Guest Author Cassandra Gold – What Ifs and Weddings

What Ifs and Weddings

One of my favorite ways to come up with story ideas is to think of a situation and ask myself, “What if?”

That’s how I came up with the idea for my latest release, Always a Groomsman.  I started off with the idea of a man going to his brother’s wedding expecting to meet the bride’s twin sister, only to find out the bride’s twin was actually a man. I thought the mix-up could have some interesting results.

At that point, a lot of authors would try to plot out a story. Not me. I began with one idea and the title, which I came up with by turning the “always a bridesmaid” cliché on its head. Then I decided to write the story as a serial, a bit at a time. I’m an unrepentant pantser, but writing a serial was unstructured even for me.

Each new installment of the story was almost as much of a surprise to me as it was to the people reading it. My main characters turned out to be a photographer (who had experience with Bridezillas and other wedding dangers) and a pediatric nurse with the unisex name of Casey (hence the mix-up). Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the story. After a few months of updating the story every two weeks, real life issues pulled me away from the serial. With all the other things I had on my plate at the time, I never returned to the project. I thought it might end up in my WIP graveyard, which is what I call the file full of unfinished stories I have on my computer.

Fortunately, Loose Id put out a call for wedding stories. Not just any wedding story, however: these had to have some kind of situation in which a wedding was in danger of not happening. With that inspiration in mind, I took my unfinished idea and began to flesh it out. Instead of just a cute little one-trick pony sort of idea, Always a Groomsman became a tale with real conflict. The light tone remained, as did the twin mix-up I even managed to make the misunderstanding more embarrassing for Skyler, the photographer, by giving him and Casey a prior meeting. The heart of the story is the same, but I’d like to think it’s much fuller and deeper now.

CG_AlwaysaGroomsman_coverlgAlways a Groomsman blurb:

Photographer Skyler Spencer comes to Key West for his brother’s wedding expecting to take some pictures, act as best man, and maybe spend a little time getting to know his brother’s fiancee and her twin sister. Then he learns that not only is the twin a man rather than a woman, but it’s a man he’s met before–under less than appropriate circumstances.

Casey Baker doesn’t expect the guy he once had a memorable encounter in a club bathroom with to turn up as his brother-in-law to be, but he’s able to deal with the surprise. Dealing with the strong attraction they feel for each other is a lot more difficult, but Casey figures a short, hot fling will take care of that. Too bad he’s not good at staying detached, and Skyler’s not good at commitment.

When Mother Nature and the past combine to put the wedding in jeopardy, Skyler and Casey have more than just their own confused feelings to deal with. Will the weekend end with two sets of broken hearts?

About Cassandra:

By day, Cassandra is a (relatively) mild-mannered middle school teacher. She spends her days teaching grammar, grading papers, and trying to get sixth graders to read.

At night, she lets the characters in her head out to play as she writes stories of men falling in love. Unfortunately for her husband, neither of Cassandra’s personas enjoys doing housework.  

For more information on Cassandra, please visit her website at www.cassandragold.com, or her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/cassandra.gold.author.

***** Don’t forget to leave a comment, along with an email address for a chance to win an eBook copy of Always a Groomsman. Winner will be chosen at the end of the tour and notified via email.*****

 

 

Guest Author Kate McMurray – Sweet, Comedy Lemonade

Sometimes life hands you lemons. Sometimes these lemons are shaped like invitations to your ex’s wedding. Sometimes you and said ex dated (albeit on and off) for ten years, and then he calls you to tell you he’s proposing to the girl he’s been dating all of six months.It sounds like the set-up to a romantic comedy from the late nineties starring Julia Roberts. Maybe that’s how I was able to find the humor in it when this actually happened to me.

The day I got the invitation in the mail, I posted to Twitter, “If my life were a romantic comedy, I’d go to this wedding and meet the love of my life.” One of my friends responded that this sounded like a plot bunny.

I sent in a reply card indicating I would not be going to the wedding. Besides my ex, the only people I knew would be there included his dude friends, all of whom are coupled, his parents—his father in particular never liked me because I was the shiksa who tried to corrupt his son or something—and this girl whose full name I’m pretty sure is actually, “Remember that girl Juliet I used to go running with?” because that’s how my ex—let’s call him Jay—always refers to her. So, yeah, no thank you.

But, you know, the situation was kind of funny. Jay and I called it quits almost five years ago, and we’ve both dated other people in the interim, and I am honestly happy for him. I mean, we’re still in touch, obviously, and maintain a solid friendship. I just couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in a room full of people who probably took his side in our break-up just to watch this man that I had once thought I would marry get married to somebody else.

So I wrote the first draft of Save the Date in some kind of feverish haze the week before the aforementioned wedding. And I thought, well, why not have a sense of humor about it? It’s a funny situation! If I can’t laugh at this and myself, what’s the point?

Of course Save the Date takes a different course than my life did, and any resemblance between the narrator Tristan and myself is unintentional—I made him an openly gay guy who loves fashion and sports equally, which… oh. (All my friends are like, “But Kate, you love fashion and sports.” I know. Um. Tristan loves football, but I love baseball. See the difference?)

Actually, the fun part about writing fiction is that you can write characters who are maybe better in some ways than you are. Tristan is much more clever than I am most days. He’s faster with the one-liner. He’s far more dramatic. He’s a lot braver. Hell, he goes to his ex’s wedding. Believe me, I know what kind of fortitude that takes.

I suppose I could have taken personal misfortune and turned it into something dark and dramatic, but in the end, I’d rather laugh about it. I hope you laugh right along side me.

KateMcMurray_SaveTheDateSave the Date blurb:

Tristan knows he and his ex-boyfriend Stuart were not meant to be, but that doesn’t make the invitation to Stuart’s wedding any less of a punch in the face. Tris decides that the only thing for it is to find a super hot date to prove to Stuart that he’s moved on and is doing just fine, thanks.

The path to the altar is fraught with obstacles, however, and Tris has to deal with the wilds of online dating, wardrobe malfunctions, men who look like pirates, emotional baggage, grooms with cold feet, and sports team rivalries before he even gets to the wedding. But when Tris stumbles on love in the last place he expects, he’ll need to let go of the past in order to move forward.

About the author:

Kate McMurray is an editor and award-winning writer based in New York City. She is the author of seven gay romance novels and a number of shorts and novellas. She is currently serving as vice president of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT special-interest chapter of RWA. When she’s not writing, she does crafts, plays the violin, drools over designer handbags, and is a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. Visit her at www.katemcmurray.com.

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Don’t forget to leave a comment, along with an email address for a chance to win an eBook copy of Save the Date. Winner will be chosen at the end of the tour and notified via email.