Today I am very excited to welcome author Melanie Tushmore to Joyfully Jay. Melanie is here to talk to us more about her new release, Crucifox #1: The Green-Eyed Monster. Welcome Melanie!
‘What the eye don’t see won’t break the heart
You can make believe when we’re apart
But when you leave
~ The Sisters of Mercy, ‘When You Don’t See Me’
So in the Crucifox blog tour, I’ve already talked about groupies, rockstars, band managers, and gigs from hell. That’s pretty much what goes on around a band. What happens in bands?
Arguing, that’s what. Frayed tempers. Finding the right line-up is as rare as hen’s teeth. People who can play their instruments and you can get on with, because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, day in, day out.
What if you fancy one of your band mates?
As I wrote Crucifox, this was the part of the story where fantasy took over. The disagreements and the punch up’s are all a grim reality, but alas, I never got to see any in-band romance, or hot guys making out. Sad, sad. But anyway, this kind of dramatic love affair is usually best left to fantasy…
So, in my make-believe world, I have my narrator, Sky, who finds himself plonked in London, and he ends up in the goth scene. He’s never given much thought to his sexuality before, though he gravitates to the ‘norm’ and tends to hang out with the straight and/or straight-acting guys (the bikers: Spider, Jamie, and his childhood friend, Ritchie).
Then someone comes along who turns his world – and his preconceptions – upside down. A cross-dressing, openly bi-sexual Glaswegian by the name of Brandon, who ends up becoming their band’s singer.
The first couple of times Brandon dressed up took some getting used to. We’d be ready to go out, waiting for him—because Brandon took forever, no matter where he was going—when he’d stride into the room all dolled up, and we’d all do a double-take. The thing was, he didn’t act any differently. I’d half expected him to carry a hand-bag and cross his legs when he sat down, but he still acted like a bloke.
I remember the first time I encountered cross-dressers, and transgender people – and pretty much everyone different – on the goth scene. I was seventeen, and as far as I was concerned, anything that wasn’t normal was good. I had male friends who wore dresses and make-up, and yet still drank beer by the pint. I had friends who were trans*, in all sorts of ways, and it was just accepted; no big deal. People called themselves different names, and we all hung out and danced together.
This level of acceptance has stuck with me growing up; I couldn’t care less about somebody’s outer shell, as long as they’re nice inside. That is always the main message in my story: anything outside doesn’t matter. Whether you’re male, female, trans, undecided, gay, straight, coasting between; it doesn’t matter.
What matters is what’s inside. Of course, nice clothes are nice clothes, and good hair is good hair… But personality, for me, is the biggest turn on there is.
When you meet the person who really turns you on, you know about it. The attraction may be instant, or it may even be a slow burner. Crucifox #1: The Green-Eyed Monster was the first story I’d written where I concentrated on the latter; a slow blooming attraction, a dawning realisation.
Usually, I write about love at first sight, because that’s what I’m like; I’m visually driven. (Call me shallow, I don’t care; these are fantasy stories.) But this story was different, and I wanted to show the reader that, even though Brandon is stunning, drop-dead gorgeous, it isn’t his looks alone that attract Sky.
In actual fact, it takes three years for Sky to wake up to the fact that there’s chemistry between them, and he and Brandon have a chance to explore this together. That sort of connection with someone is really strong, and, once it’s embedded, almost impossible to ignore.
If Sky and Brandon had different careers, or lived elsewhere when they met, they may have had a smoother ride. As it happens, they are balls-deep in a pit of excess, vice, and rockstar trappings. It’s not the easiest place to conduct a relationship, as common sense is usually in short supply. But somehow, they manage.
If it were any other way, it just wouldn’t be Brandon and Sky.
I guess it’s time to make it easier on ourselves
Is it time to let our feeling have their ways?
I know this time I won’t do anything at all
This time I’ll let the fire burn out of control.
~Backyard Babies, ‘Nomadic’
Crucifox #1: The Green-Eyed Monster is now available from Storm Moon Press for just $7.99 (ebook)! Go get your copy for some true rockstar fiction!
Sky Somers is an ex-traveller; the son of a folk musician and a new age hippy. Sky’s form of rebellion is electric guitars, and he wants his own band. His desire is to set the world to rights through music. Brandon Cruikshank is new to London, recently arrived from Glasgow. Charismatic, charming; a natural born performer. Brandon is openly bisexual, with a penchant for dressing in women’s clothes. His desire is to be adored.
From the moment Sky meets Brandon, he knows he has to have him. Brandon, in turn, wants Sky. But that’s when it becomes clear they both have very different desires in mind. Brandon wants Sky as a lover, yet Sky only wants Brandon as a singer in his band. Misunderstanding set aside—or apparently so—Brandon and Sky become firm friends. To escape equally troubled pasts and families, they change their names. Now, Brandon Fox and Sky St. Clair are ready to take over the world.
As the years roll on, Brandon’s desire for Sky still simmers, waiting. Then a chance night sharing a hotel room sparks the desire between them, and this time, Brandon wants it all. Sky has never explored his desires before. Now, the passion and jealousy Brandon has unleashed in him threatens to shake the whole band apart.