C.S. Poe on Love Has No Expiration ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank C.S. Poe for stopping by today.

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Title: Love Has No Expiration

Author: C.S. Poe

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Other Holiday, Romance

Blurb:

There’s more to life than work, and love has no expiration, even for those approaching their forty-fifth birthday.

Daniel Richards is a private chef in New York City who has committed over a decade to his skills and passion. He has carved out a name for himself in the industry and has bookings for parties and dinners months in advance. Now that he’s in his mid-forties, however, he’s come to the realization that he’s lonely and desperate for companionship. Two days before Valentine’s Day, he meets Keith Maxwell at a farmer’s market and can’t keep the much younger man out of his thoughts. Keith is eager and willing to take a chance with someone older, but Daniel’s reluctance stops Keith’s every attempt. Worried his career will suffer if he dedicates time to a serious romance, or that Keith won’t be satisfied with someone so much older, Daniel nearly thwarts his own attempts at finding happiness.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Daily Dose package “Never Too Late.”

Prompts: Exciting, Energizing, and Enlightening

I discovered my love of writing to prompts when I was in elementary school. Once a year, students were required to write a response to a prompt, which was then used as a tool to assess writing skills. We would be graded on a scale of one to five for vocabulary, grammar, structure, even handwriting. (The last being my “improvement necessary.”) The prompt was a surprise that we wouldn’t see until the writing began, and then we had a few hours to complete the task.

There were no rules and no guidelines beyond responding to the prompt. Did it have to be fiction? Non-fiction? An essay? Complaint? It was entirely up to the student. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love creative writing on my own terms, but there is something about prompts that excite me. It’s a really interesting challenge to blend my words and style with someone else’s story request. From a reader’s point of view, I’m sure it’s quite fun to see how the writer interprets their desires.

For authors, prompt writing can be like exercise for the imagination. Coming across guidelines for locations, character traits, or personalities that an author may not necessarily delve into on their own, makes one grow and nurture new ideas. Oh, and the research you’ll do! When working with a concept that is new, there will be so much to learn!

Personally, research tends to snowball for me, and I’ll be lost for hours in a pool of random facts. My recently published short, Love Has No Expiration, was written to a prompt. The requirement was a character over forty years of age getting a second chance at romance. A simple enough concept. For my main character, Daniel, I chose the career of personal chef because it was a job I knew one was often married to. It fit in well with the idea that he’d have no time for love until he realized he was middle aged and losing out! However, I knew nothing about being a personal chef, so down the rabbit hole I went into studying recipes, chef services, how to cost recipes, even food and safety regulations! (This will be useful knowledge during a cocktail party one day, I swear.)

More important than the thrill of writing to someone else’s request, or the knowledge gained through necessary research, is the safety a prompt can provide an author. What does this mean? I find prompt writing to be extremely beneficial when suffering from bouts of writer’s block. Blocks are different for everyone, but the next time your ideas aren’t flowing, or laying out your own world is a daunting task, think of doing a prompt first. It can be like stretching before running a marathon.

Before Love Has No Expiration, I will admit that I hadn’t been able to write for years. I had, somewhere along the way, lost my “voice.” It was a struggle, a real dark period, because writing is my passion. Everything in my life has always revolved around finding the time to write. When I, for lack of better words, got stuck, I thought: that’s it, I’ll never write again. Writing to the prompt that brought about Love Has No Expiration was a really safe way to ease back into putting words on paper again. Prompt writing gives you plenty of creative freedom while at the same time keeping you on a focused path. Like those guardrails on the highway. Even if you drive out of your lane, they’ll still keep you on the road.

Are there other authors that enjoy writing to prompts? Let me know, we should chat.


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Giveaway

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
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