Release Party Chat Log – Bare


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D.M. Atkins Welcome Lynn, we’re always happy to chat with you and hear more about your wonderful stories.
Lynn Kelling Thanks! I’m happy to be here.
Lynn Kelling I’ve got my traditional glass of blackberry brandy and bowl of candy to fuel me during the chat.
Lon Sarver Well, that’s good. Wouldn’t want the readers to think you were chained in the dungeons under ForbiddenFiction corporate towers with nothing but a laptop.
Lon Sarver The dungeons are for staff use only, after all.
D.M. Atkins Wonderful. I’ve my tea – the alcohol is later.
Lon Sarver Hell with later. *takes Emergency BatBar out of his utility belt*
Lynn Kelling I’m always up for exploring or lurking in a good dungeon
Maria Thompson Hi everyone!
Lynn Kelling Hi Maria!
D.M. Atkins Lynn, want to start us off by talking telling us about Bare?
Lon Sarver On topic? So soon? Unprecedented!
Lynn Kelling Sure! Well, at its heart, Bare is about a 19 year old guy from a repressive, conservative, religious environment trying to find out who he is apart from all of that. He meets Adam, an artist and adjunct professor at his college, and starts to nude model for him as a way to make extra cash and challenge himself
Lynn Kelling And it all spirals from there! To dangerous and naughty places…
D.M. Atkins Adventure, sex, and romance…
D.M. Atkins Tell us a little bit about the “plot bunny” for BareΒ and where it came from?
Lynn Kelling Absolutely. But for Ev, being in such a mentally and emotionally challenging predicament is plenty of adventure in itself, before his enemies start to hunt him down
Lon Sarver Be vewwy vewwy quiet…
Lynn Kelling Bare really started with Ev. I can really relate to his feeling of not even understanding what’s real and what’s just bullshit lies he’s been force-fed. I loved the idea of throwing him into the scariest situation he could imagine and see what happened next.
D.M. Atkins Yes, there’s a trill to writing your characters into a corner and then seeing how they get out.
Lynn Kelling And once I had Adam, I knew he’d take Ev where he needed to go, even if Ev wasn’t totally ready to go there
Maria Thompson What was your inspiration for your character names?
Lynn Kelling I actually know a LOT of Evelyns, haha. But none of them are guys! I realized it was also a guy name and I kind of needed to use it. It was screaming at me
D.M. Atkins Did that come before or after the Adam and Eve metaphor?
Lynn Kelling And Adam was kind of originally inspired by Adam Levine (I watch too much of the Voice) but I also liked the Biblical way they worked together too
Maria Thompson Lol, I do love Adam Levine!
Lynn Kelling The Adam and Ev(e) metaphor kind of grew. I think I did it subconsciously. It felt right for them. But no, it wasn’t what made me pick them initially, which is kind of funny now
Lon Sarver Not Adam Savage? πŸ™
Lynn Kelling Nope, sorry Lon!
Lon Sarver One day, Mythbusters slashfic!
Lon Sarver But I digress…
Lynn Kelling It’s kind of weird, but my daughter’s BFF is named Evelyn, so now I feel like I need to forever hide it from her that I used the name in a book, haha.
D.M. Atkins Awww
Lynn Kelling I always struggle with that as an author – picking names that have no odd ties to people I know in real life.
D.M. Atkins I gathering them from strangers too. I make note of interesting ones as I meet people.
Lynn Kelling Oh yeah. I tend to use co-workers names because there’s a comfortable distance there. It’s not like using a family member’s name. Especially for last names. A lot of my last names are former co-workers!
Lon Sarver I wouldn’t worry about it. First, you don’t know what the names of new friends will be. Second, it allows you to threaten people with putting them in one of your books.
D.M. Atkins Want to start us off with a teaser from Bare?
Lynn Kelling LOL, the people I’ve written into my books have always been strangely giddy about it. I’ve yet to meet someone who wasn’t thrilled with the idea.
Lynn Kelling Yeah, I can dig up a teaser…
Lynn Kelling Okay, the one I have is a little long, but I’m going for it anyway! It’s during one of the first scenes where Ev is nude modeling for Adam in his private studio. They don’t know each other well yet at all

It was too quiet in there. There was only breathing, looking, the rush of the heater and the anticipated click of the shutter, though the camera hung at Adam’s side, dangling by the strap.

