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Something Like Summer audiobook release and movie update!

Something Like Summer movie promo image1Wanna hear Ben and Tim talking? How about arguing? How about them… uh… well, you know! The Something Like Summer audiobook is here! This isn’t an audio play with sound effects and a cast of actors. This is a true, unabridged reading of the book, and yet narrator Kevin R. Free lends each character such a unique voice that at times it does feel like a play. The boy can act too, so be prepared to have a good time! No need to wait. Check out a free sample of the first chapter right here:

The Something Like Summer audiobook can be bought from Amazon, Audible, or iTunes. At the moment, it’s only available in digital format, so you folks still listening to shiny coasters will have to buy the files and burn them to disc. I figure the audiobook is also a great way to expose friends who don’t read to Ben, Tim, and Jace’s story. Or something to hold you over until the movie comes out.

Speaking of which, the producers of the Something Like Summer movie have released new publicity images. The one above is of Ben, although not the actual actor who will be staring in the movie. Casting hasn’t taken place yet. These images are just to get investors interested and us excited. Check out the recreation of the cover art in this image:

Something Like Summer movie promo image2

Neat, huh? The movie is currently set for a 2014 release. Sounds far away, I know, but I’ll try to help ease your pain by releasing Something Like Autumn on June 6th and Something Like Spring later this year. Assuming all goes according to plan, by the time you’ve read the complete series, the movie won’t be so far away. It’ll make a nice grand finale too, but let’s not think about the end right now. Not when things are just starting to heat up! Instead, take a look at how the Something Like Summer movie came to be in this recent article on the Huffington Post!

 
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Autumn Update, Summer Sounds, and another Lambda Award Finalist

Autumn RosesThe first draft of Something Like Autumn is complete! The story took me much longer to write than I expected. The reason was obvious when I checked the statistics. Weighing in at 150,000 words, Autumn is the longest book I’ve ever written. By way of comparison, Something Like Summer is about 95,000, and Something Like Winter nearly 130,000 words. Of course the editing process will trim Something Like Autumn down some, but I expect it to remain the biggest of the three books so far. While it’s still too early to guess at release dates, the most time consuming part is now over. We’re getting closer!

Speaking of Something Like Autumn, in a new interview I briefly discuss the general concept of the novel. Spoiler free, so don’t worry. I also touch on other subjects, such as what I’ll be doing ten years from now, or why I’m doing any of this in the first place. I’ve also updated the “About the Author” section of this site to include links to many of the interviews I’ve given online.

In other news, I’ve decided to commission an audio book version of Something Like Summer. The most common question I get asked, is if multiple actors will be performing different roles. There’s only one narrator assigned to the project, but believe me, he’s exceptionally talented at making his voice sound unique to each character. The audio book should be out in the next month or two. I’ll update here when it gets released and send out an email via my newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so on the left. I only email when there is a new release, so I’m barely annoying at all!

25th Annual Lambda Literary AwardsLast but certainly not least, the Lambda Literary Awards have announced this year’s finalists… and Kamikaze Boys is one of them! Something Like Summer was a finalist last year, and it’s a great honor to be nominated again so soon. I wish David and Connor were real so I could kiss their beautiful faces! I guess the cover art will have to do. Excuse me please while I go make out with my paperback copy. Also, is it too early to pack my bags? I gotta get to New York!

 
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New Interview and Freshly Won Awards! Yeee-haw!

True Colorz Review SiteCurious about Something Like Autumn and Spring? I drop a few hints in a recent interview over at True Colorz, a new site that’s chock-full of gay goodness. Book reviews, author interviews, reading lists, freebies—the resources over at True Colorz are amazing and growing every day. Please check them out! Quite a few gay book sites bit the dust last year, so it’s great to see a big ol’ rainbow phoenix rising from the ashes. Aside from the next two books in the Seasons series, I also talk a little about my troubled past and the inspiration for Kamikaze Boys. Read the article about me all the way to the end for details on how to win a free paperback or eBook copy of Something Like Winter!

