Jan. 25, 2023

Shopping at Hustler Hollywood with Jess Everlee

Shopping at Hustler Hollywood with Jess Everlee
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Jess Everlee had rejection after rejection before she submitted for A Gentleman’s Book of Vices and got her first book deal. It’s a story of perseverance, not paying attention to market forces, and researching those naughty Victorians. Plus Hustler Hollywood makes an appearance! Plug in those headphones and get ready for the steam!

Grab a copy of A Gentleman's Book of Vices.


Connect with Jess online: 

JessEverlee.com www.jesseverlee.com 


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Elle 0:00
Jess Everlee writes decadent historical romance from the Northeast Ohio split level she shares with her small family of furballs and fellow humans. She holds a BA from The Ohio State University, where she studied English and gender studies focusing on Victorian literature and public health topics. While that background resulted in an eclectic resume, her passion for reading and writing has never wavered. She has a deep love of interesting art offbeat communities at admittedly pretentious coffee brewing systems, which I think we need to talk about. Her debut novel The gentleman's book of vices comes out November 29, through Carina press. It's the first of the lucky lovers of London novels a series of witty queer Victorian era romances described as bridgerton meets Tipping the Velvet. That's amazing. Jess, welcome to steam scenes. Thanks so much for coming on.

Unknown Speaker 0:51
Hi, thank you so much for inviting me. This is awesome. Oh, this

Elle 0:54
is gonna be so much fun. Okay, I just want to sort of kick off with the whole Victorian era thing because I think this is so cool. Now. Do you know Bethany Bennett? She writes his historical

Unknown Speaker 1:08
Regency I don't know that's a new one to me.

Elle 1:11
She was on the podcast twice because I'm thinking about like how this when this is going to air and she I think she will have like maybe have been the guests before you maybe a few before you it wouldn't be your second time on and she was talking about she wrote a Victoria now I can't remember exactly. The sort of like what what had happened but she wrote a Victorian and and our publishers were like, II Regency so like, and it wasn't even that Regency sells better. It's that Regency covers sell better. The historian covers as it wasn't even like, they didn't even they were like the story's great. We love Victorian era romances. Can we make them cover Regency and she was like, but on some cure. I'm really funny. I'm really fascinated that the you the Victorian got picked up and it wasn't a problem. And I'm wondering if it's because it was clear.

Unknown Speaker 2:07
I was surprised to that Victorian got picked up and it wasn't a problem. I wrote it in part. I mean, mostly just because I was more familiar with it than Regency, I tend to like, you get more interesting, like class stuff in the Victorian era, because there's this like growing middle class in the Victorian era and the upper middle class. So it's not all but like nobles and dukes all the time. There's, there's more going on, sort of socially with that. And so it's kind of why it appealed to me. And I liked the literature of the time. And so I kind of wrote it, knowing there wasn't as much of it and kind of figuring that I would have to self publish it. Especially being queer because I had found very little, there's some there certainly isn't. It's wonderful. But not nearly as much Victorian queer stuff. But I guess it was just the right place. Right time. Right? Editor?

Elle 3:03
Yeah, yeah. It's, it does sell. I mean, I think the premise of your Okay, so we should backtrack. I'm so excited. Like getting ahead. We should backtrack. Okay, so the gentleman's book of vices is your very first published book, and what's your very first Britain? Lucky lovers of London, book one. So it's going to be a series. We love that. And, you know, and you had this really great blog post on your website about your publishing journey, and how you got rejection after rejection after rejection after rejection. And I kind of loved how this was almost your throwaway submission, like this submission, where you were right, like, and it's so funny, because you're like you, I've worked Victorian, nobody's going to pick this up. Because and that was your expectation is that you would continue to get rejections, but you kind of submitted it anyway. Assuming it'd be rejected, and assuming you'd put it out yourself. Yes. And so I kind of love this weird little journey that kind of it is

Unknown Speaker 4:04
it was it was very odd. I've been trying to break in for a long time. I actually wrote fantasy. Before this. I have been writing. Really, I've been writing since I was like, 14 or so. And then but spirit more seriously, as an adult, I took a an urban fantasy on submission with an agent in 2016. That did not go anywhere. The timing was very bad on that one. Market was saturated. And then yeah, I just got just kept on, kept on keeping on got very used to hearing this sort of like, oh, this is great, but it's kind of weird, and it's kind of not football right now. And that just kind of became like what I was used to I'd like open a open Aquarii thing and be like, Oh, I'm used to seeing these words. And yeah, not exactly what happened with this one. So I I had been living sort of under a rock during COVID I believe Did my twitter I wasn't on social media, I wasn't keeping any pulse on the publishing industry, while I wrote the gentleman's book of vices. And so when I started it, late 2019, it felt very niche. And then by the time I finished it, I was like, well, maybe things have changed. I haven't like poked my head out into the world of the living in a while. So why don't I send out a few queries, just to see if any, maybe something's changed? What do I know, I'll see if something's changed. And in the meantime, I'll study how to self publish, because I hadn't really looked into it too deeply yet. And I got back rejections from all the agents I submitted for that one query round, some of which were very complimentary. They said, This is great. It's a good idea. It's good story, but don't oversell it. Yeah. And having already had a book die on submission. I was like, Thank you, please, if that's the case, tell me that.

Elle 5:55
I'm curious how long with your book on submission with how long did it take for the agent to finally be like, Oh, give up? You know, do you know what I mean? Like, what was yeah,

Unknown Speaker 6:06
in that case, we only did one round of submissions, because there just weren't a lot of imprints taking urban fantasy at that time. Okay. So it was very limited. And then that agent was great. It was, you know, he's a really nice guy. But it just with the other books that I wrote, it just didn't really end up being quite the right fit. So I was just still kind of working on fantasy stuff, doing all these things. We parted ways. And then I just was trying to make this fantasy book work. And I just got sick of trying to rewrite the worlds and its rules. And like, reinvent physics. Every time I wanted to write a book. So it was very relaxing to write something that was in the real world, even if it's historical.

Elle 6:50
Okay, so what made you pivot to not only romance but queer, historical romance, like what, apart from I don't, I don't want to have to deal with this physics shit anymore.

Unknown Speaker 7:02
That's fair. So I'm queer. The things that I like, or queer that people that I hang out with are queer. So when I started reading romance, I gravitated to queer and in kinky romance, as well. And then so when I started writing, it's like, well, you know, what you what you put in tends to be what you get back out. And I was trying to write something that would feel easier. So I it was easier for me to wrap my head around it, because I'd read so much of it, and just kind of been around. So I just kind of jumped right in.

Elle 7:34
Cool. And were you reading contemporary historicals, a mix of contemporary and historicals a little

Unknown Speaker 7:39
bit of a mix, I was still trying to kind of get my footing in what I really liked with romance. I actually started reading romance, because that's that urban fantasy I submitted had enough of a romantic element that it was submitted to source books, which surprised me. But it wasn't they liked it. And I was like, Oh, you liked it. That's, that's interesting. But it wasn't quite a romance. I couldn't quite do it. And I was like, well, if they liked my book, they must be might be putting out things that I'm going to like too. So I started actually reading the genre that I wasn't actually very familiar with, at that point until fairly recently. So I was still kind of kind of finding my footing and finding sort of a random assortment I really like, like Tiffany rice is like a super favorite of mine. The original centers series. I know that some people say it's borderline not a romance, but that's okay. Yeah,

Elle 8:30
I mean, it's a romance.

Unknown Speaker 8:33
It all ends happy in the end, by the time you get there so good enough for me. I had a friend recommend KJ Charles as well, who does gay Victorian, and really loved her work and was trying to find some more stuff in that that time period just because I'm such kind of like a slot for that Victorian stuff in the first place. So so I just kind of a mix kind of a little bit, a little bit of everything. I'm still figuring out I'd say what my favorites are. So it's all kind of all over the map.

