When I decided to do a blog, I wasn't sure what my first post should be. Should I promo myself or my published story "Legends" or should I talk about my WIP? But that didn't sound like the tone I should set from the start. Then it occurred to me that there was an obvious first post topic.
I have a lot of great friends who helped me get where I am. They have come along for the ride, most of them from the start. Several of my friends have gotten out and pushed when I needed it.
I don't know how many times I said, "I'm not an author." Did they ever believe me? No, they all sagely nodded their heads and replied, "Of course..." Now I find myself in the unique and rather unexpected position of saying, "I'm an author of m/m fiction." Mark, I wish you were here to tell me "I told you so!"
I have so many wonderful people to thank I'm not sure were to start. I think maybe I'll start at the beginning.
A couple of years ago I discovered yaoi. At that time there weren't many English translation manga available. Most of what I read were scanlations. While looking for good sources to read from I ran across Sara. She is the source of all things yaoi and a remarkable friend.
My husband published a novel about that time and I told her I was editing for him. Sara asked me to edit some Bleach fanfiction slash for her and thus Kei-chan was born, my slash fanfic writing alter-ego.
I was looking for some Samurai Champloo slash. What I could find only used the characters names, but changed all the other details, including their personalities and the setting/time frame. I was disappointed and said that I could do better. Fortunately for me and anyone who likes my stories, Sara insisted that I prove it. Thus "Infinite Infatuation" came to be written. It took on a life of its own and the one shot PWP grew to be six chapters long.
Sara encouraged me to keep "Infinite Infatuation" going, as did Rebecca Leigh and several fans on the site where I post my fanfic. I didn't think it was good enough to publish, but they said I should keep writing it so I did.
Linda Reilly also read it and suggested that I submit a story for a m/m fairy tale anthology. Since I wasn't an author I didn't intend to sub anything, but I had come up with a plausible story line and Cinder insisted that I write his story. A publisher read "Cinder-garcon?" and said it had potential. I was even more surprised that she felt that way about a nameless writer..
As anyone who followed Kei-chan or now follows Kei-sama on FaceBook can tell you, I have an amazing collection of photos. Most of my friends are m/m authors who have commented on the photographic plot bunnies. So I put together a group based on the idea of writing stories about these photos. Since it was my group I felt I needed to be a good example and write a story. It got some good feedback and AB Gayle started teaching me about POV, a thing that I had never been exposed to before. She probably set my feet firmly on this path at that point. I hope you're pleased with yourself, Alison!
All of my original works come from the photos posted in the group Inspired Writing with the exception of the one I wrote for a photo prompt in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's Hot Summer Days anthology. Several authors have also gotten story ideas from those same photos. I'm looking forward to reading their published works based on those photos.
I was just toying with the thought of getting something published when an editor saw some of my works and offered to publish me. That is how "Legends" came to be in Breathless Press' anthology Ad-dick-tion and I can now call myself a published author. It all still feels a bit surreal. Authors are important people. I'm just someone who writes.
I'm lucky that I have a good group of friends to answer questions and get advice from. I also have several good beta readers who point out ways my works could be improved. I have some fans who make it necessary for me to keep writing.
I'd like to thank Sara Wright, Rebecca Leigh, Linda Reilly and Mark Bowne who insisted that I write. Thanks to AB Gayle, Johnny Miles, Deanna Wadsworth, Aleksandr Voinov, Tal Valante, Margie Church, Margie Hall, Nicole Hicks and Michele Montgomery for all their help. Thanks to Amara Devonte for promoting me and giving me the push necessary to make this blog and then helping me put it together. Thanks to Kenya Ferreira for being the self proclaimed president of my fan club, setting me up with the lovely bracelets and the iPhone app that I used to create part of this post. And of course, Lea Walker for keeping me supplied with plenty of Travis photos.