Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes

Good morning readers and welcome to another day at Michael's where today, I'm happy to host, Julie Lynn Hayes, blogging about her newest release, Leonardo DiCaprio is a Vampire.

Take it away, Julie!

It all began for me last year, when Inception was playing at the theaters. It was the blockbuster hit of the summer, but I was waffling whether or not I wanted to see it. The deciding factor came when my daughter Sarah agreed to see Sorceror’s Apprentice with me—I am a huge Nic Cage fan—so that was that. We saw SA twice and prepared to see Inception.

I’ve found, at least in my experience, that inspiration often comes at inconvenient times and places, whether you are looking for it or not. And generally not. It’s not like a switch that you can turn on or off, unfortunately. How handy would that be? Switch on, switch off, switch off – Inspiration! Like a mental Clapper, right?

So, we’re heading into the theater, and a voice begins to speak to me. He says, “Did you know Leonardo di Caprio is a vampire?” I admit, I was thinking about the actor and how little he’s changed over the years. Probably what prompted this voice. But I could feel that there was more to it than that, that this was a character and he wanted to say more.

And there I was without paper or pencil, sitting in the dark, waiting for the show to start! So I kept repeating his words to myself, all through the film, about Leo being a vampire. By the way, Inception is a most excellent film. By the time that I left, I was sure there was a story there, even if I didn’t know what it was.

My stories usually start with a character—or two. Especially lately, when I’ve been writing mostly m/m romances. Which entails having a romantic pair. I like to put names to my guys as soon as possible, so that was my first thought as we left the theater. Of course, my head was full of Inception, having just seen it. In the film, Cillian Murphy’s character’s name is Robert Fisher. He’s a very pivotal character in Inception, and he was well played. So I turned his name around and added an s and made it Fisher Roberts. So now I’m driving home, remembering both my first line and my first character, and I need a second name, so I’m scanning billboards, passing vehicles, and anything with lettering, for ideas. Not much there. Then I pass one sign about hunting, I don’t even remember what about it. Now, I’m not a fan of the sport myself, and of course hunting isn’t a name. But Hunter is. A good strong name, one I’ve thought about before. So I grabbed it. And added Long, for good measure.

It wasn’t until sometime late that I realized what I had inadvertently done – Hunter and Fisher. Believe me, I didn’t set them up that way on purpose. Once I got home, I wrote everything down and started writing, getting to know my characters and learn their story. The title was obvious. I liked the way it sounded, I thought it had a ring to it. I subbed the story to Silver, and the rest is history. Leonardo di Caprio is a Vampire releases on April 30th, with the beautiful cover that was done for it by the very talented Reese Dante.

The lesson here? Always listen to those voices in your head—they often lead to interesting places!

Blurb and Excerpt

Blurb: Leonardo di Caprio is a Vampire

“Tis the night before Halloween, and Fisher Roberts wishes it was over, not being a fan of this or any other holiday. But he tolerates it because his roommate/best friend Hunter Long takes a childish glee in all things Halloween. And Fisher has a vested interest in keeping Hunter happy. If only he could find the nerve to tell his childhood friend that he loves him, and has for a very long time.

Fisher thinks Hunter is carrying things a bit far this year, though. First Hunter claims to be a vampire, and he just won’t let the silly joke go. Then he forces Fisher to go to a costumed Halloween party which Fisher would rather avoid, especially when he realizes where it’s being held, and whose house it is. Things at Fisher’s job might just be going south, too, when he receives a mysterious summons to report to the editor’s office the next morning. And then Fisher goes and does something stupid—like kissing Hunter!

Bad leads to worse when Fisher ends up at the Halloween party from Hell, and he learns something that threatens to destroy his and Hunter’s relationship forever. Running from his fears, Fisher encounters a strange young man with an unusual resemblance to Leonardo di Caprio, who shows him things he never realized before, truths about his life and the people in it.

Can Fisher find his way back to Hunter, and can he find the courage to do what his heart wishes?

Excerpt: Leonardo di Caprio is a Vampire

“Did you know that Leonardo di Caprio is a vampire?”

Fisher Roberts stopped in mid-chew of a mouthful of fibrous cereal to cast a wary, disbelieving glance at his best friend and roommate Hunter Long on the other side of the table. Wary, because he wondered what in the world Hunter was going on about so early in the morning. Disbelieving, because he only had so much time for breakfast before he had to get going to work, and he had a bad feeling that Hunter was trying to eat into that time. Why he wanted to do that was beyond Fisher. Of course, a lot of things about his roommate were beyond Fisher, despite the fact that they’d been friends since they were—well, too young to actually remember how long they’d known each other. But for as long as Fisher could remember, he and Hunter had been best buddies. And he’d learned over the years that, with Hunter, longevity did not equate to knowledge-ability, far from it.

