Audiobooks and me

Audiobooks and me go back a long way. To long before they were called audiobooks in fact. When I was a kid I had a cassette tape of an abridged reading of HG Wells’ The Time Machine. I played that tape so many times I wore it out in the end. Back in the 1990s, after several attempts to read Lord of the Rings stalled within the first 100 pages I borrowed the unabridged books on tape of the whole trilogy from the library. I seem to recall it contained approximately 17 zillion cassettes.

I didn’t listen to the whole thing. I got frustrated by the pace of it and wanted to move faster, so I went back to my copy of The Fellowship of the Ring and didn’t stop reading until I got to the end of The Return of the King. I had other books on tape over the years, though don’t recall them so well, though I recently unearthed a cassette of The Valley of Fear, as read by Christopher Lee – before he was Sir Christopher even. And it still works. Yay!
Continue reading

Dreams are faster than zombies.

Remember last year I wrote about how fast my book Patient Z went from draft to published? I wrote that book for NaNoWriMo 2012 and it sold and came out by late July 2013. Well my new book Dream For Me was actually faster. I drafted it for NaNoWriMo 2013 and it came out early 8th July 2014.

However if you count from idea to publication, it was definitely a lot longer than Patient Z. The germ of an idea for Dream For Me had been sitting in my ideas file for years as no more than the note: “What if humans evolved to no longer sleep? What if there were some throwbacks who did sleep?”

DreamForMe_BeckyBlack_banner

In my story it turned into not so much evolution as a sudden change. Suddenly almost every baby born in the world no longer slept. Imagine for a moment being a parent of one of that first generation of babies who didn’t sleep, while you still do. When you’re done whimpering, carry on.

The story is actually set 200 years after that happened. The world has changed to take advantage of all these extra productive hours in the day. That’s the key word – productive. In an overcrowded world that needs ever more food and medecine and services as surge of productivity was just what was required. No wonder some people think that the “mutation event” was deliberately invoked, and that sleep has been stolen from humanity.

DreamForMe_BeckyBlack_150x225To Shay Mistry, my scientist hero, studying one the the few remaining sleepers, being awake for twenty-four hours a day is just normal life. He’s fascinated by sleep as a natural phenomenon and as something strange and exotic. But even he finds it hard to cope with having a lover who spends a third of his life unconscious.

Jacob Garcia, the last known sleeper in America, is a scientific curiosity to some, a disabled man to others, and, to a few, a man possessing a near magical ability most humans have lost. And that’s only a few of the directions he’s pulled in. Lots of people have different ideas of who and what Jacob is. Jacob himself? He thinks he’s the normal one. It’s the rest of the world that’s weird.

It was fun to plan and write this story, to brainstorm about how our lives would be different. How our homes would be different. How the fact that booking a hotel room with a bed is something most people would do for only one reason… And my boys do of course, even if one of them has another use for the bed.

There’s a giveaway contest running at Charlie Cochrane’s Live Journal right now. Go comment for a chance to win an ebook of Dream For Me.

Release Day – Dream For Me

It’s release day for my 9th novel with Loose Id. Dream For Me is available now!

Dream For Me cover art by Ginny GlassBlurb

In a society awake for twenty-four hours a day a man who sleeps is a freak. But not to neurobiologist Shay Mistry. Jacob Garcia, the last known sleeper in America, is the test subject whose brain Shay has been dying to get his hands on for years. When they meet, Shay discovers the sleeper’s brain comes accompanied by a gorgeous body and a hostile attitude. As Jacob sleeps night after night in his lab it’s harder and harder for Shay to resist their mutual attraction.

Jacob is tired of being a lab rat, but he’s got his reasons to be in Shay’s lab—one of them he’s not going to tell anyone about—and his plan is to do what he came to do and leave. So falling in love with Shay is like adding a hand grenade to all the other balls he’s juggling. He doesn’t need this added complication, but his desire for Shay is too strong to resist. When Jacob’s secret comes out it triggers a chain of events leaving Shay irrevocably changed and forcing Jacob to choose where his loyalties lie.

A m/m science fiction romance available now from Loose Id.
More buy links will appear on the Dream For Me book page as they go live.

Dream For Me

DreamForMe_BeckyBlack_banner

Links that are hotter than July

Some links to read while sunbathing.

Are you ‘in the closet’ about M/M?
Kate Aaron talks about being secretive about what you read.

Here’s the thing: people’s minds don’t just change overnight. There are plenty of folks who think they don’t know anyone who’s LGBT, or who really gives a damn about LGBT rights. They’re aware that out there somewhere in the hypothetical realm this stuff matters, but they don’t think it matters to them. That’s why we keep coming out, to show people that they do know queerfolk. We are the human faces of a heated political debate. Just look how many Republicans have changed their minds about same-sex marriage since their children came out.

Do You Know How To Edit AND Proofread Your Story?
Jenny Hansen talks about the differences between editing and proofreading and how to do both well.

Like most writers, I hang out with a boatload of other writers. Still, I never saw much of other peoples’ works in progress until I coordinated a contest several years ago. Coordinating contests changed the way I see writing. Period. It was a window into both sides of the submission process.

Plus, I saw firsthand one of the important talents that separates the amateurs from the professionals: the ability to both edit and proofread.

Continue reading

Giveaway Contest Dream For Me ebook – now closed

The contest is now closed. Thanks for entering and congratulations to the winner, Tricia!

Want a chance to win an ebook copy of my new novel Dream For Me which is released by Loose Id on the 8th of July?

Comment here before 9am UK time on the 8th of July and you’ll be entered in the draw. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Dream For Me cover art by Ginny GlassBlurb

In a society awake for twenty-four hours a day a man who sleeps is a freak. But not to neurobiologist Shay Mistry. Jacob Garcia, the last known sleeper in America, is the test subject whose brain Shay has been dying to get his hands on for years. When they meet, Shay discovers the sleeper’s brain comes accompanied by a gorgeous body and a hostile attitude. As Jacob sleeps night after night in his lab it’s harder and harder for Shay to resist their mutual attraction.

Jacob is tired of being a lab rat, but he’s got his reasons to be in Shay’s lab—one of them he’s not going to tell anyone about—and his plan is to do what he came to do and leave. So falling in love with Shay is like adding a hand grenade to all the other balls he’s juggling. He doesn’t need this added complication, but his desire for Shay is too strong to resist. When Jacob’s secret comes out it triggers a chain of events leaving Shay irrevocably changed and forcing Jacob to choose where his loyalties lie.

A m/m science fiction romance available 8th July from Loose Id.

Dream For Me

DreamForMe_BeckyBlack_banner