One of the hardest things for me to do when it comes to my books is decide on a title. Only rarely do I manage to think of a title at the beginning. It's even more rare for me to get the right title the first time. More often than not, the title makes great sense to me, but doesn't make sense to some readers.
With JUST WAIT, though, I had not only the title but the cover before I ever had the story.
The first thing to know is that I got the idea for the story from the Maroon 5 song Wait. (Listen and watch here.)
I heard it on the radio while driving home from work one evening and boom! The muse was inspired to write about someone begging for time to talk, to explain. Maybe to gain a second chance, but mostly just to be heard. He needed to come clean about what happened between them, what broke them, and then... Well, he'd walk away if another chance wasn't available.
So the title is Reeve asking for Nate to give him a minute of his time, to just wait and listen.
I know that most of the time when someone says, "Just wait a minute," they're trying to explain away their mistake and will probably follow that with, "Can't you just forgive me already?" Like it wasn't their fault. Like the problem is all you. That's what Nate thought when Reeve tried to explain his sudden disappearance, long absence, and sudden reappearance. And he was justified in thinking Reeve was only interested in stopping Nate from getting married, in being selfish just before Nate's big day.
Which was when things got hairy. Literally.
I wanted to write the story of that explanation resulting in a second chance. Reeve laid it all out there, and Nate listened. Sure, he didn't believe him at first, but then he did and that changed everything for both of them.
Now when I hear that song, I think of Nate and Reeve.
In my search to discover just on whose Tumblr stream I found this photo request for a cuddle buddy that inspired this story, I discovered several thousand requests for the very same thing. Young people sending a note out into the world for someone to come along and cuddle them up for a while. It was rather heartbreaking to see so many teens and twenty-somethings looking for someone to curl up with them just to watch a movie. Closeness and not being alone was all they wanted.
This bittersweetness prompted me to write my new short story Come Cuddle Me.
In my head, this is Tucker. He’s living on his own for the first time after his parents kicked him out and he has two friends to whom he sends this photo and a request that they come cuddle him. Never does he even contemplate that they might reblog his photo and because he didn’t think of that he didn’t hesitate to let his friends know his new address in the message. The one other thing Tucker has is a neighbor named Bill who’s going to make it his mission to save Tucker from his dumbass self once strangers start showing up at Tucker’s door.
Even Bill has a reason for responding to Tucker’s innocent request, though. I mean, I had to get Tucker his cuddle, right? And a whole lot more besides.
This guy… Let's call him Raul… definitely has a story to tell.
John, who happens to see Raul just like this, is captivated by Raul’s blatant display. So much so, that John’s only option is to holler out his apartment number and then buzz in this brazen temptation. I mean, he can’t leave the man standing down there like this.
Someone else might get him.
But once John has Raul in his apartment, things take a turn he did not expect at all. There’s “hope” in the title of the story, so it’s not some one-hander that’ll just leave you sticky at the end of it all. (Not that it doesn’t have it’s moments! *ahem* Anyway…) This is just the beginning for John and Raul. It just happens to be a very physical beginning.
Get your copy of Hope Is Good to see how John and Raul's relationship starts.
I have never participated in any kind of formal power exchange like in a D/s relationship. All I know is what I’ve read in books, articles, blogs and the occasional misdirected email. Then I saw this photo of a young man, sitting naked in a smoky room, wearing a few common items that might indicate he’s got a kink or three. There was such a lot of attitude on his face, that my first thought on seeing him was… Oh is he asking for it. I may not be a Domme, but I’ll whip your ass for smoking in my house.
But then… If he knows it’s a rule… What would make him break it?
Sometimes you just have to break a rule because you need to.
So Jenner here breaks the no-smoking-inside rule, even though he hasn’t smoked in 7 years. Not only does he do this, he does it knowing Viktor, his husband and Dom, is due home any second now. What then is behind this need to get caught?
Seven months ago, Jenner was attacked while walking home. Brutalized in horrible ways, he’s been recovering ever since. Jenner is well now, but Viktor isn’t. He looks at his boy and sees pain he didn’t inflict, so now he can’t do it. Jenner needs it, though, so something has to give.
Get your copy of Jenner's Needs.
It started vaguely for me. I found a photo of Travis Fimmel looking so lovely but with some underlying attitude that I wanted to explore. I really love this photo and knew I had to write his story someday. But what was his story?
Then I found another shot of him looking so much sweeter and I knew I had to have both sides of him in this story. Attitude would protect sweet.
But why did he need protecting?
Then I discovered the Xdress.com website and all the deliciously wonderful outfits and lingerie designed and made for men to wear. What if this sweet man had a secret? What if he loved to dress up, bend his gender, but was entirely too frightened to let anyone know?
What scared him? What happened to make him hide this side of himself? I thought I needed a better reason that just betting his peers wouldn’t understand or approve. So I raised the stakes for Truman by having him get caught dressed up and feeling so fine. Caught, outed, and abandoned by everyone he thought was supposed to love him unconditionally. Then I gave him scholarships for academics and sports that he cannot attend college without, but that could be taken away from him if he isn’t vigilant about his studies and staying on the team. If he loses either scholarship, he’s homeless and alone all over again.
So I had to give Truman a love interest who’s going to shake up his world, test his beliefs, and draw him out into the light…or just push him into it.
Very rarely do I manage to find a photo that fits with an established couple — meaning a pair I’ve already started working on — so I don’t often save photos of couples when I find them.
However, when I found this photo and thought it was sweet and a little sexy, I did hope I’d someday have a story to tell about these two young men. I filed it away with other inspiring photos of younger guys and went about my writing life.
Only after writing about Brian and Trent in Every Time a Bell Rings, did I realize this photo would be perfect for Mike (right) and George (left) given their similar coloring and the emotions here.
I see a sort of reverence to Mike’s face and his arm over George’s shoulder speaks of his desire to protect George. For his part, George looks accepting as well as tempting, but I see some innocence too. There’s also some wanting but not being able to have from both of them.
This photo is actually where I got the inspiration for the scene where George reveals his past in An Angel Gets His Wings. George wants Mike to understand and accept him, and Mike wants to protect and encourage George. That scene is a turning point for both of them…and it still makes me all sniffly just thinking about it.
Missy Welsh writes gay, bi, and trans erotic m/m romance short stories, novellas, and novels.