Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Francis Gideon for stopping by today.
Title: The Taste of Ink
Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Romance
Trevor Dunn has never gone to the Calgary Stampede, in spite of living in the city all his life. He would much rather listen to music and draw comics in his basement than hang out with a bunch of cowboys. When his sister drags him to the Stampede’s opening parade anyway, Trevor is drawn to a cowboy sporting a green hat.
Charlie opens Trevor’s mind to the world of country music and country boys. But then an old flame appears in the middle of the festival and Trevor is torn. He adores Charlie, but Mathieu—a punk singer turned acoustic crooner—was Trevor’s first love, but Trevor lost him by being too afraid to chase the dreams they shared.
Except after the Stampede ends, Charlie will go back to Toronto, Mathieu will go back on tour, and Trevor will go back to his basement. Realizing that’s not what he wants, Trevor enters a mechanical bull-riding contest in hopes of winning the heart of his true love—or maybe both of them. This time, fear won’t stop him from going after what he wants.
Hello! I want to share a section from and talk about my new release from Dreamspinner Press entitled The Taste of Ink. In some of my other stops on this blog tour, I’ve called it my “cowboys and punk” novel, since the main love interests for Trevor Dunn, the MC, are Charlie, a mysterious cowboy in a green hat and Mathieu, an indigenous punk rock singer. Trevor worries that he has to choose between the two men in his life, but since this is an m/m/m I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying he learns that he doesn’t have to decide what will make him happiest.
In the excerpt I’ve included, Trevor and Charlie have a discussion about what it means to be “polyamorous” and how, in spite of how much someone may love someone else, it’s impossible to receive everything you need from one person. That’s why we need friends, family, and other people in our lives. And sometimes, that includes being in love with many people at the same time.
I’m not polyamorous (or poly) myself–though I have made the joke several times that my partner, Travis, is pretty much in a triad with me and my writing–but I love polyamorous romances. Both reading and writing them. In October, I released A Winter in Rome with LT3’s poly collection Intertwined (which is a fantastic collection, if you haven’t heard about or read yet) and in January I released Cracks in the Pavement, another poly triad (MMF) involving two professors and a struggling musician-student who rents out their spare room while everyone falls in love. I also have a few favourite poly romances that I keep close to my heart (J. Hepburn’s Playing by the Rules and TS Porter’s Sand Raiders come to mind). For me, poly romances are so much fun because they seem to contain so much potential. Being in love is a fantastic feeling–one the romance genre revels in–so why wouldn’t falling for three or four people be just as amazing?
In the excerpt, Charlie mentions that we become different people around those we love. Those changes aren’t bad things, but ways to grow and develop. So Trevor, when he’s around Charlie, becomes the “cowboy” figure he thought he despised after living in Calgary for so long, and he realizes it’s not that bad. Maybe, in fact, he kind of likes playing cowboy. When he’s around Mathieu, he becomes the dreamy comic artist longing for an escape–and that becomes empowering all over again. When combined together, Charlie’s confidence and Mathieu’s need for a dream to follow may make a happy ending that’s eluded Trevor so far in his life. He falls in love two times over, and finally gets what he wants. He also gets to have a lot of fun sex, too, which is another added benefit to poly romances. 😉
There’s a line from the TV show Bob’s Burgers that I really like, where the teenage girl Tina has two guys fighting over her. Instead of picking one, she approaches both for a dance and says “Let’s put the try in triangle.” I adore that attitude; it’s pretty much what I try to conjure when I’m writing. If I think I can’t do something–then my immediate instinct is to push and do it anyway, to see what will happen. So in matters of the heart (or desire, or whatever), I always put the “try” in triangle, and make the MC get both guys. Hopefully, if you’re reading, you’re as excited for Trevor as I was when I wrote the story. Thank you for reading!
Trevor tilted his head, unsure of what Charlie meant. Was he proposing something? For Trevor and Mathieu to get together? What about him and Charlie? Or was this for after, when Charlie went back to Toronto and Trevor was inevitably alone—was he supposed to seek comfort in the arms of Mathieu? Charlie’s face was neutral, calm, as he continued to eat popcorn.
“Are you jealous?” Trevor asked.
Charlie chuckled. “No, there’s no use of being jealous.”
“Because it’s in the past?”
“Yeah, but even if you and him went off in a back room, I don’t think I’d be jealous.”
“Because we’re just having fun? Because we don’t want to be confused with labels?” Trevor asked, repeating the myriad excuses Charlie had given the past week whenever Trevor brought up their relationship. “Does anything really matter to you?”
“Hey,” Charlie said. “That was a low blow.”
“Sorry.” Trevor turned away, grabbing some popcorn. He stared at his shoes, the new cowboy boots Charlie had bought for him, and knew he was out of line. Charlie clearly did care about things. A lot of things. “Maybe I don’t get it.”
“No, it’s fine. I think we’ve both knocked our heads together from speaking too quickly. You know? Sometimes it happens.”
“Things do matter to me though, Trevor. You know you’re the longest person I’ve hung out with at the Stampede, right?”
“Yeah. I usually hook up once or twice. But you’ve pretty much moved in with me.” Charlie grinned for a moment and took Trevor’s hand. His voice took on the quality it often had when he answered business meetings during the afternoon: calm, lucid, professional. But the way Charlie rubbed his thumb over Trevor’s hand made the tone also deeply intimate and caring. “You know about polyamory, right? It’s the idea that you can be involved with many people at once; that you have many loves. And I like that because I think it applies to the friends I have in my life as much as the people I end up in bed with. Because you love your friends for who they are, but also for who you become when you’re with them. That’s one of the reasons why break-ups are so hard, you know? You often feel like you’re losing a piece of yourself.”
Trevor nodded. Even though he was the one who ended it with Mathieu, he still felt like he was breaking off a chunk of his personality and burying it in the sand. That was really why they had ended, wasn’t it? Because Trevor wanted to be free of Alberta, of the badlands, and be that superhero, but he was still so in love with being invisible.
“So, do you ever break up with someone, then?” Trevor asked.
“No, I do break up with people. But I don’t take it lightly. And I try, as much as I can, to appreciate who I am when I’m with new people.”
“Okay.” This still didn’t feel like quite the right answer to Trevor, but he appreciated the sentiment, especially if Charlie was serious that Trevor was the longest hook-up—or whatever—he’s had since coming to the Stampede. That must mean he likes who he is when he’s with me, right? For a moment, Trevor saw himself as a reluctant cowboy with Charlie and as a reluctant punk with Mathieu. But Mathieu wasn’t a punk anymore, and he wondered how Mathieu and Charlie would interact. What would they say to one another? What would they bond over? And who would Trevor become when placed between them?
“So with all of this,” Charlie went on, “I tend to find jealousy superfluous. Because usually, what you get from other people isn’t exactly the same thing as people get with me. It’s not that nothing matters to me. A lot of things matter. But I understand the need for having more than one person in your life to fulfill some kind of role. I hope that makes sense.”
“Sure. I get it. What do you want from me, though?”
“So long as you’re spending the night with me, I couldn’t be happier.”
About the Author
Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He has appeared in Gay Flash Fiction, Chelsea Station Poetry, and the Martinus Press anthology To Hell With Dante. He lives in Canada with his partner, reads too many comics books, and drinks too much coffee. Feel free to contact him, especially if you want to talk about horror movies, LGBT poetry, or NBC’s Hannibal. Find him at francisgideon.wordpress.com.
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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