Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Kris Ripper for stopping by today. Please give zir a warm welcome.
Title: Gays of Our Lives
Author: Kris Ripper
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Release Date: 07/11/2016
Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.
Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.
But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.
5 Fun Facts
There’s this picture.
I don’t have a whole lot of friends, but the ones I have are for real friends. Let me illustrate to you what I mean when I say for real.
I have this friend.
When I was rambling incoherently one day about how I fail at character descriptions, this friend of mine (cough @BingeOnBooks cough), with a great deal of eye-rolling, texted something like I’m on the bus right now and there’s a guy whose shoes match his shirt. Write a book about him.
An eternal wait later—or like three minutes—she texted me again. I was waiting for a picture, but what I got was: Oh my god, I just tried to take a picture of him, but at that exact moment we went through a tunnel and it was dark and my flash went off and everyone in the bus looked over. Followed by a bunch of emoticon faces I didn’t understand.
I laughed. Of course. Because getting caught taking a covert picture of a stranger on a bus is kind of funny.
The picture, which I still have, is not specifically Obie, but the setting where Emerson and Obie meet is, in fact, a city bus. Emerson looks up and his eye catches on this…guy. This captivating guy.
On Names (#1)
The mind is a strange and wondrous place, and sometimes it plants things in books I don’t see until much later.
I’m constantly flailing for character names. When I was a young writer still listening to cassette tapes, I stole a lot of names from liner notes, mixing and matching. These days I still scan acknowledgements pages and dedications for inspiration, but sometimes a name just comes to me. You know, like writerly magic.
I knew Emerson’s first name immediately. I went to grammar school with a kid named Emerson, but I’d never met anyone else who shared it. It felt right. I ran with it. (Just don’t call him “Em.”)
Only when I was knee-deep in edits for a later book in the series did I realize I’d unintentionally given my old acquaintance’s actual last name to another character in the series. How does this even happen? This kid I knew in second grade is now immortalized in Queers of La Vista.
I think the moral of this story is: Are you friends with writers? Be afraid. Very afraid.
On Names (#2)
Speaking of names, sometimes you give a character a name and later realize…yeah, no. No, no, no, no.
Case in point: Aunt Florence’s name was originally Mildred, like her niece.
I thought Emerson, like everyone else in La Vista, was going to call Mildred “Dred.” Freaking everyone calls her this. Everyone! I assumed she was named after her aunt, with whom she has an especially close relationship, and everyone uses the nickname so it would be easy to tell them apart.
Then Emerson and Mildred met, and Emerson never transitioned to the nickname. Like ever. Watch through the rest of the series! He’s so difficult, that dude.
That was an easy find-and-replace change, but it’s one of those moments when you have an idea as a writer that you think might be kind of cool. Then you write the book and realize it didn’t work at all.
Ah, the soap opera.
One of the things I loved about soap operas when I was eleven, twelve, thirteen—and had a babysitter who spent hours explaining All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital to me—was that everyone was connected to everyone else. Sure, it can be silly, but it works because life does occasionally throw weird moments of synchronicity at us.
I didn’t want to over-do it in Queers of La Vista, but I did want to have a little fun with it. For instance, one of Emerson’s students is connected to another character in the series…whom you’ll meet in The Butch and the Beautiful, and get to know significantly better in book One Life to Lose. And if two characters share a surname, you can be assured that’s intentional. Maybe they’re uncle and niece, maybe they’re cousins, maybe they’re estranged siblings.
There are a few other nods to my delight in soap operas, naturally. Beginning with those titles…
Same and different, as Sesame Street says.
Being a fiction writers is pretty much the best gig going. You get to play with all sorts of high-minded things, like themes, and motifs, and symbolism. You also get to play with all kinds of people who are just like you, or nothing like you, or (most of the time), a little like you and a whole lot different.
Emerson’s a grump. I might be a touch mercurial at times. Ish. I do not have multiple sclerosis. Emerson does. Both of us have been on the receiving end of advice about how juicing could potentially change our lives FOREVER!
I’ve never even seen a juicer in real life. I’ve never juiced. I don’t know if juicing would change my life forever. Neither does Emerson. But he’s willing to give it a shot.
My favorite part of working on a series is following characters from book to book. Through the next three books you see reflections of Emerson and Obie’s relationship from the outside, and then you get one final peek at it from his point of view as the series draws to a close in As La Vista Turns.
If I’ve done my job, you’ll keep reading to find out what I mean!
To celebrate the release of Gays of Our Lives, Kris is giving away your choice of ebook from zir backlist. (Any release from Kris Ripper prior to Gays of Our Lives.) Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris:
• Webiste: krisripper.com
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/kris.ripper
• Twitter: twitter.com/SmutTasticKris
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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