We’re so pleased to have author Anna Zabo joining us today on the tour for their newest release, Outside the Lines, the next to the last novel in Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay collection. Anna’s talking names today, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the entry details below.
What’s in a Name?
One of the first things I do when crafting a story is to come up with names for my main characters—mostly so I can start thinking about them when developing scenes and playing around with the plot. Names help me flesh out who the characters are. I came up with Ian Meyers and then Lydia and Simon Derry pretty quickly.
(And yes, there’s a play on “Simon Says” in the book. How could I not?)
Names for secondary characters don’t come as quickly, and often I’ll just put [Name] in the draft and come back later so I can keep moving on the writing.
Early on when I was writing Outside the Lines, LA Witt asked if she could use an employee of the store as the main character of her Bluewater Bay book, New Hand. And of course I said yes. We chatted a bit about what he’d be like, and that became the basis for one of Simon and Lydia’s employees.
Except I didn’t have a name for the dude.
He ended up as [Name] in the manuscript for a good long time. LA and I went back and forth for a while but never settled on a name. Since I had to turn the manuscript in, and I couldn’t just leave him [Name], I named him Nate.
Reader, his name did not stay Nate. It couldn’t stay Nate.
See, LA was already writing a book with a Nate. Also, another Bluewater Bay novel came out with a main character named Nate. To top that off, there yet another Bluewater Bay book with a main character named Nat.
So, yeah. Nate needed to be renamed. LA and I threw names back and forth, and ultimately, she chose Jesse. Which was good and fine!
Except I’d named a really minor character Jessie, but Jessie was easy to rename, since you see him exactly once. Nate became Jesse, and all was well!
Or so I thought. See, I hadn’t given Jesse a surname in my book. So LA did. Jesse Meyer.
Remember Ian’s last name? Yeah. It’s Meyers. Now you can image both of us banging our heads on desks at this point. So Jesse got a new surname—Connelly—and now all is well.
Jesse’s a fantastic employee, and Simon and Lydia are glad to have him. Me? I’m just glad he has a name!
About the Book
Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.
Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.
Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.
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About Bluewater Bay
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
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About the Author
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.
Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.
Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Twitter: @amergina
To celebrate the release of Outside the Lines, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!