It’s me. Remember?
Nah, probably not. The last time I visited Jo’s blog was years ago. Since that day, February 29, 2012, you readers have read hundreds of Jo’s posts and visited a hundred other blogs. Since that date, I’ve written a ton myself. But I remember that day quite vividly because visiting Jo for an interview was my first “big” of public relations, like, ever.
Dreamspinner Press allowed me to take over their page a few days later, so I did have other opportunities. But Jo volunteered to interview me, and I eagerly said, “Yes.”
I was a first-time author who Jo befriended through a Josh Lanyon-sponsored critique group. I felt honored to be granted admission with other names in the industry who I had come to know as “authors.” Jo Myles. Anne Tenino. L.C. Chase. These were a few people I met when I was unpublished and trying to figure out what the hell I was doing.
I sent Jo a preview copy of my first book, King Perry, and she wrote a gorgeous review on Goodreads. I was quite dizzy that she’d taken the time to write a review of my book. Looking back, I am still grateful and impressed by her willingness to invest in an unknown author. I’m a busy guys these days, trying to write books, work a day job, and build a life as an author. To take time out of a busy schedule to read the book of an unknown author, well, that’s special. So is Jo. Plus, she had a kid to take care of, a lovely daughter named Daisy. Now she has two kids, Daisy and Gabriel.
She interviewed me.
One of the questions she asked was: “How many more “kinging” novels do you have planned for us?”
I answered with the following:
I have written plot outlines for the first six books and strong ideas for two more after that. Book 2 is halfway finished. Book 5 is mostly written. The first six books are the first story arc, and are all interrelated: small mysteries in King Perry are answered in the second book. A few mysteries in Book 5 are answered in King Perry, though the details themselves may not seem important right now. I like it when fiction snaps together like puzzle pieces.
Yup. The plan is coming together. I’ve now published four books of The Lost and Founds and Vin Vanbly’s tale is unfolding just as I dared to dream it.
These books are the story of Vin coming home, and how long it took him to get there.
I knew this journey would hurt the readers who loved him. I was sorry for that. But a homecoming only means something if you have been wandering lost in the desert for a long time. If you went out for a Diet Pepsi at the corner deli and came home (plus a spontaneous-purchase of a big bag of Cheetos), when you got home everyone would look up and say, “Oh. Hey. Cheetos.”
No big deal.
Vin’s homecoming needs to be a big deal.
I wrote four books about him wandering lost in the desert (and in this most recent book, he literally wanders lost in the desert), but what a gorgeous and lush desert he wanders! New York City! San Francisco! Small town America! For a ghost, he’s got a pretty wide haunting range. He likes to travel the globe. There’s only one place he hasn’t been.
I’m so delighted to be back visiting Jo Myles again, an old friend who was once a brand new friend. It feels like home. Since I feel happy and lucky to be visiting again, I think I’ll make an announcement that I hinted at in King John, but I’m going to make more clear right now.
In Come Back to Me, the fifth book of The Lost and Founds series, Vin Vanbly comes home.
Of course, the usual caveats apply. It’s probably not going to happen the way you imagine. You may get some sadz on the way to his big party because that’s how I write, and that’s how you reach your king- or queenship—by bringing that vulnerability with you, not leaving it behind. All “terms and conditions apply”-type language should go here. But it’s going to be Vin’s party, and I hope you’ll come.
My circumstances are different than they were a few years ago. Josh Lanyon is still making romance-world news, confirming the long-suspected belief that he was a she wrapped in a pseudonym. Since my initial days, I’ve seen fights within our community about conference registration, reviews, who-did-whom-wrong-type stuff. I’ve witnessed a few scandals. Upsetting as it is, you try to grow together as a community.
For me, the best part about spending a few more years in our romance genre is making more friends with authors and readers. It’s pretty great. Jo Myles’s review was one of my first three reviews on Goodreads and possibly the very first, now that I think of it. As of today, there are 146 reviews. Someone hand me a Virginia Slim. I’ve come a long way, baby.
So has Vin.
I’m looking forward to finishing the next two books, Come Back to Me and King Daniel, in 2016. As I had planned, the series isn’t exactly over, but I may take a break and write something else before returning to this. I don’t know. It’s nice to start making plans beyond the initial six books.
Who knows what the following years will bring?
It’s a little scary looking forward.
Which is why it’s so great to turn around toward the past and see the path littered with friendships, like Jo Myles. L.C. Chase. Anne Tenino. Far too many authors and readers to mention.
Thanks for inviting me back, Jo.
It’s nice to visit your lovely home again.
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Edmond Manning is the author of the romance series, The Lost and Founds. The books in this series include King Perry, King Mai (a 2014 Lambda Literary finalist), The Butterfly King, and King John. King John takes place at Burning Man.
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Winner’s Prize: An eBook copy of King John
(Leave a Comment here and then click the link below)
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Where to get your copy of King John:
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About King John:
English attorney Alistair Robertson can’t quite believe an astonishing tale of kingship and transformation he hears at Burning Man, the annual counter-culture art festival in the Black Rock desert. Who are the Found Kings? Is “being kinged” as magical as it sounds?
Determined to find the mysterious garage mechanic named Vin who helps men “remember who they were always meant to be,” Alistair catches his quarry amid the extravagant sculptures, fire worshipers, mutant cars, and lavish costumes. After searching for three years, he’ll finally get to ask the question burning inside him: “Will you king me?”
Wandering together through the desert, Vin Vanbly and Alistair explore Burning Man’s gifting culture and exotic traditions, where they meet the best and worst of their fellow burners. Alistair’s overconfidence in Vin’s manipulative power collides with Vin’s obsessive need to save a sixteen-year-old runaway from a nightmarish fate, and the two men spiral in uncontrollable, explosive directions.
In this fourth adventure of The Lost and Founds, beneath the sweltering summer sun and the six billion midnight stars, one truth emerges, searing itself on their hearts: in the desert, everything burns.
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King John Blog Tour:
Mon, Sept 7 My Fiction Nook
Mon, Sept 7 AJ Rose Books pre-release excerpt #1
Tues, Sept 8 Thorny, Not Prickly pre-release excerpt #2
Wed, Sept 9 Love Out Loud pre-release excerpt #3
Thurs, Sept 10 Facebook Release Party, 7p-9p Central, hosted by Bike Book Reviews
Fri, Sept 11 Reviews by Amos Lassen
Sat, Sept 12 Vanessa North.com
Tues, Sept 15 MM Good Book Reviews
Wed, Sept 16 The Novel Approach
Thurs, Sept 17 Purple Rose Tea House
Fri, Sept 18 Posy Roberts.com
Sat, Sept 19 Zipper Rippers
Tues, Sept 22 Joyfully Jay
Wed, Sept 23 Boys In Our Books
Thurs, Sept 24 It’s About the Book
Fri, Sept 25 Lou Harper.com
Sat, Sept 26 Love Bytes Reviews
Sun, Sept 27 Sinfully Addicted to Male Romance
Mon, Sept 28 Josephine Myles.com
Tues, Sept 29 Molly Lolly
Wed, Sept 30 Coffee and Porn in the Morning
Wed, Sept 30 Stumbling Over Chaos
Thurs, Oct 1 The Blogger Girls Reviews
Sat, Oct 3 Because Two Men Are Better Than One
Sun, Oct 4 The Hat Party!
Fri, Oct 2 Jessewave
Mon, Oct 5 Prism Book Alliance
Tues, Oct 6 Jaycee Edward.com
Wed, Oct 7 Hearts on Fire Book Reviews