Today I am so pleased to welcome the fabulous Jay Bell to the blog. Jay is stopping by to chat about his saintly (and adorable) husband and to share goodies with us! Please join me in giving him a big welcome!

The Secret Price of Being a Romance Author

Ever wanted to make someone laugh? Or cry? Imagine packing your emotions into a little box and sending them to someone. When the recipient opens the package, they feel the same way you do! Sounds like magic, doesn’t it? Maybe it is, because I’m not sure how it works. All I know is that I sit at my keyboard, and while writing, I feel all sorts of things. I often cry so hard I can’t see what I’m typing, or I chuckle to myself like a crazy person. After publishing a story, readers will often message me to say where they laughed and cried, stomped and groaned, and it’s almost always the same places as me. That’s pretty neat, and one of my favorite aspects of being an author. There’s a price though. A dark and terrible debt that must be paid by an adorable Germany man. No really! Allow me to explain.

The Real Jay and AndreasI’m married to a really nice guy. He’s got it all. Andreas is an artist. He can draw, paint, sculpt, and has mad 3D modeling skills. He plays the guitar, speaks a slew of languages, was a gymnast, talks like an encyclopedia, has an impressive career, and is a good-lookin’ feller to boot! Despite all of this, Andreas is humble. I totally lucked out, so it’s crazy to think that writing a story about an unhappy relationship could affect my own. It happens though. All the time. I feel what my characters feel, and ideally you do too when reading, but for me it carries through the workday and into the night. It’s crucial that I get into the head of each character whose story I’m telling. To do so, I obsess about them constantly. I try to think their thoughts and feel their feels. That’s great when it comes to the happy stuff, but if my main character is discontent and wants nothing more than to leave his boyfriend? That’s when the moodiness starts and poor Andreas comes home to find his husband full of angst.

I often find this motivating. If I’m in a bad place because my characters are, all I have to do is keep writing until they’re free. That works fine until life gets in the way. Weekends are the worst. We like to stay active, even when most people are smart enough to relax, so I normally don’t have time to write then. If my Friday winds down and my main character is fighting with his boyfriend, or going through other hard times, then I’m in for a moody weekend. Correction, Andreas is in for a moody weekend. I’ve tried to fight against these impulses. I’ve also made sure to explain to him the reason for this unshakable curse, and while I’m not sure he fully understands, he puts up with me, even though he shouldn’t have to. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Andreas is great. He supported me financially when I first began this venture, supported me with cover art when I struggled to attract attention, and now that things are rolling along, he supports me by putting up with my cantankerous behavior. I don’t have a cure for my condition. I love writing emotional stories and I’m willing to pay the price. That Andreas is also willing proves that he’s a saint. All I can do is apologize publically while also expressing my appreciation. So I’m both sorry and thankful, my wonderful man. You’re the bomb, and I promise never to forget that. For too long anyway. I love you, babe!


Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of love and alienation that surrounded this decision. He’s been mashing laptop keys ever since.

Jay is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a fairly bad dancer. He also thinks that you’re really cool. Seriously.


something_like_seriesJay has brought a fabulous giveaway to give away to one lucky reader. It includes any book from his back catalog, a free download, and an autographed set of art cards. One winner, open worldwide.

Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, December 16th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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