UPDATE: The winner is…Wendy!
I’m always happy to contribute stories to charity anthologies. I’ve done several this year with charities such as Ukraine Aid Groups, LGBTQ causes, and Ronald McDonald House. All of my contributions have been gay romances, and I love adding that flavor to the books. All have been instalove with guaranteed happy endings because that’s what I write. What I want to read. What I know will both vex readers and make them secretly smile.
After an anthology is removed from circulation, the proceeds are tallied, and the money is sent off to the various charities. Then the rights revert back to the author to do whatever they choose. I like to wait a bit of time and then release them so that people who happened to have missed the anthology can snag a copy. To be clear, though, I always want readers to grab those anthologies, which are always great deals and can introduce them to new authors, and where the money goes to charity.
In the end, though, I like my stories to live on and find new readers. The problem is the cover. When the stories are in an anthology, the organizers provide amazing covers. Life’s great. When your rights revert, you need to put something on the front of it before sending it out into the world. Now, I’m getting better at this problem. I skulk around premade cover sites and occasionally pick up one (or five) for stories I think I’m going to write. Or, frankly, covers I just love.
I was shopping for another story when I came across a cover with two guys and a lighthouse.
I loved it and snapped it up a year ago. When I came to write the short story for the Ukraine Charity anthology, I remembered that cover. It still spoke to me, and so I was happy to write a story about it. An interracial gay couple and a lighthouse. My imagination took me to Canada’s west coast—to Tofino in particular. I wrote an instalove, forced proximity, short story that I kind of loved. I sent the story off to the anthology, promoted the hell out of it, and then—when the rights reverted—I looked at releasing the story by itself.
But as much as I loved the cover that had prompted the story, it didn’t fit with most of my other covers. It’s loosely part of a series of books I’ve written about a small town in British Columbia, and all those covers have solo men. I contacted the artist who had done the rest of the series and asked her to make one for me. I gasped when I saw it. Not only had she found the perfect Isaac, but she’d found a photo of the real Tofino lighthouse for me. I did a quick clean-up edit for the book, sent off the script to be produced in audio, and published the short story.
And there you have it—a long-winded story to explain how the genesis of the story was one cover, but how I wound up with something else. To be clear—I LOVE both covers. Inspiration is a funny thing, and some writers, like myself, take it from wherever we can find in. Anyway, I hope you’ll snag Ben and Isaac’s very Canadian gay love short story.
After reading all that, I’d love to hear your take. Which cover do you prefer? Drop your comment in the chat for a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC to a random commentator. There is no right answer—I’d just love to hear what you think!
And, as always, thank you Delilah for hosting me.
The Lightkeeper’s Love Affair
I just graduated. I should be out celebrating. Instead, a storm’s coming and I’ve got no to place to sleep except the backseat of my car. At least I have my beloved beagle with me, but seriously, how is this my life?
After a horrific week, I hate being unable to retreat to my island sanctuary. Perhaps sharing my hotel room with a stranger in distress and his dog will take my mind off things. Afterward, we’ll separate and never meet again. Right?
*A 10k lighthearted gay romance with forced proximity, a loner, a future school-teacher, and Buddy, the adorable beagle. This short story was originally published in the anthology Ukraine: Seeds of Love.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/Lightkeeper
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Lightkeepers-Love-Affair-Mission-romance-ebook/dp/B0BDMQFTHN
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Lightkeepers-Love-Affair-Mission-romance-ebook/dp/B0BDMQFTHN
Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62805971-the-lightkeeper-s-love-affair
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.
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