Brigham Vaughn on Husbands and Pushy Betas ~ Blog Tour, Guest Blog, Local Giveaway NSFW 18+

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Brigham Vaughn for taking the time to talk with us today.

[Husbands Cover]

Title: Husbands
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn
Publication Date:04/24/2015
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Gay, M/M Romance, Romance

Blurb:

Russ is ready to make a lifelong commitment to his partner. That means marriage to him, but Stephen grew up believing that was out of the question. With marriage equality still not recognized in Georgia, Stephen is only concerned about the legal protection available to them.

Someone from Stephen’s past reappears and drives a wedge between them as Russ and Stephen struggle to agree on their future. Russ tries to understand Stephen’s complex feelings about marriage, but the differences in their background stresses the relationship further. Can the relationship they’ve built overcome the issues they face?

—-

Russ had been fourteen when Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. State after state joined the ranks, and in the last few years it seemed to be gaining momentum. It was only a matter of time before marriage equality swept the nation. He’d grown up with the idea that someday he’d have the right to marry the man he loved. If he wanted it–and right now, he wanted it more than anything else in the world–there would be nothing to stop him.

Except, his partner–the one he’d been so sure wanted the same thing–apparently didn’t.

“How’d you know I was up here?” he asked hoarsely.

Stephen’s gaze lifted, his smile sad. “Because I know you.”

Russ’ tongue felt thick all of a sudden, unwieldy in his mouth. “I thought I knew you.”

The look of hurt in Stephen’s gaze was shattering, but no more so than the earlier rejection. “Can we talk?”

“I’m not sure what there is to say.” Russ walked out of the pool, limbs heavy after the grueling swim and time spent floating in the water. It was almost like the feeling of being back on land after spending a day on a boat. Except that made him think of sailing with Stephen, which was too painful to consider right now. “I asked you to marry me, and it’s not something you want. There really isn’t a compromise.”

Word Count: 44,434

10% of the proceeds from “Husbands” will go toward Atlanta’s Lost-n-Found Youth center.

Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed Husbands. You can find the review here.

Thanks for having me here, Brandilyn.  I am doing a brief mini-tour for the release of the final part of Russ and Stephen’s story in the Equals series.  I am here to talk about the beta process!

Pushy Betas:

[Husbands Cover]

I’m not sure how most authors feel about it, but I love the Beta process.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s painful to see your work torn to shreds, but I do love getting the feedback.  I love seeing the flailing and shrieking (via comments) as my beta readers go through the story.

I even love the negative comments, and not just because I’m convinced most of us writers are secretly (or not so secretly) masochists.  I love them because I know when I’m done addressing them, the story will be better.  Does it sting? Sure.  Does it bruise the ego a bit? Absolutely.  But better to hear it from the people I love and trust than from readers who feel let down by a sub-par story.

It varies from story to story, so there isn’t necessarily a set beta editing process for me.  Sometimes the betas change, sometimes the number of rounds of edits change.  In the past year I’ve developed a pretty solid core of people I work with though.

Allison has become my go to person for story development.  It’s always good to have someone to bounce ideas off and we mesh really well when it comes to story planning.  So before I start writing, or as I’m going, I often PM her and say, “hey, what do you think of this?”.   Sometimes all I need is a quick “Yep, that’ll work,” but sometimes it involves a more lengthy brainstorming session.  Sometimes I send paragraphs or even chapters to her to see what her reaction is or for help untangling a sticky scene.

Once the first draft is written, I send it to all of the betas: Allison, Jaycee, Shell, Shelli, and Deidre.  Sometimes one of them has to bow out because of real life or other beta commitments, but I like to have at least 4 sets of eyes on that draft.

They give me such a broad range of opinions on each scene.  The betas often identify with/grow attached to different characters.  In the Equals series, most of them are very pro-Stephen, but Shelli was verrry Team Russ.  So I got a lot of flailing about Stephen saying no in Husbands.  It gives me a great contrast to the other readers’ comments.

[Shelli 1][Shelli 2]

 Sometimes the feedback is really simple stuff: a misspelled word, repetitive phrasing, minor grammatical issues.  Sometimes it’s a quick line or two saying “I think you need to clarify this more.”

And sometimes it’s bigger.  Something major and plot related, like a few lines I got from Shell telling me there were larger concerns:

“You always manage to surprise me on what I’m anticipating! After reading the prologue and then the first chapter, I expected Stephen’s hang up with getting married to be more related to Jeremy. Though it was explained better by the Stephen at the end, I had a hard time believing Stephen’s reason for not accepting Russ’ proposal… or at least the entire fall out from it. Like maybe they made it into a bigger deal than it needed to be first b/c Stephen didn’t immediately say yes and then b/c Russ held onto his anger so long. I kept waiting for more to happen to keep them apart, a stronger conflict, I guess.”

This (and similar comments from the other betas) led me to make some fairly hefty changes throughout the story to delve more into Stephen’s reasoning and flesh it out better.  Make his concerns bigger and more compelling.  Did I want to hear that I didn’t get it right the first time around?  Well no, not really, but I am incredibly glad to get the feedback and have the opportunity to fix it.  The story is better for it.

