The Things You Learn
By Ally Blue
Every time I write another book, I learn something new.
This isn’t a big news flash. Any author will tell you the same thing. But, the things you learn while researching a book are always interesting. And I picked up some pretty fascinating things this time around.
For instance: you can see Canada from Bluewater Bay.
That’s right. If you’re lounging around at the harbor—or, say, on top of the ridge near Hobb’s Park (my contribution to the town)—you can gaze over the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island. Or so I’m told. Having never been anywhere near that area myself in real life, I’m taking the word of those who have. Can you imagine the view? I can. It must be gorgeous. I’d love to visit that area myself one day in the flesh. Washington State, and Canada. I have friends who live in both places, so I have a great excuse to go. (Consider yourselves warned, friends who live there.)
On a related note—sort of—I learned that if your characters are going hiking in Washington State, you can’t really say they’re hiking “up the mountain” like you would here in North Carolina, because “mountain” there does not mean the same thing as it does here. Where I live, we hike up mountains all the time without any sort of special equipment or training or anything. The mountains are old and rounded, and while some trails are pretty difficult, you won’t need ropes or anything unless you’re going rock climbing. Evidently, though, those brash young mountains in Washington State require actual mountain-climbing gear to get you to the top. Who knew? Not me! So my guys went hiking on a ridge instead, since I needed a regular hike and not an expedition. That’s something I never would’ve considered, and I found it fascinating.
Something I learned researching in another direction: more than I ever wanted (or needed) to know about acting unions and the resulting contracts in the entertainment business. I won’t go into any details here, because I don’t really want to bore y’all to death. Besides which, unions and contract stuff would take up a whole separate blog. Or, more accurately, several blogs. Suffice to say, it’s complicated. Good to know, though, if both of your point-of-view characters work on a TV show. Which they do. Thank you, Rachel, Del, etc, for all the information!
I also did a fair bit of research on Washington State Medicaid, worker’s compensation and disability rules, home care aid rules and regulations for Washington State, and other such super exciting stuff. It was surprisingly hard to find answers to my specific nitpicky questions online. Or maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by how hard it was. No one could anticipate every oddball question some random author might have, after all, right?
So that’s a little taste of my No Small Parts research and stuff I learned from my amazing editors. Now when you see those things in the book, you can point and say, Ally didn’t know that before!
Thanks for hanging out here with me today. I hope you’ll all give No Small Parts a try, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. Be sure to comment for a chance to win your choice of a book from my backlist. Happy Holidays, everyone!
About No Small Parts
Nat Horn is almost living the dream. His part as a werewolf extra on the hit show Wolf’s Landing has somehow turned into a regular role. Beautiful rising star Solari Praveen has taken an interest in him. He’s even making enough money to think about getting out of Bluewater Bay someday. Except his retired dad’s dependence on pain medications seems to be getting worse, and Nat’s the only one around to take care of him.
When Nat learns that Solari’s interest isn’t romantic, his disappointment is surprisingly short-lived, because in getting to know her, he also got to know her assistant, Rafael. And Rafael turns out to be the kind of friend—and potential boyfriend—Nat never dared to dream about.
Distracted by his astonishing new life, new friends, and new possibilities, Nat lets his guard down, and suddenly his life goes careening out of control. Racked by guilt, he tries to push his new friends away, but the bonds he’s formed are already too strong. In fact, they’re strong enough to pull him forward, into the future he’s been longing for—but to get there, he’ll have to let go of the past.
Now available from Riptide Publishing: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/no-small-parts
About Ally Blue
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst.
She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row.
Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.
Connect with Ally:
- Website: allyblue.com
- Twitter: @PopessAllyBlue
- Tumblr: therealallyblue.tumblr.com
- Facebook fan page: facebook.com/pages/Ally-Blue/98548113963
- Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AllyBlue.author
- Group blog: fictionwithfriction.com
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/PopessAllyBlue
To celebrate the release of No Small Parts, one lucky winner will receive an ebook from Ally’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 24, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!