long when I notice this phrase being bandied about. Beta reader. What the hell was a beta reader? I didn’t have a clue. So I asked around. Like you do.

I asked another writer that I’d gotten to know really well. “Do I need a beta reader?” She replied, “How many books have you had accepted so far?” The answer was two, by that point. I’d started writing in February 2012 and we were now in September. I’d just submitted book three in the Learning to Love series.
“Well, if they’ve accepted two books, and no-one’s seen them, maybe you don’t need one.”

Oh boy. Looking back now, I wish someone had seen them. Because then maybe what followed wouldn’t have been so painful. Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad I went through it, because it started a process which taught me so much. By this point, I’d finally let another author read book three. What had concerned me was that my more... intimate scenes would come across as believable. I’d seen so many posts, blogs, emails, etc, all talking about the same thing: should women write M/M books? I’d begun to worry, so I’d pleaded with a gay friend to please read book three and let me know if I was on the right track. Up until this point, the only thing I’d let anyone read was a short story. Let’s just say his reaction gave my confidence a real boost – and made me blush like fury. Yeah – I wasn’t worried any more. <snicker>

Book one, Learning to Love: Michael & Sean came through edits relatively painlessly. ‘Yeah, this is easy,’ I thought. Yes, I was that naive. It was due for release in late November and I was ecstatic, even more so when I held a copy for the first time. The day after it released, I submitted the first book of a new series. It was a new departure for me, as it was to be set in a BDSM club in Manchester. By now, other authors had been reading my books. I’ve been so lucky. I’ve met some wonderful people on Facebook; authors, readers, aspiring authors, reviewers... Two people in particular had fallen in love with my characters, Dom Leo Hart and submissive Alex Daniels, from the BDSM book, An Unlocked Heart. When I compared this book to Michael & Sean, I could see the difference. It was better. There was a lot more Show and a whole lot less Tell – but that’s another story – and I felt that the writing had matured. Friends agreed with me. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘I’ve really grown up as an author.’ Little did I know the real growing process was just about to begin...

A really good friend, who is also an author, had asked to read the Learning to Love series. Book two, Evan & Daniel, is due out on March 20th. She read this one, and then proceeded to read the third book in the series, Josh & Chris, which is due for release sometime in May / June. And then the Facebook message arrived...
“I need to talk to you.”
“Fine, what’s up?”
“You can’t put out Josh & Chris as it is now.”
I was surprised. I’d already been sent the contract, so my publishing company obviously liked it. Surely if there was a problem, someone would have said something. When I pressed her as to why, she replied that there was one scene in the book that wouldn’t go down well with the readers. We’d talked a lot about reviews, as I’d already had a couple of readers tell me they’d objected to not being warned that there was a threesome scene in it, a situation which has since been rectified. More than that, they felt that the whole scene was wrong, as it amounted to cheating. This was my first introduction to the concept that sex between consenting adults, when two are in an established relationship, is seen as cheating by a lot of readers. Even if the participants are happy about it.

My friend was in a real quandary. She didn’t want to say anything for fear of hurting my feelings, but she’d fallen in love with my BDSM novel and she felt that if this came out after book three, no-one would want to read it, which she felt would be a crying shame. So she took her courage in both hands and told me what I needed to hear. “You need to rewrite the book. Get the axe out, honey.”

Whoa. I didn’t know what to say. My first reaction was as if someone wanted to take a knife to my firstborn. This was my baby. And then I started thinking. Was she right? It didn’t take long for me to answer that one. Oh yes, she was....That whole weekend, all I did was think about what I’d have to do. Because I had to put it right. It also made me ask why my lovely gay friend hadn’t said anything. Had he not thought the same? Turns out, yes, he had – but he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Hoo boy....

What followed was the long process of rewriting the book. It wasn’t due to go through edits until February/March, I estimated, so there was time to do something about it. So I got out the axe. What emerged was a very different book. I will be forever grateful to Lara Brukz, and I dedicated books two and three to her, amongst others, to say thank you in a small way for what she did.

