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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Watching the Dead


By A.J. Llewellyn
This is my first blog as An Amber Quill Press author and I'm thrilled to be talking about my second book with them.
Firstly, I owe it to the dangerously talented (and sexy, too!) author Rick R. Reed for suggesting to our publisher Trace Edward Zaber that he should invite me to submit a story for his approval. He did, and I did...and my first book, Deeper Blue came out at Amber Allure last October.
I have loved my whole experience here with AQP and as I pondered what to write next, I had a weird and wonderful experience.
I had lunch with a group of friends as we got hair cuts at our old movie studio. Though we were all laid off, we are all still close and we go to the hair salon on the lot and make a half-day of it. Being close to bald, I require little in the cutting department. I'm there for the donuts and the bagels. And the smears. I am all about cream cheese.
But I digress.
One of our pals arrived late and confessed his new job was beginning to affect him. Since he works nights, we made fun, teasing him about being a go go dancer or a rent boy. Nope. He's watching the dead.
I said, "What?"
Turns out it's an actual job in a very Orthodox Jewish funeral parlor. He is called a shomerim and he must stay awake guarding the dead...or else, the dead man's spirit walks, releasing a dybbuk.
I said, "A what?"
Now, I took notes. I am a relentless taker of anecdotes. A thief of ideas...and hey presto, there was my idea for Fawnskin!
I roped my frequent writing partner, the brilliant and yummy D.J. Manly into writing it with me. I told him my idea.
He said, "A what?"
And here you have it. Fawnskin comes out on the 28th, the first in our new series set in this actual California town. I chose the name Fawnskin because I love the textured idea of it, plus it's a warm and friendly sounding name.
The town, however, like our story...hides much that isn't seen. Located in the mountains of Big Bear, a couple of hours north of L.A. Fawnskin has a rich history of being a stagecoach town back in the day. I was really haunted by this one-time artist's colony that is making a gradual comeback.
So often in gay erotic romance fiction, the locales are exotic or glamorous. I liked the idea of this story taking place in a town effected by the economy...but one in which there is also hope. Knox and Rallus are two lonely men who arrive to start new lives, meeting just as weird things start happening in Fawnskin.
Because in our book...the shomerim sleeps. And the dead walk...dance...and they too, like their cream cheese.
For more information on Fawnskin, please visit Amber Quill Press: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Fawnskin.html
Aloha oe,
A.J.

4 comments:

Lynn Crain said...

Very interesting idea, A.J.!

Can't wait to see how it plays out!

Lynn

s7anna said...

Hey A.J.,
I first heard about the whole shomerim from you during a live chat...I'm really intrigued by the job..If I wasn't a total scaredy-cat I would so sign up for the job... ;)
I'm eager to read your latest release...it looks fantastic.

Congratulations on your new release!
Anna Shah Hoque
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Erin Sinclair said...

How intriguing AJ...I was trying to picture myself in such employment.

Be my luck it would be my ex and I'd end up falling asleep and we'd end up arguing all over again, yeesh!

Think I'd have to stick with a boring old secretarial gig. LOL

Good luck with it, hon!

Erin

C.R. Moss said...

Interesting job. & the thought/idea process churns madly.
Congrats on the new book & being an AQP author!
=)
C.

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