On the 11th of July I will officially become part of the Evernight Publishing Family when my short story ‘A Secret Love’, is released. ‘A Secret Love’ was accepted to their Romance On The Go line in May and now, less than a fortnight before my release day, the excitement is really starting to build.
A new release is always exciting. I love the anticipation of seeing the cover and the pleasure of reading through the author copy of the manuscript. I even love the building nerves and panic; the fear of what readers will think and what their reviews will be like. Every emotion combines to make for a brilliant feeling and that feeling is addictive. I don’t understand how any author could just write one book and call that their career. I’d hate not to be able to experience this feeling again and again!
All that being said, my nerves are much greater with this release than they ever have been before, I think for the simple reason that this is the first short story I have had published in a long time.
‘A Secret Love’ is an eleven thousand word steamy M/M erotic romance. I had thought about expanding the story when I first started writing, but now, despite my nerves, I’m glad I didn’t. I like it just the way it is.
The idea for ‘A Secret Love’ didn’t come to me as one bright, perfect spark of inspiration, but I think the idea had been hanging around for a long time. I began to mess about with it one evening, an hour or two before I had to make dinner, and once I started writing, I didn’t stop until I had hashed out the whole story. The words and characters and locations came easily to me. Although I ultimately saved the file away without much thought about what it could become, I was happy. My boyfriend, however, was not, when he returned home to find a pile of raw beef and unpeeled potatoes where he expected a Cottage Pie to be.
It was a few weeks before I came back to the story. I read it through again with fresh eyes and found I really liked it. It was good. For a first draft, anyway.
‘A Secret Love’ is, ultimately, a story about a loving couple who have been forced to keep their relationship a secret. They can only meet up occasionally, and when they do they take great care not to get caught for fear of the repercussions, but when they get together in a highland hotel for my story, the end is in sight. They plan to run away to be together. They just need to maintain their secrecy for another six months.
That idea of a hidden love really appealed to me, but with only six months left to wait for their happy ending, I wanted to know how my characters would feel. How they would react. I think anyone who has ever been in love understands the often-unreasonable, unfathomable depths of pain that can come with being separated from your partner, even for the shortest amount of time. I tried to imagine how it would feel if that pain was constant; if it was, in effect, a defining feature of your relationship. If absence is what you know, how beautiful, but bittersweet are those times when you can get together? And how could you possibly contain your excitement when you knew things were about to change for the better?
What pleased me, when I reread my first draft, was that my central characters were so strong and resolute. There isn’t as much angst in the story as you might expect. Mark and James are emotional, but they are stoic, and I liked that quality in them. Fate had dealt their hand and they had resolved to play it as best they could. They were seeing the game through to the end. I really loved that attitude and it made the story such good fun to write. All I can do now is hope that when ‘A Secret Love’ is released, readers will have as much fun with it as I did.
The waiting game continues!
Douglas Black was born and raised in bonnie Scotland. He started writing erotica as a means of paying the bills when he was a student at university, but after graduation he found he no longer had the time to write. Over the summer of 2012, Black picked up a pen once more. After a brief, successful flirtation with self-publishing, Black’s novella ‘Business or Pleasure’ was picked up and released in April 2013. It quickly made the publisher’s best-sellers list. Douglas Black’s short story, ‘A Secret Love’, will be published on July 11th by Evernight Publishing.