May 28

Guest Author Wednesdays ♥ H.B. Pattskyn

Hello everyone. Today I’m thrilled to have Romance Author Helen Pattskyn stop by. She’s talking about sci-fi conventions, her delicious book “Bound: Forget Me Knot”, and even offering up a $10 GC for Dreamspinner Press! Don’t forget to leave her a little love below!

Helen Barbara Pattskyn lives with her husband and children (both human and four footed) in a quiet suburb of Detroit, MI. She is working on becoming a full-time writer as well as doing volunteer work and still trying to find time to putter in her garden, watch the stars, and paint.

Helen describes herself as a storyteller, a science fiction geek, and a bookworm; as introverted, but not shy. Her favorite jobs (besides being a writer) have been hawking left-handed mugs at the Georgia and Michigan Renaissance Festivals and painting polyurethane corpses for Gag Studio. She’s also waited tables, cut fabric, and worked as a library assistant. If anyone ever asks, she describes her life as “quiet”—but even she’ll admit that when you condense it into two paragraphs, it suddenly looks a little more interesting.

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Bound: Forget Me Knot
by H.B. Pattskyn

Jason Kennly needs to get a closer look when he spots a gray leather collar from across the dealers’ room at a science fiction convention, even if there’s no way he can afford it on his college student budget. After all, looking is free. But then he spots something he wants even more than the collar: leather booth owner Henry Durand, who insists Jason try it on. When Henry asks Jason to be his model at a bondage demo, Jason agrees despite his lack of experience as a sub and ends up spending a no-strings-attached weekend exploring his kinky side with a virtual stranger.

Then the con is over, Jason and Henry go their separate ways, and it’s back to real life. Coming to terms with his identity as a submissive and masochist isn’t easy for Jason. Suddenly he has to face fear, doubt, and a best friend who’ll do anything to get him away from “that creep” and back together with the ex-boyfriend who ignored him. All Jason wants is to be with Henry, but what if that means becoming his slave?

Dreamspinner Press

 

Guest Post

 

I want to start out by saying a HUGE thank you to Tempeste for having me today!

This past weekend, I attended Media*West Con, a science fiction and fanzine convention here in Michigan, with fellow Dreamspinner authors Shira Anthony, Venona Keyes, J.P. Barnaby, and Thea Nishimori. Most of the ladies had never been to a con before. Me? I’m an old timer; I started going to cons when I was barely into my twenties (I’m 44 now.)

Fandom and con weekends meant something different to me when I was much younger woman, though. Back then, I went to a con to escape “real life” for a couple of days. I’m not saying my life was especially horrible, it wasn’t; but fen* are notoriously more accepting of people who color outside the lines than most other people. (*Fen is the “irregular plural” of fan—although I don’t suggest you try using it anywhere outside fandom.) At con, I could hold my girlfriend’s hand without anyone looking at me funny or making lewd comments. I could run around in a short velvet dress, bright floral leggings, and leather collar without anyone making stupid assumptions.  Over the years, I got to meet some of my favorite authors, artists, and musicians and I learned that they were real people, just like me.

And even though attendees came to celebrate a wide variety of fandoms, we all had something in common: science fiction. In my case that meant a little more than people who knew why I was wearing an eighteen foot scarf and who laughed at my red shirt jokes.

See, science fiction authors were some of the first to write LGBT characters in (more or less) mainstream fiction. Back when I was in middle school, long before I had any inkling that I might like girls as well as boys, I was reading about gay, bisexual, and lesbian characters in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books. Later, Mercedes Lackey ripped my heart out when she gave me Vanyel, who meets the love of his life and less than a hundred pages later has him taken away. And that was in book one of the Last Herald Mage trilogy.  More recently, I read the Mag Force Seven series by Margaret Weis. The Mag Force team includes a gay man and transgender woman. One of my favorite moments in the series is when Raoul turns to Darlene (formerly a man) and calmly states that if she’d been born on his home world, his birth defect (i.e. being born the wrong gender) would have been corrected before puberty.

So I guess it’s little wonder that when I wrote my BDSM coming of age novel (do those two things really belong in the same sentence?) Bound: Forget Me Knot that I set it at science fiction convention. The backstory is that I was sitting in the dealers’ room at PenguiCon and there was a leather booth in one corner—although unlike Henry, from Bound, this dealer was selling mostly steam punk stuff—and an adorable little fanboy wearing a fishnet shirt in another. Like me back then, Jason doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. My life wasn’t anywhere near as tough as his, but I had a father I’d never met, a mother who really couldn’t be bothered, and a grandmother who tried but didn’t understand me. (I have to take a little of the blame for that one; I sort of hit her with “I’m Pagan” and “I’m bisexual” in the same summer).  I had one very best friend, one person I’d known and counted on since elementary school—but after high school, he went off to EMU and then moved to Chicago. I was kind of stuck because I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. (I certainly didn’t think I would turn into the kind of woman who could not only write BDSM but discuss it calmly and without blushing!)