In other news, the results of the 2012 Member Choice Awards are in, and you guys were very very good to me. I won five awards in total, or more accurately, you won five awards for us. This particular award is very special to me, since it’s based on what readers like. That’s the only criteria. Read it, love it, and vote. And man oh man, thank you guys for all the love! Something Like Winter won an award for Best Cover, which made Andreas very happy. Ben and Tim won an award for Best Couple. Don’t tell Jace! Kamikaze Boys won an award in the Best Coming Out Story category. At first I thought that was a little odd, since the book begins with both characters already out, but then again, living with the consequences of being openly gay is also part of coming out. David and Connor also scored in the Best Story Featuring Young Adult Characters category. Last but not least, Something Like Winter nabbed a prize for Best Contemporary Story. I literally couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thank you so so SO much. The only way I can think to repay you is by writing more. Rest assured, Something Like Autumn is progressing nicely!

Goodreads M/M Romance 2012 Member Choice Awards

 
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Something Like Series

Jay Bell's Seasons SeriesHow many books does a series make? Two is a pair, three a trilogy, and four… Hm. That sounds about right. Four books is enough for a series, and just happens to be the number of seasons there are. How very convenient then for us then, because what started as a stand-alone book (that I was sure no one would bother reading) is now expanding into a series. Something Like Summer told the story of Ben’s love for two very special men. Something Like Winter gave us Tim’s perspective on their history, both together and apart. Now I think it’s time to hear one more tale before moving on. What do we really know about Jace?

Something Like Autumn will tell Jace’s life story. Like the other two books, it will begin in the teen years. This is very exciting, because by the time we meet Jace in Summer, he’s already a very well-adjusted adult. I love the idea of exploring what Jace’s younger years were like, and discovering how he slowly developed into the lovable and rather saintly person we see in Summer and Winter. Surely he wasn’t always perfect, and wisdom always comes at a price, so his story won’t be simple. While I’ve made good progress on the book, I’m not sure if there will be any revisited scenes like with the previous two books. Something Like Autumn might end the moment Jace and Ben meet, or it might further flesh out their relationship. Regardless, Autumn will rely even less on retreading previous scenes than Winter did.

Painting by Andreas Bell, and no, it's not the cover of Something Like Spring

Painting by Andreas Bell. www.andreasbell.com/blog/

That just leaves one season. Spring symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts, and while I don’t want to give away too much now, I think it’s safe to say this is the book many of you have been waiting for. Something Like Spring will be told from a new character’s perspective, but will feature a supporting cast from the other three books. The best part? This story begins after the events of Something Like Winter. In other words, it takes place in the future of many characters we know and love. You want to know what happens to Ben, Allison, Marcello, Tim, and even Chinchilla? Are you sure you want to know? Are you really really sure? Yeah, me too.

find-the-prizeIt’s too early to talk release dates. I still have a lot of work to do. I can promise that neither story will see the light of day until I feel they are up to par. I want the Seasons Series to be the absolute best it can be, not just for us, but for the characters that I adore so much. I want them to continue living in our hearts and imaginations, and I hope you are as excited to see their return as I am.

 
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End of year sale! Awards! New book news!

Goodreads M/M Romance Group Members Choice Awards 2012I need your vote! But before we get to that, I’m having big ol’ sale. From now until January 2nd of next year, all my books will be priced at a meager $2.99. Why? I know this time of year can be expensive, so I hope to help folks out that way. I’m also aware that many of you will be getting eBook readers for the holidays, and as a big believer in digital media, I want to make your introduction to this brave new world as cheap as possible. Or maybe the lower prices will help you pimp me to your friends and family. Or make it more tempting to try out some of my weirder stuff, like Hell’s Pawn. So there are lots and lots of reasons, but the bottom line is two weeks of cheap.