Somehow, Ev was able to lay down again. He tried to put his hands back the way they’d been, though he may have edged his hand closer to his face in order to hide behind it.

Adam tugged at the sheet, drawing it mostly off of Ev, with just the corner lying softly against his hip. A gentle touch at his knee guided his legs apart, and Ev got even harder. Adam knelt with one knee on the bed, pointing the camera’s eye down at him. Breathing more heavily than he should have needed to, Ev felt himself become completely erect. He wasn’t a small guy, but when he was at full mast, he was big.

The camera’s shutter clicked.

“Fuck,” Ev said with barely any sound.

It went on and on.

Low and close, Adam said, “The light’s not catching you as well as I’d like. Is it okay if I spray you down with some water?”

“Yeah,” Ev said, avoiding eye contact.

Lon Sarver *clapclap*
D.M. Atkins My skin shivered when I first read that.
Lynn Kelling Yay! Glad to hear it
D.M. Atkins What was the most challenging part about writing Bare?
Lon Sarver Stopping to fan yourself every so often?
Siol na Tine *Waves* Hi all! Sorry I’m late πŸ˜‰
Lynn Kelling It’s funny, but most of the story flowed much more easily than stories usually do for me. The hardest part was toward the end, when Ev has to face the realities of conversion therapy. Going through that with him was really daunting.
Lynn Kelling Hi Siol!
Siol na Tine Hi Lynn πŸ˜€
D.M. Atkins And he didn’t have to stay long compared to msot.
Maria Thompson Did you know ahead of time that conversion therapy was something you wanted to focus on?
Lynn Kelling I knew I needed Ev to kind of buy into the brainwashing, since he’s prone to, so skirting the line was necessary but not fun
Siol na Tine Guh. πŸ™
Lon Sarver How did you decide how far to go with it?
Lynn Kelling I’ve actually been researching conversion therapy for a while, way before the idea for the book came into being, just because of my personal horror of how widespread it is and the effect it has on people.
Siol na Tine How frighteningly on-topic of you… I suspect even more people will appreciate the direness of it now.
Lynn Kelling I had to feel it out really. I had to be there with Ev and see how far the story needed it to go. I think it *could* have gone a lot farther. At one point, I even saw Ev buying into it a lot more than he does and struggling to detangle his thoughts and feelings afterward
Lynn Kelling I forget the name, but I saw a documentary about some Jesus camp in South America where they basically ship kids to be forgotten about. At the end they say that the church that runs the program has locations in all 50 states and it freaked me the hell out.
D.M. Atkins I posted an article on the BareΒ Facebook feed with a reallife account from one survivor.
Siol na Tine It may well have been “Jesus Camp”
Siol na Tine I haven’t seen it but I know there’s a documentary called that.
Lynn Kelling That would make sense, Siol! You’re probably right.
Lon Sarver Jesus Camp is a different, and somewhat less horrifying, documentary
Lynn Kelling I’ll have to check it out, Dany. I did make it kind of my mission to search out the personal stories of survivors. I watched a bunch of videos of kids telling their stories. Really haunting stuff.
Lon Sarver I imagine.
Siol na Tine Ahh, ok.
D.M. Atkins Here’s a quote from it: The first step “which usually lasted six months” [is] where they “deconstruct us as a person.” Their tactics still haunt me. Aversion therapy, shock therapy, harassment and occasional physical abuse. Their goal was to get us to hate ourselves for being LGBTQ (most of us were gay, but the entire spectrum was represented), and they knew what they were doing…. The second step of the program, they “built us in their image.” They removed us of everything that made us a unique person, and instead made us a walking, talking, robot for Jesus. They retaught us everything we knew. How to eat, talk, walk, dress, believe, even breathe. We were no longer people at the end of the program.
Lon Sarver Maybe we should send the VP elect a copy of Bare
D.M. Atkins I so don’t want to be on his radar…
Siol na Tine Hell. You know, those are the same methods for any conversion, including just plain old conversion to Christianity. They’re also the methods for forcing possession trance.
Lynn Kelling Yeah, from what I’ve seen, the methods are the same in a lot of ways. It’s all brainwashing.
D.M. Atkins Yes
Siol na Tine I wrote a paper about the parallels between Jesus’ own behavior according to the gospels, and conversion methods for possession trance, in college.
Lon Sarver Sort of. Scale and scope matter. Brainwashing is socialization on brutal fast forward.
Maria Thompson It’s scary to think of these camps existing, but I’m glad that you shed light on such a serious matter.. It was eye opening and scary.
Lynn Kelling It’s amazing how many people think they’re just myths.
D.M. Atkins And in the case of conversion they include a lot of torture.
Siol na Tine @Lon – I’m talking about the more intense within a weekend kind of Christian conversion, not the slow, more natural process. Although to be honest, both are natural for the ways human cultures develop things. It’s just one is more forceful and intense.
Siol na Tine And what do you want to bet, that’s why they think it’s just fine to do it as an “intervention”…
Siol na Tine Like to poor Ev!
Lynn Kelling The scariest videos I watched were of people who had “success stories” with conversion therapy.
Lynn Kelling There was something hollow about them. Their eyes were kind of blank and they smiled too much. I tried to capture some of that with Ev’s descriptions of his cousin.
Siol na Tine I can imagine conversion therapy is very successful to people who hate themselves enough to go through it voluntarily. Did you find any examples of success among those who didn’t consent?
D.M. Atkins Lynn, the timing of the release has been after a very hard week in the real world. It’s important that stories like this are published.
Siol na Tine Do you have a tidbit of that as an excerpt to share?
Lynn Kelling I agree, Dany. Siol – I didn’t find any. From what I saw, the voluntary conversion people tried to boast about their experiences, as if trying to prove it worked. I think there are probably plenty of kids who are just too afraid to talk about it at all.
Siol na Tine No doubt. Sorry, I can probably theorize on this topic and how it relates to my own areas of expertise for hours, but that’s not really about your writing experience.
Lynn Kelling I do, actually! I have an excerpt that includes a memory of Ev’s.
D.M. Atkins Good, go ahead with it…
Siol na Tine Although… it might be interesting to discuss it with you in more detail, to use in a future book, now that I think of it πŸ˜‰
Siol na Tine Ooh! Yes, please!
Lynn Kelling I’m totally in, Siol πŸ™‚
Lynn Kelling Okay, to set this up a little… I believe this happens during one of Ev’s modeling sessions with Adam. He starts to feel ashamed of his arousal during the session, so he goes to hide in the bathroom and locks himself inside.
Siol na Tine !!

