Today I am so pleased to welcome the amazing Heidi Cullinan to Joyfully Jay. Heidi has come to talk to us about her latest release, Fever PItch. I just finished it and have a review up today, but I have to tell you, this book is phenomenal! She has also brought along…. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
How Walter Lucas Hijacked My Story
Fever Pitch was never meant to be a sequel to anything.
When I started it, my goal was to write a new adult my agent could do “whatever she wanted” with, could sell anywhere. So I started with a plot. I thought, I’m going to write about two guys from the same small town, both sides of the tracks kind of deal. They hook up, thinking it’s basically a throwaway thing before real life starts, and then in a last-minute twist, they end up at the same college. I had the whole college all set up, based on real life ones in Dubuque, Iowa, and they’d be from the town I graduated high school from, Bellevue.
And then Walter Lucas walked in and ruined everything.
By the time he showed up, the sides-of-the-tracks had evaporated, and the music had shown up. I thought about calling it Love Song, but that didn’t last. It had about seventy titles, and none of them worked. I knew one guy was orchestra and one choir. I knew they would still hook up at home and have awkward at school. But it felt like something was missing.
Walter Lucas, spotting an opportunity, waltzed in and handed me the perfect setup—so long as I included him in the mix.
This is not the first time Walter has entirely upset my plans. Love Lessons initially was meant to be a series, all set in the Hope University universe, and then Walter went and sneezed all over it, and then he and Kelly pulled out. That’s that, I thought. It’s a standalone. Which was why I started a new university, thinking this time, I’ll keep control. I had it all laid out in my head. This apparently was an invitation for Walter to wander over and make a muck of things.
Walter is definitely born of a particular archetype in my wheelhouse. I’ve referred to him as Randy Jansen’s white collar cousin, and that’s no accident. There’s another troublemaker character in Carry the Ocean, (out in April 2015) who rolled in and said, “Hey, not only is this a series instead of a standalone, you’re going to write my story even though I’m straight, and that means you’re hooking me up with a chick.” These devil boys keep me on my toes. They come into my tidy stories and muck everything up. They solve problems, but they challenge me too. They make me take risks, go down roads with barricades over them.
I follow these guys because even though they make me pull my hair out, they always bring the goods. When Walter Lucas winks at you and says, “Trust me, this will be good,” you follow down the rabbit hole, because he will likely be right. When Randy Jansen says, “Hey, you’re gonna do a three-way now,” you do it. When David Loris says it’s time to write about a straight quadriplegic finding the girl of his dreams as part of an otherwise gay series, you say, “Right behind you.” These are the guys who take me off the beaten path, which means the road is sometimes rough. The one thing it never is, however, is boring.
So here’s to Walter Lucas, and Randy, and David, and all their incarnations I haven’t met yet. May you hijack my carefully contained stories for many years to come.
Follow the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts, excerpts, and chances to win a copy of the novel.
Coming September 30 from Samhain Publishing
Book Two of the Love Lessons Series
Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.
Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality.
Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.
Heidi has brought an ebook copy of Fever Pitch to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, October 3rd at 11:59 pm EST.
Heidi also has a tour wide giveaway going on. You can enter by following the Rafflecopter link below:
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