Aidan Wayne on Writing, Happy Endings, and their new release Showers, Flowers, and Fangs (author guest blog)

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Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist:  Tiferet Designs

Buy Links:

Harmony InkDreamspinner Press |  Amazon  |  Googleplay  

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Aidan Wayne on tour for their new YA release, Showers, Flowers, and Fangs.  It’s a novel we highly recommend!. Welcome, Aidan.

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview  with Aidan Wayne

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? – Absolutely. I love YA of all types; fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary, you name it. I grew up on everything from Anne of Green Gables to the Harry Potter series, with a whole lot of variety in between. But while I loved all of these books, the representation in many of them was… lacking, especially when it comes to the main characters. And the books I did find that had queer MCs (usually gay white males, let’s be real here) weren’t what I wanted. I didn’t want tragedy. I didn’t want “desperately trying to fit in.” I wanted fun and humor and acceptance and escapism. And I wanted more than just the G.

Darren, the main character in Showers Flowers and Fangs, is a total flaily spaz, a loyal friend, and Tries His Best. He’s bad at math (which how both his parents are accountants), good at video games, loves the rain, and tiger lilies are his favorite flower because they taste the best. Oh, and, y’know, there’s the whole “half-fae” thing. He’s also a trans teen, bi, and completely accepted by his community.

I just want more fun stories where LGBTQ kids get to do things like be magic or pilot space stations or exist in the 1800s.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? – Yes! Or, wait, was I supposed to pick between the two? There are pluses to both. On one hand, I love happily ever afters. I love characters getting a happy ending… as long as it ultimately makes sense within the story premise. Point A to Point B to Point C to Point HEA. But sometimes an HFN fits a story–how it’s evolved and where it’s gone. A Happily Ever After doesn’t entirely work. More needs to happen, which may or may not have taken place in the book. This is especially true in YA. For instance, Showers Flowers and Fangs is a “happy for now” ending. It has to be; the characters are teenagers. They do make great progress and the story ends happily, but a “happily ever after” makes no sense yet.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? – I think the ebook format is great! I’m someone who never wants to be without a book, and with ebooks and a phone I can have as many as I want any time I want. Traveling used to be an exercise in Picking Books and I distinctly remember several years ago going to visit a relative and lugging around the last four Harry Potter books because I wanted to reread them. With ebooks, all those problems are solved. I do admit to enjoying having physical copies of my books though, because I think that’s really special. And, well, ebooks are also a lot easier to pirate which actively hurts me personally as an author. But there is so much merit (and better availability and accessibility) when it comes to ebooks. Overall I’m very glad they exist.

How do you choose your covers? – I’m not a very visual person at all, so usually I draw a blank when filling out a cover artist questionnaire sheet. Mostly what happens is that the cover artist gives me some options, I realize what I don’t like or want, and we sort of narrow things down from there. Actually, Showers Flowers and Fangs is the one exception out of all of my covers so far. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted. And wow, did my cover artist deliver. I love it. It perfectly captures everything I wanted it to.

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation? – I remember being… maybe fourteen? reading Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer and being furious when the main character (who had been disguising herself as a boy) revealed herself to be a girl. Worse: that’s when her love interest exhibited said interest. Not before the reveal. Same with the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. And Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede. And so many, many, many others. Then there were the books where a male dressed up as a female–usually for laughs, or as part of some hackneyed plan that ended terribly.

I got… really tired of these trope. I wanted MCs to stay disguised as boys forever (and still get their love interests, if they wanted one) and to not be ridiculed for dressing and/or presenting a certain way. It didn’t ah, really sink in as to maybe why I reacted so viscerally to this trope until a lot later.

Anyway. The point is that, especially now, I write a lot of trans, non-binary, and otherwise gender non-conforming characters (having happy endings, this is important), and will continue to do so pretty much until I die.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why? – Ironically? Showers. Showers Flowers and Fangs is my favorite. I am varying degrees of proud of all my work (with and without ways I can think of improvements) but writing Showers was an amazing time for me. I don’t think I stopped grinning once while writing it. I was delighted to discover things as they came to me. I love all the characters. I think the plot and premise is fun. There’s overcoming sadness and getting out to the other side. There’s acceptance and love. There’s magic and friendship and laughter and ice cream.

It makes me happy.

I hope it makes readers happy, too.

BLURB

Darren is your average half-human, half-fae trans teenager, busy figuring out his powers and puberty while trying to survive finals. When Vlad, a newly turned vampire, moves in with the witch down the street, he and Darren get off on the wrong foot. Darren is always one to give somebody a second chance, though, and as they become friends, he realizes Vlad is just lonely and struggling with his new powers. That’s something Darren can definitely relate to, and he’s happy to lend his support. But while he coaxes Vlad out of his shell, Darren ends up learning about Vlad’s past… and the danger Vlad is in. Darren only wants to help—help Vlad feel comfortable in his own skin and help him feel safe.

He hadn’t planned on falling in love.

About the Author

Aidan Wayne lives with altogether too many houseplants on the seventh floor of an apartment building, and though the building has an elevator, Aidan refuses to acknowledge its existence. They’ve been in constant motion since before they were born (pity Aidan’s mom)—and being born didn’t change anything. When not moving Aidan is usually writing, so things tend to balance out. They mostly stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), but some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well, and they primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings. Because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: aidanwayne.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aidanwayne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15164017.Aidan_Wayne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AidanWayneWrites/

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/cO6OGL

Release Blitz – His Two Leading Men by Aidan Wayne (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: His Two Leading Men

Author: Aidan Wayne

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Aidan Wayne

Genre/s: Contemporary sweet gay romance, menage

Heat Rating:  2 flames 

Length: 57,000words/ 205 pages (309 in kindle format, 296 in PDF)

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 9, 2018

Add Goodreads 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

Broadway star Skye’s whole life is an act.