The truth is that I think we all need a place where we belong, whether it’s a church, bowling league, a BDSM play group—or a yearly gathering of Time Lords, Elves, Vulcans (do not mix them up!), Storm Troopers, and Super Heroes. For me, cons aren’t the source of solace they used to be—I’m comfortable in my skin these days—but I still love going back, catching up with old friends and making new ones. I spent a good deal of time last weekend at Media*West talking to young (and not so young) authors and hopefully helped encourage at least one or two of them to pursue the dream of writing the same way I was encouraged twenty years ago.

If you’d like to read a little bit more about Jason and Henry, please visit my blog:
http://www.helenpattskyn.com/p/bound-forget-me-knot.html

 

Giveaway

 

http://helenpattskyn.us7.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=0bd1c530d47486fe22f3cce92&id=dc70f94d36If you’d like a chance to win a $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate and some super cool swag, sign up for my newsletter: (click stamp to the right)

I’ll be drawing a winner from my list of subscribers on June 15, when the first issue comes out.

 

Heart’s Home
by H.B. Pattskyn

Outcast werewolf Alun Blayney is jaded, fearful of what could happen if even one human were to discover monsters are real. Police Constable James Heron is an idealistic young man convinced that love can overcome any differences. When they meet over the body of a woman murdered in the streets of 19th century London, they form an uneasy friendship.

As the murder investigation progresses, the attraction between them grows, but before they can see the case or their relationship through, there are obstacles to overcome. A sadistic pack leader is out to get Alun, a daemon has fallen in love with James, and James’s immediate supervisor is determined to pin the recent murders—and last year’s rash of Whitechapel homicides—on Alun.

Dreamspinner Press

13 comments

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    • Tali Spencer on May 29, 2013 at 5:14 am

    This brings back the memories. 😀 Science fiction cons are another world, though I never felt I belonged there either, even though I was a writer in the genre. The fans were more passionate about my books than I was! But cons are wonderful for people-watching, the best. And you certainly wrote a great book out of your experience!

  1. Thanks, Tali 🙂 And thanks again to Tempeste for having me today! I have to admit that cons are a lot different for me now that I’m comfortable in my own skin and have some sense of who I am, but I still love going. There’s nothing quite as much fun as walking into a room full of Vulcans, Storm Troopers, Time Lords, Air Ship Pirates, and assorted fans 🙂

    • skylar on May 29, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Interesting post! I was debating taking my kids to some con events down the road. It sounds like fun. I love to people watch too.

      • Helen on May 30, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Cons are definitely a good place to people watch. My daughter isn’t as into it now when she was a kid (except for the steam pun convention near us), but she went to her first con in a stroller. Some of the shows by us do specific kid friendly programming *just* for the little ones. (Anything as “interesting” as the rope demo I describe in Bound happens after 9 and is really specific about being 18 and over).

  2. Lol Time lords, elves, Vulcans (don’t mix them up) — nwo that would be a fun book to write- elves and Vulcans. Great post.

      • Helen on May 30, 2013 at 6:01 am

      I don’t know what I’d like to see more, a cross over where Spock meets Legolas or a what happens at a sci fi con (or Renn Fair) when two cosplayers meet up…. 😉

    • Trix on May 29, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Great post, though I suddenly have the weird urge for m/m set in a bowling league (it could work)! I’ve never been to a con, so it’s always fun to hear about them.

      • Helen on May 30, 2013 at 5:54 am

      That could be a lot of fun! I’ve been bowling…twice. Perfect score. Gutter balls every time…. oh and now I’m getting very naughty name titles in my head 😉

    • Karen Lopp on May 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Sounds like going to a con would be a blast.

    • Maria D. on May 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Good guest post! I’ve never been to a con but I definitely want to attend one…sigh…they never seem to happen anywhere near me….lol….Thanks for the info on both Bound: Forget Me Knot and Heart’s Home.

      • Helen on May 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

      I guess “near” is relative (and we’re really lucky, we’ve got 3 big sci fi cons and a steam punk convention all within easy driving distance of home, so we don’t even need to rent a hotel room if we don’t want to….not like when I was in my 20’s when we piled 10 of our closest friends into one room because nobody had two dimes to rub together 😉 But there are definitely cons in every state–although one of the very best (and biggest) is Dragon Con. I think every fan should see that at least once in their life. I’m hoping to hit Gaylaxicon (http://www.gaylacticnetwork.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46:gaylaxicon&catid=38:gaylaxicon&Itemid=54) one of these years. As the name implies its a con *just* for LBGT themed science fiction.

    • B. Snow on May 29, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Hi, Helen, nice to learn a little more about you! Speaking of cons, we actually met at Dragon*con a couple of years ago. 🙂 Congrats on the new novel, it sounds really good!

    • Helen on May 30, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I remember you, B! 🙂 I wish we’d been able to get back to Dragon the last couple of years, but it’s a pretty big trip from MI. (And it’s a whole lot bigger convention than anything we have around here, although at most of the conventions I go to, I’m seeing more costuming, which is totally awesome! I’m not into it myself–too many years working the Renn Faire kinda made dressing up loose its shiney for me–but I *love* to people watch).

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