Tuesday, January 15, 2013

“Jock” is still going strong!

Yes, My Roomamte’s a Jock? Well, Crap! is STILL #1 on Amazon.com’s “best Seller” List for gay fiction! This is the 6th day in a row! So freakin’ exciting for me. My novel is also still the #1 BESTSELLER on Dreamspinner Press!! No small feat either! It has stayed in that #1 position for the last 9 days! I obsessively check because I think “any day now it will drop to #2 or farther down the list.” YET, it amazes me by holding onto the #1 spot. Should I jump up and down and rejoice over this? Heck yeah! I’m a relatively new author! My first novel (When Love Is Not Enough) didn’t rise that high. People are intimidated by the “bittersweet” tag and have told me so. My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! is far from bittersweet. It is totally different, yet still has my personal flare of writing style and voice. (Which can also turn people off, fyi.) I think I’m an acquired taste. Or perhaps the readers that love my stuff are patient and know (hope) I will improve with time. 2 novels out! I’m just beginning to write the stories that are jumping in my brain!

So again, I am shouting out a BIG thank you to all my fans and readers for continuing to buy “Jock” and support my writing. If books don’t sell, publishers are less likely to want more from a writer. Your support helps me tremendously!

After the completely edits of The Cost of Loving, (TCOL) I may submit the manuscript one more time to TRY to get it published conventionally. Although, I AM using my awesome cover! (Determination there.)

“Jock” being more mainstream has helped me a great deal as well. My reader base has grown. Some readers have e-mailed me to thank me for “Jock” and told me they purchased WLINE as well. (When Love is Not Enough.) If WLINE grows in popularity than I can only imagine the spurt of sales from TCOL once it hits the stores! We shall see.

I guess that is all for now. I need to go EDIT!!


Here are some reviews I’ve gotten lately on “Jock”:

Reviewed by: Lucy

Rating:  4 hearts
Review: I think I would say the beginning of this book was a 4 and the last was a 3 or maybe a 2.5.  Cole is a sarcastic, OCD, spazzy sort of guy who protects himself after being bullied in high school.  He has a judgmental attitude toward jocks due to that time and so wants nothing to do with them.  Cole was really luck in finding housing outside regular dorms and even luckier to find a roommate, Jonathan, who turned out to be the best kind of friend, one who put up with him, cared about him and made him know that he wasn’t unlikeable.  Uh oh, but now Jonathan has graduated and is moving in with his girlfriend, leaving Cole to find another roommate.  Stan, the housing manager, gives him some time to do so but then takes over.  Cole makes Stan promise, NO JOCKS.  Whoops is in order when soccer player Ellis shows up, soccer playing buddies in tow.  Cole is losing it.
Cole remains sarcastic and OCD throughout the first half then he sort of softens some, getting lovey and sappy about Ellis.  He’s still all snarky at times, but he is so adorable, feeling special to be Ellis’ first.
Now Ellis is a change the other way.  I loved him at first, all shy, sweet, virginal and wanting special.  He hides from himself but is hopeful.  Then he has Cole, they make love, and he’s emasculated, terrified, helpless.  I wanted to hug him and make sure he knew, it’s going to get better. Even as he treats Cole absolutely horribly, due only to his own fear and insecurity, I was still with him.  When he purposely misleads Cole about Sara, he lost me a bit, intentional pain to someone you claim to care about isn’t cool, Ellis.  Where he lost me totally was at the end, when it becomes clear that whatever Ellis says, being the bottom is being emasculated.  It didn’t come across as a preference for me, since Ellis very nearly lost Cole due to his inability to deal with it.  He claims Cole wasn’t less manly for taking it, but to do so threw Ellis into asshat territory and threatened his self image.  No, Ellis, you aren’t worthy of Cole.
The book is written in various points of view and I have to admit I didn’t understand why Ellis’ mom’s POV was in there.  I liked that she was in it and that she was needy and imperfect.  And that her own insecurities didn’t allow her to see how much her son did love her, but that she got to grow into that knowledge.  This is I liked a great deal.
Besides Cole, what kept this firmly in 4-heart rating territory for me was Rob. He’s a great friend, he’s very religious and he’s reconciling it all without ever judging or moving away from his friends to do so.  (He’s way more comfortable than Ellis is, let’s face it).  He doesn’t want to know details, he wants his friends happy. If only every person could see that.  Russell as well is just a solid, loyal person.  Mike?  Well, it’s too bad he’s there but there are far too many “Mikes” in this world to be discounted, unfortunately.
This was a very character driven book in my opinion with well drawn characters who made me smile or want to shake them (*ahem, ELLIS) but who made me want to keep reading.

