We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys #1) by Brandon Witt
How many novellas to your series?
There are four stories in the Mary’s Boys series. Each one is about a different couple, so they can be read in any order or as a standalone story. However, you will find roughly the same cast of characters in each, so if you fall in love with a couple of the people, don’t worry, you’ll probably see them again. The stories take place in Hamburger Mary’s, which is a gay themed restaurant chain (straight people eat at them too). Each novella follows as one of the members of Hamburger Mary’s find love. Here’s a small spoiler for you, but it won’t really spoil any more than figuring out which character you’ll get to read about next. Here are all four in order:
Nachos & Hash—Cody is a waiter
Vodka & Handcuffs—Vahin is a bartender
Mascara & Bandages—Zachary is a drag queen
Deeds & Confetti—Steven is the restaurant’s owner
What do you love most about the writing process?
I love two parts equally. The planning. I love diving in and really getting to know these characters, letting them introduce themselves to me. And I love being done. After weeks, or months, of birthing the characters’ stories, once you’ve typed that last word, it’s like you’re finally able to breath again, to come back up and see the world around you. Though there is always a sense of loss as well in a way, but even that I sort of enjoy.
How has your writing evolved since your first book?
I’ve gone back and forth actually. Somewhere in the middle, I got scared and started worrying too much about what people will think. While that’s important, ultimately, you have to be fearless when you’re writing. You tell the story that needs to be told, that your characters and your soul demand. I’ve also noticed that I naturally am starting to trim stuff down as I write. Not always, but often, it seems true that less actually is more. Although, dear lord, do I love a massive epic story. But, the story has to warrant being a massive tome, otherwise, it’s poor storytelling.
What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I’m going to change that question a bit. As I don’t think I have a monopoly on anything. But, I will answer what I think/believe/hope that I do well. My strength and what I enjoy the most is really flushing out the characters (main characters and side characters). I want them to be real people, flawed, broken, hopeful, beautiful, imperfect. I don’t believe you can fall in love with a character until you can really know them and see their soul.
Would you describe your humour as hilariously funny, oddly quirky, diabolically macabre, or non existent
Honestly, a lot (not all) of my writing can be dark at times, but I think there is always humor in there. Typically just one-liners or a character or two that is a bit over the top. My Christmas stories tend to be a little more on the cute/funny side. I like small spikes of humor in my books (both that I write and that I read). Unfortunately, I don’t like funny stories. I’ve tried. I enjoy them for about five minutes then I feel like they start beating the same drum. (I feel the same about movies, actually.) For me, even in darker tales, a shot of humor or outrageousness both bring needed light to a story and also serve as a counterbalance to the shadows. And, it just makes a story richer.
Are there misconceptions people have about your genre?
Nearly every time someone finds out that I write gay romance they assume that I mean porn or erotica. I’ve actually started just getting that out of the way the second I tell them what I do. This isn’t a bash on porn or erotica, those are great, but it does get frustrating to have my work always assumed to be something it’s not. And, honestly, I think that’s part of why more gay men don’t read gay romance. It’s a misconception. They think it’s soft-core porn. And, most of us men (not all) don’t really enjoy reading about sex, at least not much. Amateur porn video, sure, but not in a story. The other is that people assume that because it’s a romance that there isn’t a story, that it’s not literature, or even a real book. That it’s just a romance, and, in their minds, negates it all. Romances have stories. Their characters have depths and struggles and growth that happens in all well crafted literature. There just happens to also be love.
💕 Nachos & Hash Blurb:
Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.
Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?
As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there “for him… will Cody accept what is offered?
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💕 Review by Tracy C Muth
Darwin and Cody have both recently fled very similar small Midwestern towns. They meet at Hamburger Mary’s, a friendly and diverse diner in Denver, where it’s okay to be who you are and love who you love. Cody ran away from his small homophobic town and alcoholic father. He’s not only found a job as a waiter at Mary’s, but has also managed to find a family, acceptance and a home there where he feels safe. Darwin was more accepted back in his small hometown but moved to Denver for job at a local university. Darwin has been on a lot of dates since moving to Denver, trying to find “Mr. Right”, so he can fall in love, get married and start a family.
I loved the secondary characters in this story almost as much as I loved the main characters. They were friendly, quirky, supportive and funny. Because of the secondary characters, and even the first glimpses we get off main characters, I thought this would be a quick and funny read, but it’s actually really serious and heartbreaking at times. I liked the main characters a lot, but I felt their story was too instalove. Even though this is a shorter novella, it could have been better paced. I also didn’t really feel like parts of the story were realistic. Darwin in 24, not 35, yet he is in a big rush to find love, a husband and start having babies. While I’m not saying no one feels this way at that age, it just didn’t feel realistic for someone so young to be so desperate for these things.
The characters are likable and it’s a well-written story. Darwin and Cody had good chemistry and the story is packed with emotion. All in all, this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to more stories from the Hamburger Mary’s gang. Recommended!
One random person who comments will receive a $5 Amazon gift card!
💕 Meet Brandon Witt
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/wittauthor/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt
Brandon’s Patreon Support page: http://bit.ly/2j58PdQ