In other news, Something Like Winter and Kamikaze Boys have been nominated for various awards. Want them to win? The power is yours! The M/M Romance Group is having their Members Choice Awards, and you can weigh in on all sorts of books by voting right here (voting is now closed). It’s a long list, but you don’t have to choose an answer for every category, which is good if you don’t read BDSM or books about cowboys. Or books about BDSM cowboys. The categories my books have been nominated in are:

Best cover:
Something Like Winter (I wanna win this one for Andreas!)

Best Couple:
Ben and Tim – Something Like Winter

Funniest/Best Quote:
Something Like Winter

Best Contemporary Novel:
Something Like Winter

Best Book of the Year:
Kamikaze Boys

Best Coming Out Story:
Kamikaze Boys

Best Book Featuring Young Adult Characters:
Kamikaze Boys

Finally, if you’re wondering about the aforementioned new book news, I’ll be making a full announcement on January 2nd, so check back here for details. You guys are going to be so pumped! But I can’t leave you hanging right? So here’s a completely random image that isn’t a hint at all. ;)

Something Like... what?

 
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Inspiration – Something Like Winter

Model Bruno SantosOne thing I absolutely adore is when readers send me songs, saying “This one made me think of your book.” I used to do the same as a reader, discovering by chance a song with lyrics or vibe that suited a favorite story. I still do this as a writer, but in reverse. I’ll find a new tune that sets a certain mood, one that I want to capture and insert into one of my novels. Something Like Winter had quite a few songs that helped inspire it, one of my favorites being Bizarre Love Triangle by a little band called Ghost Ghost. Many of you have commented on the couch scene in the second half of the book. We have the below song to thank for it.

For me, the song encapsulates perfectly that desperate feeling of being the third wheel. Some of the lyrics suit Ben, some suit Tim, and you won’t have to dig deep to figure out that I took direct inspiration from a few of the lines. If you dig this song, you can learn more about the album or listen to all the tracks for free right here.
Speaking of art inspiring art (inspiring art!) there’s another musician by the name of Gavin Beach, who is not only gay and adorable, but has the most phenomenal voice ever. Sometimes I listen to him and imagine Ben Bentley sounds much the same. The second coolest part? While in the middle of reading Something Like Summer, he recorded the following cover, and he later told me the story was on his mind at the time:

Gorgeous! The mostest coolest part? His singing contributed to Something Like Winter. I couldn’t stop listening to Gavin’s cover. I listened to it when getting in the mood to write, and this song along with many of Gavin’s other videos, were playing while Andreas worked on the book’s cover. In other words, we’re big fans. Gavin is working on recording some original tunes, so be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep up with this shooting star.

For Love of Evil-Piers AnthonyAnother big… okay, tremendously HUGE inspiration in my life has been Piers Anthony and his books. They’ve influenced my personal life and my writing. Each of my fantasy novels borrows something from his stories I grew up reading, and in a weird way, so does Something Like Winter. Piers has a series called The Incarnations of Immortality. Each book was about a personified force of nature, such as Death, War, Fate, and the like. The villain in each book was the Devil. Pretty cool, especially the 6th book in the series, which is from the Devil’s perspective. In that book we learn about his early life, what motivates him and makes him tick, and then we relive all those villainous moments, but through his eyes. The twist is, the Devil has a very good reason for doing all those things that appeared evil in the other books. Brilliant! While I didn’t want to make Tim seem like a saint, since that wouldn’t be honest, I did want to provide that same “A-ha, now I get it!” feeling where his actions are at least understandable, and maybe a little forgivable.

That’s it for this time around. There’s plenty more that inspired me, like that photo of Bruno Santos up top, or The Maltese Falcon, since Marcello and The Fat Man share a deliciously offbeat charm. I could go on and on, but I’d rather go listen to more music, seek out more art, and keep working on my next release. Curious what it’s about? Stay tuned!

 
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