There was a soft knock on the door. “Hey. Evelyn? You okay?”

He opened his mouth to call back with yes, he was fine, thanks, but the only thing that came out was a low whimper. Shutting his mouth again, Ev squeezed his eyes closed as well.

He remembered a snippet of conversation, overheard at a party back home at the end of senior year. A girl named Olivia, whose family had left the church, gossiped in the hallway of an overcrowded house. Partygoers holding plastic cups spilled out into the yard and filled every room to almost bursting. It was loud as hell but all Ev could hear was, “You know what they do in that place, right? It’s called conversion therapy. The parents pay these sickos tons of money to take their kid and lock them up for as long as they say they need to. Weeks, months, years, it doesn’t matter. Every day, they make the kids do lots of manual labor and the only people they’re allowed to talk to are the ones feeding them this garbage about how there’s no such thing as homosexuality, how those behaviors are only a signal that something’s wrong with the person doing them. My neighbor told me the men who run the program lock themselves in a room together with the kid and they strap the kid to a chair. They attach these things to their dicks and show them pictures of homosexual behavior, then fucking zap them with electricity down there so they associate what they’re seeing with pain.”

In the memory, Ev held his breath, listening to each and every word, wanting to ask questions but afraid to voice them. He’d never been more scared in his life, piecing those things together with what he’d seen happen to James.

In reality, Ev wasn’t breathing much either, and he felt just as scared.

“Please open the door,” Adam asked. The intention behind the questions further unraveled him. Adam wasn’t asking with a teacher or employer’s authority, or with a friend’s commiseration. There seemed to be other things hidden in there, of which Ev was both fascinated and terrified.

