Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Brigham Vaughn for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Partners (Equals #2)
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn
We are here today to talk about Partners (Equals #2). What can you tell us about it?
Equals ended with the news that Stephen’s father is dead and Russ and Stephen finally sat down to discuss their issues. Partners picks up the following day as they drive from Atlanta to Putnam, Georgia—Stephen’s hometown—for his father’s funeral.
Stephen has been estranged from him for twenty-five years and going back to Putnam is extremely painful. Partners explores his past and how he copes with his father’s death, all against the backdrop of a small southern town that isn’t particularly welcoming to a gay couple. Much less one with an age gap like Russ and Stephen have.
Tell Us a little more about Russ and Stephen.
Russ Bishop is a twenty-eight year old market research analyst. He’s ambitious, hard-working, and sometimes too stubborn. Stephen is forty-seven and CFO of the marketing company Russ works at. He’s also very driven and goal-oriented, but a little less stubborn. To be honest, Stephen was equally stubborn at that age; he’s just mellowed a bit over the years. His prior experiences have allowed him to see the bigger picture. Russ will get there, he just needs some time. Stephen, on the other hand, isn’t good at opening up about his past and learning to do that is a big part of Partners.
Originally Equals was supposed to be a stand-alone novella. When did it become more?
Truthfully, I didn’t plan for it to be a series until I was finishing Equals. ALL of my pre-readers commented that although they felt like the story wrapped up well, they wanted more. I gave it another quick read-through and realized they were absolutely right. There was so much more to Russ and Stephen’s story that I’d already “written” in my head. As I began to lay out plans for Partners I knew it was the right choice.
Are Russ and Stephen done with their story now?
Not at all. There will be a third novella (as yet untitled) that will be set about six months after Partners ends.
There is also going to be a short story that fits between Partners and Book Three that’s set during the holidays. I don’t have an official release date for it, but probably sometime in November.
Stephen is a self-made man and Russ is trying to be, that was the major conflict in Equals. How do you think going to Stephen’s hometown affected Russ’ need to be Stephen’s Equal?
While I don’t think it changed Russ’ need to be an equal to Stephen, I think going to Stephen’s hometown changed Russ’ view of what being an equal partner means. He saw that he has more to offer Stephen than money, and that what Stephen ultimately needs is Russ to say, “I’m here for you. I’ll be your emotional support. Lean on me and trust that I’m not going anywhere.”
Of course, realistically he isn’t sure how to say that and it’s something he has to learn how to do throughout the story. There’s actually a quote from it that fits quite well here.
“Russ hoped it was enough for Stephen. He had no experience with a relationship like this, no frame of reference for what Stephen was dealing with. Bourbon and blowjobs he could do, but emotional support was much trickier. He was trying though.”
What’s the most difficult thing about writing a good short story or novella?
I think the most difficult thing about writing a good short story or novella is finding the right balance. It needs enough character development and back story so that you connect with the characters, but concise enough to stay within the word count parameters.
I always thought I was a wordy writer, but spending time writing short stories really helped me curb that tendency. I think it’s made me a more concise writer and if anything I tend to run toward the shorter end of things. Partners is about 6,000 words shorter than Equals and yet I felt like I was able to explore everything I needed to for those characters.
If you could be any Disney character who would you be, and why?
Belle, of course; I want her library! If not, maybe Ariel. I’ve always loved the water and I think being a mermaid would be wonderful. I’d skip marrying the prince and keep the tail. 😉
Rapid Fire Time:
Australia or England – England
Coke or Pepsi? – Neither
Alone or At a Party? – Alone
Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? – Tossed underwear, paired socks
Sweet or Sour – A little bit of both
Handcuffs or Rope? – Rope
Morning or night? – Night
Vanilla or Chocolate? – Dark chocolate
What are you working on? What is next?
What aren’t I working on? Let’s see. I am nearly done with the holiday short and am working on Book Three for the Equals Series. I am collaborating on a novel with another writer and I have a novel of my own I’ve been struggling with for a while. Last weekend inspiration struck and I think I figured out what was bothering me about that novel so I should be able to finish it up relatively soon and get the various rounds of edits started. I don’t expect it will be ready to release until 2015 though.
After the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean, the three of them sat on the front porch, Russ beside him on the creaking swing as Miss Esther knitted and told Russ stories about Stephen growing up. “Before you leave I’ll show you the photos I have,” she promised Russ and he enthusiastically agreed. Stephen’s gaze flew to the elderly woman.
“You have them?”
“Sure do,” she said easily, the clack of the needles never pausing. “Your daddy tried to throw them out when your momma passed but I wouldn’t let him. I’ve been hangin’ onto ‘em for you.”
“Oh,” Stephen replied, feeling strangely shaky. He’d thought every memory of his childhood had been tossed out.
“They’re in a box in the blue bedroom,” she said. “You can get them down from the shelf in the closet for me tomorrow.”
“I’d love to see them,” Russ said, his tone eager as he leaned forward. Stephen was less sure of how he felt. On one hand, he was relieved to know it hadn’t all been destroyed. On the other, he wasn’t sure how much of his past he could face this weekend. Then Russ’ knee nudged his, their thighs pressing together. As the katydids droned in the background, Stephen felt himself relax, remembering he didn’t have to face it alone.
Prism recently reviewed Partners (Equals #2). You can find the review here.
After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen’s hometown in southern Georgia.
Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.
About the Author:
Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her four cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.
9/19/2014 Prism Book Alliance http://www.prismbookalliance.com
9/20/2014 GGR Review http://www.ggr-review.com/
9/21/2014 MM Good Book Reviews http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
9/23/2014 Smoocher’s Voice http://www.smoochersvoice.com/
9/25/2014 Diverse Reader http://diversereader.blogspot.com/
9/27/2014 Love Bytes Reviews http://lovebytesreviews.com
9/28/2014 The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/
9/30/2014 Padme’s Library http://padmeslibrary.blogspot.com/
10/1/2014 JP Barnaby http://www.jpbarnaby.com/
10/3/2014 Rainbow Gold Reviews http://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com/
Brigham Vaughn has kindly offered 1 commenter at each stop will win their choice of backlist title from Brigham Vaughn (excludes Dr. Feelgood).
There is also a grandprize $10 Amazon Gift card for one lucky commenter on any tour stop via Rafflecopter.
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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