Over the last few months a few people have commented on the fact I don’t seem to be on social media as much as I used to be. That’s when it hit me I wasn’t doing as good a job as I thought of trying to be myself. I’ve been putting off writing this, in fact as I’m sitting here typing it out I’m still not sure I’m going to be brave enough to hit publish. You see I don’t want to be one of those whiney posters, or someone who thrives on posting every ounce of drama in their life (you know the ones…the type that can create a Facebook war out of being constipated), but I also think I owe people an explanation and to let them know what the future currently holds for the rest of the Souls of the Knight series.
So, here’s the thing. Like with every book I’ve ever written, when I started writing Taming Ryder I was filled with enthusiasm for the story. My mind was buzzing, going crazy with ideas. Anyone who follows me knows that Jake Bass was my muse for Ryder. His look, his eyes…He inspired me, and so I looked into licencing a photo of him for the cover – one which portrayed the lost, innocent look I see in Ryder’s eyes. And I found it. Bingo! I had the perfect cover; a beautiful image that told Ryder’s story.
But then everything changed.
It seems obvious now that using a model in the public eye would draw extra attention from people who were also fans of him, but naively, at the time I honestly believed the story would be the main focus, with the cover I was so proud of being an added bonus. I was wrong. I’m not going into any detail here, I refuse to be that person, but I’ll offer as best an explanation as I can. Since I revealed (and very excitedly revealed) Jake Bass was going to grace the cover of Taming Ryder, things went downhill pretty quickly. I had three experiences that really knocked me, and just as I was starting to surface from the last a new one would push me right back down.
You see, on the outside I play everything off with humour. I don’t let people see the sensitive side of me, the fucked-up side of me that goes down and stays down when things get too much. But that’s what happened. I was accused of things I’d never dream of doing, not once, not twice but three different times. It affected me. Badly. I withdrew completely from social media for a couple of weeks. I spent a long time upset, questioning everything from the story, the cover, even the people I’d befriended. Taming Ryder wasn’t finished, and from that point on I had to fight with myself to get it done. I think that might be how there ended up being so much of myself in Ryder. The way he thinks, the way he deals with things. I was going through a rough patch and it was therapeutic writing certain feelings out on paper. Apart from the porn start bit I should clarify – I promise you I haven’t become a secret gay porn star (unfortunately).
I lost the passion and excitement I felt for not only that story, but all the characters in the Souls of the Knight series. I think that showed in my sales when the book finally released. My heart just wasn’t in it, so how could I expect everyone else’s to be? I tried my best to promote it and give the story the love I know it deserves, but truth be told, I was knocked down a final time and I’m still not back up yet. I guess it’s always lurking in the back of my mind that every time I post something about Taming Ryder, I’m risking getting the kind of attention I don’t think I could deal with again so soon.
Do I regret using Jake Bass on the cover? No. Jake Bass is a beautiful man, and no one could have portrayed the vision I had of Ryder as perfectly as he did. These events are absolutely no reflection on him at all. I continue to ogle…oops I mean admire him every day.
So where does this leave Matt’s story? Right now, I can’t give you a definitive answer. Whenever I think of the series I’m reminded of everything that happened and I just want to break down and never write anything again. But I can’t do that. I won’t do that. I have to pinch myself every day at all the fabulous people – readers, bloggers, fellow authors – I have ‘met’ since I broke into the M/M genre. The love, support and encouragement I’ve received blows my mind and I have made some genuine lifelong friends thanks to Sawyer and the rest of my boys. These are the people I need to keep going for. And I’m trying. I’m using this post as the line I want to draw under everything. So, if you’ve noticed I haven’t been around as much, I’m sorry. I genuinely thought I was putting on a good act – until people told me otherwise. And so, the time finally came when I had to say ‘I’m not okay’, but I will be. I am making it my mission to get back on top form. To post so often you get sick of me. To inundate you with useless facts about my day, and most importantly, to start writing again!
For now, Matt is on the backburner. I have new characters chattering away in my mind and hopefully, writing their story will ‘fix’ me. Hopefully then, I can climb back inside Matt’s head, live once again with all the characters I adored so much in the Souls of the Knight series, and finally give you all his story.
As some people know, I set up a new Facebook account and decided to start again from scratch. This helped me get away from everything for a while, but occasionally I get messages from people thinking I’ve un-friended or blocked them which makes me sad. It’s also another reason why I thought this post necessary. It’s a simple case of Facebook won’t let me add everyone to the new account at once because it thinks I’m spamming. It’s also hard to remember every friend on my old account. But if you’re reading this and you used to be on my friends list but aren’t anymore, pretty please send me a friend request! Likewise if you know someone who thinks I’ve un-friended them, please let them know I didn’t and I’d love to have them back.
So there you have it. I can’t sit here and blame those bad experiences entirely on where I’m at right now. Just like my character Amy from Saving Amy, I’m placing half the blame on my ‘fucked-up-ness’ – something that not many people know about, but I think maybe they need to. Sometimes, putting on a brave face and joking my way out of the serious shit just makes things harder. It makes me not want to be ‘available’ online, which means I’m missing out on talking to the people who made me fall in love with this career so much.
I have so much to look forward to in the coming months. I’m signing all over the UK next year and even in South Carolina! Eeeeep! My new adult M/F Take My Hand series is getting a makeover with brand new covers coming soon and I’m about to start seriously digging into to my new M/M about a dishy FBI agent. Yum! So I need to get my arse back to normal in time for all these things. I doubt you’ll ever see me moping, but if you ever see me being anything less than my usual sarcastic and dirty self, then it’s time to tell me to pull my head out my arse and get back to business! I’ve had enough of this latest glitch in sanity. Time to get back to what matters. You guys, writing….and gay porn 😉
Okay, I’m off to go and hide in a corner until this post has blown over. But for now, in the words of Dexter from the Take My Hand series – don’t ever forget that I love you <3