D.M. Atkins That is one of the biggest themes in the book, facing one’s fears.
Lynn Kelling Oh yeah. I can talk on that a little more, if you’d like. I did that intentionally, because I was going through the same thing myself.
Siol na Tine Finding strength is a terrifying process
Siol na Tine Oh damn, Lynn *hugs* to you, then!
D.M. Atkins Yes, your own struggle has always been lurking behind your stories.
Siol na Tine Isn’t that the truth of all art, eh.
Lynn Kelling It’s just so, so hard, if you’ve lived in a twisted reality since birth, to even SEE it’s twisted. For a lot of people, they don’t even see the lies until they’re 50-60 years old. So I knew I needed Adam to really push Ev hard to see the truth of things. Because he NEVER would have seen it otherwise. He’d likely have fallen for the lies or lived in confused misery for decades.
Siol na Tine No matter how together an artist seems, if there’s struggle in the work, there’s struggle somewhere in the artist.
Lynn Kelling Thanks for the hugs, Siol. It’s been a rough year, but striving for truth and happiness is always worth it!
Lon Sarver Yep
Siol na Tine Yeah, that’s not something you often see in romantic/erotic books, that inability to break out of perspective. Too many romances do the whole “Love conquers all” thing without taking apart what is involved in the conquering.
D.M. Atkins And you have definitely brought that raw feeling into bare in a way that makes the story powerfully visceral.
Lynn Kelling And that’s why I personally love Adam’s character so much. He really does save Ev in very real ways. I’ve seen some readers calling him a sadist, but he really just wants to help Ev unfuck his head a little.
Maria Thompson Yes, I agree with D.M. Reading the teaser, it’s almost difficult to stomach what Ev is going through. But Adam is sure there to help
D.M. Atkins Lynn, tell us a bit more about Adam?
Siol na Tine Well, and given some of what Ev has been through, sadism in a consent context may well be exactly what he needs to break back out.
Lynn Kelling Adam’s a strange one. He’s been through a lot too. He’s lost both parents in a freak accident, so he appreciates how precious each day is, and living life to the fullest. He’s got money, and he doesn’t trust easily. He tries as hard as he can to make a difference through art, almost to prove he can, because he was raised to be a lawyer, but just couldn’t go through with it. He had too much passion to create, so he channels a lot of emotion through his work instead of showing it outright.
Lynn Kelling Adam has a lot of anger at the unfairness of it all. That never goes away. But he uses it to help Ev.
Siol na Tine Your descriptions of Adam remind me of a philosophy professor I had in undergrad.
Lynn Kelling Yeah, I can see that, Siol. The sadism is welcomed by Ev, when he’s faced with it.
D.M. Atkins And it’s consensual D/s which helps him feel safe as he works through his fears.
Siol na Tine *Nod* That does make sense, psychologically
Lynn Kelling I’m glad, Siol! He reminds me of my professors too. Some seemed so damned frustrated that they couldn’t get students to SEE or UNDERSTAND things the way they wanted.
Lynn Kelling Yeah, Adam is always sure to have Ev admit everything he does is wanted, which is part of unraveling Ev’s confused feelings about it all.
Siol na Tine Yep.
D.M. Atkins Got a teaser that shows more of their dynamic?
Siol na Tine Yeah, a window into their D/s process would be awesome. πŸ™‚
Lynn Kelling Okay, I have one that’s flirty and I have one that’s much more hardcore…
Siol na Tine Hardcore, baby!
Lynn Kelling Lol! Okay πŸ™‚
Siol na Tine Um… Please?
Lon Sarver LOL
Lynn Kelling Okay, so this is when Ev loses his virginity! The rest is probably self-explanatory.

Adam caressed up Ev’s spine to his neck, then scratched over his scalp. Ev pushed his head back into the touch. Adam grabbed hold of his hair, pulling lightly to force Ev’s head back, and rubbed him from the inside.

“I want you. Can I take you?” It sounded hungry, full of all of the power that Ev no longer had. In those few words were so many things Ev had sought and not found in the other men in his life, other role models. There was respect, trust, honesty and raw passion. “I take things like this very fucking seriously,” Adam added in warning. “This means something to me. If you give me this, I swear on my life I’ll safeguard you in whatever ways you need me to. It’d be a beginning, not the end.”

“I’m scared.” Ev heard himself confess, and he thought of other terrifying moments in which he’d also been naked and vulnerable. They’d all ended badly.

“I know, but this is the most powerful way to not be alone, and I will take care of you, Evelyn. I swear I will. Do you want this?”

“Yes. To try. Even if they hate me for it.”

“Evelyn,” Adam sighed. The pain in his voice, sympathy for Ev’s turmoil, moved Ev more than anything else had.

“Go on,” he grunted, trying to psych himself up like he had before games he knew he was outmatched for, but which he had to play anyway. “Do it.”

