Writing a fashion icon when you know zip about fashion.
The biggest challenge of writing CONCOURSE was dealing with Ashton’s wardrobe. How, you ask, was that the biggest challenge in a nearly 100K word novel full of secrets, paparazzi, boxing, and self-discovery? Because my wardrobe looks like this but with more black:
If I did one of those Instagram or YouTube “get ready with me” videos, I would roll out of bed, wash up, brush my teeth, blindly grab one of about thirty-nine black band T-shirts, a pair of not-super-dirty jeans, maybe-clean socks, and step into a pair of Jordans. If it’s cold, I’ll wear flannel. Oh, and my Yankees or Nets cap. Key accessory to hide my uncombed hair.
Ashton’s wardrobe is a mix between high fashion (the zany stuff you see on the runway), sleek black suits or dresses (he is androgynous af), or mish mash of thrift store gear complete with floppy hats.
It’s so hard to describe Ashton’s eclectic style, that I can’t even find a stock image to accurately depict it. He’s a former model who is still paid my designers to do product placements on his famous Instagram profile or when he goes to his paid appearances at hot spots around the city, but on his own time he will go out wrapped in a million scarves, a floppy hat, cowboy boots, and jeans or cords.
A-Town, the name the media dubbed him with ages ago, loves to capture him in one of his sleek ensembles, but when Ashton is just trying to go about his business he buries himself in enough layers to hide from the world.
Spoiler: That usually does not work.
Ashton’s appearance and style is very much inpired by the model Emil Anderrson. Everything from his hair, his build, to his tendency to wear black broad-brimmed hats clicks with how I saw Ashton in my mind. So, with the help of the gorgeous model’s Instagram profile, being able to flip through looks in the Saint Laurent lines from 2015 and 2016, I was able to create a wardrobe for A-Town and Ashton.
If you want to check out more of my Concourse inspirations, you can look at my Pinterest page! And if you want to find out how a fashion icon and former model falls for an amateur boxer from the Bronx, you can buy CONCOURSE—the newest standalone novel in the Five Boroughs series—now.
Title: Concourse by Santino Hassell
Five Boroughs Series Book Five
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Length: 366 pages/Word Count: 97,000
Ashton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan’s glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he’s known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can’t imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend—amateur boxer Valdrin Leka.
Val’s relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton’s beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there’s the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.
When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val’s training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means—and what they want to do about it—the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelop himself in his party-boy persona, or to trust in the only man who’s ever seen the real him.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
About the Five Boroughs Universe
New York City—home of soaring skyscrapers, concrete boulevards, and the hopes and dreams of millions. A city where opposites attract and romance is found in unlikely places. From the glittering penthouses of Manhattan to the blue collar neighborhoods of Queens, values get tested, cultures clash, and connections made. Men of diverse backgrounds examine their lives, test their sexual boundaries, and seek success in an unforgiving urban landscape that moves fast and stops for no one. Despite the odds, there’s love to be found in the five boroughs as long as they’re willing to work for it.
Check out the Five Boroughs Universe. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/five-boroughs
Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.
Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
To celebrate the release of Concourse, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!