Sunday, February 27, 2011

By Lily Sawyer...

Please give a warm welcome to Lily Sawyer!

By Lily Sawyer; I keep looking at those words and I can’t quite get my mind around the fact that I’m a published writer.

It all started when I found out that my favorite show, Star Trek, had a fandom. And that Trekkies, as we called ourselves, wanted to see more of our favorite characters.  SO they started to write their own fiction; the first fanzines were born. And I was quite pleased when I accidently came across a professionally published Star Trek novel while browsing in the library. It became the impetus for my getting involved in writing fan fiction. Star Trek was the first fandom I wrote a story for. Then later I became involved in other fandoms, first as a reader and later taking the plunge into writing my own fiction. I never dreamed I’d be writing romance stories; I had never been interested in the genre before. I have a friend who was writing stories for Harlequin Romance and to show my support I bought her books.  

It wasn’t until 2006, after watching the movie Brokeback Mountain, that I discovered the world of gay romance fiction. I joined the fandom, first as a reader and then, because of the way the movie ended; I had to fix what I couldn’t stand. You should be able to love who you want without anyone telling you it’s a sin and that you’re going to hell because of it. The two characters from Brokeback couldn’t have the life they should have been able to lead, so I turned to writing fan fiction to change things so they were having a happy life. I met so many wonderful friends there and many of them had decided to write original stories and sell them to e-publishers. I decided to throw my hat into the ring. In 2009, I got my very first story published by Dreamspinner Press. The Finest Thing was part of their To Have and to Hold anthology that was released in June of 2009. I can’t tell you the thrill I had seeing my name on the cover and to have so many positive responses from readers and a nice review as well.

I got hooked on writing my own stories, and it wasn’t long before I got an idea for another one. Being from Long Island it was natural that I gravitated towards the water. So I had this idea for a merman story. I had no idea where I was going with it, but I just let my muse, and the merman, take me where they wanted me. And believe me, I was a willing captive. 

My merman story is titled Catch of the Day and it takes place in the Florida Keys.

I’ve fallen in love with this cover. I have to thank the talented artist, Reese Dante, for bringing my merman to life. And my editor, Sharon, for helping me dot the I’s and cross the T’s,  and to my many friends near and far who I am grateful for their never-ending encouragement and love.  I couldn’t have done this without you guys.

Here is an excerpt:

