Today is supposed to be “15 random facts about me.” I’ll never come up with that many, so I’m going to list a few random facts about my kinky space pirate novella, Blind Space.
Why Blind Space?
Mostly because it’s sitting here on my desk. I was recently granted permission by Triskell Edizioni (one of my Italian publishers) to use their lovely cover on a limited number of English paperbacks. The proof came yesterday, and I’ve been reading through it in bits and pieces. (It’s amazing how, no matter how many times I read through something, no matter how many editors and friends go through it, I *still* find typos every now and then!)
Now…. what facts can I share about Blind Space?
(FYI: Very mild, possibly NSFW photos below the cut.)
Fact 1: It’s All Heidi’s Fault
This book came about one day when Heidi Cullinan was trying to inspire a new story idea for me. She’d send me pictures of men and pitch a story idea. “How about a painter and a race car driver?” “How about a teacher and a fireman?” Somewhere along the way, she started adding “in space” to the end of each idea. “A teacher and a fireman IN SPACE!”
And then she sent me this:
Blind Space doesn’t feature a teacher OR a fireman, but that picture did help inspire Tristan’s secret fetish. (And those pantyhose get shredded about midway through the book.)
Fact 2: Pirates Are Fun
I had a lot of fun coming up with the pirates in this story. I pictured them a lot like 1980’s punk-rockers — lot of mohawks, tattoos, and guyliner. When the book was first released (by Silver Publishing), Reese Dante made this for me as a possible cover. I *loved* it — it looks just like Valero. But since Tristan doesn’t actually see Valero until the end, I felt it was a bit spoilerish. But I liked her artwork so much, she turned it into a character trading card for me instead.
Also, nothing sells books faster at Pride or SFF conventions than saying “kinky space pirates.”
(I’ll include a few more pictures below that make me think of Tristan and Valero.)
Fact 3: Yes, Valero’s Name Came from a Gas Station
Back when Heidi and I headed out on a giant road trip, which we dubbed HaMEMA (Heidi and Marie’s Excellent Manlove Adventure), we stopped at a Valero in some southern state for gas and snacks. There, I exchanged a series of blatant “good lord, you’re hot” glances with some random man (who I’m sure had killer abs, even though I couldn’t actually see them).
Heidi and I also each purchased stickers featuring men. Hers (a cowboy) went on her laptop and I believe inspired one of the characters in Nowhere Ranch. Mine was of a pirate (see scanned image at right). From then on, “Valero” meant either my sexy pirate or the guy I’d eye-fucked in the gas station.
And so when I started writing about space pirates a few weeks later, “Valero” seemed like the obvious choice.
Fact 4: It Won Awards
Even though I always kind of thought of Blind Space as a sex romp in space, it seems to be a bit of a reader favorite. It also won several awards, including 1st place in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and an honorable mention for Best Gay Novel. The Romance Reviews also named it the Best Book of 2012 for GLBT Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic.
Fact 5: It’s on Sale!
If you go to my Selz store and use discount code 3NS5OZDP, you can get the ebook of Blind Space for only $1! (Discount expires 9/26/16)
Fact 6: It’s Also Available in Audio
And be sure to check out Fact #7.
Fact 7: I’m Giving Several Away
Remember that paperback proof I mentioned back at the beginning of the post? The one with the limited edition Italian cover? Well, somebody might as well have it. Leave a comment and I’ll choose a winner in the next day or two. Sorry, overseas folks. I’m restricting this one to US only, because I hate dealing with customs forms. But to make up for it, I’ll ALSO give away three audio downloads of Blind Space, with no international restrictions. (Be sure to say in your comment if you’re entering for the paperback, the audio, or both.)
Fact 8: A Sequel?
I’ve always had a sequel floating around in the back of my head. I’ve been thinking a bit more about writing that. I make no promises, but after reading through Blind Space again, I’m toying with the idea.
More pictures I’ve collected through the years that remind me of Tristan and Valero. I don’t own any of these photos, so if they’re yours and you’d like them removed, please let me know.