Saturday, October 02, 2010

This is important...

“This week, we sadly lost two young men who took their own lives for one unacceptable reason: they were being bullied and harassed because they were openly gay or believed to be gay. These unnecessary tragedies come on the heels of at least three other young people taking their own lives because the trauma of being bullied and harassed for their actual or perceived sexual orientation was too much to bear. “This is a moment where every one of us - parents, teachers, students, elected officials, and all people of conscience - needs to stand up and speak out against intolerance in all its forms. Whether it’s students harassing other students because of ethnicity, disability or religion; or an adult, public official harassing the President of the University of Michigan student body because he is gay, it is time we as a country said enough. No more. This must stop.”
— U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Thursday, September 30, 2010

“When’s your next book being released? The wait’s killing me!”

I get this question a lot, but have seen it even more than usual over the past few months. And I totally understand why...I don’t often go this long without a new release, so I know it’s been weird for readers. Please believe me when I say it hasn’t been my intention to drive anyone crazy with the long wait. :) I was woefully bad and didn't do much updating on my website and blog during the summer, and haven’t done much better at answering email either, due to a crazy schedule that's kept me away from my desk for several weeks. I apologize for that, and running with the philosophy of "better late than never," I wanted to give you an update now.

Part of the reason I’ve had fewer releases this year is that I made a conscious decision at the end of 2009 to focus on novels in 2010 rather than writing so many novellas. I frequently hear from readers that they prefer longer gay stories, which is cool because I actually love to write big juicy novels. The downside to that is that novels take longer to write. At least for me. I envy writers who can pound out a novel (or heck, even a short story or novella--or two!) every month. I seriously don’t know how they do it, but I wish I did. If they could bottle that magic potion I’d stock up and buy it by the caseload! *g* Unfortunately, I’ve never been a particularly prolific author compared to some of my colleagues--maybe I'm too anal, stressing over every word to find just the right one, or maybe it's because I tediously read and reread everything a jillion times. I don't know. *shrug* Whatever the case, for the past few years I’ve released approximately 5 new stories each year, which for me has been huge. But most of those of have been novellas, which are, obviously, shorter and write more quickly than big books. As much as I’d love to be able to whip out novels at the same speed, it just doesn’t work that way.

The other truth, and this one was hard for me to accept, is that over the past three years I pushed myself hard in order to have new releases every two or three months. The result of that, aside from a nice back catalog, was that I ended up suffering from burn-out. Big time. Looking back on it in retrospect, I realize now it was building even before I finished Fires of Ballian, which is no doubt part of the reason it took me so long to get that book done. Once Ballian was turned in, I tried to forge ahead to the next book. But finally, after several months of struggling, I had to face the fact that I was creatively wiped, and just plain exhausted from burning the candle at both ends for so long. I confess, I was in denial about it, tried to pretend that everything was five-by-five, but it really wasn’t. It took me most of the spring and summer to get rolling again and not have to scrape for every word. Don’t get me wrong, I was writing during that time, or trying to, but like an athlete who’s trying to finish a marathon and hasn’t been drinking enough fluids, you reach a point where there’s no fuel left and everything starts to shut down. That’s how I felt, though I didn’t realize it for a long time because it crept up on me slowly. I would say that, creatively, my fuel tank was empty except for fumes. I would love to have rushed out Circle of Ariend like I’d promised, or finished Into the Woods early this summer like I’d planned, but it just didn’t happen. I think every writer fears the creative well drying up at some point, so I know I’m not alone. And I think it happens to different writers for different reasons. But as with most ailments, you just have to give it time and nurse it back to health.

The lesson I took away from that experience is that from now on I have to do a better job of pacing myself so I don’t end up in that position again. I won’t be committing to projects that are too close together, and most likely won’t even be trying to guess at release dates, or even tentative release dates, like I did in the past. I've come to terms with the fact that I can't keep up such a frantic pace. I'd rather write a couple of books a year that will knock your socks off than pound out half a dozen that leave you going "meh." :) That's not to say I'm only going to write two books a year from here on out, 'cause I know myself well enough to know that sometimes story ideas come to me fast and furiously. *g* But, in general, I'd rather focus on quality and writing some more substantial stories than giving myself a quota for the sake of quantity.

The good news is that after taking several weeks off, I'm re-energized and back to writing this fall! Therefore, expect a new M.L. Rhodes novel very soon. Also, stay tuned because I’m going to be making some changes over the next month or two to liven things up--for one thing I’ve got a newly revamped website in the works that I’m pretty psyched about!