Kellan grabbed a cup of coffee and carried it out to the back deck of his beach house.  It had been a year since he moved from Chicago to the Florida Keys.  The two places were as different as night and day.  Back home there was a foot of snow on the ground and here the temperature didn’t make it down to the freezing point.  He certainly didn’t miss having to deal with the icy winds and the endless winters.
He’d worked as a car salesman for one of the biggest automakers, and had been recognized as their top seller two years in a row, but the accolades didn’t mean anything to him.   He felt like he’d become like a robot in the corporate world and he desperately needed a change.   He’d been looking at a travel magazine while sitting in his doctor’s waiting room and spotted an ad for the Florida Keys.
There was nothing holding him in Chicago, his parents had died a few years ago and they’d left him a nice inheritance.    He’d been in a serious long-term relationship, but after losing him in a tragic accident he decided this was the final straw and it was time to start a new life somewhere else.    
Now he had sunny days and a new business venture that got him excited to get up in the morning.    He’d always loved nature, he remembered going on family vacations to the mountains with his parents and his father taking him out on the boat they kept up there.    It was one of his fondest childhood memories.   Now he was living his dream of owning his own boat; he enjoyed taking people on tours of the Keys.  Kellan also took people deep sea fishing, his clientele ranged from the locals to big wigs who wanted to land the ‘big one’ to the vacationers who came from all over the world to experience the Keys.    Ernest Hemingway was to blame for the influx of visitors, the famous author put the place on the map, but Kellan wasn’t complaining.  He loved meeting new people and seeing the joy come over their faces when they caught some fish.    The really big ones were the marlin and sailfish; they could really give you a run for your money.  
So here he was sitting in the Keys enjoying all this new life had to offer.   While he enjoyed his time with other people during the day, his evenings were spent in his house, alone.    Maybe one day he would find someone, he just wasn’t in any hurry, and he was still grieving over Frank.
Kellan heard his empty stomach rumbling and made himself scrambled eggs for breakfast and filled two thermoses with coffee then drove over to the marina where his boat was docked.
This morning Kellan didn’t have any charters and he decided to take off on his own.  He filled up an ice chest with beer, bottled water and sandwiches, made sure his tank was filled up with gas, weighed anchor and was on his way.
The weather was gorgeous and Kellan still marveled at how blue the water was. He’d dreamed of seeing the ocean one day and now here he was, there was nothing like smelling the fresh ocean breeze and feeling the salty mist on your face.
After spending some time out in the open ocean he sailed into his favorite private spot, a deserted cove and picked up his lucky fishing pole and cast it into the water.  It wasn’t long before he was catching fish, they’d make a delicious dinner and whatever he didn’t use he’d freeze.    He worked up an appetite so he took a break to have lunch.  He was sitting in a chair on the deck finishing the last bite of his sandwich and drinking from a bottle of beer when he saw the fishing line he’d left in the water start to bob up and down.  He put the bottle down and went over to check it out.
“Damn!” Kellan grunted as he pulled on the line; it felt like it weighed a ton.  “What’ve I got on the end of this line a whale?”  He blurted out.
“Uhhhh,” He put his back into it as he pulled on the pole and reeled in his line.  Kellan figured he could have snagged a mackerel or maybe even an old tire.   You came across pollution from time to time, even down here in a pristine place like the Keys.
He could see a shape in the water and it definitely was not a fish.   The front part of the animal was hidden under the boat; he could see the tail flukes and thought it might be a manatee. 
“Oh man,” he was worried he’d get in trouble with the fish and wildlife conservation commission; manatees were a protected species.   He quickly tried to get the animal out from under the boat so he could get a better look at it and see if it was hurt.  As soon as the lower half of the animal cleared the underside of the boat it became clear what the catch of the day was.  “Oh my gawd!”  Kellan couldn’t believe his eyes.   It wasn’t a manatee; in fact it wasn’t like any manner of marine life he’d ever seen.    The tail looked like a manatee or whale but he saw the head and torso of a man attached to it.   ‘A merman!’    Kellan thought.    He didn’t have time to think about it.  He could see the man was hurt.  So he quickly pulled him onto the deck.  The fishing line had tangled on his tail so he took a knife and cut the lines.   
“Hey, uh, bud.  You okay?” Kellan wasn’t sure what to make of this creature.  Was he a man or a fish? Kellan’s instincts took over and he checked the merman for injuries.  As his hand disappeared into the dark hair, he found a bump on the back of the merman’s head.  His arms weren’t broken, he felt along the well-built body for broken ribs but found nothing then he looked down at his waist.  Instead of hips, thighs and two legs there was a long torso that ended in a tail.
Kellan was at a loss as to what to do next.  

Available now from Silver Publishing

Check out my other books on my blog:    
I hope you’ll let me know how you like it. 

Hugs, Lily


Jen B. said...

I agree totally with you that the end of Brokeback Mountain was sad. People really should be able to love who they want without people saying it's a sin. I honestly don't normally read mermaid (or merman) stories. I have had so pretty bad experiences. I might have to give this one a try.

Janice Seagraves said...

Interesting read. I have thought of writing a story about a merman but hadn't as yet.

Natalie Dae said...

I've never seen Brokeback Mountain, but I have read a merman story that was excellent. Perhaps

Good luck with your book, Lily!


Natalie Dae said...

Perhaps... Yes, perhaps I ought not to comment so early in the morning because it makes me forget to finish my sentences.

I was supposed to say perhaps I'd give the movie a try.