D.M. Atkins It’s sad when someone fears something so basic as intimacy.
Siol na Tine And yet, intimacy is probably one of THE most terrifying things in the world, because by definition you’re at your most vulnerable for it.
Lynn Kelling Yeah, but there’s a heck of a lot of letting go involved usually, which can be super tough if you’re always wound so tight.
Siol na Tine Exactly!
Maria Thompson Yes. I like that at the end of the teaser, Ev trusts Adam.
Lynn Kelling He does, Maria. He trusts him more than he understands his own reactions.
Lon Sarver Probably for the best. If he’d had to understand it, it would have taken forever.
Siol na Tine I like that it shows that Ev knows he doesn’t know what he’s in for, and makes a conscious decision to go forward on his own terms.
D.M. Atkins Ironically, being painted while nude would be more of a fear thing for me than the sex.
Maria Thompson I agree with Siol. It makes their relationship more intriguing and makes me root for Ev and Adam a lot more. You just want what’s best for Ev!
Lynn Kelling I hear you, Dany. The whole “showing up naked for school” thing is a common nightmare fuel. I don’t think I could do it, but I’ve been in a LOT of figure drawing classes. The models were always amazingly confident. I really admired them for it.
Siol na Tine @DM – Meaning, having someone paint a portrait of you in the nude, or having someone put paint on your body while you’re nude?
Siol na Tine @Lynn – HA! I have literally had that nightmare SO many times!
D.M. Atkins Being nude as never that bothered me. But having an image out there of me that I didn’t have control of… that would. So, for me, the art show was more nerve wracking.
Lynn Kelling Ev definitely knows how to own his choices. It’s a strength that even Adam doesn’t see for a while, but it’s there and it serves Ev well in the long run.
D.M. Atkins And that’s one of the strength’s of the novel too. It’s wonderful to see what Ev does when he starts standing up for himself.
Siol na Tine Hmm…
Lynn Kelling The nude painting aspect of the story was inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s work. I’ve gone to see it often since i was a teen. He became enamored of a redheaded woman (I forget her name) but I always saw so much beauty in how he saw her. You could see in the paintings how much he loved her.
Siol na Tine Mental note: Look up Andrew Wyeth…
Lynn Kelling Helga! Her name was Helga. Thank you Google.
Maria Thompson I just did, Helga was her name?
Lynn Kelling Lol, yep, Maria. You found it right when I did πŸ™‚
Maria Thompson Lol, team work! πŸ™‚
Siol na Tine Wow, she looks kinda like my Mom…
D.M. Atkins Siol is also red-haired…
Maria Thompson Speaking of art, I really liked the cover!
Lynn Kelling Thanks Maria! I like it too! I’m blessed to get to use it.
Siol na Tine LOL nice transition Maria!
D.M. Atkins Siol – Tell us more about the cover!
Siol na Tine Well… it’s kind of straight forward, actually.
Siol na Tine I wanted the image to be kind of stark, because of the nature of Ev’s background. I wanted to show A: attractive young man, B: subject of painting, C: Gay, and D: Overshadowed by religious – specifically Baptist – culture
Lynn Kelling I appreciated the thought behind the cross and placement.
Siol na Tine Aaaand I wanted to play around with some of my favorite Photoshop brushes ;p
Siol na Tine What most people won’t catch is the specific kind of cross I used.
Siol na Tine It’s from the Baptist convention seal
Maria Thompson Good job Siol! It was well done, DM pointed out the shadow of the cross to me. I found it to be a nice added touch to show the shadow of his family’s religion weighing heavily on him.
D.M. Atkins BareΒ has around a dozen reviews now and several have called out how much they admired the cover.
Lynn Kelling I do love how well the cover is going over! It’s a hit!
D.M. Atkins Lynn, it spiked on Amazon too, right?
Siol na Tine I’m very pleased with how it came out. I feel like it’s one of the best I’ve done so far. And it embraces a certain minimalism that’s popular in Erotica covers right now, which probably helps πŸ˜‰
Siol na Tine I’ve been wanting to do more with that style of minimalism, and Lynn’s books are perfect for it!
Lynn Kelling Yeah, the book is doing really well on Amazon! I’ve been stalking it. It was in the top 100 of 3 bestseller lists for a while there.
D.M. Atkins Very nice.
Lynn Kelling I’m a big fan of the minimalism!
Lynn Kelling It can be really bold and eye-catching, which is nice.
Siol na Tine Ooh, wow!
D.M. Atkins It’s tricky to do well. You don’t want it to look generic.
Siol na Tine Yes. It’s all about good use of negative space. Wow, that sounded pretentious…
Lon Sarver Anything that’s overused gets to looking generic.
Lynn Kelling I think if you can capture a mood, it stops being generic.
Lon Sarver Just don’t start going on about negative time…
Lon Sarver I mean, unless we get a good time travel story. Then go ahead and put negative space/time on the cover.
Siol na Tine Hey, Lynn, wanna try genre fic?
D.M. Atkins Lynn, how did you research/write the art show?
Lynn Kelling I’d totally read a time travel erotica story! I’ve tried to do sci-fi but haven’t finished any of those yet. But you never know!
Lynn Kelling Oh, the art show is totally pulled from personal experience. I have a bachelor’s in fine art so I lived and breathed that environment for 4 years. It’s a super weird place to be.
Siol na Tine Oohh!
Siol na Tine I had no idea!
Lon Sarver It occurs to me that the trick to doing SF romance/erotica well would be to make something unique to the setting part of the problem that comes between the characters… Oh. You moved on.
Lynn Kelling I’ve been on all sides of it – choosing which pieces go in the show, deciding what wall they go on and why and what they’re near. The lighting. The way you channel the crowd through the space. The snacks. The labels. It’s a whole thing.
Siol na Tine A lot like theatre, really.
Siol na Tine Actually, you know what it really reminds me of?
Siol na Tine Those maze-like haunted houses that get set up in warehouses all over the place for October ;D
Lon Sarver

