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Bloody...Tuesday


posted by Lucy V Morgan

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Today is special (and not just because I have a cupcake. Still. It's a good cupcake).

Today marks the hardback release of BLEED LIKE ME by Christa Desir, which is the kind of raw, honest (slightly filthy) book I wish had been around when I was a teenager. Actually I wish Christa had also been around when I was a teenager. It would have been exquisite carnage. Anyway. Where was I?

 From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just "Gannon" to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she's standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She's given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.

Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.

Falling in love doesn't instantly make you compatible with someone. God, how I wish this had been pointed out to me. Truth is, I think a lot of us get a bit lost in having our affections returned at all. It's not on tap for most people. So when it comes along, even if it's jagged around the edges, you're grateful because...isn't that how a good, honest person should feel? You're that good person. The validation of love proves it. Even as a teen, the sexual side of a relationship can play a big part in this massive fucked-up spiderweb. BLEED acknowledges this head-on rather than tiptoeing around it with an Edward Cullen stalker complex.

As an author I spend a lot of time looking for the beautiful bits in broken relationships because they're the ones that cut us deepest, so they're wounds a reader needs to balm the most. But not all of those relationships burst into hearts and roses just because the word love starts being tossed about. And I'm glad Christa was brave enough to tackle this.

Sometimes, it can feel painfully right and still be painfully wrong. BLEED explores this in bold, empowered detail. Yes, you want to read this. Yes, if your son or daughter is embarking on the miserable complicated world of teen relationships, they'll appreciate it too. And here I am, helpfully enabling you with links to Amazon UK, Amazon US, B&N and Book Depository. If you're in the US, you'll probably find it all shiny in your local bookstore; if you live in the UK, Amazon may take a little while to deliver it because despite the fact that you pre-ordered, they're still being dicks.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.




Top 10 Ways to Procrastinate While Writing a Book


posted by Lucy V Morgan

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It happens to the best of us. We procrastinate until we're about five days away from deadline, then tot up how many words we still need to write and have ourselves a little mother-of-fudge moment. How has this happened? How did we get here? You had three months to write this book, you workshy plot dodger! You should be ashamed of yourself!

:(

Readers and writers, here are my top 10 favourite most common ways to procrastinate while writing that book I keep banging on about...

1) Think about/mock up the cover

Because having an idea of how your cover might look always helps to get you in the mood for writing, obviously. It's motivation. Usually goes something like this:

7pm: Lucy enters Stockphotolandia
2:38am: lkjlijgljfkjekfjhgpppphhh...sulk...stinging eyes...zzz

2) Make graphics

You know how it goes: write an awesome line. Feel smug, edit a few syllables out. Then edit them back in. And then remember you saved the PERFECT stock photo for THIS particular line. Make graphic. Spend at least twenty six minutes getting the text placement right.

Ten minutes later: sulk because you haven't announced the book release yet, so can't show anyone the graphic. Instant gratification: DENIED.

 

3) Browse for potential reviewers

There are so many review blogs these days, and you simply must keep track. You'll just scroll through the comments on this GoodReads page to find links to bloggers with relevant preferences for your reviewer list...

4) Troll Amazon for similar books

Because you need to know your market, right? And you don't want to write something too similar. It's important to look for cover trends you can exploit, or see if reviewers are responding well to a similar trope or plot point. This is just market research. It's work!

 

5) Watch crap on YouTube

You've written like, 984 words in the last hour, so now you can watch Reggae Shark or yodelcore puppets or that hot guy in the German medieval metal band. Yes, these things exist. And they're ALL AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.

 

6) Make a shopping list

A writer has to be organised and well-nourished. You probably shouldn't have Domino's for the third night in a row. And you wanted to try out that pumpkin marzipan doughnut cinnamon tofu bread thingy from that blog, so you need all those weird (but VERY healthy) ingredients.

7) Budget

Because Starbucks, Netflix and book swag don't grow on trees. But they should. Why has nobody engineered this yet? OMG PLOT BUNNY

8) Record and Expand on Plot Bunnies

If you don't write it all down right now, it may fade away into the ether and you will never taste its sweetness again. Of course it has nothing to do with your current book, but you have to plan ahead, right?

9) Fantasize about Book's Success

Imagine if you got a starred review at Kirkus or PW. Imagine if you sold foreign rights. Imagine if you sold film rights to Tim Burton. Imagine if you sold TV rights to HBO! Imagine if Joss Whedon read your book and Tweeted about it. And what would the soundtrack be like on the film trailer? You should definitely start thinking about that. They might want your input. Or a preferred cast list. You should start following Ansel Elgort on Twitter right now, butter him up a bit for when the role comes along...

10) Go to work

We've all been there: stay up most of the night going through points 1-9. Write the three best paragraphs of your life. Wake up, walk around, do stuff that tastes minty and is a bit cold. There are noises--voices, perhaps?--and whooshy things. You appear to be in this strange place called "work."

Feel free to expand on these--unless, of course, you should be working on that book, you complete SLACKER.

