Today I am very excited to welcome Anne Tenino to the blog. She is here to talk to us more about her new book, Frat Boy & Toppy (see review). Welcome Anne!
Welcome to the next stop on the Frat Boy & Toppy Blog Tour Extravaganza! *confetti*
On this tour, I’m writing a series of posts on how I cook up a story. Not a how-to manual, just a how-I-do manual, wherein I reveal all the dirty little secrets about how I approach a story, using Frat Boy & Toppy as an example.
For a schedule—with links—of all the places I’ll be on my tour, visit my blog, http://annetenino.com. There you will also find information on my tour contest—I’ll be giving away a Frat Boy & Toppy notebook, signed paperback copy of 18% Gray, and e-book of my next release, Turning Tricks. To enter the contest, you must ferret out the three questions (each in different blog tour posts) and answer them in one email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will chose one winner at random from all the emails received by 11:59 pm (PDT/GMT -7:00) April 3rd.
Smexual Chemistry 101
My grandfather used to say if a brunet married a blonde they’d be happy. This is one of those grandparently bits of wisdom that gets passed from generation to generation not because it’s just so damned true, but because younger generations wonder “What the hell does that mean?”
I’m starting to get what he might have meant, though. Since he’s not around to ask anymore, I am free to interpret it the way I want—which I firmly believe Grampa would have supported: opposites attract.
For my purposes, that means opposites make interesting romance novel couples. They’re certainly more fun to write about, at least for me.
When I look back, most of my couples are polarized in some way, sometimes physical, sometimes in personality and sometimes both. Matt and James are both blonds and the same height, but James is muscular and broad, while Matt is slim. James’s stoicism plays off Matt’s snark. Same with Jurgen and Nik, although Nik is snarkier and Jurgen isn’t so much stoic as quietly observant. They’re totally physical opposites.
So, it should be time for me to try something different, right? Uh, sure. Some time in the future. In Frat Boy & Toppy I wrote contrasting characters again. Sebastian (Toppy) is an older grad student who takes school seriously, and takes a new guy home whenever he gets the urge. Brad (Frat Boy) is a jock who only just came to the conclusion he’s gay. They both have dark hair, but that’s where the similarities end.
In fact, their dissimilarity is fundamental to FB&T. Even in the blurb, this is evident:
Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.
Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely—hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more—dare he admit the “L” word?—Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.
This playing with contradictory characters is important in FB&T. Brad’s just coming out, and he’s crazy for one of the most out-there guys around. By looking at the differences between himself and Sebastian, he begins to see that maybe he’s not what he thought, and maybe he’d rather be that other thing—the guy trapped inside the image he created.
The comparisons begin immediately after Brad realizes he’s gay. In Chapter Three, he’s thinking about the physical differences between himself and Sebastian and how much it turns him on:
Brad’s whole image was lame. He had to be nearly falling-down drunk to touch a girl now. Why women chased him was a mystery. He was a complete asshole to them. Shit, he wasn’t even that good-looking. He had a mirror; he could see it was true.
He was suddenly seeing a lot of things that were true about himself.
Among all the other revelations last week, Brad figured out he was attracted to dark-haired guys with tight, compact bodies. Like Sebastian’s. He wanted guys on the short side, with hairy chests and thighs and even hair on their ass. Maybe because he had so little body hair.
His palms tingled just thinking about body hair.
By the end of the book, Brad has come out to everyone that matters. It’s more about Brad coming out of his shell than what he tells his frat or the general public. If you want to know how it all happens, you’re going to have to read the book, of course. 😉
To purchase Frat Boy & Toppy, visit Riptide Publishing.
If you made it this far through this post, you get a prize. Sort of. You get the first qualifying question of the Frat Boy & Toppy Blog Tour Extravaganza *confetti* contest. The question is: What was the first nickname Brad’s frat gave him?
Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.
Wondering what Anne does when not writing? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.
Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site http://annetenino.com.