Now, Fisher could react in one of two ways. He could ignore his roommate and keep eating. Pretend he’d heard nothing. But from past experience, that would only cause Hunter’s performance to escalate. Which would entail taking more time to decipher what he was saying, and in the process make Fisher even later to work. Or he could simply bow down to the inevitable and give in by asking him the question he was doubtless waiting to hear. Even if it brought about that smug smirk he was so fond of wearing.

Fisher finished chewing, swallowed, and managed not to roll his eyes as he reached for his juice to kill off what was left in the glass. Waste not, want not. “What do you mean?”

Hunter Long might be six foot two and possessed of a body that many a male model would kill for—at least that’s what Fisher heard the girls who flocked around him say—with the palest of blue eyes that twinkled all the time, and a smile that could and did light up a room. But honestly, he had the capacity to be an overgrown child at times, and this was one of those times. Fisher chalked it up to it being that time of year.

“Well,” Hunter replied, “look at him, going on forty, and he looks just like he did what, fifteen years ago? It only stands to reason he must be a vampire. They never age, you know. I mean take a look at us. We’re almost his age, but over the years we’ll grow up to be little old men and he’ll still be playing sweet baby-faced guys even when he’s collecting social security, know what I mean?”

“There are no such things as vampires,” Fisher made his typical logical reply, “and just because it’s Halloween tomorrow night, and you’ve got the house all decorated for it, doesn’t mean you have to bring it to the table. Know what I mean?” He arched a no-nonsense brow at the other man. This was not Fisher’s favorite time of year. Neither was Christmas, come to think of it. Or any other holiday. Ironic that he should write articles for a living that meant he was forced to expound on such seasonal topics for Midwest Home and Fantasy, a regional online magazine with a growing fan-base, when he had no real interest in them himself, being a practical, no-nonsense kind of a guy.

“I’m a vampire.” Hunter smiled, leaning across the table toward Fisher. “Want to see my fangs?”


What a great post and blurb/excerpt. Thx Julie for stopping in!

I'm really thrilled about this release. It is definitely on my TBR!

Hope you enjoyed the post by Julie Lynn and go get the book...

See you tomorrow for Wicked Wednesday!


Tina Donahue said...

I love the title and concept - may you have many sales :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Beautiful cover. Do you think Leonardo Decaprio (the one in real life) will ever get married? I wish you every success, Julie.

Rie McGaha said...

Wonderful excerpt, and the title alone makes me laugh! Not at the title, but at the idea that Leo is a vampire - it just strikes me funny!

Congratulations! May you have a million sales! (I'm kinda partial to Silver authors anyway!)

Rie McGaha

Rawiya said...

TY for all the comments ladies. As soon as I saw the title I knew it was something I wanted to read!

Sui Lynn said...

Hey Julie, Just popping in for a moment to say ... LOVE IT!! Fabulous story and Congrats! I'm off and running but will try and stop in again later. :)

Rawiya said...

TY for stopping in Sui! :)

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Wow, everybody, just wow. Thanks for your comments and stopping in!

Tina - thanks, I do too! Not just because that means money, but I really love to be read, that's the bottom line.
Sarah: I can't really say. People wondered about Warren Beatty and look at him now - married with children. Maybe Leo hasn't met Miss Right yet - or Mr. Right.
Rie: It struck me that way too, it just grabbed me and insisted I use it lol Thanks! Silver's a great publisher!
Sui - *waves* Hi and bye lol
Rawiya - Thanks so much for having me here! You're awesome!

She said...

Great title. Good cover. I think the model looks like Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2). Every since I saw the cover that's who keeps popping up in my mind. Good excerpt. Another one to be bought and read. Good thing I won a big house.

She said...

I own a big house. I didn't win it. I've got to proofread BEFORE hitting send.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

She - I confess to not having seen Grease 2, just the first one, I'll have to google him.

Too bad you didn't win a big house, how cool would that be? I don't understand why they don't allow people to raffle off houses. That would be such a win win proposition for everyone! Thanks for stopping be!

Angel Martinez said...

LOL, what fun. I often thought Dick Clark must be a vamp, too. Or at least undead. Looks like tons of fun ,Julie!

Johnny Miles said...

Awesome concept, Julie! Loved finding out more about you, too. Good luck. I wish you many, many sales!

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Angel - I know just what you mean! Or maybe he's the music world's Dorian Gray? lol

Johnny - aw, you're so sweet! Thanks! And you're still talking to me? lol Glad to know I haven't alienated anyone!

Rawiya said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by! :)

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Thank you for having me, Rawiya, I enjoyed being here! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!