I’m Laurie Loft, author of Love and Other Hot Beverages. Welcome to my blog tour, and thanks for being here! I’m excited to give out super cool prizes to two people who make thoughtful comments to any of my blog posts: one French press (an item which features prominently in my novel), and a $15.00 Starbucks gift card. Either way, you’ll enjoy plenty of hot beverages!
There’ll be seven posts in which I’ll discuss my book as well as unrelated items. Comment, and we can get to know each other a little better.
RESEARCH PROCESS FOR LOVE AND OTHER HOT BEVERAGES
Most authors have to do some research, whether it’s how to kill someone with a tuning fork, or the frequency of meteor showers visible in the American northwest.
Multiple questions came up as I wrote Love and Other Hot Beverages: When does autumn usually come to Denver? What hospitals are in the Denver area? What are the repercussions of this particular kind of injury that I can’t mention due to it being a spoiler? What would a nurse do when someone has a panic attack? What is a Peace Corps interview like? Where can you find a low rent apartment in New York City?
And the biggie: What are some good Spanish swears?
I spent more time researching Spanish swears than anything else. I started by asking a Cuban friend of mine, and I thought that would be the end of it. However, when I repeated these words to another friend who is fluent, he hadn’t heard them before. He learned Spanish in Nicaragua. Apparently, swears are very localized. My character (Sebby) is Mexican, not Cuban or Nicaraguan, and apparently they don’t necessarily cuss the same.
Next I used everyone’s favorite research tool: the internet.
There’s a plethora of sites with guides to Spanish swear words. But, as I read through them, I trusted them less and less. It didn’t appear that any of them were created by Hispanics, and I wanted to make sure I was authentic. I read that incorrect cuss usage ruins the whole story for the native Spanish speaking reader.
I asked my cousin, whose mother is from Spain. She said she wasn’t really sure.
I read some books, including Bless Me, Ultima. The swears in this book, by writer Rudolfo Anaya, must be authentic, I reasoned. But, aw, geeze, the book represents an earlier time, and colloquialisms do change…
I put the question out there on the National Novel Writing Month boards and got mixed results. One Latina told me that it really depended on what was in your heart at the time, and I found that interesting. She also gave me some useful phrases that were not cusses.
There’s a Mexican restaurant that I frequent, and they know me. I hesitated to ask the staff about swear words. Would this be considered impolite? Would they be hesitant to repeat such words to a customer? I repeated a phrase I had learned to the hostess, asking if this is something someone would say when they had messed up. She gasped, and her eyes widened. She assured me that no one EVER says that. So I had to edit that out of my book. One of the waitresses told me that it depended on what was in your heart. So I guess that is a thing! But it wasn’t all that helpful a thing. “Sebby cussed according to what was in his heart,” just doesn’t have quite the force I was looking for.
Eventually, from all these sources, after loads of cross checking and multiple uses of Word’s “Find and Replace”, I cobbled together a reasonable array of swears for Sebby to use. The book was completed, submitted, and edited.
Then it went to a Latina sensitivity reader.
She corrected some misusage and gave suggestions when something didn’t sound right. In one instance, she noted that it didn’t make sense for Sebby to call Todd a particular epithet, even when really pissed off. She helped with some non-swearing language as well.
Authenticity is important to me. I’m glad I didn’t take my Cuban friend’s words and call it good. I’ve learned the importance of fact checking and of having multiple sources. And I had never heard of sensitivity readers before, but I’m a fan now!
What do you think of vulgarities in general? Are they out of place in a romance novel? Do they make you squirm when you read them? Or do you shrug them off? Do they add interest, intensity, drama? Are they the lazy writer’s crutch? Or is the writer just going for realism?
Title: Love and Other Beverages by Laurie Loft
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Length: 400 pages/Word Count: 107,000
After a rough breakup, Todd Addison wants time alone to grieve. While still dreaming of winning back his ex’s love, he moves across the country and finds work with a construction company. The last thing he needs is the cute office boy developing a crush on him, especially since he’s back in the closet.
Sebastián Nye can’t help feeling sorry for the obviously brokenhearted Todd. Though rebuffed repeatedly, Sebby chisels away at Todd’s resistance, determined to help him forget—a task potentially beyond anyone’s capabilities. He never meant to fall for the poor guy, but he does. Hard.
Desperate to hold on to Todd, Sebby hatches a sneaky plot guaranteed to end Todd’s heartbreak—if Todd doesn’t bail and ruin everything. Just when things can’t get more complicated, Todd’s ex wants him back. And Sebby’s abusive ex is just waiting to catch Sebby alone. Todd and Sebby must decide what’s worth fighting for, what’s worth sacrifice, and what’s worth compromise, or their relationship will begin and end with a broken heart.
Add to Goodreads.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Laurie Loft lives in Iowa, endeavoring to write stories to give you that rush. Her husband, cat, and dogs kindly tolerate this odd activity. Her first M/M novel came about because of a minor character in a straight romance who just took over and demanded his own book. Laurie enjoys NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and other forms of writerly torture. She finds inspiration in her NaNo friends and her fellow Riptide authors. When not writing or working at her mysterious day job, she can often be found screaming at tangled cross stitch threads.
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To celebrate the release of Love and Other Hot Beverages, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Starbucks gift card and a French press from Laurie! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!