Join Prism Book Alliance® as Shae Connor goes Outside the Margins today.
Let’s just get this out here: I love musicals. Mostly the Broadway kind, built for the Great White Way and performed live and in person. But I love screen-based musicals, too, whether they’re adapted for the screen or written from scratch. Ask me about my love for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog or Once More, With Feeling, or my favorite movie of all time, Singin’ in the Rain.
I came by my musical love honestly: it’s my mom’s fault. I literally cut my teeth listening to soundtracks for family-friendly musicals like The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I got the Grease soundtrack for my birthday the year it came out, even though Mom wouldn’t let me see the movie yet. We lived in small towns and didn’t have much money, so getting to live performances was rarely an option, but I spent my birthday in 1980 watching Xanadu in the theater. (Totally worth it just for Gene Kelly.)
I saw my first full, live stage production of a musical when I was about 15, a local theater performance of The Wiz in which one of my childhood friends played a flying monkey. Not long after, I saw a touring show of A Chorus Line, which immediately became my favorite. Over time, the list of musicals I’d seen performed live grew: The Music Man, The Sound of Music, 1776, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, The King and I, Cats. Eventually, I made my way to Broadway itself, where I saw The Producers and Spamalot! (the latter twice). I still go to local productions and touring shows regularly—just last month, I saw Kinky Boots at the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta.
I’ve seen stage plays, too, some of them really good. But they’ve never captured me the way musicals have. I also generally avoid musicals that are more drama than humor. Never been interested in The Phantom of the Opera, and yes, I know that’s practically sacrilege.
Earlier this month, though, I got super lucky. The biggest musical of the year, up for a record 16 Tony Awards, is Hamilton, a retelling of the life of US founding father Alexander Hamilton, featuring a diverse cast and hip-hop/R&B musical styles. It’s hugely popular, and getting tickets is basically a crapshoot. Well, I hit the target: when extra tickets were released on May 11, I snagged a single seat (at venue price, not inflated resale rates) for my birthday in December.
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’m incredibly excited!
The end result of all this musical love is that it’s worked its way into my writing. So, while I’m planning another trip to New York, I’m also getting ready to release my first self-published novella, Rhythm & Blues, which has a former Broadway dancer as its lead character. There are also some shout-outs to favorite shows like A Chorus Line (yes, Hamilton comes up as well), and naturally, I have some other Broadway/musical-related story ideas in my files. Don’t be surprised to see more of those show up along the way.
In the meantime, I’ll keep indulging my musical love whenever I get the chance, including trying to see a second show while I’m in New York. Wicked, anyone?
Title: Rhythm & Blues
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 06/20/2016
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, Romance
When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.
After a knee injury ended his career, Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins limped his way back from New York to Atlanta to implement Plan B: open a dance academy to train the next generation of song-and-dance dreamers. When model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson answers his request for an estimate on renovating his studio space, Pate hits pay dirt in more ways than one. As construction gets underway, the red-hot attraction between the two men flares, and soon they develop a fledgling relationship. Then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back, and he has to choose between the dream he left behind and the new life he’s building—with his studio, and with Ace.
About Shae ConnorShae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.
A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.
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