On the surface, he’s living the New York Dream – acclaimed by critics for his stunning debut, playing to packed audiences every night.

They don’t know the truth.

Battling crippling anxiety, every show is a struggle for Skye. Only one thing gives him the courage to step into the spotlight every performance – the steady, calming support of costumer Russell. But Skye can’t burden Russell with all his demons…

When wealthy patron Brent takes an interest in Skye, everything the actor knows is turned upside down. Charismatic and confident, Brent is everything Skye isn’t… and just what he needs. But how can he choose between gentle Russell and magnetic Brent? Russell means so much to him, but the chemistry between Skye and Brent is undeniable.

Or does he have to choose at all…?

Excerpt

Quick changes, Skye decided as he scrambled offstage yet again, were the worst part of any show. It was the start of full-dress rehearsal week for the Broadway debut show Child’s Play, so he was figuring out how to get into and out of his costumes–and in time to scale the ladder to the height of center stage so he could descend from the ceiling. He’d botched it twice already, not making it in time for his cue, and he was a mess of nerves trying to get decked out in his light-up tuxedo while he paid attention to the music.

“Hey,” his quick-changer murmured as he affixed Skye’s mask. “You’ve got this.”

Right. Skye nodded and hurried over to the ladder.

After rehearsal was over and the cast was undressing and taking off makeup, Skye decided to track down the quick-changer. His calm amidst the storm had really helped, and Skye wanted to say thanks.

It had been chaotic and dark, but Skye didn’t have a problem remembering what he looked like. Taller than Skye, with dark brown skin and kind eyes.

He found him fixing costume pieces on their hangers, and seeing him in full light–he looked more like someone who should be modeling clothes, over making them. “Hi,” Skye said, trying to sound more confident and less shy. “Uh, I’m Skye. I don’t think we’ve been introduced?”

The quick-changer chuckled, a low, throaty sound, and held out a hand. “Russell,” he said. “And I know who you are. Hard to miss the Power Prince.”

Right. Skye was still in full makeup. He, at least, was easy to recognize. He ruefully rubbed the back of his neck. Skye tried his best to get to know the stage crew, but between them and the cast there were a lot of people to keep track of. Once the show was up and running for a few weeks he’d definitely be better at it, but people sort of stayed in their little boxes during rehearsals. They didn’t meld properly into one complete unit the show actually started. But Russell he wasn’t going to forget. “I just wanted to say thanks.”

“What for?”

“For, you know, encouraging me back there. I really needed it. And it helped a lot.”

Russell smiled at him. “Happy to help.”

“Yeah, uh–” It didn’t feel like enough, just saying thanks. And he didn’t know the guy yet–but it’d be a good idea to get to know him. Especially considering he’d be the one helping Skye strip down and then dress back up twice a show. “Are you busy, now that rehearsal is done for the day?”

Russell shook his head. “Just need to finish prepping this all for tomorrow. Shouldn’t take me long. Why?”

“You want to grab a bite to eat together?”

“Sure.”

“Want to meet by the back door when you’re ready? I have to take all this off anyway.”

Russell chuckled again. “I might be done before you are, but sure, yeah. Meet you then.”

Skye grinned. “Great.”

He left to go peel off his costume, unpin his wig, and take off all the stage makeup. In the end, he just wiped off as much as he could manage. He was pretty sure all Broadway actors had perpetually lined eyes at this point. Well, it wasn’t like he minded that much–it did make his eyes pop.

When he was dressed in real-people clothes again, he grabbed up his bag and left for the backstage door. A few people were still milling around, but Russell was standing a little off to one side. Not checking his phone or anything, just watching what was going on around him.

Skye went up to him. “Hey,” he said. “Thanks for waiting. Looks like you were right; you were done before I was.”

Russell blinked at him and then laughed. “So that’s what you look like when you’re out of makeup. I’ve been wondering.”

“You have?”

Russell shrugged. “I mean, I’ve seen everyone’s playbill headshots, but by the time I get to most of you, you’re all in makeup, if not costumed.”

“I thought you were one of the costumers.”

“Yeah, but that mostly means I’m sewing or repairing or washing. I just get put on the quick-changes once we get into dress shows. I’ve got fast fingers.”

Skye laughed. “Okay, good to know. And, I mean, I appreciated them. You’re going to be the one working with me?” Hopefully he didn’t sound to eager.

“Yup. For the changes on that side of the stage that need an extra pair of hands, I’m your guy.”

Skye smiled. “Nice to hear.”

“So where we headed?”

“Oh, uh,” Skye might not’ve thought that far. “What are you in the mood for?”

“You pick. You were the one who did the inviting, after all.” Russell grinned at him.

Skye tried not to panic. He wasn’t so great at choosing things. “Um.” There was that burger joint a block away that he and the others frequented a lot, that might be a good place. But maybe that was too fast-foody? There was a sushi bar pretty close by too, but Russell might not like that. Maybe–

“Actually,” Russell said after what was probably too long a pause on Skye’s part, “I could really do with a burger. That sound good to you?”

Crisis averted. Second time that day Russell had done that. “Yeah.” Skye smiled. “That sounds great.

Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Giveaway

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