OS: Welcome to Charlie!
Hello friends! It’s lovely to be at Open Skye Book Reviews—thanks for having me! <3
I love music and even though I don’t listen to it while I write, I do have a playlist for every book. These playlists serve two main functions for me—to “prime the pump” so I’m in the right mood to write the story, and to get back into the right mood during edits. Plus, it’s fun!
Okay, that’s three things. ?
While writing Art House I spent a lot of time listening to a band you probably haven’t heard of: Red Line Chemistry. They’re a rock band out of Kansas and their music reminds me of a next-generation Alice in Chains or Stone Temple Pilots—two of my favorite bands of all time. One day I was surfing Pinterest for pictures of graffiti and the song “Apology” came on. This song captured Chase’s story, and that was when I knew the RLC albums “Chemical High & A Hand Grenade” and “Easy Does It” would be the soundtrack for Art House.
I also listened to “The One Thing” over and over while writing and editing Art House. It captured the feeling of the film that was being made during the book, and I got the idea for the film’s title from the lyrics. You guessed it, it’s an art house film. ? I also like the plugged-in version of this song. If you’d like to have a listen you can find it here.
Art House is pretty angsty and sometimes writing it wound me up emotionally. During those times I either listened to random dance mixes or Five Finger Death Punch. Mostly 5FDP. I love 5FDP, mainly because of Ivan Moody. I’ve been following Moody’s career since he was only 15 (which I didn’t know until I watched this video!) and I met him and his first band, Motograter, during an all-day hard rock & metal show in 2003. Even listening to one of his songs on my mp3 player helps me blow off steam and feel better. If you’re curious about what made me a fan of Ivan’s check this out from 2003.
Well, this was less of a playlist and more like me musing on music! I think I’ll end this post with an excerpt showing Garrett’s taste in music. Stick around afterward and comment with your favorite band that nobody’s ever heard of.
Every comment during my tour will be an entry in my giveaway. At the end of the tour everyone’s name will go into a hat and the winner will get a signed paperback of Art House, some Buchanan House and Dreamspinner swag, and a surprise or two. This giveaway is worldwide. ?
In this excerpt, Garrett is going to his “day job.”
As he walked to the MAX stop to board a train that would take him toward the West Hills, Garrett thought about the changes in Chase’s body. He was too thin—that’s on me for not being there to remind him to eat—but he’d never been that chiseled in all the time they’d known each other. The master bedroom was crowded with canvases, but Chase had thrown himself into his work before and hadn’t looked like that—his lean body rippling with muscles, blond hair too long and falling across his heart-shaped face, and the sexiest gold-brown eyes he’d ever seen. Chase was breathtaking. Garrett feared he wasn’t—and would never be—Chase’s equal in anything. He was less talented, less intelligent, less sexy… less stable, both emotionally and financially. Even after a decade and Chase’s help he hadn’t managed to make more than incidental money from his art, and had started trying to convince himself to give up the dream of making a living with it. Ten years ago—eight, or even five years ago—he’d felt like he was building momentum, but not anymore.
That’s how he had come to start his career as a glorified housepainter. He knew he shouldn’t be ashamed of that. It was honest work. But he was. Deeply. He had always done his best work after a few hours at it, so he spent at least ten and usually twenty hours or more at a stretch working at the lawyer’s home. For some reason, Garrett couldn’t force himself to call Ms. Nelson by her first name.
Geri. Nope, can’t do it.
The idea was to make enough money so he could take a few months to do his own work, without feeling like a leech, but every time he finished one project she asked for another. And offered more money than she had the time before. He couldn’t say no. Even if it kept him in the West Hills instead of in the Pearl with Chase.
Chase could replace me, easily.
Garrett put his earbuds in and played some cool West Coast jazz. Sometimes that worked to stave off his anxiety. At least the music gave him something to concentrate on beyond whatever he was fucking up at the time. He found a seat on the train, closed his eyes, and leaned his head against the window. The mellow sounds of Brubeck and his crew didn’t do as much as he would have liked, but he didn’t feel any worse after a few stops. Small win. When his phone vibrated in his pocket, Garrett almost didn’t look. But he knew if he didn’t, that would be worse in the long run.
Jess. Best friend, cheerleader, and confidant. Her checking-in text—How’s life, G?—made Garrett a little homesick.
Jessamyn Iravani had been his best friend since fifth grade, the year he learned to be ashamed of being German and she learned that some people thought she should be ashamed of being Persian, both thanks to an insensitive teacher. She also became a target for being the tallest person in school around the same time he decided to come out. They’d bonded over being bullied—to be more honest, she’d protected him when he was attacked on the playground, and her mom had practically adopted him during times when his own mother had been… unavailable.
He answered, trying to sound more upbeat than he felt. Good! On the train, going to work.
Me too! Be good. But if you can’t be good, be great!
Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.
Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.
Buy Art House:
Buchanan House series page: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/buchanan-house-6311-s
Amazon Universal Link: mybook.to/BHSeriesBookSix
Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.
Rattle Charley’s cages:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor/
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879
Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 6
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase