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.
Newsletter sign-up: https://sendfox.com/gabbigrey
Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGabbiGrey
Wow! Both covers are awesome! The first cover would stop me scrolling and checking out the read. The second cover had me drooling. Either way, I now have this story on my read to be read. Thank you.
They’re both nice…but I’m leaning towards the first one as my favorite.
Both are great in their own ways… the first one is sweet… the second one is more dramatic, sexier.
I like the cover with one guy instead of the cover with two guys. I like that it’s clear and straightforward without the photoshop stuff at the bottom.
I like the newer cover better. It stands out and I am loving the lighthouse detail you mentioned.
Ooh, I love them both, Gabbi! I really like seeing the couple on the cover, to see them both interacting. But I gotta say, your cover designer did an incredible job with the redo as well! LOVE it!
I loved this book; the audiobook is so good! I have to confess that I like the first cover the best but the new one is good, too.
I like them both as well but the second one is more sexy.
Thank you for hosting me!
What a fabulous story! I love how inspirations works.
I love them both. The new cover is stunning and definitely fits with your other covers.
I do like the second cover with rhe lone man. I wouldn’t know that it was the real Tofino because Ice never been there but I think the accuracy is a nice touch. The piercing gaze of the guy on the front does it for me, though. Like he’s looking at something or someone he wants.
Thanks go to Gabbi for being a great guest!!
The winner of the Amazon gift card, chosen by a random number generator, is…commenter #12 — Wendy!