Elle 9:03
Okay, okay. Got it. Got it. Well, I'm, I'm completely intrigued, actually, by this urban fantasy. Like, what? What because I wrote I started writing urban fantasy. And so I have books out that I don't talk about, but I have books out that have that are in that genre. And it was the same thing where I had never set out to write a romance. It was but I had romantic elements in it. Yeah. And and that ended up sort of, like kind of being my pivot into Rome, although I was a romance reader, but perhaps not as voraciously as some of my of our fellow you know, our people are very voracious. Yeah, so I'm a yes. So I'm very impressed. I know I'm always like, Wait, how many books do you read it? What I don't like I don't read. I am a slow reader.

Unknown Speaker 9:51
I am also a slow reader. Glad I am not the only one in this world who is a slow reader. Oh, no,

Elle 9:56
I've always been a slow reader. I am a super slow reader and like And especially if I want to like take it in like I can read fast if I'm like skimming, but it's not gonna stick like it's not gonna stick in my brain. So I just I have a little bit of a plodding reader. Yay. I feel like I had Oh, yeah, so urban fantasy. I'm like, I had a question in there and I lost the question. What I want to know like, was it vampires? Was it witches? We don't need to like go too into it. But I'm very curious. It was and this so I loved

Unknown Speaker 10:27
vampires for the record, but and I'm so glad that they're like I heard they were kind of coming back. So that's exciting for me. But it was not actually it was not vampires. It was I had invented these sort of like New Age, like fairy type creatures they were based on kind of like the like the Irish good people, or something along those lines of like the little fairy beasties that live around you and metal and human affairs, but you don't necessarily know where they are. So I kind of invented almost like a humanoid type thing. It was a really fun book. But again, I got kind of the this is really good, but really weird. I don't know what to do. Oh my god, could you please publish that? I wouldn't. I might. I might. I got some requests from some friends in my critique group. Like, are you ever gonna put that one out? Like, I don't know. Maybe? I have time I my

Elle 11:22
initial request official request coming out. Yeah, cuz I like would read the shit out of that.

Unknown Speaker 11:29
is fun. It's a fun one. I've gotten a lot. I've hopefully gotten a lot better since then. So I definitely have to make some, some alterations to it. But

Elle 11:37
okay, so. So does this mean then. And it must mean that gentleman's book of vices is your very first romance like True Romance? Yes, it

Unknown Speaker 11:49
is. It is my first romance. Okay. Yep.

Elle 11:54
So what was it? Okay, how? How were okay, going back to the urban fantasy how romancey was the urban felt like I'm gonna, we're, we're the naughty pets and urban fantasy, or were your first naughty bits writing?

Unknown Speaker 12:09
There were naughty bits in the urban fantasy. Yeah. Okay.

Elle 12:13
Okay. Yep. All right. So so you had already sort of like, stepped over that threshold? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 12:19
Okay. I don't know if they were very good. But they were. They were in there.

Elle 12:26
And how was how was it writing? Because a particularly for from somebody who didn't at the time didn't really read the romance genre. Like what was that like for you writing it?

Unknown Speaker 12:36
It's fine. I have to do a lot of editing on it. I tend to any steamy scene, I write linearly, but I have to go back and rewrite them. Just like almost from scratch until I stopped cringing when I look at it. And that's and can sometimes take a few a few drafts to get to that point where I can look at it without just being totally horrified. Oh, so my I have an eclectic resume part of the I worked at a hustler Hollywood porn and sex toy store for a while so like I'm not hustler Hollywood. Oh my god. That was a fun that was a fun weird little thing to do and like

Elle 13:14
a hustler Hollywood store in Ohio.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
Oh yeah. Well they have the two types they have kind of like the truckstop one with like the adult bookstore sign on the highway somewhere and then they had in Columbus a like a little boutique store that if you can get past kind of like that sometimes people are off put by that like hustler Hollywood Vibe, but if you could get in the door it like had the vibe of like a really cute kind of like woman owned toy store like everyone's very knowledgeable and very friendly. And it was like it was a really fun well job to have for a while so I wasn't really scared to write the naughty parts and stuff. I was just kind of already there.

Elle 13:51
Okay, wait, no see, I'm now I'm hung up on Husserl Hollywood because I really well, it was

Unknown Speaker 13:56
great. I've never said that to someone and had that reaction. So that's fantastic.

Elle 14:02
Is it still around? Okay, because my experience with hustler Hollywood, I've only ever seen one and that was in LA on Sunset. Okay. And I was like, Oh, it was like Mecca and I had like the the flouncy outfits in the in the window and it was all very, very flat and Los Angeles and it was an edit and I was just like, oh my god, this is amazing. Yeah. Now was it so Is it still there? Does it still have that vibe? Because I don't think it's there anymore.

Unknown Speaker 14:32
Oh, the one I worked at it closed. Okay, close down. Right around I didn't stay all the way through the closing but it had closed within a couple of months of me moving on. Yeah, it was so close. Now of course you know these, I guess the boutique stores they had done three of them and I My understanding was that they just didn't it was one of those like kind of failed experiments and I think they closed all of those. Okay, smaller store was down, but there was one of those big ones somewhere else in Ohio. I've never been there but I believe there is one in Ohio or nearby like a like a truck stop off the highway. I don't know how close it is to the one in LA. But absolutely, there was one. absolute incredible.

Elle 15:17
So okay. So I'm guessing your salesperson at this at home. Yes. Okay. That is quite an awesome education for writing romance, especially while he absolutely. That's really cool. And I'm a little jealous. I'm like, Oh,

Unknown Speaker 15:36
it was it was pretty fun.

Elle 15:38
Yeah. Oh my god. I'm sort of also curious, what if you don't mind saying like, what years? What year was this around here? Was that

Unknown Speaker 15:47
that would have been 2012 ish.

Elle 15:52
Okay, because all of that stuff really went online. Right. Which I think is why Yeah, that were why so many of the stores just closed you know, yeah. So much ended up going online,

Unknown Speaker 16:02
for sure. And people would come in and mostly get the toys. We had the actual porn there. For the most part. It was like old guys would come in and buy their DVDs. Oh. You know, they're always very nice. So cute. I don't have a lot of horror stories. Fortunately, I maybe didn't stay there long enough. Their co workers who maybe had more, but overall pretty, pretty good.

Elle 16:28
So that was the ratio of women to men. I mean, apart from little old men going in and buying they're so cute. Um, it was it mostly

Unknown Speaker 16:37
women going in there? Yeah, it was mostly women.

Elle 16:39
Okay, I kind of like that's there was in New York. Oh, my God, was it Eve's garden? I think it was, or something like that. Now, I can't remember the name of that. And it was one of the first sex toy stores catered completely to women, it opened in the 70s. It was like a big pioneer. And they were like, on the second floor of some office building on 57th. Street. Nice. It was really kind of like you had to know where it was. Yeah, and go there. And it was, it was such a cool place to go. And there was this real sort of feeling of women sexual empowerment when you you know, so it was kind of an eye you don't necessarily think about that when you think?

Unknown Speaker 17:22
No, it was, I had gotten in as like a customer was because it was right down the street from where I lived, like it was walking distance. And I had gone in, and it was just really blown away by just how nice everyone was. And just what a welcoming little spot it was because from the outside, you did not think that's what you were gonna get when you came in.

Elle 17:43
Yeah, so I mean, this is like my plug to say, like, listeners, if there's a little sex toy shop in your neighborhood, I highly recommend walking in and checking it

Unknown Speaker 17:52
out. Yeah, you never know really what you're gonna get based on what's on the outside. Yeah, cuz like

Elle 17:57
90% of the time you're gonna walk in, and there's probably going to be some really amazing woman behind the counter who's going to help guide you through all of your choices. Yeah, you know, and most of the people that I do know that do any sort of sex work, whether it's working at a store selling, you know, vibrators or whatever, or it's actual, women's sex workers like yeah, they're all like super knowledgeable. And so yeah, happy to share the knowledge and pass it on. And they're very pro sex, no shaming. It's like, it's a great community to be. Absolutely, yeah. So. Okay, waxing on and on. Background.