And thus began the second part of my growing process – editing. My blog title also refers to the work of one of my editors. I only know her first name, Linda. A few months ago, I read a fantastic BDSM novel, Power Exchange, by AJ Rose. AJ and I became friends via Facebook. AJ asked to read something of mine and I shared a few things. He took book three and edited the first ten pages. Wow. What a difference. The writing was tighter, it had more impact, it was definitely better. It was at this point that I became painfully aware there was a list of words that I used far too much, innocuous words really, but overuse weakened the writing. AJ recommended that when my book started the next editing process, I ask for a particular editor, someone he felt would really help the book along. Evan and Daniel had started to go through this process at Christmas, and as it turned out, the executive editor for the publishing company felt it needed to go through a third round of edits – and gave it to Linda. Because of the length of the book, Evan & Daniel had taken four weeks to go through two rounds, so to be told it needed a further round... Surely there wasn’t that much that needed doing – was there?

AJ told me that I would either hate Linda or love her – that was the reaction of most authors. Her edits took longer than the first two rounds put together. I’d also rewritten sections to reflect the changes that had taken place in book three. But at the end of it, I had to admit, Evan and Daniel was all the better for it. And yeah, I loved Linda.

I’m currently involved in two projects. An Unlocked Heart got a contract and is due for release in June/July, and I started planning for the second book in the series. Remember I mentioned two people fell in love with Leo and Alex? The second was someone who was to become one of my closest friends, Will Parkinson. He’s submitted his first ever book, a YA book entitled Pitch, and at the time of writing this post, we are all eagerly awaiting news. Well, all his friends are eager – Will is having kittens. Will and I had several long chats - Skype is a truly marvelous invention, especially when you’re in two different time zones – and he helped me map out the whole of Trusting Thomas, the second book. His alter ego, Parker Williams, has since submitted a couple of stories. When I suggested, jokingly, that if he ever wanted to collaborate on a book, I’d be happy to oblige, I never dreamed for one minute that he’d say yes. But he did – we started writing last week, and so far, I am loving it. I am constantly amazed at how well our writing styles mesh. Will even said at one point that it was hard to tell who’d written which bit. Wow.

I’ve come through the last few months with a very healthy respect for editors and the editing process. When writing, I am so aware of my trigger words. The thesaurus and I are fast becoming best friends. And I have lots of friends who love what I write – thank you, guys – and some very special friends whose opinion I value immensely. I think it’s safe to say... I’m a very lucky girl.

Learning to Love: Evan & Daniel is due for release on March 20th:

Evan Wainwright’s good relationship karma is paying off. After helping his friends, Sean and Michael, discover their sexuality—and each other—Evan meets the love of his life. Their new housemate, Daniel Collier, is everything Evan could want in a boyfriend. Now if Evan can just work out why Daniel panics whenever Evan tries to get close.

Daniel has finally met his soul mate. Evan is perfect for him—at least, he would be, if Daniel could find the courage to overcome his demons and leave the past behind. But his mental scars prove difficult to heal, and Daniel struggles with his heart, even though it tells him Evan is the one.

Life in the student house goes on despite the usual interruptions: a wedding, a trial for a hate crime, a gay couple with exhibitionist tendencies. Through it all, Evan and Daniel remind themselves they are meant to be together. But until Daniel trusts Evan with the secret that’s tearing his family apart, “meant to be” is on hold.


Learning to Love: Josh & Chris is due for release May/June:

When Chris Andrews gave evidence against the men who manipulated him into taking part in a homophobic assault, Josh Saunders was his rock, and his support gave Chris the courage to come out. Now that Chris finds himself sharing a house with Josh, he wonders where that strong, sexy guy has disappeared to, because Chris wants him back—but he can’t wait forever.

Josh has been attracted to Chris from the get-go, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the pull grows. But he needs to make sure Chris feels the same attraction, and not just gratitude. Josh bides his time, waiting for the right moment… and misses his chance when Chris starts seeing someone else.

Somehow Josh has to convince Chris they are perfect together. But first, he needs to figure out who has been sending Chris malicious letters, threatening him over the phone, and writing hateful slogans across their front door—and persuade his own ex, who seems determined to win Josh back, to get lost. In fact, Josh’s life may depend on it.

2 comments:

  1. Kittens? Really? I have three cats and four dogs. I don't need no kittens.

    This was a lovely post. It's always good to have someone read for you. Especially those who will give you the truth.

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  2. I was the one having kittens, Will! I adore KC she is so easy to work with and read for. So open to different views.(after I bit all my nails off deciding how I was going to tell her). She is going to take the m/m world by storm! And yes the BDSM, OMG!

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