Howdy, Delighted Readers!
I’m tickled to have one of my favorite authors visiting with us today and talking about her book, New Hand, and the winding down of the Bluewater Bay series.
Let’s welcome author, L.A. Witt!
Glad to have you joining us today during the mad frenzy of the holiday season.
Do you get caught up in all the craziness, keep it low key, or are you one of those super plan-aheaders?
When it comes to the holidays, I’m about as low-key as it gets. I spent a couple of holiday seasons working in retail, and the stress made me decide that keeping it all as chill as possible was the way to go. Plus I live in Europe while my family is in the US, so it’s just my husband and me, which means we’ll usually have a quiet Christmas with our kitties and a few presents. Exactly the way I like it, though I do miss spending it with family (family besides the husband and kitties, of course).
Speaking of plans, how does it feel to be releasing the last book in the Bluewater Bay series?
It’s bittersweet, to say the least! The series has been a lot of fun, and it’s always hard to let go, but I think we’ve had a really good run and I’m happy to see readers still enjoying the books after all this time.
With so many contributing authors and stories, did you all work on your stories independently or were you assigned plot ideas? If you went independently, how did you keep from stepping on each other’s toes (like was there a keeper of a spreadsheet of series facts)?
Independently. Each author came up with their own idea, sometimes creating their own characters from scratch and sometimes taking existing background characters and making them main characters (for example, Jesse is a minor character in Anna Zabo’s Outside the Lines and becomes one of the main characters of New Hand). Sometimes we’d email each other and say “Hey, can I use X character?” or “Do you mind if I bulldoze your character’s shop?” or something to that effect, but everyone came up with their own stories.
We had a couple of large and pretty complex documents keeping track of details (such as established businesses, secondary characters, changes to Wolf’s Landing production, etc). It was kind of mind-boggling how big it got because so many people had made so many contributions, but everyone was good about keeping an eye on things, plus our editors were very vigilant. A series takes a ton of organization, but with over a dozen authors involved, the need for organization increases exponentially. The folks at Riptide handled it really, really well!
How does it feel to have been the author to release the first (Star Struck) and the last book (New Hand) in the series?
It’s pretty cool to be able to bookend the series with the first and last books! It made it a little harder to write New Hand, knowing it would be my last foray into this little town I’ve come to know and love, but it was still a great experience.
Of the several novels you contributed to the series, what was the one that challenged you the most? Which one surprised you?
I’d say Stuck Landing challenged me the most. As a bisexual woman, it was incredibly difficult to write a female/female romance from the point-of-view of a woman who is biphobic. Even though I knew she’d grow and move past that, it was a tough mindset to put myself into.
As far as books that surprised me… probably New Hand or Get a Grip. They both hijacked their own outlines and went in completely different directions, which meant a lot of regrouping and rethinking on my part to keep up with them.
In New Hand, you brought together an autumn-spring romance with the added challenge of one being a widower and the other losing a boyfriend over health status. What made you decide- or how did you come to choose these backgrounds for Garrett and Jesse? Was one of them harder to write than the other?
I knew I wanted to write a story about an older man who’d lost his younger husband because in a May/December relationship, it’s always assumed that the younger partner will outlive the older one. I wanted to explore how things would play out when the opposite happened. How the surviving partner would cope and grieve, how he’d approach a new relationship, etc, particularly with another younger partner who has a serious or potentially serious health issue. Making Jesse HIV-positive also meant exploring how different generations deal with the disease—a gay man who grew up in the 1980s/1990s is going to have a very different experience than one who grew up within the last 10-15 years.
Garrett took a little prodding before his character really started to form, but once I had an idea of who he was before he lost his husband and came to Bluewater Bay, the rest fell into place. His love interest was a gigantic question mark until Anna Zabo gave me the rundown of Outside the Lines. I immediately knew I wanted to write a character who worked in the comic book shop, and from there, Jesse pretty much fell from the sky (aside from his name, which changed a number of times). After that, Jesse and Garrett’s story basically just…happened.
And finally, what’s next from your pen aka computer keyboard now that Bluewater Bay is complete?
Oh lord, where do I start? I’m currently working on a contemporary trilogy that starts on a Mediterranean cruise, a couple of thrillers, a new book in my Wilde’s series, and a queer retelling of a classic. I’m also just about to dive into the eighth and final book in the Anchor Point series. Yes, another series is coming to a close, but never fear! There’s a brand new multi-author series in the works, and you’ll hear more about that in the latter half of 2018. 😉
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Lori!
Thanks for having me!
About New Hand
Months after his husband’s death, Garrett Blaine desperately needs a fresh start. He sells his house in Seattle, leaves his accounting job, and starts bartending in Bluewater Bay. There he meets a man who wakes up his nearly forgotten libido.
Jesse Connelly’s friend with benefits bolted after Jesse disclosed his HIV status. Stood up and stinging, Jesse tries to drown his sorrows . . . and finds an unexpected connection with a lonely bartender.
Jesse and Garrett quickly bond over a shared love of comics and card games, and they can’t get enough of each other between the sheets. Not even a bumpy start and a fifteen-year age gap can derail them as they go from strangers to lovers, then friends, then much more.
But as Garrett’s feelings for Jesse deepen, so does his grief for the man he lost—especially as he sees hints of his late husband in his new boyfriend. Now Garrett has to figure out if Jesse is his second chance at true love, or if Jesse’s just filling in for the man he’s never fully grieved. And he needs to figure it out soon, because Jesse’s starting to wonder the same thing.
About Bluewater Bay
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
About LA Witt
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
Connect with L.A.:
- Website: gallagherwitt.com
- Author Blog: blogspot.com
- Personal Blog: blogspot.
- Twitter: @GallagherWitt
- Facebook: com//L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction
- Goodreads: com/GallagherWitt
To celebrate the release of New Hand, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and their choice of two ebooks off LA Witt’s backlist (not counting New Hand)! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!