Unknown Speaker 18:37
That's weird. That's why I put ecclectic resume, I can

Elle 18:41
add other little nuggets do you have going on there? I'm very curious. I'm super like, Oh, my God, this is so great. I'm a little surprised, though, that you weren't reading romance at that time.

Unknown Speaker 18:55
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. can't really explain it. I just hadn't really picked it up a whole lot.

Elle 19:01
That's amazing. That's really cool. So what was the first romance book you read?

Unknown Speaker 19:05
I so I can't remember what it was called. Maybe there's a listener who will be able to tell me what this book was. But I was. I was in high school. And I went to a used bookstore. And I did not know there was a concept of like fantasy like epic fantasy, magic and romance and someone had shelved a steamy romance and with the fantasy books, and so my little nerdy self went and I got like, Oh, it's a prince. He's gone blind. It's the witch who's going to heal him who is living in his castle. And it was like this like steamy like Beauty and the Beast ask romance. There was some I would read the ship and find this. This would have been in the early 2000s I don't know if it was old. I don't know already. By the time I got it. But it was like you She was making jokes about like his erection poking his eye out. That's what I remember. And I was like encountered anything like that. And I dogeared all the little scenes. I don't know where it went. I'm not sure when I finally parted with that thing. But that was the first one I ever read. And then I never really sought it out. I didn't know what it I didn't really realize it was a romance. But it was like, why so much sex in it?

Elle 20:30
You're like, I wanted epic fantasy. I've got sex. What's going on? Yeah, maybe

Unknown Speaker 20:35
that's where I got the idea. I could make that urban fantasy and just throw a bunch of sex in it and still call it an urban fantasy? I don't know.

Elle 20:40
But I mean, I guess he's your dad. Yeah, I think that's where I'm going. Because I definitely want to write, I want to go back to urban fantasy and magic and magical systems and all that I really enjoy researching it. I enjoy writing it. But I enjoy the romance part. And I did have a lot of romantic elements in the urban fantasy, but never enough to make it an actual romance. Right. So I'm trying to sort of figure out like, we're paranoid, like where does urban fantasy and paranormal romance began? And how am I going to bridge that?

Unknown Speaker 21:17
It's a tricky little spot. Yeah,

Elle 21:20
yeah. Because I have this idea for an urban fantasy, but because now I am so entrenched in the romance writing, like I want it to be a romance, but so it can't, but it means that I can't really do my original idea, because I don't have the happily ever after. That is like what you are absolutely supposed to have right. Now the one thing, it's the one thing exactly. So I don't know. So it's it's sort of it is tricky, where I'm still trying to sort out like Okay, so where? Where does one end on the other?

Unknown Speaker 21:51
Now, I wish you I wish you the best of luck figuring that out. That's definitely a task.

Elle 21:56
Because you're still like, yeah, I don't have to be Oh, I

Unknown Speaker 21:58
don't Yeah, I don't. I haven't really tried yet. But it's cool that I don't know. It's cool that there's so many different all the different like sub genres and everything. It was really exciting to kind of dive into romance and see just how much there is. And it's also different. So varied. Yeah. Cool.

Elle 22:15
There's like something for everybody. Yeah. Which is why I really bristle. When somebody I was in, I took a sex and relationship coaching course, I went through sexually. And I remember telling, and I told somebody in the course, you know, oh, what do you do? You know, because they're all there to be, you know, sex therapists. Yeah, not sex therapist, but do this sort of, you know, relationship work with people. And I was like, Oh, I write romance. And I'm just saying, this will help my writing, you know, and then this person in the class said to me something to the effect of, oh, I tried reading a romance. But it was also awful and misogynist. And like all of these, like terrible, like, Yeah, I'll be like, terrible, terrible issues really. shitting on Roman. And I was like, really? You just picked up the wrong book?

Unknown Speaker 23:07
Yeah, that's surprised me too, because there's so much I, you know, I think I had at some point, picked up some romances at the library and be like, well, these aren't great. But there's so many that if you pick up any random one who knows what you're gonna get, you gotta look and find things that you actually like.

Elle 23:23
Exactly. And the thing that you know, and it doesn't if you if you don't like something, it doesn't make that romance wrong. Like I like I like I know, for me, like, there are certain romances where I'm like, oh, it's not for me. Yeah, you know, but I completely understand that, like, any sort of, you know, writing about sex, or even reading sexual experiences is a way to work through trauma. It's a way to work through fantasy, it's a way to play it's a way to like work through all of these things. And so that's why it's always like never yuck on someone's yum because there's a reason why there is a place for dub comm there is a place for it, you know, even though I personally struggle with reading it. Right? It doesn't mean that it's an inherently bad, right? You know, so, yeah. What can we say about that? I don't know. But I wanted to talk about Victorian porn.

Unknown Speaker 24:20
Yes. Speaking of troubling, troubling erotic content about Victorian porn,

Elle 24:27
because the Victorians loved their porn. Cool thing is the whole thing. There are pictures like little like almost like playing card pictures that are because it Victorian era was those photographs back then. These are all sort of like boudoir photography. Yeah, like Olden style. Really extraordinary, um, bit of a history in her to like, and I love the Victorian era. So like, I like those, like the Victorian porn. I Yeah, I'm 100% They're awesome. Let's talk about it. But it is a little problematic. And I have seen, you know, some of the stories that came out of the Victorian porn era. There were books, and there's a lot of troubling content. Oh, yes. You know, Oh, yes. A lot of pedophilia. Uh huh. A lot of rape.

Unknown Speaker 25:24
Uh huh. A lot. Oh, yeah. I had to read. I was reading them to write the gentleman's book of vices. So for sure. So,

Elle 25:33
first of all, how did you find them? Are you and were you reading them online? Were your Yeah. Oh, yeah. They're

Unknown Speaker 25:37
free. They're all like Project Gutenberg. And just you can find them online. You don't have to buy them. Yeah, they're just out there. Public. Oh, yeah. They're in like the public domain.

Elle 25:50
I'm just kind of curious about the Victorian sensibilities with porn back then. Because it was, was it? It was criminal, but it was one of those, like, sort of vices where they kind of turned their heads.

Unknown Speaker 26:04
Yeah, it was definitely sort of selectively enforced. Because I mean, there's so much of it, you know, how they can't get all of it. So it was sort of a weird, complicated. Industry and situation. And that's kind of like the Victorian sex thing, in general is just like so buttoned up, and repressed. And therefore there's just like an explosion of just like, tons of BDSM stuff, lots of really hardcore, sadomasochistic things show up in, in the stories. But yeah, it was like if the laws as they were written, and I'm kind of just going to do the best I can, like on the fly with us, it was like, if something could be proven to be corrupting to an innocent mind, then it could be it was criminal and could be banned. People could be prosecuted for like peddling it and things like that. But it was a very vague like, standard. Oh, it was like a little loose, like, yes, that is that is my understanding of it, is that they could kind of say like, well, what if this fell into the hands of the sweet, innocent creature who's never known anything like corrupt their mind? And if it if it could, and someone wanted it gone, then it could be gone?

Elle 27:32
Wow. But there was a lot of

Unknown Speaker 27:34
it. Yep. There was they were into it.

Elle 27:36
Much like they were really like, I guess that's what happens when you have such, you know, intense repression. Is Yeah, you end up with sort of an excess of pornography. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 27:50
that's, from what I've read, that seems to be the the understanding of kind of what was going on.

