May 16, 2012 8 Comments
Hi, all! Piper here. Thanks for joining us on the second to last blog stop for our latest joint release, One Small Thing. For those who haven’t heard of it, One Small Thing is a contemporary romance set in Delaware. If you’ve read our Lucky Moon rocker series, this book has an entirely different tone. Our characters are average guys dealing with real-life issues and less prone to the type of drama that can crop up when you’re dealing with rich, entitled, emotionally wounded rock stars. But that’s a subject for another day.
You can read the blurb at the end of this post, but for now we’d like to share the character profiles for our two MCs and talk about why sometimes opposites really do attract and why we don’t consider the story “gay-for-you.”
First we have Erik Van Nuys…
Occupation: Sci-fi/fantasy novelist
Erik is a very introverted guy who suffers from a variety of social anxiety issues. He has a stutter, he’s reclusive and rarely leaves his apartment, and he’s more than a little obsessed with Star Wars. He’s an only child and fairly close to his mother, although presently he lives in Wilmington, DE and his parents are up in Boston, MA, where they moved shortly after his high school graduation. He has a degree in English and writes full time, though lately his books have been selling less and because of his dwindling royalties, he’s started to stress about keeping his bills paid.
If I had put a label on Erik’s sexuality, I’d probably say asexual. Erik has never really had friends outside of the people he knows online. Aside from his parents, he tends to isolate himself and his anxiety issues have prevented him from getting really close to anyone… until he meets Rue, that is. He’s always had the ability to see/recognize beauty, but he’s never experienced physical attraction. Over the course of One Small Thing, that changes slowly, as Erik makes discovery after discovery—about himself, friendship, jealousy, desire, and all the other things that come along with human relationships.
While writing One Small Thing, we never set out to write a GFY novel. In my opinion, it really isn’t. Erik wasn’t straight before meeting Rue, and he wasn’t gay. He fell into the gray area of sexuality. He’d never wanted anyone of either sex, and even now the only attraction he’s ever felt is for Rue and only Rue. Erik doesn’t consider himself gay. He doesn’t label himself at all, actually. In his mind, what he comes to feel for Rue transcends gender. It’s just love, and it’s indefinable.
And now here is MJ with a little bit about our other MC, Rue Murray…
Okay, I’m not going to be as precise as Piper…but that’s ok. Rue is, well, a little younger than Erik 24 or 25. He’s tiny with dark hair and pale skin, quite flamboyant and sure of his sexuality (other than one little tiny misstep that leads to his daughter). He likes his makeup, jewelry, headbands, and of course lots of glitter. I would call his look bubblegum goth (or bubblegum emo I suppose). He’s a party boy, with no real ties to his biological family and only one close friend.
He’s filled his life with boys and parties and color, and is honestly happy with it all until he finds a reason to change everything.
While this post is about opposites attracting, quiet finding flamboyance, flightiness finding stability, I honestly think the book is more about two souls who both need the same thing finding each other when they least expected it. Sure, Erik’s reclusive and odd, and sure Rue’s social and image conscientious. When you get past the surface, however, Rue and Erik needed to find each other because they have a lot more in common than apparent at first glance. Both of them are hungry for some kind of connection in their lives, Rue for family beyond his best friend Dusty, and Erik for someone to challenge him and connect with him in a level that’s not parental. They both fill some hole in the other’s life, some connection that was missing beneath the surface. And the longer they’re together, the outward differences grow less and less until even to an outsider, they fit.
“Daddy” is not a title Rue Murray wanted, but he never thought he’d have sex with a woman either. Now he’s the unwitting father of a newborn named Alice. Between bartending and cosmetology school, Rue doesn’t have time for babies, but he can’t give her up. What Rue needs is a babysitter, and he’s running out of options. He’s on the verge of quitting school to watch Alice himself when he remembers his reclusive new neighbor, Erik.
Erik Van Nuys is a sci-fi novelist with anxiety issues to spare. He doesn’t like people in general, and he likes babies even less. Still, with his royalties dwindling, he could use the extra cash. Reluctantly, he takes on the role of manny—and even more reluctantly, he finds himself falling for Alice and her flamboyant father.
Rue and Erik are as different as two people can be, and Alice is the unlikeliest of babies, but Rue has never been happier than when Alice and Erik are by his side. At least, not until he receives an offer that puts all his dreams within reach and he’s forced to choose: the future he’s always wanted, or the family he thought he never did.
Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea have been writing jointly since January 2011. Their first joint title, Moonlight Becomes You (released August 2011), was Piper’s publishing debut, while M.J. already had several published titles under her belt. Both authors have solo titles available in addition to their co-written projects. You can visit them at their joint blog, Babes in Boyland too.