Title: Brass & Keys
Series: Freshman Beginning
Author: Russell Soots
Cover Artist: Creative Minds/Sid Love
Length: 266 Pages
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Blurb: Having recently broken up with his sleazeball of an ex, recent high school grad Keldon Stonebridge is a handsome guy who’s optimistic about the possibilities of the summer ahead in his beautiful hometown of Asheville, NC. He intends to fill his days working, playing his saxophone whom he calls his baby, sipping green iced tea and hanging out with friends. He’s far less optimistic about a summer romance. But then he meets the very handsome Tyler Lawrence. A fellow musician and recent high school grad himself, Tyler also enjoys losing himself in his music and conspicuously avoids speaking about his own ex at all costs. The two quickly fall in love and achieve a bond that truly transcends love and music. It’s a bond that will be greatly tested by loyalty, tragedy and more.
Desperately trying not to panic, Tyler looked into his eyes. "Keldon, what is it?", he urgently insisted.
Keldon swallowed hard as he gazed into Tyler's dark eyes. A single tear slowly moved down his cheek. His mouth twitched slightly before finally opening to speak. "I'm in love with you.", he breathed.
Tyler's eyes flew open so wide he momentarily thought they might pop out of his head. He struggled for a moment to breathe as a grin spread across his entire face and his eyes watered. He opened his mouth but nothing came out. Now it was his turn to have difficulty speaking. Finally, he managed to get the words out. "I love you too.", he gushed in a whisper. For the briefest of moments, they simply gazed into each other’s eyes before their lips collided and tongues intertwined almost violently. Beyond passionate, their kiss sealed their bodies, hearts and soul together. It lasted for several blissful moments before they finally parted. With beaming smiles, they looked back toward the patio where everyone was smiling before looking into each other's eyes again.
Keldon grinned and threw his head back. “I’m in love with Tyler Lawrence!”, he enthusiastically exclaimed at nearly the top of his lungs.
When defining the personality quirks and traits of characters, I like to show these things through action and dialogue. For example, let's define a character as being a child at heart. Do they manifest this trait by having a fondness for toys and toy stores? Do they go out of their way to avoid what's perceived as adult behavior and/or responsibilities? Do they have a playful personality? Showing through dialogue and action how a character channels their traits and quirks into day-to-day behavior gives the reader a true understanding of them. And a true understanding of the characters is essential to enjoying a story.
Creating the personality traits of each of the characters is in fact a lot of fun. For me, variety is not only the spice of life but is also one of the core elements of stories. Having characters who are virtually identical and indistinguishable would make for very boring stories. So I create unique character profiles for each character. Each character has their own personality, quirks and tendencies. I also ensure that the profiles of two characters who are in or destined to be in a relationship are at least somewhat different.
Living in central North Carolina, Russell thoroughly enjoys all of the great amenities of the state he’s called home his entire life. He can typically be found assisting a friend with their small business, writing in coffeehouses, enjoying meals, movies, museums and more with friends as well as fully enjoying the great wonder of life itself.
Winner’s Prize: E-copy of the book.