Elle 27:56
Right? Wow, that's some wild research that you were doing

Unknown Speaker 28:00
it is I can't say that I can recommend things. But there were, there were ones that I read, in particular, for the gentleman's book of vices that were sort of an interesting mix of kind of different, just different stuff, just kind of get a feel. And they they do like a tour sometimes if like every perversion imaginable. So, you know, I read this read the sins of the cities of the plains, which was put out in I want to say 1871 ish, which is, it's gay, for the most part, though, the way that sexuality and identity we're understood that was a little bit different. So there's, I mean, I would almost call it pansexual. There's pairings of all kinds and sins of the cities of the plains. And, like, you just kind of get steal everything. There's the hardcore this and there's some things that are kind of like, actually hot or sweet. And there's like, Oh, this is horrifying. Play balls. Like, it's a very wide variety of like, episodes. And there's actually

Elle 29:05
been my experience reading Victorian porn, like across the board, whereas some of it is so like, just like, oh, and some of it, it's like, no, I can't read

Unknown Speaker 29:14
the same book. That's just what really blows my mind is like, you think you're gonna It's okay, it's fine. And then it's like, what just is even happening? This is every trigger warning imaginable. So if you're gonna, like, if you're gonna explore it, just know everything, every warning, I even get to listen, because it's every single

Elle 29:31
It is everything and it will be in the same boat. Because these are all short, very short stories. These are all pamphlets, basically, like they're like little pamphlet books. So these are very short stories. So you can get like, an absolute extreme, like, extreme levels, like you said, and like one where you're just like, how did we even get there? Yeah. And

Unknown Speaker 29:54
that's kind of it was really fun. In the gentleman's book of vices. i The author writes this I find like one of the characters is an author. So Myles is a smart author, Charlie is his biggest fan. And there's sort of like jokes throughout about like, the outlandish nature of these books that he's writing about, like kidnappers and tortures, and all these like horrible dark, twisted things that he's writing about. But we don't see any of that, like that's not on the page, they just have this like, almost like fantasy connection on this one level, but then the things that they actually do in real life are definitely a little more like what we're used to seeing in a regular romance novels,

Elle 30:36
that's not going to be a trigger warning on your book.

Unknown Speaker 30:40
Those are on my website, if anyone wants to see them, but they will not be similar to, to those I would put on the Victorian foreign that the character was, is writing.

Elle 30:51
Yeah. You know, I kind of lose. I'm like, in love with the premise of having the love story between this Victorian smart writer. And, like, how did you come up with that? That is so awesome.

Unknown Speaker 31:08
I don't even know if I can remember

Elle 31:10
a character. I wrote the first

Unknown Speaker 31:13
chapter, which follows Charlie the collector. And I just I had read a couple of gay romances in a row where no shade this is like maybe people's experience, but they went to like a gay bar. And we're really relieved that it was kind of normal. And in my experience, when I've gone to queer spaces, I've been like, well, this place is crazy. And I love it. There's people who are like, dressed funny, and they're like really free with their affections. And we're like, I don't know, it's suit, I go somewhere gay. It's super gay. And I love it. And so I was just like, well, I read a few of those in a row, I think I'd like to do something where he's really excited. And he's in this place where it's got feathers and pink and there's backroom shenanigans and people in drag and frilly drinks and whatnot. Like it's just over the top. So I started just writing this chapter with this character, and I just like, I need a plot, I guess. So he's looking for an author, okay. And author, then I start writing the author like, well, what is he right? Oh, he's right. Smart, right? Cuz I don't know, we got to do something. It's gotta write something interesting doesn't eat. So I just, it's kind of random I pants and so it just kind of appeared. Probably just, I don't know, he had, he had failed as a literary novelist. I suppose I didn't do it on purpose. But I had just come off of leaving fantasy and now I was going to write some Smite. So that's probably in like the back of my subconscious. It's like, well, we're gonna He's just gonna be like, he's gonna be like me, and he's leaving his respectable. Just right to write porn. And so I'm guessing that was in the back of my mind. While I was just sort of like on the fly. pantsing these characters out of nothing.

Elle 32:57
Oh, my God. That's fantastic. You kind of accidentally wrote your story.

Unknown Speaker 33:01
Yeah. I noticed that later. I was like, Oh, well, that's kind of on the nose. But oh, well, it's fine.

Elle 33:09
Okay, so but you are writing sex between two men? Yeah. And so how did you how did you manage to write something? So that was accurate or that it was I mean, accurate? That's, I don't know if that's the right word. I don't that seems like a weird word to use. But, you know, how did you get to because that's one of the things where I'm always like, I don't want to get it wrong.

Unknown Speaker 33:31
Yeah. I hope I did. All right. You know, I do my best did my best. I mean, I've read, you read read. I've read a bunch of it. And, and I've read not just like what we consider like mm romance but like, gay literary fiction. Actually, gay erotica, even. One interesting one again, you know, recommend with caveats. There is a there is a Victorian erotic romance called Delaney. That was probably written by Oscar Wilde. That was also very interesting. Oh, I don't know if you've ever taken a look at that one that is a full length like, novel that it ends sadly. So it's not what we consider a romance, but it has a romantic plot, as well as the erotic scenes, some of which, again, are disturbing. But it also has a lot of really interesting stuff. And if it if it is indeed written by Oscar Wilde, which it probably is, it's very well written.

Elle 34:25
Oh, that's amazing. I actually had no idea that this existed. It's very,

Unknown Speaker 34:28
it's a very interesting thing. It's on Project Gutenberg, you can get it for free.

Elle 34:32
Oh, okay. Very cool. Okay, excellent. Yeah, that's

Unknown Speaker 34:38
so just Yeah, it's, and I was working in the porn store. So I've seen all the porns I love all the configurations of all but humans. It's all good to me. And it's kind of a good thing. So hopefully I did well, um, we'll see. I guess if people like it should be good. Um, I've also got, this is a it's a queer series too. So we've got a Zabbix coming down, coming down the line next time or in the third book. And then some characters who are they don't use this terminology because of the historical stuff, but I think will understand as non binary and books two and three. That's just kind of a fun, fun little series. So yeah, you know, did my best wait for

Elle 35:25
a pantser, you kind of have this all lined up?

Unknown Speaker 35:29
Yes. Sort of terrifying. I have to that third book is gonna be the first one I've ever written to contract like two to like a proposal, I had to do my first proposal, I had already written a draft of the second book before the contract came in. And then so I'm editing that now. So at the time of this recording, and then that third one is going to be I have a proposal, and I can't pants it, I have to write it. And that's gonna be interesting.

Elle 36:00
Wow, I'm a pantser. Well, I'm a plant, sir. I guess that's what I'm I do is like I kind of outline but it's mostly by the time I'm like, into the book, like the outline is out the window. And I don't look at it. Yeah. And so I am intrigued. Like, how, how, how, how mad will they be? If you do?

Unknown Speaker 36:23
I don't, I'm just hoping that maybe it'll save me some rewriting. Because with like, the sheer level of pantsing that I do, where I will literally sit down with no idea what is going on, I end up rewriting a lot. And that editing process takes a really kind of a long time. And I ended up with just like 10s of 1000s of deleted words. So I'm hoping fingers crossed that having this proposal will help me not have to do that.

Elle 36:50
Man make a suggestion with those deleted words. Do you still have them? Like I saved my deleted words? Because I'm like, I'm that person. Where I like, I'm like, Boo Boo, if I want it back? Yes. I have like a little like, I always have a doc running of like, yeah, it seems Those are great little like gifts you can give your readers that is a good idea. Yes. So like, helps build your mailing lists, right? You know, so I'm just just throwing that out there. Like, they're not wasted words.

Unknown Speaker 37:20
I'll keep that in mind. So,

Elle 37:23
so I'm kind of like, um, now that's I've made peace with my deleted scenes, knowing that they that I can give them to my readers like, comes out, you know, so, which is pretty cool, because I has awesome. My third book and my rockstar series, I had to like scrap the first like, third of it.

