Hello everyone! Today I am pleased to welcome author Christie Gordon to the blog. Christie is here to talk to us about her new release, Secrets. She has also brought an excerpt and a copy of the book to give away. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Pantser, Plotter or Both?
Back in the day as a stay-at-home mom, when I had lots of time to write, being a pantser was easy. I was writing 6-10 pages a day and knew exactly who my characters were and where they were headed at all times. I usually started out a book with the two main characters, what they looked like and their names. I usually had an idea of their past and what hurdle their relationship had to get over and that was about it. There was a short summary sheet and as I wrote, I added ideas to the end of the manuscript. It was great—I trusted in the process to bring my plot around and sometimes there were hidden gems inside it that came to me at the very end. It was creative and liberating.
Fast forward five years and I’m still raising kids, but doing so on top of a full time job as an engineer. I love both, so where does writing fit in? Well, every Tuesday and Thursday night for a few hours, some stolen lunch hours and hopefully on a Sunday when there is no football or family functions.
This last book, Secrets, took me a whole two years to write. Yes, a long two years. I used to write a novel in a matter of months, but not now. A lot can happen in your life in that time. As a result, for me as a pantser, it took more time to figure out where I left off than it did to write the measly two pages I ended up finishing. As I looked back on the manuscript, my plot was all over the place. So what’s a pantser to do?
I did what every engineer does when stuck in a quandary. I made an Exel spreadsheet. Inside, I broke down each scene by a brief description, what characters were involved, the conflict and how it was to be resolved. I still found myself writing what naturally came to me in the moment, but at least I knew where I was and what goal my characters were working toward. If I had an “a-ha” moment, I could pretty easily change things around. And this book was full, and I mean full, of conflict. So much so, that an editor told me to take some out. It was too much. Does that really happen? Well, thanks to my spreadsheet, it wasn’t too hard.
This book is about addiction and trust. These two things go hand in hand and when it comes to both of these topics, there is a lot of conflict involved. I know this from experience, unfortunately.
The love interest in Secrets, Christian, becomes what I’ve seen over and over again, a sensitive soul who has lost his way as a result of a terrible event in his life. Someone who has made poor choices, bad decisions, regrets every one of them and turns to drugs and alcohol. But on the outside, Christian presents himself as a secure, charismatic and almost cocky young man. Thus, his character has two very distinct sides. Logan has to trust that the Christian he grew up with is still there and has the feelings for him that Christian says he has. If Logan’s wrong about Christian’s intentions, he has everything to lose. Again.
So how does one trust again after being deceived? I don’t think there is any one way to go about it. It’s up to the individual and the situation. I’ve heard people say they would never put up with such behavior. Such people have never loved an addict.
And so the book is aptly named, Secrets.
Logan only wanted one thing in his life, Christian, his childhood friend. But a stolen kiss on graduation night broke Logan’s heart and destroyed the special friendship they shared. Now four years later, Logan returns to his family in Santa Cruz on the verge of a new life to find Christian on a treacherous, lonely path of booze and drugs, harboring painful secrets. Only Logan’s love and acceptance can lead Christian back from the brink of destruction. Can Logan put aside old grudges to save the young man who shattered his heart and in return, accept the love he’s craved?
As Logan walked behind Christian onto cream-colored sand, warm now with the sweatshirt, he took in the waves, crashing to shore like white ink splattered across a black canvas. Twinkling lights from restaurants and shops on the pier speckled the fog off to the distant right.
As he walked, two plaid wool blankets slung over his forearm swung in the breeze. He took in Christian from behind, his tall, slender body walking with easy strides through the sand, his black hair dancing on his head and the twelve-pack swinging from one hand. And Christian’s ass wrapped up in jeans and bordered perfectly by black leather, enough to send him over the edge. He forced his eyes to look at anything else, but Christian.
Christian halted and set the twelve-pack in the sand, only a few feet from the line where the sand turned wet from the last full tide. “Here’s a good spot.”
“Yep.” He placed a blanket in the sand and sat down on it with his legs folded in front of him.
Christian sat beside Logan, his legs sprawled out. “Want a beer?”
“Sure, why not.” His heart pounded as if a wild beast ran laps in his chest. Calm yourself. The only thing that was going to happen was a nice talk about how he didn’t mean what happened and they should just be friends. He rubbed his sweaty palms together and focused on the waves, the soothing rhythm of their rise and fall. His gaze caught Christian pulling beers out of the twelve pack. Randy and his mother were right, Christian did drink a lot. “You going to tell me what this is all about now?”
“Sure.” Christian twisted off the cap of a beer bottle, handed it to Logan and opened one for himself. “So you think I’m a dick, huh?”
Stunned, his gaze flicked to Christian’s face, studying his expression. “I said sometimes. Not all the time.”
Christian looked out to sea and took a gulp of beer. “I don’t suppose I blame you.”
He gulped a good portion of his beer down. Right about now, he needed it. “Yeah, blowing me off after that stunt you pulled on the porch the other night was a dick move for sure.” He studied Christian’s reaction.
Christian continued looking out to sea and drinking his beer for what seemed like an eternity. A silent tenseness permeated the air around him. As he finished the beer, he flung the empty bottle out into the water.
“Dude, that’s littering.” He chuckled, attempting to break the tension.
Christian whirled around to Logan, putting himself within inches of Logan’s face and body. Tears glittered in his eyes. “I’m sorry.” His lower lip trembled. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but turned back around to open another beer.
His voice caught in his throat. He gulped hard. That was not what he expected. “Christian?” He inched up to Christian’s back and held his hand up over Christian’s shoulder, hovering for a moment before setting it down on black leather. “What’s going on here?”
“I, I don’t know.” Christian kept his back to Logan. “I h-had all these, these things I wanted to say to you. B-but now I, I can’t say them.” Tilting his head back, he chugged another beer down.
“Damn it.” Logan rose enough to grab Christian’s beer and take it from him. “Stop drinking.” As he held the half-empty bottle in his hand, Christian lunged at him, throwing the bottle from his hand and pinning him down to the blanket. The weight of Christian’s muscled body fell over his chest. Christian’s warm lips devoured his in a heated kiss.
Christie Gordon writes and draws among the beautiful sunsets and red rocks of Arizona. She lives with a menagerie of pets and children who make sure her life never has a dull moment. Her love of Japanese anime and rock music frequently becomes her muse for the stories of male/male love she adores writing. For information on her and her work, please visit her website at: www.christiegordon.com
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Christie has brought a copy of Secrets to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, March at 11:59 pm EDT.
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