A few weeks ago I got an email from my publisher. It was very brief.
Subject header: Really?
Text: Did you have to kill Ian?
Well yes, I did. I’m sorry but it was necessary. I want my characters to have life experiences before they settle for their happy ever after, or happy for now, or maybe happy next week. I like my men to have lived a little.
Let’s take Colin and Ramos in Falling for Ramos. The blurb will tell you they’ve been separated for a decade before they met again. So you know there’s angst amongst the loving. I want to show you the good times, the bad times, the days when they just get up and go to work. This is about life, and I want to celebrate Colin and Ramos to the full.
I know those of you who read to escape and just like the loving. I get it, because sometimes escaping from real life is the only way to cope. I do write books like that *thinks desperately*. I love reading books like that. But I’m happiest when I give my boys hell. It satisfies my writerly soul.
The thing is I know I don’t make life easy for my characters, but honestly it’s worth it in the end. Except maybe for Ian.
Buylink for Falling for Ramos
A glimpse of a group of businessmen in a newspaper tells Colin Hess his old love, Alejandro Ramos, is back in London a decade after they split up.
They met by chance as students, when Colin was pushed into Ramos’s lap at a party. Despite the disapproval from Ramos’s parents, Colin and Ramos were inseparable from that moment and settled in their own place as soon as they finished university.
But when Ramos’s father fell ill, Ramos was forced to return to the family vineyard, leaving Colin behind. When Colin joined him for a holiday, the plans Ramos’s parents had for their son became painfully clear—and those plans did not involve Colin.
Colin knows it would be stupid to rekindle their old love after the devastating end to their relationship. Still, neither can deny that they still have feelings for each other from the minute they meet, and Colin learns the meeting might not be as random as it seemed.
Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
Sue’s internet links
“I never got over you,” he murmured quietly, not sure whether Antonio was still in earshot. Even after a decade, the love he felt for the man burned brightly in his heart.
Antonio walked back into the lounge holding his keys and wallet. “I’m going to the deli,” he announced, his expression darkening when he realized Colin was still looking at the paper.
“I’ll come with you.”
“Don’t bother. You can moon over your lost love while I’m out.” With an audible snap of his teeth, Antonio turned on his heel and left again.
Colin knew he should go after him, make it right between them. He also knew that his lack of interest was a damning indictment of their relationship. He sighed and curled up with the newspaper.
“Why did you have to come, Andro?” Colin used his private pet name for Ramos. “I’ve tried so hard to forget you. Why did you have to come back now?”
His mobile phone buzzed on the coffee table, and he answered without checking the caller ID.
“He’s here. Ramos is here,” Lil, his younger sister, said.
“How? Did he call you too?”
“Uh, no. I saw his picture in the paper. Wait, you mean you’ve spoken to him?”
“Well, yes. He called fifteen minutes ago asking where you were. He didn’t know if you were in the country or not.”
The breath caught in Colin’s throat. “He asked about me?”
“Duh, doofus, he’s not going to be interested in me, is he? Of course he asked about you.”
“What did you tell him?”
“I told him you were off shagging Chelsea football team. What did you think I told him?”
“Did you give him my number?”
“I told him I needed to talk to you first. I didn’t know how you’d feel about talking to Ramos again after he destroyed your life.”
“It wasn’t as bad as that,” Colin scoffed.
“Colin, you didn’t get out of bed for three months after you came home. I had to hose you down and force you to eat. My kids were scared of the yeti in our spare room.”
“Was I really that bad?” He didn’t really need to ask the question.
“Worse!” Lil’s voice softened. “I was scared my big brother was going to die of a broken heart.”
“I’m sorry I scared you, li’l sis.”
“You did scare me, and I don’t want to see you like that again.”
“I’m all right. It’s not like it was before. I’m over him now.”
Damn his sister. She could put so much feeling into two syllables.
“I am,” Colin protested. “I’m with Tonio now.”
“Where is Tonio?”
“He’s at the deli.”
“He only goes there when he’s upset and wants to pig out on the pastrami.”
“How do you know that?” It was scary how much she knew about him.
“Colin, get your head out of your arse. If Tonio caught you mooning over Ramos, he’s working up to a full-on meltdown.”
Now Colin was totally creeped out. “Do you have cameras in this house?”
“Oh God, you can be so bloody oblivious. Go after him and make it better.”
“What should I do about Ramos?”
“Don’t contact him. Don’t stir up all those old memories again. It took you years to be able to face the world, and look, you have Tonio now, don’t you? He isn’t perfect, but after Ramos… he made you live again.”
Colin stared at the picture. “You’re right. I know you’re right. It would be stupid of me to even think of talking to Ramos after he got married to that woman.”
“He’s dead to you. You know I’m right. So what should I do when he calls again?”
“Give him my number.”