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JAN 07: Sucked In - or Seduced??????

Today's guest is Jordan Castillo Price, a fabulous author in the m/m genre and one of my automatic buys (hey, I only have half a dozen, you know...!).

I 'discovered' her through her Channeling Morpheus series. I fell in love with the first cover - which is very pertinent, when you read her post *lol* - and then fell in love with both the writing and the characters.
The continuing adventures of Michael and Bill are sharp, sexy and stylish, and as a reader, I've grown to love and care for them. She makes complex, flawed, challenging characters very real and totally sympathetic.

Buy them here

Her PsyCop series is also tremendously successful -
Victor Bayne, the psychic half of a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.

The latest release in the series is Camp Hell -
Victor Bayne honed his dubious psychic skills at one of the first psych training facilities in the country, Heliotrope Station, otherwise known as Camp Hell to the psychics who've been guests behind its razorwire fence.

Vic discovered that none of the people he remembers from Camp Hell can be found online, and there’s no mention of Heliotrope Station itself, either. Someone's gone through a lot of trouble to bury the past. But who?

Buy all the series here

And she's recently won the contract for an exciting new series of Partners In Crime with Josh Lanyon at MLR Press.
You know how there are some authors you genuinely don't mind losing contests to?!!! *LMAO*

Her Packing Heat blog on writing tips has booted me up the ass helped me out tremendously over the last few months, when I started subscribing. She covers all topics from writing erotica to selling the damned stuff, and all with sensible, supportive guidance.
And catch her - and her monthly newsletter - on Her Website.

So... today?!
Let's talk about being seduced - about finding new fiction!

Freebies and excerpts are good ways to snag readers. I wonder if writers know how powerful the freebie can be? I’ve visited author sites and decided NOT to buy their work based on the lack of quality of their free offerings. And, conversely, I’ve been totally sucked into stories just from a snippet posted on a Yahoo group.

What about you? How did you find your favorite author?

Hi all! My name’s Jordan Castillo Price. I’m an author of m/m horror. I started writing in 1999 and saw my first work in print in 2004. I post a weekly podcast on erotica writing tips at packingheat.net. You can find out more about my stories at www.jordancastilloprice.com

Recently, I got an email from a reader who tried both of my current series, PsyCop and Channeling Morpheus, and she seemed rather dismayed to have enjoyed them. Even though she’d seen the series around, avoidance factor had kicked in, big time.

I’m not sure what pushed her over the brink and got her to give my writing a try, but I’m glad she did, since she enjoyed the work enough to tell me her whole story!

This reader’s confessional got me to wondering what it is that makes us avoid stories we might like, and conversely, what convinces us to try out a writer we haven’t read before. Is it a story’s blurb? A snippet? A review? The cover?

“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is an old axiom, and it’s true. Most authors have little or no control over the covers of their books. The cover, however, is often the first part of the book you see. Being able to create or commission the cover I see in my mind’s eye is one of the joys I have in creating the books I publish through JCP Books.

I’ve been thinking about how I discover new-to-me authors. The main ways are stumbling across their actual writing and getting drawn in, or trying them out on the recommendation of a friend. I had a colleague who could unerringly give me awesome book recs. Then, sadly, he graduated high school and headed off to college in another state. (Yup. A kid young enough to be my son was my best barometer of what I’d like to read. But I like to think he had pretty sophisticated taste.)

He was a fellow writer, which made a big difference. He and I did NaNoWriMo together two years in a row. So since he was also a writer, I knew he was a fairly critical reader, and he wasn’t going to recommend anything with irritating prose. Come to think of it, a lot of our lunchtimes were spent trashing stories we thought were lame!

Freebies and excerpts are good ways to snag readers. I wonder if writers know how powerful the freebie can be? I’ve visited author sites and decided NOT to buy their work based on the lack of quality of their free offerings. And, conversely, I’ve been totally sucked into stories just from a snippet posted on a Yahoo group.

What about you? How did you find your favorite author?

