Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank C.S. Poe for stopping by today.
Title: Kneading You
Author: C.S. Poe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Christopher Hughes is new to a small town in New Hampshire. He’s been hired to save a historical library from closing, but his obstacles include not only fighting for state funding, but a Selectman who wants to tear the building down. Christopher meets Miles Sakasai, a shy, tattooed repairman who divides his time between fixing the library and baking bread. Miles’s skills in the kitchen may end up being the key to saving the library—if his bread can rise to the occasion.
The Botanist and the Conductor
I was reminiscing in the shower, as one often does, and realized it’s been nearly a decade since I moved to New York City. That thought shifted toward why I came here—college— and somehow I ended up zeroing in on a screenplay course I was required to take as part of my major. I had known most of my childhood that I wanted to be an author when I ‘grew up,’ but that I didn’t want to go to school for creative writing. I had already faced opposition for writing genre, and despite a desire to always better myself in the science of writing, I was keenly aware that classes for the creative side would cause problems for me.
So I shuffled over to art school. This however still required a number of writing projects, and so I found myself in this particular screenwriting class. I came up with a fabulous idea for my project. A thriller, action-adventure of sorts, starring a botanist and a train conductor, who end up paired together to stop some bad dudes from poisoning the entire city of New York. Right off the bat I was being given the hairy eyeball by not only my instructor, but most of the class, because one thing I hadn’t expected was that genre films were not okay with this art world I was in.
Sound familiar? I wasn’t indie enough. My screenplay wasn’t deep enough, existential enough. Not enough young folks contemplating the universe and smoking cigarettes.
But I kept writing it because that was my project and I really adored the story. Partway through, I realized that these characters were going to fall in love. It was the first real romance piece I wrote. Where, despite the genre elements, there needed to be affection and desire and a happily ever after for these two quirky men. And I loved it. After nearly ten years of writing horror and steampunk before going to college, I really embraced the romantic elements of my characters and suddenly this bizarre story had these two great guys who kissed a little and I was pumped.
And this was faced with further hostility.
Unbelievable, am I right?
Because a romantic screenplay was considered even more obnoxious than the genre part. Because why was it important the characters fall in love? Why was I trying to be edgy by having gay guys? There was a girl character, why hadn’t the main guy just fallen for her? Did it have to have a happy ending?
Really. Really, really.
I’m sad to say I never finished that project. I never turned it in. I had purposefully not gone to college for creative writing, because I didn’t want my fellow students looking down their noses at me because I wasn’t literary enough in style. And yet here I was, facing that very same thing in a totally different community.
Looking back on this, I wish my young, little wee self had stood up to the comments. I wish I had said, it’s important they fall in love because love is universal and no matter what crazy adventure the main plot may be, there’s always room to explore human emotions. I wish I had told them I wasn’t trying to be edgy with gay characters, that I had been writing about gay men for years and this is where my passion led me. I wish I had said, just because there’s a girl doesn’t mean she has to be romantically involved with a guy. And above all else, I wish I had told them, yes there needs to be a happy ending.
There needs to be some hope and joy.
I wrote a screenplay about some asshole trying to kill eight million people! Wouldn’t a happy ending be nice? That the heroes saved the city? That they got to settle down together? Can’t I fight that age old stigma of the gay characters never finding love and somehow always tragically die?
But I can’t change the past. I can only grow and learn from it.
Sometimes I think about those two characters. Sometimes I think about going back to finish their story and give them that little white picket fence. Hell, they deserve it on principal now.
Never let someone tell you that genre is bad.
Never let someone say that romance isn’t literary.
You write. Write well. Write passionately.
Stand up for your own botanist and train conductor.
About the Author
C.S. lives in New York City, but has called a host of different locations home in the past, most recently being Ibaraki, Japan. She regrets no longer having easy access to limited edition candy, capsule toy machines, and clean trains, but over ten years in New York has proved to her there is no place quite like it.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats, in no particular order. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. Poe’s first publication was “Love Has No Expiration,” by Dreamspinner Press in 2015. Her debut novel, “Snow & Winter: The Mystery of Nevermore” is scheduled for release in summer 2016 by DSP Publications.
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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