Thanks to all my readers for your patience! I hope you’ll decide the wait was worth it. :)

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Into the Woods...upcoming release :)

Here's the blurb for my upcoming release, Into the Woods...

Shaun McCarry left home as a young teenager, certain that whatever he had to do to survive on his own was better than being dragged around the country by his troubled, alcoholic father. Once he got away, he vowed never to look back. But years later, on the eve of Shaun’s thirtieth birthday, he receives a bizarre letter from his dad indicating Shaun’s in grave danger. The letter sends him on a journey deep into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There, he uncovers a disturbing family history that leaves Shaun questioning everything he thought he knew about his past and even his future.

His only ally comes in the form of a mysterious drifter named Rannon James who seems to know more about Shaun’s history than Shaun does. Shaun’s drawn to the sexy and vaguely familiar man. And when Rannon tells him a story of love and loss, of loyalty and betrayal, and of two childhood friends who share a destiny, Shaun realizes he’s inextricably and intimately linked to the younger man.

But with danger stalking his every move, and fighting a terrifying change in himself that he never asked for, Shaun’s not sure who he can trust. Maybe not even himself.

-Gay Contemporary/Dark Fantasy/Shapeshifter
-Novel

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Fires of Ballian at Kindle

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Fires of Ballian is now (finally!!) available at the Kindle store. I've had a ton of email from readers asking when it would be there, so for those of you who've been waiting, it's buyable now! There was a bit of a technical glitch with it. It was uploaded to Mobipocket back in February, and Kindle usually grabs all the Amber Allure books from Mobipocket and puts them on sale at the Kindle store within a few days or weeks of them being available at Mobi. Fires of Ballian, however, seemed to be stuck in between. Finally the nice folks at Kindle looked into it and discovered the problem and it's now for sale. :)

Here's the link: Fires of Ballian at Kindle store

Happy reading!
ML :)

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Boy Culture

Movie Review

Title: Boy Culture
Starring: Derek Magyar, Patrick Bauchau, Darryl Stephens, Jonathan Trent
Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Unrated
Genre: Contemporary
ML’s Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fires of Ballian now available!

Fires of Ballian
by M.L. Rhodes

*Book 3 in the Draegan Lords series

A hundred years ago, the high sorcerer of Velensperia launched a swift and deadly attack against the draegans—a race of dragon shapeshifters who’d always lived in harmony with the humans. The draegans were all but destroyed, with the few who remained, scattered and in hiding. But after a century of cruel repression, a group of them have united and begun to fight back. Their leader, Keiran Hareldson, is determined to free his people from the high sorcerer’s tyranny. For years he hid the secret of his heritage, knowing the truth would make him and those around him a target of the sorcerer’s wrath. But the time has come to fight the sorcerer in the open, and once the news spreads that Keiran is the sole surviving draegan lord, draegans and humans alike begin to flock to the draegan camp for protection.

Gaige Rizik used to be the captain of the sorcerer’s High Guard. His last assignment was to infiltrate the draegan rebel’s camp, identify the leader, and eliminate him. No one, least of all him, expected him to fall in love with the very man he’d sworn to kill. Gaige defects to the draegans’ side, and he and Keiran bind themselves to one another not only by love, but by blood when they go through the true mate ritual. With their blood merged, it allows Gaige to inherit the powerful magick of the draegan lords. But inheriting it and using it are two different things. Gaige has trouble tapping into the magick because he feels unworthy of the gift. Only half-draegan, he fears his human side and his past as the high sorcerer’s right hand will forever tarnish his future as Keiran’s mate and second in command.

When Keiran is stolen by an ancient demon from the shadow world, Gaige is left with the fate of the draegan people in his hands. They turn to him as their new lord, and he’s torn between his duty to them, and his desperate need to find his mate. Through shadow and torment, fire and darkness, Gaige and Keiran struggle to hold back the tide of the sorcerer’s ever-expanding war and stop the new and even deadlier evil that threatens their lands. In their darkest hour, only their fierce love for one another, and Gaige’s acceptance of his power, stand between them and the destruction of all they know.

Genre: Gay M/M Fantasy/Shapeshifter erotic romance
Release date:
January 24, 2010
Length: Novel

Available in ebook formats at: Amber Allure
Available in paperback at: Coming at a later date under the title The Draegan Lords, Volume II