Unknown Speaker 37:42
Yeah, it happens. That's a bummer. That was like, that's a lot.

Elle 37:48
Yeah, you know, some of the scenes I was able to rework, but most of it gone. Uh huh.

Unknown Speaker 37:53
Wow. Yeah. I've been there. It's, it's sad. But yeah, the bats a lot of the time. Yeah.

Elle 38:01
But my readers got some treats. That's cool. Their inbox, you know, so, yeah. So deleted scenes? Well, because you did say about you know, that you do a lot of edits. And when you're editing your Stevie bits, and you're sort of going until you don't cringe anymore. I'm very curious. Like, what is making you cringe here.

Unknown Speaker 38:19
A lot of it is the language. Like on like the word, sentence level. And things that make me cringe in my own work don't necessarily make me cringe in other people's stuff that I'm reading. So I definitely have just a different idea of what is mine. Because if there's like rockhard throbbing members in somebody else's book, it doesn't really doesn't mean it doesn't upset me in their book. But I don't know if it throbs wrong in mine, or make me feel weird. And so I just have to make sure all the words are like in the right order. And it's not like awkward, I guess.

Elle 38:59
Yeah, I mean, I think I mean, there are moments even now where I do a scene and I'm like, cringe, CRINGE CRINGE. But I don't know that I will ever quite get over that. That's fair. You know, because there are some things we have to write that's a little squirmy. Yeah. Simply by the nature of what we're writing,

Unknown Speaker 39:21
for sure, right. Yes. So I'm getting used to that a little bit more. It also helps me to have it well integrated. So part of why I don't know if I sent you like way too long of a snippet. No, not at all. Okay. But one thing that kind of is jarring when I'm reading and then when I reread my own stuff is if everything's like cruising along, and then you get to the sex scene, and like everything changes, like the voice is different. The types of words that are being used are different, the characters just don't seem quite the same. So I have to make sure it's all very smooth as we transition into an hour Have the sex scene in a way that feels like it's still just the character's life.

Elle 40:06
Oh, I kind of really liked that I never thought of I never really thought about it like that. But it is true because, of course, there's going to be a transition because with every sex scene, the character is going through a transformation, right? Where there is a sort of level of discovery happening in that scene that we do need to transition into, because they're actually making a transition as human. Right. That's really kind of interesting that I never quite thought of like that. Make a note at what time it is awesome. And I know that you had said that, that picking the scene for you was kind of an interesting exercise. Yes. And I was sort of curious about what that was like.

Unknown Speaker 40:56
It was really hard to decide where it begins and where it ends. Because the scene that I sent you, it's some it's kind of right after Charlie and Miles have had this. They've had to do this bit of farcical impersonation, where miles shows up to give Charlie the sign book. But there's a cake tasting going on for Charlie's wedding. So the fiance is there and the fiance's grouchy mom is there and Myles has to pretend to be the like simile a How are you say that? sampling the wines and the cakes and things for them. And so everyone leaves Charlie and miles are kind of left to their own devices. And to me, that scene starts there. When they're like by themselves, Charlie starts kind of making eyes and making implications. And to me, it begins like way back there, then they go upstairs, they look at this, like porn collection. And this is all like part of it, and then they hook up, then the bits start coming in. Okay. And then at the end, you know, there's the whole rest of the chapter before miles, like goes home and jerks off. Like, to me the scene is like three chapters long. But that's not really the scene. And that's not really what you asked for. In three chapters would have been a lot on where to begin and end.

Elle 42:11
But I actually agree. And I think that that actually makes this book so so intriguing to me is the idea that the steamy moment is really happening over the course of three chapters. Yeah, because it is such a journey for these two men that like that, like this steamy moment, that actually doesn't end up with sach. And Mike, or at least the scene you sent me it isn't Yeah, it's interrupted. Yeah, it's interrupted, like and so it doesn't, it still kind of continues and like any other form, in the next chapter, like that, to me is super like, Whoa, how did you do that?

Unknown Speaker 42:52
No. Lots of editing.

Elle 42:59
Well, we should get down to it. Alright, let's do it. But but before i You did, you actually did set it up. So that's awesome. But I want I'm curious why you picked the same.

Unknown Speaker 43:11
Um, part of it was a little bit practical it was there's no, there's not like big spoilers in it because the book won't have come out. I don't think by the time we're putting this out. So no real big spoilers here. It also I was able, there's there were two that I considered and the other one, I couldn't figure out where to start and where to end it. Oh, really, in a way that would have enough context for it to make sense. I don't think in the format of your podcast, okay. And then the other. The other ones that I have, some are actually very short. Some I think the hardest parts in this book are they just do some like dirty talk here and there. Oh, last a paragraph or two and then they move on. Okay, some of the roles from these stories and things they'll just kind of like pepper it in. That's not really like a scene either. So it was like process of elimination.

Elle 44:03
Okay, we're gonna put a pin in the scene for a minute I want okay, got dirty talk. Yes. How do you write it and not make it cringe because that is a struggle. And I know that's a struggle for a lot of writers. And so there is and I think there is a way to do it. It just becomes like, I don't know like sometimes it can be a little bit like if my partner is like let's do dirty talking. I'm like, take a bath like I do. That's very fair. It's you know, it's, there's, there's a there's an art to it. There is an art to it. Let's put it that way.

Unknown Speaker 44:41
I lean in to the awkward and let it be comical, okay and hot at the same time. This story and these characters lend themselves to that because they have this like mental attraction to each other based on these over the top Stories. So they can like say really over the top sort of things like, I'm going to chain you to my bed and make you do the accounting for my shop. And that's sort of ridiculous and over the top, but it's also kind of hot because they're both like, playing along. It's a game fun, and it's hot, but it's also kind of silly. And so that is how it works here is that those dirty talk moments, they're hot, but they're also funny, we're not going to pretend that it's not okay, when it's not kind of silly.

Elle 45:35
Okay, so it's not necessarily like this is the sexy bit, we're gonna do dirty talk, it's actually a little bit more whimsical.

Unknown Speaker 45:42
Yeah, there's just kind of like, it's kind of peppered in to the, to the dynamic between them in a way that's funny and sweet. And I think also hot.

Elle 45:53
I think funny, like, I think funny and sweet lends itself to hot really easily, you know, particularly because it does show a level of intimacy between these two people. You know, like the ability to show that is it shows the intimacy, some of the most intimate scenes that you think you can read in romance have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Yeah. You know, and can and in fact, okay, so this is a good segue, because okay, you wrote one of those moments. Okay, great in the scene, so let's just jump to that. Right now. This is you right dual point of view. Yes. Right now we're in Charlie's point of view. And Charlie is not the writer. Charlie is the fan of the of our novelist. Yes. That's miles. So we're in Charlie's point of view right now. Those hands. God Charlie swore his own skin was connected to the pages. His excitement swelled to an almost painful stomach stiffness as Miles traced his fingers over the print of Charlie's favorite part of his favorite book. This one is an interesting choice to read over and over miles, whispered into Charlie's hair, a little peck in return on His temple. What do you like about it? Charlie caught his breath, enough to speak though his voice came out. Very Husky fishing for compliments. Mr. Cox. Miles trace the words again, though, this time, He trailed his finger over the back of Charlie's hand, swirling the skin and skittering over the lamp lit gems on his fingers. Maybe I am. Okay, so I love that moment. Just like wait, they're like it because it was. It was like, I love the tentative first touch, you know, that sort of like, is it? Okay, if I touch you? And maybe it's gonna look a little bit like an accident, just in case? You know? And honestly, I don't I don't think you see this often enough in books.

Unknown Speaker 47:45
Maybe? I think it's I'm not. I can't argue with that. I guess? I don't know. I don't know.

