Hello, everybody! I’m Alex Whitehall, and I’m here today touring for my contemporary m/m romance, Hard Truths, which is about Isaac and Logan’s whirlwind romance, as well as coming out and what family means. But it’s not all angst and drama. In fact, I hope you’ll have as much fun watching these guys fool around as I had making them be goofs.
On Switching Genre
Growing up, I wrote fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. The first “book” I wrote was in something like fifth grade, and it was called “The Pearl Necklace.” It involved a unicorn and a princess. (Any other details have been lost to time, though my mother probably still has it stashed away somewhere.) Even through my college writing courses, I preferred writing fantasy and only begrudgingly wrote contemporary fiction because there was an unspoken preference in the class.
Anyone familiar with my work will point out that I still lean heavily in the direction of fantasy, or else a contemporary setting with fantastical elements. My feet just aren’t grounded in reality, I guess. But Hard Truths is 100% in our world (with all its flaws). There are no shifters or aliens or wizards (except in video games). The perks? As a writer, the world building is a lot easier, since there is a baseline people can build off of without me telling them. Plus there’s less worry of using words that will jar the reader out of the story, or referencing a concept that seems out of place.
The downside? There are so many rules of reality to follow! Because people live in the world that the contemporary takes place in, when something is written, it has to be realistic. Going to a hospital? Better research it. Riding a horse? Better research it. Trying to get away with murder? Better research it (very, very carefully….).
So why the shift to contemporary for this story? Well, one, it was the best place for the story and struggles to come to life. Two, it’s really hard to make Final Fantasy puns when in a fantasy world where the game series doesn’t exist. And while I could have set this in a near-contemporary world of shifters and hidden magic, the story didn’t need it. Isaac’s life was complicated enough without an evil wizard causing trouble.
I enjoyed the change. There’s something freeing in writing in a contemporary setting, where I don’t have to construct each molecule of being and make sure I’m staying consistent to myself. Also, I tend to be more free with my sarcasm and humor in a contemporary setting (sorry, not sorry), which makes the stories a lot more lighthearted to write (and hopefully read).
I’m not going to stop writing fantasy stories, but this won’t be my last contemporary either. Follow along and we can see where I’ll end up next!
by Alex Whitehall
Released: October 1st 2018
Published by Riptide Publishing
He can't have the family he wants, but he may get the love he deserves.
Isaac didn’t expect to find love at his family’s Christmas dinner, but that was before he met his sister’s new fake boyfriend. Tall, muscular, and tattooed, Logan is what Isaac would love in a partner—and also everything his parents would hate in one. Not that they know Isaac’s gay.
That doesn’t stop him from dating Logan—unbeknownst to his parents, and with his sister’s approval after she fake dumps him. The pair dive into a whirlwind romance of motorcycle rides, cheesy puns, and hot sex. They meet each other’s friends and fill their time with happiness and laughter. It’s all perfect.
Until Isaac suggests they move in together, and Logan asks Isaac to come out to his parents. Isaac wants to, but he’s scared; he doesn’t want to lose his family. Unfortunately, he can’t see that his real family has been right beside him all along.