But art shows have less fake blood and body parts.


D.M. Atkins I liked that Ev really didn’t realize what the show would be like and wow.
Lynn Kelling I hear you, Lon! I agree. I actually still like my idea for the story, but need to just commit to finishing it someday. Siol- I totally agree with you too! It’s a LOT like that.
Siol na Tine Usually, yes. And better food, and MUCH better wine. Usually.
Lynn Kelling There is a lot of pretension with art shows, and I foresaw that Ev wouldn’t think it was as big of a deal as it was.
D.M. Atkins The story did remind me a lot of Loving the Master and it was fun when we realized they would probably move in the same social circles.
Lynn Kelling I think it would be rough, too, to face massive nudes of yourself with all of your schoolmates nearby. No matter how confident you are.
Siol na Tine Possibly literally, at some point?
Siol na Tine Oh, sorry, that was reΒ Loving the Master.
Lynn Kelling I do think Bare fits in well with the Loving the Master crew. I’m still considering giving Oliver, Rune & Jackson their own book. David from LtM would definitely play into that, in getting them all together.
Siol na Tine I have to say, it makes me wish there was portrait art to go with this novel, but sometimes it’s best to leave it to the readers’ imaginations
Lynn Kelling David’s the D/s puppet master in a lot of ways.
D.M. Atkins YES!!
Siol na Tine And now we know what excites the *publisher* ;p
Lynn Kelling Lol!
D.M. Atkins I’m a big fan.
Lon Sarver The publisher is usually so subtle about these things.
D.M. Atkins And I did want to know more about those three.
Lynn Kelling Siol – Oh, I’d love to see the paintings too! I appreciate the imagination portion of it, but it would be really powerful stuff to see.
Siol na Tine It wouldn’t be the same unless we got a suitable model to sit for it.
D.M. Atkins Reminds me of the work of Maplethorpe.
Lynn Kelling Dany – I do have a lot of backstory in my head for that trio, so it might come in handy!
D.M. Atkins I want to encourage that.
D.M. Atkins For those reading with us… what stories do you have in progress?
Lynn Kelling One of the reviewers actually emailed me to ask which book Olly, Rune & Jackson were from. When I told her they were new, she asked me to write their book! Which was cool πŸ™‚
Siol na Tine πŸ™‚
Maria Thompson That’s awesome πŸ™‚
Lynn Kelling I’m editing Becoming Kerry right now. After that, Restitution (Arctic Absolution series) is up next.
Maria Thompson What’s Becoming Kerry about?
Siol na Tine That shows that you gave them a well-worn feeling, if that makes any sense. My favorite (admittedly cheesy) non FFP romance novelist writes her perfect pairs into other books, and I can *always* tell which ones had their own book that I haven’t read yet.
Siol na Tine Ah! Yes, I’m working on the cover for Becoming Kerry currently. πŸ˜‰
Lynn Kelling Becoming Kerry has a lot of layers. Part of it is former military brat turned exotic dancer vs. sexy Dom security guard (Ewyn). The other part is Kerry realizing he’s genderqueer and learning to embrace that with Ewyn’s support, while dealing with transphobia and hate crime attacks.
D.M. Atkins Yes, another very much on target book!
D.M. Atkins Do you have a teaser for that one?
Lynn Kelling Yes! I do. Let me go take a look.
Lynn Kelling Okay, I have 3 excerpts for Kerry. One while he’s stripping (*cheeky grin*), one from Kerry’s perspective when he first lets Ewyn take him home, and one from Ewyn’s perspective, seeing Kerry for who he really is.
Siol na Tine I vote for the second one
Lon Sarver Romantic
Maria Thompson I second that vote. πŸ™‚
Lynn Kelling Okay. The trick with Kerry is there’s a LOT of backstory, but I’ll do my best with the set-up. He drove to Ewyn’s home to see him and stay the night because he doesn’t feel safe in his own apartment anymore. Kerry’s step-father was homophobic and abusive when Kerry was young, so that is haunting him. Kerry has never let himself be with a straight cis male before. His last relationship was with a trans man.
Lynn Kelling Gay, not straight. Sorry. Ewyn is actually bi. He hasn’t been with a man in years either.
[TEASER] There was a knock on the window’s glass.