Elle 47:52
Because I was like, Oh, that's really like, I don't know that I've or at least I haven't noticed it Aha, like level. And I did like that there was this sort of, I don't know, like, to me this, this was almost more intimate than if there had been sort of wild sex going on, you know, because it's sort of it's I don't know, I guess it's this, that sort of testing the water thing. You know, somebody is being very vulnerable here. I mean, I think that they both are to an extent, but I feel like Myles is being a bit more vulnerable with his, because he's the one sort of touching

Unknown Speaker 48:29
Yes, and he is very, he has not been vulnerable in a very long time. This is sort of his first foray back into any vulnerability, really, and yours was yours. Yes. So. And it's over this book, it has that physical element of the book that is connecting them right now, which is what they need, I think, to move forward with their relationship because it starts with this book.

Elle 48:59
I'm sort of also interested in like, Charlie has a fiancee, yes, he is going, he is going to be married. And he is in love with Myles I think, or maybe in lust with his work and that yeah, like, yeah, at this point, then can sort of like, you know, probably translate to love. I think that that's a really interesting dynamic that's been set up in the story too, particularly at the time period when this is, you know, frowned upon. And it lends like, you don't have to give any spoilers here, but um, sort of like a real curiosity. How are these two men gonna get to their happily

Unknown Speaker 49:35
ever after? Yeah, it's a process. And what

Elle 49:39
is that? And what will their happily ever after look like as well? Like, I think that that's something that that is, like, I'm very cognizant of, you know, and are you able, so is there a difference in that sort of happily ever after, because of the time period that you're writing in and that you are writing queer romance? Or are you giving it a little bit more of a fantasy element so that they can get that?

Unknown Speaker 49:57
Um, I mean, so historically speak Yeah, I mean, people did live their lives and people did get to have successful queer relationships, time period, you don't always get as much recall, like a lot of recording about it or necessarily a lot of like details about it. But people did, especially in bigger cities, like where you can kind of kind of blend in. So they're able to get a get a happy ending, they, it's why it's called the lucky lovers of London series to those because the characters are all in sort of circumstances that seem pretty impossible. But don't worry, don't worry, they get there, they're able to put a lucky you're gonna read about the lucky ones today. And they, they wouldn't have been the only ones. And so I think it's interesting to look at what those possibilities might have been, we sort of know that those happy endings would have been occurring. Okay. But by virtue of them being, you know, happy we don't hear about them, because if anyone had heard about them too much than me, then,

Elle 51:03
right, Abby? Yeah, this is like sort of fascinating research that you sort of, like, do and find, and I'm curious, were you able to find this research where we're going to lose, I just

Unknown Speaker 51:15
kind of, I really poked around, it was a lot of rabbit hole style research. I am a literature nerd, not a historian. And so I was not especially organized about it, are able to answer that in a way that is extremely satisfying, like in a brief moment, but I just, I just look, I just go online and I click this and this and this and I go to the bibliography and find the find the books and find where they've gotten their research and look at there's photographs and sometimes the photographs have little stories like oh, here's Aunt Edna and or special friend, like, find these these records and you find letters between people and things like that, that just really show. I mean, people have been living here people been living their lives forever. Sometimes it's easier. Sometimes it's harder. But

Elle 52:10
I love I love those little rabbit holes. Like I love historical research. It's one of my fun one of my favorite things to do. Petrified to write a historical because the people that read them are a little nuts with their like, you need to be at like if you if you like one wrong move. One wrong move. And you're done. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 52:31
my books not out yet. So that goes.

Elle 52:34
I don't mean to. No,

Unknown Speaker 52:37
I'm, I am very aware. And I'm also, I'm pretty open about the fact that there's historical romance authors who man their stuff is like, spot on, you know that they are like a historian, they've got everything just right. I admit I'm doing the best I can. And if somebody knows more than me, I'm happy to like, hear that. I'll take that, and I will integrate it better next time. Well,

Elle 53:02
I also feel like you're doing you're also dealing with a lot of historical research that is coded. Yes. You know, like, special friend and like, so when you're dealing with coded research, like you need to learn to read the codes. But sometimes the codes aren't really obvious. And you could, it's very easy to get it wrong. Or I don't know, I feel like because you are dealing with a coded community from back then, like, the research is always going to be, I think, a little bit more slippery than sort of being able to go and sort of the definitive story of George Washington or like, whatever, you know what I mean? Like, you're never you're never going to be able to have that.

Unknown Speaker 53:41
Yes, definitely sort of piecing things together. Yeah, yeah. So

Elle 53:44
So I think that that research is sort of like, you know, a lot more, a lot trickier, a lot more difficult. But yeah, like I love but I love the research rabbit hole. And also looking at like, like the picture with the story, like almost like written on the back. Like, that's the coolest way to research like that is Yeah, awesome. To sort of like end up with somebody's family photographs and have like little notes about who's Yeah, like what they were doing and Coney Island. Yeah, have any sex or something, you know,

Unknown Speaker 54:12
there's a book I want to read for the in the third, I have to be careful what I say because there's the books build on each other. So there's potentially spoilers as I talk about each book, but there's a there's a biography of a female physician that was written by her lover after her death. And that sounds on like my research list for one of the later books, because that's fat that's relevant to the story. And it's that's a fascinating piece of information. They're fairly certain that they were lovers but that's not like right out there. But she wrote the biography of this woman that she loved. So like, is that kind of thing? Cool? Yeah. Oh, cool.

Elle 54:53
How long does it take you to write I mean, because I know you pants and but with all the research that you're doing to like, I'm curious. how, like, what, how? And how and then also to poor question, and then how do you synthesize what you the knowledge that you've taken in to put it back out on the page.

Unknown Speaker 55:11
It takes me about a year, it took me about a year to write the gentleman's book advices though it with every edit, I've had to make changes to some of the historical stuff. Like I had a, I had a friend who writes historical, who caught some things in a in a battery that weren't quite right. So I had to fix those on one of my passes. I tend to sort of research as I go, I already knew about this time period from just like kind of already knowing the literature and some of the history of it, which is why I picked it. And I've done some research into it for a fantasy I was working on too. So it was just kind of I already had enough to get started. And then I will like write a draft, and then I'll go back and I'll make sure I have things. Right.

Elle 55:55
Okay. Yeah, cuz I like Bethany Bennett, who we talked about the top of the podcast, she was talking about how she has readers that will flag words and be like, they want to say this. And then she goes back. And she's like, actually, no, they did, because she's not strictly specific. Like, she's very specific. And she is like, would they have used this word in this context? And yes, they did. And, you know, she is she and so she's always able to backup like when somebody comes out, or,

Unknown Speaker 56:25
yes, that's great. I'm happy for her. I am not confident I'll be able to necessarily handle it with such grace, but I will be okay. Especially for words, I don't get too fussy about always using the right language because I read enough Victorian literature. Like if this read like a Victorian novel, you would not be happy. So I'm not going to do it, because you won't like it. Trust me. You don't want it to sound like a Victorian novel. Well, I mean, there's also

Elle 56:52
something to say for I mean, I don't know if you watch Peaky Blinders on Netflix, I have not but I would like to, okay, they do a thing, and that this was actually written about, like the New York Times or something like that, where, um, and it's become a trend. I think bridgerton Does it I actually have not seen bridgerton where they use music that is so not from the time period. So it's like very modern, almost like Yeah, but Peaky Blinders has a sort of like punk rock soundtrack, right when you look at that, and I think that that is so extraordinary. And I love that they do it and I know purists are probably like, you know, talk about cringe, right? Like if you're like historical purists. You're probably like dying slow deaths every time they do it, I believe, but I kind of love it when you come when when they come out or sort of like I'm thinking about like six on Broadway Right? Like they're like these are like the mean girls that like you know and they Yeah, vernacular very modern vernacular, even though they are based in like these historical figures, right. I dig that. Like, I like that sounds really cool. But I don't think that would fly I don't think that advice.

