Today I am so pleased to welcome K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn to Joyfully Jay. The authors have come to talk to us about their latest release, Calm (Tidal #2). They have also brought along a tourwide giveaway. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Story Stealers: Secondary Characters Who Won’t Shut Up
Once upon a time, we crafted a short story purely for fun. As the plot began to assume its shape, however, two of the minor characters took on lives of their own. In our minds, Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright stole the story from the lead characters, and they dared us to pay them proper attention.
We called their bluff. We filled first Wake and then Calm with Carter and Riley’s story, spanning over fifteen years of their lives. They turned out to be every bit as interesting as we’d imagined, if not more so. They made us laugh and rage and cry, and when they hurt we did too. They also absolutely refused to be reined in, so we stopped fighting and just let them go.
Additionally, the world we built for Carter and Riley in the Tidal Series was wonderfully entertaining and populated with lively secondary characters like Will Martin, Jesse Murtagh, and Kyle McKee. They sprang to life on the books’ pages, impressing us with the strength and clarity of their voices. It wasn’t long before we realized we’d created a whole new set of story stealers.
Before and after Wake and Calm were submitted for publication, we talked casually about what we’d work on next, in that mythical place where we’d ‘have more time.’ We liked the world of the Tidal series, and knew there was more there to explore–a lot more. We didn’t find ‘more time’ of course, but our characters didn’t have any sympathy. They wanted more page time, ASAP, and they weren’t taking no for an answer.
Will, Jesse, and Kyle never truly stole Carter and Riley’s story–Carter and Riley were too strong to allow such a thing–but they definitely clamored for attention. And, like the indulgent creators we are, we listened to them and began fleshing out their stories to create the Speakeasy series.
We gave the characters a place to hang out, an uptown speakeasy in Morningside Heights called Under, and involved them in each other lives. With Under serving as a kind of social hub, it was easy to bring Riley and Carter into Will’s story. And what do you know? There were a few scenes that Riley and Carter tried to steal!
Under also gave us a chance to set the stage for other scene-stealers, like Jesse and Kyle, even Carter’s former assistant, Malcolm. Creating such a tightly-knit group of friends gave the characters a support network they needed, allowing us to bring them in and out of each other’s stories in a believable way, and paving the way for the Speakeasy books.
Even before the Speakeasy books came to life, we knew we’d begin with Will Martin’s story. Will is Riley’s love interest in Calm, and he’s the kind of guy who’s good for Riley. Ultimately, we wanted readers to be rooting for Riley and Carter, of course, but to also feel just a little conflicted, because Will’s a great guy too.
As Calm drew to a close, ideas quickly formed about Will returning home to Long Island to mend fences with his dying father. There, he meets the oh-so-sexy Republican New York State Senator David Mori, who is of mixed race. Will, an outspoken liberal, can’t decide between loathing David’s politics or getting into bed with him, and their ideologies clash in With a Twist.
Jesse Murtagh, the irrepressible flirt who took Carter under his wing in Calm, charmed his way into On the Rocks. The idea of setting the pansexual media mogul up with an elementary school music teacher from Brooklyn gave us gleeful pleasure. Cameron Lewis–a sweet, redheaded part-time DJ–will bring Jesse to his knees. Jesse, always one to avoid romantic entanglements, will be forced to decide if he’s missing out on something worthwhile with Cameron.
It was just a hop, skip, and a jump from there to creating Malcolm Elliot’s story. Malcolm, who followed Carter from Hamilton Advertising to a position at Corporate Equality Campaign, lives on Staten Island with his mother who is drowning in debt. Constantly stressed out, Malcolm comes across as uptight to laid-back chef Stuart Morgan, whom Malcolm hires to cater an event for the CEC. Despite growing feelings for each other, Malcolm is too embarrassed to tell Stuart why he’s skipping meals and living off PB&J, and the building tension threatens to combust in Straight Up.
And then there was Kyle McKee, bartender extraordinaire at Under, which he co-owns with Jesse. One night, Kyle stops by a burger joint across the street from the bar. When it catches fire, he’s rescued by Luka, a biracial fireman from the Bronx. Sparks fly between them, but Luka’s family doesn’t approve of him dating a white boy. When they’re attacked in a gay bashing while out one night on a date, they have to decide if the relationship is worth fighting for in Behind the Stick.
We are looking forward to telling each of these scene-stealers’ stories, but the question is, who else might show up and steal a scene?
A love worth the wait
Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.
Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.
The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.
As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.
K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.
K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.
- Blog — http://kevancoles.tumblr.com/
- Twitter — https://twitter.com/K_Evan_Coles
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- Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/kevancoles/
- Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/k.evan.coles
- GoodReads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16711208.K_Evan_Coles
Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigham.vaughn
- Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Brigham-Vaughn/448104198635015
- Facebook Fan Group (Brigham’s Book Nerds): https://www.facebook.com/groups/brighamsbooknerds/
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- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBVaughn
The authors have brought a tour wide giveaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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I am so looking forward to reading all the scene-stealers stories! They’re such a fun bunch of characters.
Welcome, K. and Brigham, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Congratulations on the release of Calm, and best wishes with future scene-stealer novels!
Thank you so much, Kareni!
These books are going to be so much fun to read. I can’t wait!