“What are you doing?” Ewyn asked Kerry.

“Doubting myself,” he answered, too quietly for Ewyn to hear through the closed door. Ewyn looked so big, so masculine, standing there in his motorcycle jacket, with his piercings, his feet planted widely, his eyes as alert as ever, like he never stopped watching for threats, even at home, which Kerry guessed might be true.

Am I really doing this? Am I really going to let this guy fuck me? Make me his bitch?

The conflicting sides of his personality warred over the idea. The part of him that was his stepfather’s son was horrified at the notion and wanted to throw it in reverse, to drive all the way back to his childhood home and apologize to his parents for everything before starting over completely. The rest of him that was only Kerry was frozen, held still by all of the confidence and strength he saw in Ewyn. There were no bigger turn-ons than those two qualities. Ewyn was the first person he’d been close to who wasn’t asking Kerry to be anything other than himself. If anything, Ewyn asked only for Kerry to let go of all of his confusion and fear, to follow his own instincts for once and stop pretending. It was dangerous. The biggest temptation of all.

Ewyn was patient. Finally, Kerry unlocked the door. Ewyn opened it.

“Lemme guess,” Ewyn said. “You just realized you let a guy take you home?”

“Something like that. Sorry.”

Lon Sarver Cool.
Siol na Tine Heh, nice ending.
Maria Thompson Nice.
D.M. Atkins Yeah, I love the beauty of those internal conflict scenes.
Lynn Kelling Ooh, I do have one other excerpt that shows their chemistry together.
Lynn Kelling Thanks Dany πŸ™‚ Those are my weakness, I’ll admit.
Siol na Tine Well, Hurt/Comfort is kinda your thing, yeah?
D.M. Atkins It’s important because not all conflicts are from the outside.
D.M. Atkins Though they are often struggles with both inside and outside.
D.M. Atkins Your other book in edits with us is the 3rd Arctic Absolution book. Tell us about that too?
Lynn Kelling Oh, I had a lot of fun with Restitution. It’s a mental game. Jaye and Dixon live in remote Alaska. Jaye is an ex-con. Dixon is a state trooper. Jaye gets a letter from someone in his murky past with power over him and it throws his life into chaos. If he ignores the letter, there are consequences, but they’re even worse if he responds to it. The story is like a snowball rolling downhill, gathering and picking up speed.
Lon Sarver Chase the character up a tree. Surround the tree with wolves. Set the tree on fire. Throw rocks. Then, the aliens invade…
D.M. Atkins Good metaphor given the setting.
Lynn Kelling Very accurate!
Lon Sarver Yep. Alien invasion is a problem in Alaska. Palin wants to hunt them from helicopters.
Lynn Kelling Well, I think when you live in the wild, the “what-ifs” get a lot more powerful.
D.M. Atkins Before we leave, do you want to share a teaser from that too?
Siol na Tine *Snerk*
Lynn Kelling Okay, this is a bit from the beginning of the book, so it doesn’t need much set-up. Jaye just got the letter from the post office.