Unknown Speaker 58:00

Elle 58:03
Okay, I'm going to keep going. Okay, I have I have your next the next TV, but it's a little long. So everybody settle in settling in, but it's good. So now we're in miles point of view. He couldn't remember the last time he had been so overcome. And he didn't want to fortunately, he'd be amazed if he could remember his own name right now. Oh, God. It had been so long and Charlie. Charlie felt like pure heaven after so many months and an isolated how my heart is breaking by the way for miles at this like just breaking. I don't even know him for miles. Poor miles. Charlie kissed wickedly his body searing through the fat fine fabric of his clothes, his clothes. God they were pretty, but not as pretty as Charlie himself. Miles hated them. He untuck the shirt and patiently and couldn't suppress a groan when his hands met the hot air scan of his lower back. Charlie gasped and clung to him. Miles like that heart thundering See, wondered what other sorts of responses you could get out of this beautiful man. He scratched his nails over the spot lately, then harder until Charlie moaned softly against Miles's mouth even better, but not enough. He ran his hands desperately over every bit of every bit he could reach sliding up his back down his legs, cutting his face but sitting like this, they could only get so close. He couldn't take it needed more. And as he tried to get it he wound up topping the poor fellow flat on the ground harder than he meant to. Sorry, miles whispered ragged, poor miles. Charlie's eyes were dark and starving. His lips were bright and more enticing than ever. He didn't answer just dragged miles had down and shoved his tongue back in his mouth. They went on kissing like that completely lost on each other until the need for air became too urgent to ignore. They broke apart their mingled breath hot and labored. This would be a good time for miles to regain his senses but his body and emotions had left his mind out in the rain. He was so incredibly hard that even his buttons are in danger of giving up the fight is reasoned and stand half a chance instead of doing something sensible. He worked frantically at the complicated knot around Charlie's neck stealing quick pulses of pleasure against his leg. Trolley seemed unaware that Miles sit even passingly considered escape. With a rough move movement he helped Myles tear the tear the tie off. Mile started on his collar stud kissing his way down Charlie's warm neck. So said Charlie on a low breath, tangling his finger fingers and Miles his hair. I have to ask which 1am i The innocent or the corruptor he arched into miles kisses as they reached his collar collarbone. I'm afraid I've lost track. He slid his hand down miles his chest down his stomach, all the way down to where it was most needed. Miles grunted through his teeth shocked in the best possible way as Charlie stroked him through his trousers. Oh, so Charlie, whose fingers wandering in his eyes going wide? Oh, God, I think you're the corruptor love. There's nothing innocent about this thing. Okay, I'm gonna pause here for a moment because all the way down to where it was most needed. I kind of feel like that line was originally a cringe line.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:11
Oh, probably. Oh, it probably was this whole scene was a cringe lime.

Elle 1:01:17
Long ago. And so I kind of really love how you sort of like, you know, although it because it could have been all the way down to the throbbing member. But I said it was all the way down to where it was most needed. Like, I really, really love that. And I think that, you know, it. It. I don't know, like, it's funny when you sort of like write something and then walk away and go back to it later. And I do this with my day job. And you know, I will write something I will leave it and I know what I've written is terrible. Like, I know what I've written is hack that I need to leave it. Yeah. And then I come back to it. And I go over it again. And I think of like a more elegant way to put it. Yeah, you know, and I think that it's sort of, I think as writers like I always feel like that's where my imposter syndrome kicks in. And they feel like you did I didn't get it right the first time. Therefore you're ago I am not a writer. Oh no. And that is the end. So it's like to sort of hear you go Oh, my first draft. It's all cringe. It's all Oh, yeah. And and think about like the process. It really is a process it is. And like, you know, and sometimes the words are really awkward and messy. And then we have to go back and do it again. Yep. You know, so that's so like, Shut up impostor syndrome. Okay, I'm gonna I don't worry about that. That's a beautiful scene. I love the scene. And I love it. It's like they're they like Charlie starts playing a little game because you know, you have in the books. Yeah, the innocent and the Crafter like that is in Victorian porn in particular. There's always that there's somebody corrupting an innocence. Yes, whatever, which is like that. I think that's probably like sort of almost the one genre convention that there isn't porn.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
Yeah, there is. That is like all the time. And it did come up earlier in their conversation in this scene as well. So he's calling back to when they just talked about that.

Elle 1:03:05
So I'm gonna keep going. Miles was surprised to finding himself love finding. Miles was surprised to find himself laughing at a moment like this, but he did and he liked seeing the smile on Charlie's face along with his last. It made him feel human again, poor miles. Connected. He was drunk on it as Charlie went on teasing him closing his eyes and thrusting gently against his hand until this sweet sensation finally spurred him on. He grabbed both of Charlie's wrist and pinned them above his head. He moved fully on top, settling his knees on either side of Charlie's hips and holding his wrist so tight. He'd not get way without a good fight. Because that smirk and bit down until he got a delicious gasp Charlie's eyes closed and his hips blocked. Yes, he painted Yes, and definitely the innocent. Oh, poor me. Miles dragged his lips and teeth along Charlie's neck, neck until they found a sensitive spot that made him flinch beautifully. For you. It was overwhelming too much and not nearly enough at the same time. They kissed and moved and moved more and more desperately against each other in time with their tongues building up into something truly delicious. It was well past past time to start doing the thing properly. It wasn't. He reached between them to start on Charlie's straining buttons God he hoped he could last considering footsteps. footsteps in the hallway help. Health came sharply back two miles is mine the terror the death and all the other reasons he could not do this. He darted up onto knees that were incriminating. We settled on either side of the man, the man of the house. He wiped his mouth and looked down horrified. The state of them was too obvious to hide close to shovelled breathing labored, their bodies a beacon of evidence against them and the books, the books and artwork strewn about everywhere, all the Civic lascivious mass spread Too far too tidy and too far to tidy and time. Charlie suits, his eyes went sideways to the closed door. Though the way he settled his hands on miles backside didn't express an awful lot of concern. The footsteps came and went down the hall and backup it and then vanished down the stairs. Oh my God, my heart stop to that like footsteps, the footsteps that immediate flick of danger like I thought that was so well done. There would be a worry like there's real danger written in there, you know, and, and that you addressed it too, I think is great, because I don't that let you know there is sort of a fear of getting caught and clearly something had happened and Miles has passed. Yeah, that amplified that fear whatever it was, which are we will learn in the book.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:50
Yes. It's not really much of a spoiler, it's kind of out by the, by the way, you kind of know what's going on. Okay. Early, pretty early on. That he's, he's seen, seen some shit. And Charlie, on the other hand, is rich and hasn't seen some shit and is pretty confident that he can like carry on these sorts of affairs, even he's married and things like that, just because he's kind of because that social sphere, that he can probably get away with

Elle 1:06:21
it because there is a class divide that allows him to, it doesn't allow him to be more open, or does it just allow him like, I'm kind of curious, like how he can get away with,

Unknown Speaker 1:06:32
it allows him to feel a bit more certain that if anything went wrong, either no one would really want to make much trouble or his family's reputation and money could get him out of trouble. The way the law was in 1883 is very different than 1885. Like there's an enormous shift when the criminal act Amendment and the concept of grace and decency came about in 1885, which is why I actually chose 83. For this one, it was a lot more difficult to convict anyone of gay sex stuff in Britain, in this particular year. So Charlie, ultimately, given the way that the things are written and his position is just he's just not particularly worried that he's going to get enough. Does that there would be evidence that would be sufficient to cause him too much trouble? Probably.

Elle 1:07:28
So it might be a bit of more, it might be a bit scandalous, but otherwise, he was he was pretty his position Captain pretty.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:34
He's pretty confident. Yes, though. Miles, on the other hand, has kind of seen where there's loopholes, there's lesser charges, there's, there's still ways for things to go. Wrong. Okay. If the stars don't align for you, What a predicament?

