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