Hello everyone! Today we have the fabulous Daisy Harris joining us. She is the author of the Men of Holsum College series and today she is going to share with us a bit about writing a college-based series. She has also brought a copy of her latest release, Player and the Prude, to give away to one lucky commenter. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Back to School—Again and Again
First off, thanks, Jay, for having me on the blog during series week! I hope to entertain you with my thoughts on writing a college-based series. Readers—comment at the end for a chance to win a copy of my latest release, Player and the Prude: Men of Holsum College 5.
Without further ado…
My name is Daisy Harris, and I’m a series addict. Although I’ve written a couple stand-alone books, the vast majority of my work has involved multiple sets of characters in a given world. Part of this is because I used to write only paranormal, and I figured that if you’re going to go to the trouble of making up a whole universe, you may as well hang out there a while.
But when I ventured into contemporary romance with College Boys, I wasn’t sure whether I could make a series out of a story set on a campus. First off, college is a finite period of time. People graduate. And to write stories about characters after graduation would, in my mind, make it a different type of genre from my intended genre of emerging adult.
Another complication of writing about college is the issue of drinking. While it’s true that many kids start to drink alcohol the first day they arrive at school, the law says kids can’t drink alcohol until the age of twenty-one. Which means that in stories where I want my characters to imbibe, I have to make them at least juniors. Assuming I don’t stack my love stories right on top of one another chronologically, characters from previous books will have graduated by the time I’m ready to reference them in another story.
However, despite the challenges, I adore using college as my setting. First off, it allows me to write about characters from diverse backgrounds. I’ve had heroes from North Dakota, Maryland, and Tenessee, characters from conservative backgrounds and as liberal as you can get. College is a melting pot and a time when kids realize that the tiny world they grew up in is not necessarily representative of the country as a whole.
For example, I still remember when I was in college and I visited my boyfriend of the time who was going to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. A girl I met there was from Alabama and told me that before she went to college she had never in her life met a Jewish person. This was fascinating to me since I grew up in a predominantly Jewish town in New York and couldn’t imagine Judaism not being a big part of my life—despite the fact that I myself was raised Catholic.
I use these sort of exchanges all the time in Holsum College. Like in College Boys, Chris Fisher, who’s from the south, muses about how he’d never eaten a bagel before coming to college. In Player and the Prude, Brooks Price—who was raised by atheists—struggles to wrap his head around how Matt Porter—who was raised extremely conservative—can feel so much shame and guilt around sex.
The college setting allows for so many opportunities for my characters to feel like a fish out of water. It lets me create tons of conflict out of every day situations. After all, what’s more frightening than facing the unknown? What’s more threatening than realizing that one’s assumptions may be wrong?
Finally, college is a great setting because it allows me to create a perfect world. Many readers enjoy the Men of Holsum College series because…well, everyone’s just so darn nice! Part of this is the result of the fact that nowadays I live in Seattle—where niceness is practically law. But more than that, I went to one of the most politically correct colleges ever, back in the heyday of political correctness.
GLBT groups were extremely active on my campus, and held an annual “Gay Day” for parents and students. I can’t imagine any of the kids I went to school with using hate speech or anti-gay slurs. It just wasn’t done. And yeah—maybe I just didn’t see it happening. But still, I was blissfully unaware that hate existed back then—and I miss that feeling.
Going back to college in my series lets me create a sheltered world for my characters where people can be as nice as I want them to be, and as kind as I’ve seen people being in the real world. The greatest hurdles most of my characters face are those in their minds.
And that’s why I’ll go back to college again and again. Right now, I’m working on Holsum College 7: Genius and the Jock, and there will be lots more to the series.
This month, Holsum College 4: Player and the Prude released at Bookstrand on July 7th, and Holsum College 5: Bossy and the Brat releases July 28th!
So, what was the most mind-blowing thing YOU learned in college? Comment below for a chance to win Player and the Prude.
Player and the Prude Book Blurb
Matt Porter can’t guess why Brooks is flirting with him. Raised religious, Matt doesn’t believe in sex before relationships. Unfortunately, Brooks is all about sex, and Matt doubts Brooks is interested in anything else.
Slowly, Brooks chips away at Matt’s armor—taking him on dates, asking for kisses, holding hands—baby steps none of which Matt can resist or refuse. However, when Brooks pushes too far, Matt freaks out.
Despite his stoic exterior, Matt’s painfully conflicted over his sexuality—scared of his darker desires, worried about hurting Brooks. The pair explores boundaries, but when things turn rough and Matt unleashes his inner wants, he doesn’t know if he can overcome his shame about sex in order to be with the man he’s growing to love.
Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn’t sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris’s dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.
She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she’s never missed an episode of The Walking Dead.
Daisy has brought a copy of Player and the Prude to give away to one lucky commenter. The contest runs through Sunday, July 22 at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the contest, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay and leave your email address if it is not in your profile.