Elle 1:07:54
I mean, I think I think that that's sort of like, what an interesting time period to write queer romance because there is always this sort of undercurrent of, if this goes wrong, it could go horribly, horribly wrong. Yeah. And to be able to successfully weave that into the writing, yet also be able to give them that happily ever after. And, you know, and do all of that and make sure that it doesn't sort of I don't want to say bogged down the book, but I guess for lack of like, a better Yeah, way that like bogged down the book. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:30
I know to mean, for sure. I

Elle 1:08:31
mean, like, Yeah, I think that that is kind of extraordinary. And like, I don't I'm like I don't think I could do it. Like, I'm just gonna I'm just gonna put it right. I don't think I could do.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:43
That's all right. Yeah. You got your own thing going on.

Elle 1:08:48
I got my own thing. But I think that that takes like an incredible an incredible amount of skill, frankly, you know, that I think is really extraordinary. And this book is great. Like, this book is a really good book. Thanks. It was a really good book, everybody. So I thank you so much. Yeah, like highly, highly, highly recommend reading this when it comes out because it's like it's a it's a gorgeous story. And and I love miles.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:15
That's awesome.

Elle 1:09:16
I love miles to love miles, man. Like I was like, yeah, she's so great. Miles. I'm so Okay, so this is coming out November 29. Science and you got the second but do you have a pub date on the second one yet?

Unknown Speaker 1:09:36
It is planned for next July, which is also new Barbie movies coming out. So we're gonna have an exciting July next year. Um, things I've got on my calendar. I love

Elle 1:09:50
Margot Robbie. I don't know what to make of this movie.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:54
I don't know either. But you know that and then my the second book should be coming out in July, but the pub dates not set yet. And then the third one is not is not set, but I think they're all coming out about eight or nine months apart. Okay. It's kind of the the plan at the moment.

Elle 1:10:13
So what are you kind of like in between, like, you know, you've got the book coming out. And it's a bit of a ways off. I mean, you know, Trad publishing is awesome. And it's great, but it's slow. Yes. So it is. So like, what do you like? What are you doing in the in the in the lead up? Are you I mean, obviously trying to make connections with other authors or readers. And

Unknown Speaker 1:10:36
well, right now, because of how the nexus of deadlines works out, I'm actually trying to market Book One, edit book two and draft Book Three, all at the same time. And so that's plenty. that's been, that's giving me plenty busy. Trad publishing is slow, but that does not mean that I can be slow. And the pace that I'm keeping up at the moment, once that settles down, I'll kind of figure out the next project like whether it makes sense to expand this series further or whether it makes sense to move on to something different. I have another idea for another series that once once I pause, or am through the lucky lovers one, I've got another another thing up my sleeve. So there's a lot of ideas, and I'll just kind of keep going with them. But yeah, right now I've got plenty, plenty to do. Because the the way that it's slow, but they overlap, right, right things all in like a different, different state, right, especially since

Elle 1:11:39
you got the three book deal. So like you're not trying to shop the next book, like you actually have like a schedule you need to keep

Unknown Speaker 1:11:47
right not as of now, I'm not sure when this podcast will release that might change by that point. But at the moment, there's plenty plenty going on, plenty to keep you busy. And then more ideas for when I find that I've gotten through all the work I have to do I can make more work for myself. So

Elle 1:12:07
are you are these ideas? Are you sticking in the historical realm? Are you going to come and play in the contemporary world

Unknown Speaker 1:12:13
I'm going to stick in historical For now though, I'm going to most likely crossed the pond. Very cool and kind of look into something. I did some research a while back for something else into like mining towns and stuff. And so I may want to dive back into that at some point. I don't have anything really specific. But that's just kind of kind of in the back of my mind for when there's time to think about it.

Elle 1:12:41
And how's the marketing going? That's always like the tricky bit like they like they always say writing the book is hardest. And like I agree with that, but sometimes I'm like no, actually finding the real hard.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:51
I don't know. I don't know, I can't even tell you I not super online and I'm not like super talented at marketing. Fortunately, the Karima team has been great. Okay, um, I, I've gotten quite a bit of support and I felt really good kind of about where things are going. It's kind of just at this time of recording things are just kind of ramping up with marketing vices. So I guess I'm kind of still experimenting, still learning still figuring out what to expect with marketing and what's what's mine, what's my publishers? What, what to do, because now suddenly, people can see me on the internet and my book can be found. I apparently exist and can be perceived in the world. So I've just figured out how to I don't know how marketing is going. Hopefully it's going well and hopefully, hopefully I can do the things that I need to do. I have a great team helping me out which is fantastic because I need it. Have you tried tick tock yet. So it's like we're all the cool kids are I hear that I am I'm supposedly I'm going to make a little clip for somebody else's tick tock. So I'm going to start there. And then they can put me on their tic tac

Elle 1:14:15
toe. Oh, yeah. How'd you get that? That feels more comfortable to me.

Unknown Speaker 1:14:20
There's, um, a little like a 22 debuts group like a Slack channel. And so people whose books are all coming out their first books and 2022 can all kind of get together and chat. Someone put out like a call like, oh, I have this tic tac channel. Anybody wants to come on it and like make me a little clippy thing and I'll put it out like okay, I'll do that. So there's been a couple of those I think someone else is going to do do one with a recreate your cover photos.

Elle 1:14:50
Oh, that's a great idea. At some point. Yeah, I got a little hot pink top hat. Oh my god, I actually really liked that ad. Yeah, yeah, that's really cute. I might steal it because it's fun. Yeah. And I think know what to do. Like, I have tick tock, I'm on there and they're like, make a video and it's like, of what? Yeah, I don't know. Like, I'm just like of what what what?

Unknown Speaker 1:15:13
I'm not on like, I don't want I don't like watch tick tock either. So I don't really know what they're doing. I assumed that would be the place to start would be to go explore what other authors are doing on there. And, and I do

Elle 1:15:25
and I'm like, Y'all are just so much better than me. Just like No, like even that. I'm like, Oh, that's a really great idea. Not gonna do it. Oh,

Unknown Speaker 1:15:34
gosh. I'm just glad I didn't have tick tock. When I was like a teenager and I was in theater. I would have never done anything but tick tock. I don't think my entire I would have just been making stupid stuff and putting on tick tock all the time. I think if I had that available when I was younger,

Elle 1:15:50
yeah, I know. Right? But now like old me is like horrified by having to do it. Yes, it's kind of

Unknown Speaker 1:15:55
I think, like, Man, I love this then. I'm old.

Elle 1:15:59
I know. But it's like now No, don't love it. So well, just where can people find you hiding on the internet,

Unknown Speaker 1:16:08
I have great place to go. Just just everly.com you can find my books and general info. I'll have started having the release dates for the other books and things up there as soon as I've got them. You can also set up I have a very occasional newsletter that you can sign up for there. I do post like updates and occasional nonsense on Instagram at gratuitous banter. If you cannot spell gratuitous which I can't I misspell it. Like every time you just like I've just Everly and I'll pop up on there. And on Facebook as well just Everly and that'll be there'll be updates and you can find me and you can reach out and talk to me. I don't always like put a ton out but I'm always I check it and I am always really happy to hear from people. I was very happy to hear from you, for instance. So

Elle 1:16:53
and I also will have all of these links in the show notes so that you don't have to like pull your car over. If you're listening while you're driving. Great.

Unknown Speaker 1:17:01
Don't do that. Don't do that. I'm

Elle 1:17:03
just thank you so much for coming on. It was super, super fun to talk to you. Yes, thank

Unknown Speaker 1:17:07
you. This was so great.

Elle 1:17:10
Come back for the next one.

Unknown Speaker 1:17:12
I you know, I'll be in touch for sure. Awesome. I'm still working on making the scenes not cringy right now. That's literally what I'm gonna go do probably when we're done talking

Elle 1:17:21
make notes on the process for us. Thanks, Jess. All right. Thank you

Transcribed by https://otter.ai