Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of the WE ARE INFINITE stories and giveaway! I'm so grateful to be able to do this and to share stories that remind us all of connection and our intrinsic worth.
Now, before we dive into today's tale, let's have a quick refresher on what's happenin' 'round here:
1. Contest is simple: you send me (email@example.com) your INFINITE STORIES and I post 'em. I also promote them, so if you want to include a link to a novel you wrote, an etsy shop, or other such awesomeness, then by all means, include that in your entry! I want to share the love!
2. INFINITE STORIES are tales that remind us of connection: ghost stories, past lives, prophetic dreams, a moment that changed your life, how you found faith, how you found love, how you recovered from heartache, a friend who saved your life, a dog that meant the world, a cat that knew too much, a feeling that spared you or a loved one from pain, a feeling that hooked up a pair of friends for marriage, kids, and life. Anything and everything goes!
All the details about what I'm looking for and how to play are found HERE.
3. Each story enters you for the grand prize. What is it, you ask? Well it's Amazon cash, artwork, and a book!
4. Don't have a story you want to share? No problem! Sharing information about the contest also constitutes an entry for the grand prize! More details about that are right HERE.
5. More questions? Check out the FAQ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And last but not least, don't forget to check out the always-accumulating-ever-impressive-oh-so-powerful WE ARE INFINITE STORIES INDEX, where all the contest entries will be linked for you to peruse anytime you need a reminder that you are never, ever alone!
Today's guests are Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese, who tell us all about the magic, infinite connection of cowriting!
As cowriters, Racheline and I often get asked about our joint writing process. Usually, the answers we give are pretty prosaic. We live in different cities so, except for the two days a month we see each other face to face in our Philadelphia office, we brainstorm and break stories via email; We both write all characters all the time; We have no ego about who’s written what, and in fact, by the time a book is done we can’t even tell who’s written what.
But sometimes, the answer to “How do you do it?” is just “magic.”
A little background: Racheline and I are fifteen years apart in age, and we grew up in different times and places. She, in New York City in the eighties, me, in suburban upstate New York in the nineties. We have complicated and intensely personal relationships with the divine and otherworldly. And sometimes, we kind of think we’re witches.
Cowriting is difficult. Finding someone who’s interested in telling the same sorts of stories, with the same kind of intensity as you, can sometimes feel impossible. But when it works and we’re working in sync with someone else, to tell this story that our brains are somehow united in telling, is completely magical. But the frequency with which Racheline and I not only care about the same things, but in fact conceive of the exact same personality and physical description for a character, has gotten positively spooky.
For example: Racheline will be sending me pictures, without any commentary, of people who look a little like Alex, one of our protagonists in our Love in Los Angeles series. I’ll reply to one picture with “Like this guy, but the ears are different,” or “Like this one, but the mouth is wrong.” And every time Racheline will reply with “Well yes, of course.”
Perhaps our favorite instance of this, though, was the time with the cat. Paul, another protagonist in Love in Los Angeles, has a cat named Todd. Aside from discussing the fact that the cat existed, was named Todd, and was not allowed in Paul’s bedroom because of his fascination with swinging objects, Racheline and I were well into Book 2 of the series before we decided that we should probably actually describe the cat.
“Well,” Racheline wrote to me, “I’ve always pictured him as a big fat white cat with like tabby splotches.”
Which was exactly how I’d always pictured Todd too. It was exciting. And fascinating. And more than a little bit unnerving.
In our stories, Racheline and I flirt -- sometimes sublty, sometimes heavily -- with magical realism. We write a lot about death and a lot about fame. And both of those things, being famous and being dead, are a lot like being a witch. In a way, witches (in the pop-culture sense of women with some sort of occult/paranormal skill) and famous people both exist in slightly different worlds than than regular people; there’s a scrutiny and power that comes with both categories.
So once we realized we were witches -- accepting a given value of witchery here -- the next question becomes: Well, what do we do with that power? Obviously, we use our witchery, creative chemistry, personality alignment, or whatever you want to call it, to tell stories. But the witchcraft of telling stories is more than just putting words on the page. We’re not summoning spirits in the back garden under the full moon or riding a broom around at midnight; we don’t actually believe we have mystical powers. But we do sink an extraordinary amount of time and effort into our work, and 1+1 tends to equal a lot more than 2 with us.
One of our collective favorite quotes -- I’ve sadly never been able to find the attribution -- is the work is the prayer. When a lot of people say it, it’s this sort of zen thing about not being preoccupied with results and just letting the effort be what counts. And there’s definitely value in that. But where I first encountered the quote was from Baz Lurhmann, who says it all the time and always says it like a curse. From him, it’s about putting everything you have into the work and kind of just driving through the obstacles that get in your way.
On the hard days, it’s a reminder to me to just put my head down and keep going. And on the good and bad days both, it’s a reminder that what I’m doing is, in its own way, divine. That the work of doing it elevates it to magic. No matter how hard or impossible or even easy and joyous it seems. (And let’s be honest: the hard and impossible days come far more frequently than the easy ones.)
And believing that -- even on the days that are so hard we can hardly do anything -- is a cry of victory into the universe itself. It says we are here. It says we matter. It says we exist, in a world that often would rather we didn’t, or didn’t exist quite so loudly, or say the things we did, or tell the stories that we do.
But we are witches, and we tell stories about cats and men and women and houses, and we are powerful. We have our spells and incantations in them and from them.
We are here. And we are infinite.
That's gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!
Here's a bit more about Erin and Racheline! Check out their new release, Doves, available now.
The ties that bind…
Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.
…can sometimes tear you apart
As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth’s enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.
With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.
Doves is Book Two in the Love in Los Angeles series.
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer (Summer 2015), about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them online at http://Avian30.com
Contact us at:
Erin’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/erincmcrae
Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_mJoint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she's here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She's written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She's a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
Meet Me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre
Outer Banks bookstore owner Hyacinth Silver Fox has a secret millennia in the making: her soul was magically entwined with another, and at night she dreams of every lifetime they've ever spent together. The rules of their magic are simple: Hydee always knows her lover, but he, or she, doesn't remember her. It's up to Hydee to find and make her soulmate see they are destined for each other, and this lifetime is no different, but there's one problem: her soulmate is Theo Monk, heartthrob actor and Hollywood's sometime-infamous badboy. Hydee's hope of reuniting is wearing thin, but she has no idea how dire the situation really is.
Because meanwhile in California, Theo Monk is losing his mind. Anxiety and paranoia rule his life, along with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and her entourage. When fear and frustration push him to an edge, Theo cuts and runs as far from his problems as he can without knowing Fate's giving him one last shot to unite with the only person who can help him. Hydee and Theo must save one another before hope runs out and Hydee's despair and Theo's fear keep them apart forever.