So here's a book you should read...


posted by Lucy V Morgan

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...you know, if you like dudes who look like this (see below), witty dialogue, and sexual tension that leans out of your Kindle to stroke your fancy parts:



Kristen has been a friend of mine for a long time now, and I was fortunate enough to read THE HOOK UP a while back. I had very tired eyes the next day and an achy wrist (from holding my Kindle up for so long, perverts), but the lack of sleep was worth it--I couldn't put the damn thing down. So here's your heads up: it's finally out on September 8th, and you can pre-order it here. You can also see my review on GoodReads here (which is mostly about boobs and anal; always a win). THE HOOK UP sure taught me a lot about...erm, American football.

I'm off to fan myself and re-read some of the filthy bits. You: pre-order! Mush!


The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.


Lucy Edits


posted by Lucy V Morgan

2 comments

A few people have asked about this lately, so here it is: yes, I edit (but not in secret, as the wording of this post may suggest!). I've been editing for my "day job" for a long time now--nearly four years.  So:

If you're looking for an editor for your novel or manuscript...

I edit fiction (all subgenres of romance, erotica, young adult, new adult and women's fiction) and non-fiction (guide books, mostly). I approach every manuscript with an open mind, a lot of respect, and a little humour. (If you've ever tried to finish writing a book before, you'll know that humour is required).

I hold a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature. Back in early 2011, I was in the first batch of interns at Entangled Publishing, where I went on to pass their editing test. Then I moved to Etopia Press to become an acquisitions editor. Eventually, I became a managing editor, and made the decision to go freelance when it made sense for my writing/editing life balance. It's still making sense, which makes me a lucky girl indeed.

I'm a very capable copy editor (US and UK English) and an insightful, meticulous content editor. Clients tend to come back to me because I respect their voices and add value. I work with authors who want to self-publish and authors who want to polish their manuscripts for traditional publishing; I've been on both sides, so I have an informed vantage point within the industry.

Rates

I charge $0.006 per word for a full content and copy edit, or $0.005 per word if you'd prefer just a copy edit (which includes line editing. They go hand in hand, in my opinion). All payments go through PayPal with 50% upfront.

Each edit includes as many "passes" of the manuscript as the author requests (and while every manuscript is different, this averages out at around three passes). Between passes, I always make myself available via email if the author wants to bounce around ideas. I like to see the MS one last time to proofread if there's room on the schedule. When the author is happy, I'm happy. At this point, GIFs are sometimes exchanged.



Schedule and Booking

My schedule is very up and down; sometimes I'll have time for a late notice booking and sometimes I won't. It's worth booking in early if you can, but it's also worth asking if you're on a tight deadline, too.

Contact

If you'd like to make an inquiry, or perhaps you'd like to see some references or a sample edit letter, you'll find me at lucyvmorgan@gmail.com. 




On AIDAN


posted by Lucy V Morgan

1 comment

Aidan is probably one of my favourite characters, out of all my books. He's also the character I get asked about the most by FAR. Everyone wants to know when I'm writing Aidan's book.

Answer: when he finally sorts his shit out. Seriously, there's a lot of shit--it's always been there, ever since I wrote him--and trying to maul it all into a book with an HEA is quite the undertaking. I have started and stopped his book many times because he refuses to behave himself. I'm aware that as an answer, this royally sucks. But I can't just write him to order. He'd HATE me for that.

Aidan originally appeared in the Knives and Flowers books. Then he appeared in The Gentleman has Left the Building (which is free, by the way) and I elaborated on his backstory in Tainted Touch. In fact Art, Tainted Touch's hero and Aidan's little brother, was originally going to be in the Knives and Flowers books too...but he didn't quite fit. And his story needed its own book, really. It had a different tone.

A lot of people ask me why I didn't write Aidan's book as soon as I'd finished Leila's duo (which was back in 2010. Christ). The truth is, back then, nobody would have published it. Aidan's story, fucked up as it is, would have been waaaaay too taboo. Of course now I self publish, that issue isn't there so much, but I do still wonder if Amazon would actually sell the thing. They haz rules and standards (apparently).

I'm teasing here. I apologise. But suffice to say that when Aidan told Leila that he'd only ever been in love once, with a girl, a long time ago...he was telling the truth. And that girl was most definitely forbidden on every level; I think a lot of people would be truly freaked. There was never going to be an HEA for them (and while Aidan would love one with Mattman, Matt just doesn't like penis enough. Alas). Where does anyone go from there? He's a shockingly un-PC character too--full of rape jokes and the like, which I think is realistic given his job and his experiences--but this is not for everyone. It needs handling in a certain way.

A lot of writers seem to know exactly what the end game is for their characters. This is usually me; I'm a plotter. I have to know where everything is going. And yet Aidan eludes me, time and time again, as if he's still searching. He's larger than life that way. Tainted Touch definitely showed another side to him, and his sing-song whore boy behaviour was cast in a very different light. (I'd say it's like he was swelling inside of me, as a character. But we all know how that sounds, hmm?!) It brought his Daddy issues to the forefront--they go a long way to explaining some of his choices in life. And his reaction to finding Art showed us all how huge his heart is. But that heart, as he would say, has been fucked three different ways with a sledgehammer, mashed into something McDonalds wouldn't serve, and thrown out to the pigeons of Trafalgar Square. When I write in Aidan's POV, he's incredibly...dark. Sometimes I wonder if people would actually like that (and I welcome all opinions on that point).

