There comes a time when a writer sets a fresh piece of paper in the typewriter and is faced with the age-old question – what shall I write? All right, maybe I’m dating myself a bit here, and no, I haven’t used an actual typewriter in many years. Nor would I want to. My fingers are spoiled by the light touch of the keyboard, and I never wish to go back again.
But I digress.
First question is often what genre do I wish to dabble in today? I admit that science fiction has not been my first choice when deciding which genre to write in. Granted, I do enjoy science fiction and, at one time, read a lot of it. But it was a different field back then, with writers like Asimov, Clarke, Henlein, Bradbury... I knew I didn’t have the science background to even begin to attempt the things they did. Science fiction today is just not the same as it was then. In fact, I didn’t read it for a long time.
A long time ago, I did begin a sci fi story, which is now long lost in my notes somewhere. It had to do with a time when people entertained themselves by plugging into their TV’s, attaching themselves through electronics in such a way that they could participate in the story. HOPAVI, I called it, short for home participation video. Guess it wasn’t that story’s time.
I began writing a sci fi story with my friend, author Sui Lynn, and we’ve posted snippets of it on our blogs, and we really love it, but real life has derailed that story, at least for now.
In the meantime, my friend and author, M.A. Church and I decided to write something together. What do you want to write, she asked. As it so happened, I had the privilege of editing two of her novels, Nighttime Wishes and Nighttime Dreams, and also The Harvest, which she has subbed and is waiting to hear about. All three novels deal with the romance between an alien and a human, and I am here to tell you these stories are hot, hot, hot! So much so that when she said what do you want to write, I knew the answer. I wanted to write about an alien too. An alien/human romance of our own.
As is usual in collaborations, each author creates a main character, although both should be capable of writing for each of them. Thus Michelle created Reed Hatcher, and I got to make up the alien, whose name is Taz. The result of this first collaboration is Be My Alien, which we subbed to Dreamspinner and which they accepted, and which published May 8th.
Taz is from the planet of Trygos, from somewhere far far away. He comes to Earth on a date with another alien, Vorlod, and is excited about it. It seems that to the other inhabitants of the universe, Earth is not much of a destination, so it’s like going on a cheap date. But Taz is happy, and they’re up in the Empire State Building together when Taz figures out Vorlod’s real reason for being there... when Vorlod dumps him for another alien.
Reed Hatcher is a successful businessman without a love life. He expends all his energies into his shop, A Touch of Class, which specializes in upscale men’s clothing, as well as what is in the naughty backroom. It’s two days until Valentine’s Day, and Reed is about to close up shop and go home to his lonely apartment when a late night call from a good client changes everything, and he agrees to make a last minute delivery to the Empire State Building.
There, Taz falls into Reed’s arms—literally. What happens? ‘Fraid you’ll have to read the book to find out!
Michelle and I are hard at work on book two of what will probably be a three book series. I have to tell you, it’s been great fun writing with her, and I fully intend to inveigle her into more books after these. With or without aliens? Who knows! Whatever they will be, they will be fun.
What does it take to write about aliens? You are only limited by your imagination. I got to create our alien, since Michelle had two other series and I never did, so I came up with Taz, who has some distinctively feline features. I know, big shock, right?
But more than just what he looks like, I needed a background, and knowledge of his home world, so that means worldbuilding, which I happen to enjoy. And even if all of the details are not revealed in the books, at least they are there to draw on, a firm foundation for making him believable.
If you want to create an alien of our own, let’s assume for the sake of argument, that he is some sort of humanoid. This makes it easier for the audience to see and relate to him. If there are differences, such as the “dreadlocks/tentacles” of Michelle’s alien in the Nighttime series, then let us see them, and tell us what sets them apart. Or, in Taz’s case, it’s his stripes... and his tail.
Like any other character, your alien needs a background, family, friends, etc. A job or something he does to spend his time while waiting for his human/true love to appear.
See? Basically, underneath the differences are the similarities. The alien is still a man, and he still has dreams, wishes, desires and hopes, among them to love and be loved.
The rest is window dressing and a lot of fun.
So go on, build yourself an alien of your own, and see what I mean!
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Blurb: Reed Hatcher’s life is work, work, work. He owns a successful men’s boutique in New York City, but a love life is out of the question—for many reasons. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and business is brisk. On an unexpected visit to the Empire State Building, a sexy man literally falls into Reed’s lap. His name is Taz and he’s just been dumped by his date. One look and Reed is hooked. He offers to buy Taz some coffee and they leave together.
Reed is attracted to Taz and takes him home to his apartment. But Reed discovers there’s more to Taz than he realized—especially when Taz’s stripes begin to show. And he has a tail? Turns out Taz is not quite like Reed. In fact, he comes from another planet, far far away, and he’s only on Earth for a vacation.
Reed never believed in aliens before, but he’s facing one now, and dear God, what is he going to do? Just when he decides he loves Taz and together they can handle anything, the alien that dumped Taz decides he wants him back and steals him away.
Can Reed live with the memory of what he almost had, and the love he found and lost? How can he ever face the moonlit skies again?
Excerpt: “Are you okay? Hello?”
Reed dragged his mind away from those sexy green eyes. “Ah, huh? What?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall on top of you like that. You see, it was like this. I was pushed, and you just happened to be there and….” The stranger grinned at Reed. “And down we went.”
Reed shifted under the body lying so contentedly on top of him. Hell’s bells, the guy fit against him perfectly. From the feel of things, they were both close to the same height. Which also meant certain things were… aligned. “Oh yeah, I’m okay. Banged my head a little, but I’m fine.”
The stranger bit his bottom lip, his teeth worrying the tender skin. Reed debated slamming his head against the floor a few more times in the hopes of rattling his brain back to normal as the stranger rolled off him.
“I really am sorry.”
“No harm done.” Reed sat up and looked at the guy once again. Well, not much harm, anyway. His libido just had to pick now to perk up, didn’t it? But damn, this guy was sexy. Reed struggled to his feet and held his hand out to the man still on the floor, looking up at him. The guy took his hand and let Reed pull him up. “Name’s Reed. Are you okay?”
“Hi, Reed!” The guy hopped to his feet in a single, lithe movement, as if it was the most….world. “My name is Taz. Nice to meet you, and yes, I am.”
For a moment there was a flash in the guy’s eyes that belied his statement. “Good, that’s good. Glad to hear it. Well, I guess I’d better be going—”
A forlorn expression crossed Taz’s face and his pretty eyes clouded. “Oh.”
Reed hesitated. There was something about the guy that pulled at him. When was the last time he’d felt that pull? Way too long ago. Taz was cute, sure. But there was this look of hurt. Dammit, Taz just looked so lost. Insane as it was, he wanted to make it all better.
* * * * *
And now, a little information on the authors of Be My Alien.
M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.
But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.
Facebook: M.A. Church http://www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Chur...
Romance First Publishing: www.rfppublishing.com
Changeling Press: http://www.changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=177
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her other published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, MuseitUp Publishing and No Boundaries Press, and coming soon with both Extasy Books and Torquere Press. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.
Museit Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
eXtasy Books http://www.extasybooks.com/ (coming soon)
Torquere Press http://torquerepress.com/ (coming soon)