The aliens first arrived in 2017 when Felice Stevens asked if I’d like to write for her upcoming Kindle World. The invitation flattered me for two reasons. One, Memories with the Breakfast Club was going to be the first LGBTQ Kindle World and Felice had asked me to be a part of it. Two, Felice had asked me to be a part of it! And she wanted me to write science fiction.
The deadline would be tight. I would have only thirty days to write something if I wanted it to be edited and polished in time for release. But the minimum word count was only 10,000 which is about five days writing for me. I could do it.
I decided to bring aliens to New York. In my head, I envisaged a Men in Black sort of world and plot and quickly started on the appropriate research. I have pages and pages of notes about secret facilities beneath Manhattan. But when I started thinking about my characters, Dillon and Lang solidified with a different idea and a very different theme. Uncommon Ground became more a fish out of water story, for both of my guys. I ended up with nearly 50,000 words, making Uncommon Ground the longest title in the collection (I think), but I loved what I’d written and knew I had a lot more stories to tell in the world I had created
Purple Haze reads a little deeper than Uncommon Ground, but it’s not. Not really. For me, it’s the logical continuation of what I started; the natural progression of a love story between two men who aren’t quite human. With Purple Haze, I’ve expanded on the themes introduced in Uncommon Ground by having Dillan and Lang ask themselves what it means to be human. To be a person. To be an individual. To have love, a family, and a home.
As I stated in the acknowledgments for Uncommon Ground, some of my favourite stories are the ones I wrote on a whim. The really out there ideas that shouldn’t work. Best in Show was the first, where I decided to write a housecat shifter—and began the book by locking him up in a rescue shelter. Then came Uncommon Ground, where I plunked a lonely alien down in the middle of New York City and had him fall for a pierced, purple-haired art teacher. To See the Sun was probably my most farfetched idea yet: mail order spouses journeying to remote, pioneering planets. Think space western with a Harlequin romance.
Purple Haze isn’t that far out there unless you think the possibility of aliens living in New York is remote. But however far I roam, the core of my stories remains the same. I love to take characters who don’t quite fit their environment and have them meet someone who will come to mean home for them. There’s nothing I like more than uniting two lonely souls and having them find forever in each other’s eyes.
That, more than anything, is what Purple Haze is about.
(But with more aliens and adventure, cool gadgets, a little redemption for one of one villain, and a whole new one to hate!)
Where to Buy
For readers who use retailers other than Amazon, both Uncommon Ground and Purple Haze will be wide sometime this summer!
A New Release Means Giveaways!
I’m not doing a blog tour for this release. I did five of them last year and I’m a little burned out on the cycle. I am doing several giveaways, though, because I love these books and want to see them in the hands of as many readers as possible.
I’ll be visiting a number of author groups on Facebook next week to give away ebook copies of the first book in the series, Uncommon Ground. Can’t wait that long? If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can now read Uncommon Ground for free!
Both books will remain a part of the Kindle Unlimited program for 90 days.
I’m also running two Instagram giveaways.
Download this image and post it to Instagram (or Twitter) with the tag #aliensinnewyork to enter the drawing for a copy of both ebooks.
Post an image of your copy of Uncommon Ground or Purple Haze to Instagram (Or Twitter) with the tag #imreadingaliensinnewyork for a chance to win a paperback.
Enter here, on my blog, by leaving a comment below, for a chance to win a copy of both ebooks.
My newsletter subscribers get access to the best giveaways. Subscribe now for a chance to win signed paperbacks of both books!
I’ll be running other giveaways on social media next week, so keep watching my feeds!
Want more Aliens in New York?
The number one question readers have following the conclusion of a series is, will there be another book? In this case, I honestly don’t know. When super positive early reviews roll in, I always feel like I should do it again. Write another book. But by the time I get through release day (and week) shenanigans, I’ve seen the not so great reviews and wonder if I’ll ever write again, let alone visit a particular world.
I’ve always maintained that I write my books for me, but that’s not 100% true. I write them for my readers, as well, especially when I write sequels. I think about what a reader would like to see next and try to work that in with what I have pictured for the characters and the world. Sometimes I hit the right notes, sometimes I don’t.
That being said, I’d like to revisit this world. It’s vast with very vague borders. I could do just about anything I wanted. I have ideas for Elder Arayu and other ideas for some of the Nay characters introduced in Purple Haze. I have plots-a-million in my head for this series. I have new characters waiting in the wings.
But first, I’m working on another of those off the wall ideas that might turn out to be my new favourite books. We’ll see.