Sometimes I find out I need to add scenes.  Jaycee was MOST vehement that I not fade to black during a certain scene.  The other betas concurred.

[Jaycee]

After much flailing in the doc, on my FB wall, and via PM with the phrase PHONE SEX (always in shouty caps) being repeated, I decided to add an extra scene.  It’s rare that I add sex scenes.  They’re usually carefully planned and more isn’t always better.  But in this case, Jaycee was right.  It did add to the character development and served as a way to further the story and show how much Stephen has changed, and how much he misses his partner. I wrote the scene and sent it back to all of them for their feedback.  They all made suggestions (tweak this, tone this part down, add that, etc.) and I felt confident that it was ready to go.  In this case, the story didn’t require any additional rounds of edits (but sometimes it does).  Husbands was pretty solid but Family required several rounds of re-writes and then several beta rounds to get right.

Once all of the beta rounds are done, I usually give it a final read through and make sure the flow still felt good and then send it off to my editor, Sally.  Generally, she does straightforward grammatical edits, but I am always open to suggestions about plot or phrasing.  Occasionally I need clarification or have her look over a section I had to re-write.

Once those edits are made, I like to have a final set of eyes look over a story for typos.  I address those and only then do I consider it ready to go.  Because of those many rounds, the story is richer and cleaner.  The rounds of edits unravel the tangled plots and clarify the murky spots.  They polish a story and make it sing.

And sometimes, the betas drive me CRAZY in the process.  Love them all dearly, but you can’t believe what instigators they are. They’re so pushy and demanding.  There wouldn’t even be an Equals series if not for their comments! It would have ended with the first novella and I wouldn’t have explored over a year of Russ and Stephen’s relationship.  There would have been no spin-off of the upcoming novel, Connection, which tells the story of Evan’s move to Atlanta and how he finds love.

And Allison wouldn’t currently be pressuring me to do a spin-off for minor character in Connection.  Just my luck, sometimes they all gang up on me.

 [Pushy Betas]

 I keep resisting, but let’s be honest, they’re usually right.

*wanders off grumbling about pushy betas and how much I love them*

About the Author:

51jRDP1SEBL._UX250Brigham 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 three cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.

Author Links:

Blog: https://brighamvaughn.wordpress.com/

Email: brighamvaughn@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigham.vaughn

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Brigham-Vaughn/448104198635015

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBVaughn

G+: plus.google.com/+BrighamVaughn

Buy Links:


Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
iTunes / iBooks
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US
Kobo UK

Giveaway:

Brigham Vaughn has kindly offered 3 lucky commenters their choice of Equals series eTitle.

Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

29 thoughts on “Brigham Vaughn on Husbands and Pushy Betas ~ Blog Tour, Guest Blog, Local Giveaway NSFW 18+

  1. Thanks for the behind the scenes look and BIG thank you to Jaycee because that phone sex scene was hot as hell! I’m looking forward to reading Evan’s story soon.

    **Don’t enter me for the books – I’ve already read them all! 🙂

  2. If your experience is shared, it sounds like we may have beta readers to thank for some of the wonderful series i this genre.

    Thanks for the post and contest!

      • I’m BACK!! Hahaha! On a serious note, if I wasn’t totally comfortable with you and love you (and your writing) to death, I would never be that…what’s the word you use…?…oh yeah, PUSHY. The first time you beta for someone, it’s really hard to say, “I didn’t really like this part” or “this is getting kind of boring…” because you don’t know how they’re going to take it. But I know from experience that reading ‘dry’ beta notes can be discouraging and dull. May as well have some fun, right? And we certainly had fun with this one! I especially love to insert notes as I’m reading to tell you how I’m feeling – doesn’t usually mean anything needs changed – I just like to let you know “I cried here” or “I wanted to smack him right here” etc. Husbands had a LOT of “Ugh, the feels!” type comments. And fyi, I screencapped that entire PM thread because it was epic. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. And, gosh golly geepers, I don’t usually swear that much – what will people think? ;o)

  3. I don’t have this series…why do I not have it? And for beta reading, I have done some beta reading myself. Sometimes I’m not sure how picky I should get or how much of my own opinion I should give. Because it is the author’s story.

    • I can’t speak for every author of course and your best bet is to ask the author directly. But personally, I would MUCH rather have a beta reader tell me everything. I don’t always follow every suggestion a beta reader makes, but I always consider it carefully.

      And if you do have a chance to read the series, I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Great post, it’s always nice to have some background info 🙂
    I have the first book (equels) on my ereader but haven’t read it yet, so i probably should start LOL.
    Thanks for the giveaway and please count me in.

  5. Congrats on the new book! I loved the behind the scenes look. I love this series. Thank you for the giveaway chance.

  6. Thanks for sharing your beta process – quite fascinating. I’ve had this series on my wish list. Thanks for a shot at winning a title.

  7. I loved reading about beta-ing (is that a word). It sounds like it would be fun, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be any good at it. Thanks! 🙂

  8. I enjoyed reading about the importance of beta readers and yay very happy to read a comment about a spin off title from the series 😀 Thank you for a chance to win a book from the series.

  9. Great post on the huge importance of betas. I used to wonder why authors had them, but after reading books with inconsistencies as well as lots of typos, I now understand.

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