This is the first book I’ve read by Wade Kelly, even though I’ve been shamefully putting off reading his earlier book that scares me, When Love is Not Enough (a Bittersweet book). So I’m not quite familiar with Wade’s writing. I will say though, that I think this is one of those books that gets wildly different reactions from reader to individual reader, and whether that’s indicative of his whole body of work, I’m not quite sure. So this review is more subjective than most. I do think, or at least guess anyway, that if you were going to try out this author’s style (and other readers can tell me if I’m wrong and they’re incredibly different) that you should go with this book simply because it is lighter in tone and I assume because of that has/will find a much wider reader base.
Playing on the ever popular trope of jocks and nerds, MRJWC introduces us to two characters with quite a few neuroses. On the outside, Cole fits the stereotype and his are blatant. He’s OCD, can barely socialize and has made very few friends, and is well, prickly. After Cole’s best friend and roommate graduates college and moves to live with his girlfriend, Cole is forced to accept a new roommate in the apartment he rents in college. He knows there’s almost no chance of finding someone he got along with as well as his last roommate, which is why he fights the housing Dean’s decision as much as possible. He does what he can, however, which is plead with the man not to assign him a jock. That’s the one thing he won’t be able to take.
He knows he’s doomed from the moment his new roommate (who is HOT) shows up with a pack of straight men who roll around on the floor like puppies. They’re on the soccer team, and it looks like the dean has ignored Cole’s wishes. But, was it for his own good? Ellis isn’t the dumb jock that Cole had assumed and is even harboring a few choice secrets of his own that might make them compatible in ways Cole has never found before.
My Roommate is a Jock? Well, Crap! is certainly a less than conventional title  but I think that it gives a clue to the reader right off about the author and the book. It’s a quirky title that suits Cole and I think also suits the author. I could be totally wrong about this, and I apologize in advance if I am, but by reading this book alone it seemed to me that Wade Kelly is an author who makes choices in a different way than is conventional. Of course, how readers respond to that is always different, but there are many authors who I could think of that have a stylized voice (Mary Calmes is one of those), whether it changes from book to book or not. I’ve noticed that many reviews and readers have also commented that they didn’t understand certain aspects of the story, or choices in the story. I could see that a few times. The POV changes are a stickler for some people, but without any hard and fast rules myself, I did find the addition of minor character’s POV somewhat disengaging. The writing seemed edgy to me at times. That might not be the right adjective, I’m not sure. It reminded me of reading fanfiction or self published works where there wasn’t a point for an editor to get in there and dull the sharp edges. To someone like me who reads so much m/m published by a handful of select e-publishers, that’s refreshing and often why I like to read online fiction. All of this came together for me as a book written by an author who seemed to make choices based less on the overall big picture and more on specific issues — the characters, the style, personal preferences, etc etc etc.
Take from that what you will. I’m not sure I got across what I was trying to say, but it was an elusive feeling I was trying to capture.
I suppose that overall and after finishing I had a few problems with the book, but as I was reading it I enjoyed it. Whether you will or not depends on whether you can get behind the characters and the style. I think most readers will, and from what I can see they are so far. I didn’t love it, but I did like it and I enjoyed the chance to sample Wade’s writing without reading his Bittersweet novel first.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your book being a bestseller on both Amazon and DSP! ^__^ Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm getting there. :-P

    Didn't DSP want The Cost of Living when it's the sequel to When Love Is Not Enough? o_O