Monday, April 2, 2012

Welcome Sue Brown today

Happy Monday my lovelies.

I hope your week has started off with a bang. I’m here on Dawn’s blog to talk about fluff. To be more precise fluffy stories wot I wrote (If you get that, you’re a middle-aged Brit).

I would like to start by giving you a link to one of my reviews, in which Becky Condit from Mrs Condit and Friends explains why I do not exactly write fluff. Now, before you flinch, I asked her permission to use her review, so I’m not dumping her in the proverbial.

Let me back up a bit by saying we had a discussion on the fact I mainly write angst and I said I do write fluff. Becky was sceptical, so I sent her a copy of The Layered Mask. She very kindly reviewed it for me, and this is part of her review:

“I can’t say this book is entirely what I would consider fluff, though. It is written with a lighter touch than other Sue Brown novels and the HEA comes a little too conveniently, a lot too quickly, but we’re still dealing with a complicated subject: how two gay men can have a committed, loving relationship in a patrilineal society where a man is expected to take a female wife and produce a male heir in order to retain his station, wealth, and property.”
I had to think about for a while. Part of me was peeved because, it is fluff, darn it. There’s a ball, a handsome hero, dancing, another handsome hero, kissing (definitely kissing); what other fluffy things could you want? This is my Barbara Cartland story, of course it’s fluff.

So I did what all sensible authors do. I phoned a friend, and put it to her that I, Sue Brown, can write fluff. Now Maria has been my fan since my early fanfic days. She did what any lovely friend would do; she started to laugh – and laugh - and laugh. Okay, maybe I come with a reputation (and scissors).

What is fluff then? According to Maria, not one single bad thing happens. You can have humour, and romance with your dashing heroes but NO BAD STUFF. Bad things are a big no no. Hmmm, Becky said much the same thing to me.

I have tried to write that sort of fluff believe me. Final Admission started as a fluffy piece about an ordinary fellow taming a player, and then somehow I got sidetracked into domestic abuse. Morning Report was really about two cowboys desperately and possessively in love… and then I got involved with the religious bigotry plot line. Everytime I try to write fluff, my angst muse takes over it seems.

Recently I wrote a story. My summer fluff I called it, and set fingers to keyboard. I gave it to Maria to read, and went and made a cup of coffee. When I came back in, her eyes were red and tears poured down her face. She cursed me and gave me one directive. “Don’t kill the granny.”

So I admit it, hands up, Sue Brown cannot write fluff. But I will. One day I will have puppies, and unicorns, and farting rainbows. I will *nods*. In the meantime, tissues anyone?

Author Bio:
Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn't following their orders, she can be found at university listening to lecturers discuss long-dead theologians. In her head, however, she's plotting how to get her cowboys into bed together; she just hopes the lecturer doesn't ask her any questions.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she's made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
She can be found:
Shamelessly objectifying men here:
Talking about her writing and promoting books here:
Rambling about everything else here:

Stolen Dreams:

 In a moment of madness, Morgan cheated on his best friend and lover, and Shae walked out without looking back. Five years on, and Morgan has a new life. He is engaged to a tempestuous and passionate Hollywood actor, Jase, and his career as an assistant movie director is thriving.

The last thing Morgan expects is for Shae to walk back into his life. It is clear from the start that he is still deeply attracted to Shae, and that feeling is returned. What is also obvious is that everyone else can see it, including his fiancé.

As Morgan and Shae get to know each other again, they discover the extent that friends meddled in their lives to keep them apart five years previously. Morgan finds that he cannot deny the fact he is still in love with Shae, but he is engaged, and Shae has secrets that he is not prepared to share. Morgan has some hard decisions to make as he struggles not to hurt the men that he cares about.