Jaye drove back to his cabin, parked in front of it, then sat in the car staring blankly forward for nearly an hour. It was the ass-end of winter and a surprisingly nice day, with the temperatures solidly above freezing. The wind was almost non-existent, making it feel like the whole world had taken an indrawn breath and held it. What would come out when they let it go? A scream? A cry? A whimper?

He couldn’t move from the driver’s seat.

Whatever he did next would be a choice made in light of the fact of the envelope in his possession.

It lay in his lap. He kept running his fingers over the crinkled white paper and the jagged, handwritten letters spelling out Johnny Larson. It wasn’t Cash’s handwriting, or sent on prison stationary, but Jaye wasn’t stupid either. He knew who it was from.

As Jaye sorted facts and fears in his head, he counted the things that were true. One was that Dixon would be coming home in a few hours. Another was certainty that the confines of the snug little cabin that had been his and Dixon Rowe’s painstakingly crafted home for over a year held no comfort for him in that moment. Sometimes, being in a confined space made him feel better. It reminded him of the pleasures of living out of a cinderblock cell, where no one could sneak up on you and everything was in its place.

This was not one of those times.

Instinct told him one thing:


It wasn’t a letter he held. It was a bomb. A kind even the most paranoid couldn’t understand the fear behind. The only person in the whole world with the ability to comprehend how fucked he was, just because that letter existed, was Jaye himself.


Maria Thompson Wow.
D.M. Atkins Yeah, the past never just stays there, especially for folks with PTSD.
Siol na Tine “It wasn’t a letter he held. It was a bomb. “
Siol na Tine Perfectly put.
Lynn Kelling Thanks πŸ™‚
Siol na Tine I think I want to put that on the back cover… ;p
D.M. Atkins Yes.
Lynn Kelling Jaye kind of always lives in within an never-ending fight-or-flight response.
D.M. Atkins He would. It would be his nature by now.
Siol na Tine I’ve heard it said “Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Appease”, and yeah that’s super descriptive of anyone with PTSD.
Lynn Kelling Yep. The story is also about Jaye coming to terms with that and seeing if it’s going to consume him or not.
D.M. Atkins Well, as always, I can’t read what comes next. How many stories are on your boiler at home?
Lynn Kelling I’ve also heard “appease” called “fawn” to make it the 4 F’s.
Siol na Tine Ahh, I hadn’t heard that variation, but the rhyming scheme makes it memorable to me.
Lon Sarver Shouldn’t the stories be in the still?
D.M. Atkins Yep
Lon Sarver It’s the spirits of the thing.
Siol na Tine *Facepalm*
Lynn Kelling I have a few cooking. I’ve been trying to corral the bunnies but there’s one that’s stuck the most. It’s about a love triangle that moves more towards being a threesome. A man who runs a halfway home for troubled LGBTQ youth and two of the guys in his charge (so big age difference). They all have missing pieces and demons chasing after them.
Lon Sarver Literal demons? That would shake the readers up.
Lynn Kelling I’m *almost* halfway done. It’s one of those stories I have to write even just for myself. I have to see where it’s going and let the characters breathe a little.
Lon Sarver So would literal missing pieces.
Lon Sarver Oh, wait, Konrad’s chat was last time. Sorry.
Lynn Kelling Well, human evil rather than supernatural, but demons all the same. It gets dark!
D.M. Atkins Good. I can’t wait to read it already.
Lynn Kelling One of the characters is an amputee, so yeah, there are some literal missing pieces.
D.M. Atkins Our chat time is ending for the day, though anyone tuning in to read later should also check out all the articles in the blog tour as well as your other works.
Lynn Kelling Thanks to everyone for stopping by!
Maria Thompson Thank you Lynn!
Lon Sarver Thanks, all.
Siol na Tine It’s not like we HAVE to cut off here…
D.M. Atkins Ouch.
Siol na Tine Hey, somebody had to say it!
D.M. Atkins Bad puns R us.
Lon Sarver Hey, If I can be good, anyone can.
Lynn Kelling Lol!
Siol na Tine Oh, man, it can get SO much worse!
Lon Sarver G’night, all
D.M. Atkins But they’ll have to wait for the next book for more. Thanks for joining us today.
Siol na Tine Heh. It was good talking with you Lynn, thank you!
D.M. Atkins Our next Release Party & Author Chat will be with Elizabeth Schechter for the release of Haven’s Fall next month.



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