Jordan Castillo Price
Free stories - Excerpts - Erotica Writing Podcast - Blogs

and BTW, don't forget yesterday's post, you can post links to YOUR free fiction there. And readers? BOOKMARK?! *lol*!!


Follow this month with Clare (yes, it's all about the MEEEE...):

Jan 01 : the Cheeky Cherubs welcome us to 2009 with a pithy verse or two and the threat of piercings...
Jan 02 : sweet, sexy fiction from lilzazu, all about the perennially tricky problem of a sticky shift...
Jan 03 : excellent editing tips for all authors who ever wondered whether to be cruel to be kind to their prose, hosted by jolilightner...
Jan 04 : Clare pimps the fabulous I DO anthology, now available in ebook and all proceeds to Lambda...
Jan 05 : abstractrx ponders the changing role of Romance and its reflection of - or on?! - the society around it...
Jan 06 : FREE FICTION from me and my friends!

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Comment HERE!!


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
I find a lot of new authors by either reviews or recommendations on blogs (I found you, Jordan, when Josh Lanyon announced your partnership) or sometimes when I buy an anthology of short stories where I might know one of the authors and then discover another great author whilst reading the other stories (which is how I found Clare).

I've only just discovered the free-fiction on author websites/blogs. This is a great idea and gives readers a chance to get more of a feel for an author's writing than they might get from a short extract from a book.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
And very pleasant it has been, to meet you too, on a personal as well as a fiction-level! ^___^

May I ask why you say 'I've only just discovered free fiction'? Is it because we don't advertise it enough?!!! We could learn from that, just like Jordan says above.

And PS are you still ok for your day on the 16th? *is excited*
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
I've only just discovered the free fiction mainly because I've been too lazy to have a good look round an author's website. I was having a nosy around yours the other day, Clare, and found all this fabulous free fiction that you had left - the one about the murderous ghost made me shudder! I also liked the one on the underground that you posted a link to the other day.

Sometimes an author has a LJ and doesn't put obvious links to their website so I'll miss it (I can be a bit dense - if soemthing's not in my face, I may not see it!).

What can be very annoying is if an author does have a LJ or a website but doesn't advertise with their publisher. I've spent quite a lot of frustrated time looking on Google for authors who could have flagged themselves up on the publisher's site along with their books.

Yes I am OK for the 16th. I've already got an idea and will try to get it written at the weekend (if I can get my act together by then!).
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Hi, Jenre!

I'm happy to hear that anthologies might slant you toward checking out a new author. Most anthologies offer token payments (if any) to the writer, so being in an anthology is more of a marketing opportunity than a means to a paycheck. Or, if you're lucky, a way to pitch in to a good cause, as anthologies with donated royalties seem pretty popular lately.

I like the reminder that while your URL might be obvious to YOU, a brand new reader might not know where to find you. (I'm glad I have an easily-googled name!)
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
For me, it's like the ripples of a puddle, rolling outward! I read someone's free fiction, or meet them on a loop, or chat in email. Next minute that gives me a link somewhere else, or they're with the same publisher as another author I know, or sharing a promo day, or they recommend someone else new to me.

For me, the best is being recommended by someone whose work I already like. I don't expect to read the same thing every time, of course, that'd be boring, but I like a guarantee of quality and care. And if someone *I* like, liked it, that's probably a good place to start! LOL

Next is a combination of cover and excerpt - NOT blurb! That rarely works for me. I write my own blurbs, but I don't know if all other authors do. Anyway, what sells it for me is the excerpt - if I immediately like the style of writing and the feel of the characters, that's what encourages me to buy. That's how I've found my growing batch of favourite authors.

I've had some disasters of course. I've mainly found that to be because although the excerpt was good, it was the best bit of the book! LOL. Inevitably the plot petered out then, or the sex never happened after the delicious UST, or the characters got sidelined by others I liked less.

Jenre's right about anthologies being useful, too - I've found many new authors I like from that. And some I know to avoid *lol*.

How often have people tried a new author that other people are raving about, but NOT liked them?!