Teaser Excerpt

Morgan searched for something to say that wasn't "Why the fuck did you leave me and never come back? Why did you leave me?"
"I'm sorry to hear your dad is ill," he said eventually, when the silence stretched uncomfortably long.
Shae looked relieved at the innocuous topic. "He'll be fine but he needs an operation on his gall bladder. He's having some tests now." Correctly interpreting Morgan's surprised expression, Shae added, "Mom threw me out of the hospital. She said I was making her miserable."
That made Morgan grin, which Shae returned sheepishly. Of course, Peggy Delamere would send Shae off for coffee rather than have him fussing around her.
That seemed to be the end of that topic. Morgan was desperately casting about for another when Shae looked over, this time with a question in his eyes. "You own this place?" he asked, waving a hand around the coffee shop.
"Yup, all mine." The pride was evident in Morgan's voice.
A puzzled frown marred Shae's forehead. "I thought you were off making films these days."
"I am. I bought this in case I didn't get any work with the studios. I have a manager who runs the place for me.” He waved at Marilyn behind the counter.
"MC's.” Shae smiled, a genuine expression that reached his eyes. “I should have guessed. Angela dragged me in here bitching about wanting to sit down. I didn't pay much attention to the name of the place. When did you buy MC's?"
Shae seemed genuinely interested so Morgan answered, "About four years ago. I bought this place with the money my gran left me."
The expression on Shae's face softened. "I was sorry to hear about her death," he said, the sadness in his tone audible.
"You heard about Gran?" Morgan was shocked. After they split up no one would talk to him about Shae at all. He'd had no news in nearly five years, despite repeatedly begging their friends for information.
"Pete told me. He thought I'd like to know."
Morgan nodded slowly. "You always got on with her better than I did." He paused. "Pete never told me about you."
"I asked him not to," Shae admitted, "I didn't want you to know just how—"
He was interrupted by Jase and Angela coming over with four steaming mugs of coffee. Morgan did his best to smile at his fiancé but his timing was shit; he really wanted to know how Shae had been about to conclude that sentence.
Jase and Angela carried most of the ensuing conversation, with Morgan and Shae chipping in when they were prodded. The discussion was painful. In any other circumstances Morgan would have been amused, watching Shae retreat into sullenness in a situation that made him uncomfortable. Morgan wanted to talk, ask questions, and demand an explanation for Shae's disappearance. Instead he had to wait until Angela looked at her gold bracelet watch.
"Time to go, Shae. They said your dad should be awake soon."
Morgan stood up with them. "Do you want to take coffees back for your mom as well?"
"Cool. Peggy will be definitely cranky by now without some caffeine inside her," Angela agreed.
"Marilyn, get whatever Shae and Angela need. On the house," Morgan called. She nodded in response. He turned to the couple. "Nice to meet you, Angela." He gave her a smile, and although it felt forced she seemed to appreciate the gesture.
"Thanks, Morgan." Angela stretched up to give him a kiss on the cheek and then gave another one to Jase.
"I hope your dad is okay, Shae." Morgan held out his hand to Shae and this time the man shook it without hesitation. Maybe it was his imagination but he was sure Shae held his hand for a little longer than strictly necessary.
After the pair had left with their takeout coffees, Morgan sat back down, only to see Jase looking at him speculatively.
"What?" Morgan asked.
Biting his lip, Jase took a while as if considering his words carefully. "Tell me you don't still love that man and I'll believe you."
"What?" Morgan repeated, his brow furrowed in confusion.
"Look me in the eye and tell me you don't love Shae Delamere, and I'll believe you."
Morgan sighed, knowing he had always been shit at lying to Jase about even the small things. He wasn't about to lie about Shae. Taking Jase's hand, he replied, "I do still love him, but…" He made sure he was looking directly at his fiancé when he spoke again. "I am in love with you. Shae is my past; you are my present and future."
He could tell Jase still wasn't completely convinced so Morgan showed him in the best way he could, cupping Jase's face with his hands and kissing him tenderly.
"Ummm," Jase mumbled, and Morgan smiled as he watched Jase's blue eyes take a while to focus.
"Thank you," Jase murmured, and pulled Morgan over for another kiss.
As Morgan lifted his head, a movement outside the window attracted his attention. He looked over to see Shae staring at him, his lips pressed in a thin line as he watched the two of them kissing.
Immediately Morgan felt guilty, although why he should feel like that about kissing his own fiancé he had no idea. Shae looked away. Jase followed Morgan's gaze and saw Shae watching them through the front window. When Jase realized who stood staring at Morgan, his expression mirrored the anger and hurt on Shae's. He got up, muttering something about seeing Morgan at home later.
Alone on the sofa, Morgan watched his fiancé and the man who had once been his life walk away in different directions.


BLMorticia said...

Sue Brown, you can write fluff just do it babe!

Even though I like your angst the best! ;)


Vastine Bondurant said...

Well, the age old question in my mind has finally been answered: What IS fluff anyway?

I have to admit now, after reading this, I've never written fluff in my life. But it has its place in writing, just like angst. Somebody, somewhere, likes fluff and someone needs to write it, I suppose.

And I can't honestly say I remember ever reading ANY story where absolutely nothing happened. LOL. Why, now, if somebody wrote a diary of my life? Nothing happens in maybe my life is fluff. But I want my fiction to be more meaty than my actual boring life.

Good post, Sue! Keep on doing what you're doing!

Cynthia Sax said...

I write lighter stories.
I don't think they're fluff.
When you reach for angst, I instead reach for humor to deal with the same tough situations.
Tone is merely a tool.

Sue Brown said...

I wish I could write fluff as change from the angst. I feel that it has its place in an increasingly tough world.

Elin Gregory said...

So that's what fluff is. I always wondered. :) These definitions are dreadful to pick up from context. :) Thanks.

I've read Layered Mask and I wouldn't have described it as fluff. Great fun and very entertaining, even the edgy bits, but not fluffy.

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