I am not done with Aidan; nor is he done with me. It would be nice if he shut up about shoes and sex and random British comedians long enough to actually tell me what he wants, however. As soon as he does, you'll be the first to know.




TAINTED TOUCH is FREEEE!


posted by Lucy V Morgan

3 comments


As in, no-charge free. $0.00 free. Free like a bird, or a shooting star, or Tim Robbins at the end of Shawshank Redemption


But only until midnight on Saturday August 2nd.

You can find it on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and all the other Amazons (apparently). And if you don't have a Kindle or the Kindle app, email me at lucyvmorgan@gmail.com before the end of Saturday and I'll send you the correct version for your Nook/iPad/wax tablet.

Now go forth and download that damned thing. Your hot boxer-slash-massage-therapist is waiting...


On TWISTED SUMMER


posted by Lucy V Morgan

1 comment

I get a lot of the same comments about TWISTED SUMMER, time and time again. I've wanted to respond to them for a while, and recently I went back in and re-read the manuscript, figuring that while the answers were fresh, I'd get them down.

(I know, I know. It's over a year since the book was released so this is probably quite late. A little reflection time works wonders, however, and you lovely bunch of readers are still buying the book. Thank you a thousand times for this).

People say...

Gabe is kind of creepy. 


People have called Gabe predatory. He made a lot of readers quite uncomfortable with the way he came on to Danni. I can't tell you that he's a nice man who did what he thought was right. He absolutely was predatory; at one point, Danni yells to him through a door, "stop grooming me!" because that is precisely what he's doing.

But I wanted this ambiguity for him. Truth be told, it was all part of the taboo of the story. He is forbidden fruit of the highest order. I don't think Danni was ever alone in lusting after an older man she couldn't have, but lusting after somebody who played the role of a family member--now that's fairly uncommon. Danni had never really "met" him before so that removed a bit of the yuck factor where she was concerned, but she was still very aware that she was in his guardianship. On a dark level, she liked that.

If Danni hadn't returned Gabe's affections, this would have been a very different book. Part of me wonders how far he'd have gone to seduce her; pretty far, probably. He was frightened of the way she made him feel--physically and emotionally--and it made him cruel. He was addicted to it, too. Addiction does strange things to people. Addiction made him brave and stupid. That doesn't excuse the way he came on to somebody he shouldn't have; nothing really does. But it explains it.

I didn't realise Danni was going to be gay.

You know, when I was gearing up to release TS, I worried people would laugh at the whole "lesbian converted by cock" idea that was vaguely present within the story. (Danni is actually bi, but still). So when there was more of a negative reaction just to the f/f stuff in the book, I was surprised. Danni's "girlfriend" is mentioned in the blurb; I'm English, so "girlfriend" means sexual partner. Of course, in the US, it just means good friend...I hadn't noticed this, and it most likely added to the confusion.

There was, in contrast, also a lot of praise for the f/f element of the book, which was lovely to see--not just because it was celebrating diversity, but purely because it was different. I write "different" books, and I've learned that different is a very sharp double-edged sword. Frankly, I often forget how different they are, so any kind of mention of this always fascinates me.

It was too short! Where's the sequel?

I never imagined when I wrote TS that people would want a sequel. Really. I thought perhaps they'd read it and think they'd been through enough! Will there ever be a sequel? I honestly don't know. My schedule is stuffed. I don't know how I'd give people a sequel to TS that was quite as striking as the first; Gabe and Danni have done the hardest part of their journey already and I'd hate to over-stretch them. Of course, never say never...

Length...well. My novels are usually long. I can't help it. TS, however, was originally written as two novellas, so the structure was different from the beginning. I wrote them exactly the way I wanted to because a) I knew no publisher would take a pseudo-incest story and b) I didn't fancy self-publishing at the time. When I came to turn the two pieces into one longer story, I felt like adding anything else would be "filler." And God, I hate filler. There were ways I could have made the book longer, absolutely...I just didn't like any of them, and so the result was something of a mongrel. If it felt incomplete then I understand why.

It really was twisted.

I know the cover was kinda cutesy in a pretty way (it's still my favourite, of all my book covers). I can see why some people were shocked by the contents of a book with that cover. TS is made up of layers of light and dark, of normality and perversion. It was meant to subvert. Danni's desire for Gabe was dark and the way she used Esme was dark, but she had a bright, peppy sense of humour and the story took place in beautiful sun-drenched locations. That juxtaposition is difficult to quantify; twisted felt like a nice middle ground. Dark is almost a genre term these days--a very overused one, and a watered down one at that. Thus, as readers, we all have our own version of dark...but maybe not so much our own twisted. I think TS hit a nerve in that regard. I'm kind of proud of that.

As for my own definitions?

A dark book, to me, holds little promise of redemption for certain characters. We are forced to accept those characters exactly as they are--a struggle we feel subjected to, rather than something we actively enjoy. But nonetheless...it titillates us. 

That's the darkest thing of all.