Jan. 7th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
I find that I can use the blurb to eliminate a potential book. If the setup sounds old-hat, I pass.

Authors have little to no control over thier covers, and yet they really do make or break whether you'll try something new sometimes, don't they?

Certain authors overpost their blurbs on yahoo groups, and those are big red flags in my brain that scream, "I'll never read this even if I'm stuck on a desert island with nothing but." One or two authors in particular seem to feel that quantity trumps quality, and if they just post the same four excerpts every other day, everyone will be delighted to try their (very lame sounding) book.

No one we know, of course ;-)
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
I find new authors through my flist rec's, reviews and "accidentally" in anthologies (usually buy one on the strength of one or two writers). Have ordered books online for years, but my first ebook (which I also bought in paperback when it became available) was Laney Cairo's Bad Case Of Loving You (actually it may have been Crossing The Line in 2006 - this introduced me to Torquere Press. The second ebook I bought was Among The Living</> *g* - it was also my first "Non FList/Rec author" purchase and it was the blurb that snaffled me (not quite finished Camp Hell, work is biting into my reading/catchup time). I make a point of trying to keep up with new stuff from flist writers, as I already know (and presumably like) the way they write (have 9 of Clare's) and again, tend to look to see who they are reading if I want to expand my TBR list - this is an essential tool for me and has the Channeling Morpheus series in as to "Get on a rainy day" because sometimes you need to have something new and yet known to go to (if that makes sense?).
I also have a couple of publishers bookmarked that I check frequently to see new releases (Torquere and Dreamspinner) and about three others I look at from time to time (although sometimes one has to dig about as M/M titles can be difficult to find on some sites, especially when GLBT is used as a category - making it difficult to look for something that is, for example, both M/M and Murder/Mystery, Paranormal or whatever. The Torquere competition for their birthday meant I added more authors to my list (bought Ally Blue's BCP series), although I don't generally "do" competitions. Phew! Will stop now :)
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Drat - sorry about all the italics - I'm supposed to already be at work and I'm unshowered and not coffee'd up enough!
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Hey, good to see you! And I know that under-coffee'd feeling well!

I must admit, I often go to buy one book, then get distracted and go surfing all over the place, ending up with several. And isn't that a great way to exchange recs, letting people know who you're reading?!!

*files that away for a topic later this month*

And I admit I also like the publishers that are specifically m/m. I can get a good range of genres, but know I don't have to go searching too far around their site to find it.

And PS... I'm finishing up 2 stories for Dreamspinner soon, if only they like them...!
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
The way you decided to give Among the Living a try (based on the blurb) while you were shopping for something else is really telling!

Amazon's little teaser of "If you liked this, you'll like that" seems to try to hook readers into a similar mindset. Like, "You're already here. May as well get two."

I hope you enjoy Camp Hell whenever life allows you to return to it. I'm frankly baffled when it gets read in a day. It's close to 100,000 words!
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
heh, should I then confess that I read all of your stuff in one sitting? And then they make the reread, reread and reread lists.
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I find re-reads extra-gratifying, so thank you :D

I like to think you might see new connections in there that you might not have noticed the first time around.

I'm just an atrociously slow reader, so I never get anything done in less than three sessions. I guess that's fine. I yam the way I yam!
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
The Channeling Morpheus books were almost too short for me, I devoured them - or *inhaled* them, which is how we describe how my son eats food :).

But if an author is good, the re-read is an extra pleasure. So much of the stuff I buy I'll never return to (must have a virtual garage sale one day...). But it's always a treat to read Jordan's prose, and find something new each time.

Hey, you, Chrissy Munder - yours too! I love the wit in your stories and the way you can weave a romance that's emotive but not sappy. *sighs happily*

Now back to my own virtually-100k novel and see where I can save some word count....LOL
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering if Channeling Morpheus would translate into novel-length or not. It's like I worked from a different bag of words when I wrote it.
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
I know sometimes that the story itself dictates its length. Sometimes when people say to me 'I'd like some more of this!' I have to confess that it took all I had in the first place. i.e. it fitted the length, the balance was set up specifically, the story was set at a point in time that assumed no back-or-forward story.

Not that I wouldn't love more more more of CM *lol*.

*lets myself down at the last minute ^_~*
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Erotic Fiction
"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on. www.StrategicBookPublishing.com/TheHongKongConnection.html
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Erotic Fiction
Holy cow, comment spam. I've never had that in LJ before!
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Erotic Fiction
Should I be like... flattered?! Ugh!
Jan. 7th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
I started reading E-books when an lj friend gave me one for my b-day(about two years ago) is was lmprieto and I fell in love with it. I went looking around(google) and saw that a lot of e-books have little excerpt at the end. I looked at publishers and browsed. I found jordancprice psy cop series when I just finished joshlanyon Adrian's book last year and promptly went shopping crazy!
I enjoy interacting with an author, and poking around in their web is great and fun and it's a chance to get to know them better.
The antho can really be a good place to find new authors and their writing style.
I also review for some sites, so I do get to see a lot of excerpt, blurbs, reviews by friends also recommendation in some blogs.
There are also a lot of writers who before publishing were fandom writers and I had know for many years, so I guess that is an other way.
I have learned not to judge book by its cover, as I later found out author have no control over their covers, but I do know that for some they can make or brake.
I like browsing publishers, read excerpt and reviews,and if I'm not convinced I look for their web before. Also established authors are a very good source of info when it comes to new authors and are very good recommendation..most of the time.
I' a big re reader(I have my trusty palm and we read), if I truly enjoyed a book I go look for more books from that author:)
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
What a totally cool present. I can see that in a way it opened up a whole new world of reading that wasn't controlled by corporate interests, that had the potential to speak to stuff that might turn you on!

I agree, it's fun to "know" an author for that little extra insight into his or her story.

I'm with you -- once an author wows me, I'll be right there looking for more from him or her.
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
It was. Plus I'm a pack-rat and with the move I was very bummed out(not a lot of space). And with e-books I have tons of great books that I wouldn't have access from SouthAmerica otherwise or even space and budget for.
Trying to "see" why and the hows of an author makes me very 'happy'...I enjoy the extra insight to their story's and their minds.
I'm very loyal(lol) so sometimes knowing an author can make the difference with me...If I'm not sure or if the excerpt doesn't convince it gives me the extra nudge.
Jan. 7th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
You were a recommendation to me from J Rocci. I was hooked on PsyCop series right away.

I do have a question about the PsyCop series, Camp Hell's ending seemed so final, although, fitting, it is something I hate to see end. Oh am I a brat or what? Will there be other books for this series?
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Re: Hello!
Hiya! I know what you mean about the end of Camp Hell feeling final, because it really did tie up a lot of loose ends. However, I didn't think of it being totally final. I don't think at this point I could say, "And then they ride off into the sunset," you know? It does feel very satisfying, I think, because it completes Jacob's initial arc, and Vic's initial arc, and hypothetically talks about what they're gonna do about Crash.

I don't think I'm totally done, though. I just didn't have a clear vision of where #6 might go. Even so, as of now (a scant month from Camp Hell's release...no, not even that) I'm having ideas.

I don't think this series would stagnate, were I to keep pursuing it. I think readers would want to see Vic functioning as a 7 or 8-level medium and being all butch. I think they'd like watching Jacob testing the extent of his powers. And I think Lisa never really got a resolution. So I think of all those things.

And I also think of this weird deer story I heard once and I wonder how I could use it.

See, I'm a city kid. And I live in the country now. And every now and then I think, "WTF???" and I think it would translate really well through Vic.

Thanks for posting!
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
Re: Hello!
*thanks any deity that looks after authors*
Weird deer story....poor Vic(it would be so funny).
Vic being all butch would be so sweet!
The boys need a pet(yes, totally random)
I haven't review Camp Hell yet...there were some things that just wowed me and some that eeeeep me. So I'm woolgathering now:)
But awesome that you have more planned!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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