Hi everybody, I’m Crystel, and I’m delighted to be here to celebrate the release of my m/m romance novella GLACIER GOLD. Thank you, Jackie, for hosting me! Today, I’m going to try and answer this question:
“Why are you writing? With this world getting ever more chaotic and confusing, are you writing to explain?”
I saw this question in an author interview the other day, and although my own answer was a quick and resounding NO, it got me thinking.
No, definitely not trying to explain anything. Not about human life anyway. I’m not really equipped to do that. I’m just a girl who’s been around for a couple of decades, trying not to mess up too badly.
As a writer, I have one supreme goal: I want to entertain you. I’m just like Robbie Williams that way.
But I have to be honest. Yes, there’s more. I’m afraid I do have some ulterior motives. I guess that as a writer, and a human being, I’m on a quest to understand who we are. Who you are, who I am, and what makes us tick. What equips us to deal with the craziness of the world and the sometimes chafing demands of daily life.
I’m not writing to explain; I’m writing to explore. And I guess that’s why I’m writing in First Person. I want to understand my protagonist, find out who they truly are, and to that end I have to get inside their head.
Writing from another person’s perspective can be very educational. It’s actually a technique used in couple therapy: the therapist will give a client the assignment to write about their partner’s life from the first person perspective. Writing in First Person can give us a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, to dream their dreams, to fight their demons.
Justin, the first person protagonist of GLACIER GOLD, is struggling with deep-seated personal insecurities. Mostly because he has a history of failing to meet other people’s expectations at school and in college. His competitive streak in his private life is basically his coping mechanism. No matter whether he’s trying to be the fastest snowboarder or the most popular top on campus. Just like sports, sex has always been mostly about scoring for him. Deep down, Justin is too convinced he’s not good enough as a person to even think about wanting a relationship. Until he meets Andi and falls so hard for him he sort of doesn’t have a choice anymore. It takes him a while to gather the courage to face what’s happening to him.
It only truly hits home when he’s up on the glacier, alone with Andi, and nature puts an end to all games.
That’s the beauty of finding yourself trapped in a blizzard: suddenly it’s just about the basics. Survival. Helping each other at the most fundamental of levels. And realizing what the other person really means to you.
For Andi, Justin’s love interest, the crisis on the glacier is a wake-up call too. From the moment they met, he has fought his feelings for Justin and tried to hold on to life as he knew it. But when he nearly loses Justin, then has a brush with death himself in the blizzard, he finally wakes up to his true needs.
And when they have to share the single available sleeping bag in the little hut up on the glacier, it doesn’t take long for either of them to forget about the cold outside, and about all qualms they might have had about falling in love…
Sometimes we need a good push, or a crisis moment, to understand our needs. And nothing can help with that quite like nature. Nature knows no doubts, no games, no tricks. Nature is truth to the point of cruelty and beyond. Reducing you to your essentials, forcing you to find your strength. Showing you that really you haven’t got that much time to decide where you want to go with your life. Making you see that you want to start living, and loving, for real, and now. And that you can do it too.
Oh, wow, I am explaining!
Well, I hope it’s legit in a blog post.
With my stories, I want to share ideas, images, and most of all, emotions. I don’t want to convey or explain them to you. I’m a reader too, and I know a reader’s ideas and emotions are all their own. I’d very much like to learn about yours; I’d love to read about your views and experiences.
Have you ever been in a situation like Justin and Andi when the blizzard hits? Did living through a crisis help you with defining your priorities, with knowing who you are and what you want in life?
Have you ever found you had more strength and courage than you would have guessed before?
Comments most welcome!
Up in the Alps, a single night can change your life.
Struggling college student and self-taught graphic artist Justin Bennet isn’t the most self-confident guy, but he knows he’s good at two things: snowboarding and sex. Why does Andi, the hot instructor at the Tyrolean ski resort, pretend Justin doesn’t exist?
Justin becomes all but obsessed with the idea of scoring with the young Austrian. Because for all the man’s reserve, he made it quite obvious he likes Justin—at least from the neck down.
When Justin books a private heliboarding trip with Andi as his guide, he thinks he’s one step away from striking gold.
But then the forces of nature take over, trapping the men in a snowstorm, and things get real. What was supposed to be about some freeriding fun and inviting a closeted guy to start exploring his options suddenly becomes about survival—and the hidden truths of the soul.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Excerpt from Glacier Gold by Crystel Greene
He can’t walk. He can only limp, heavily leaning on me.
And then it starts to snow. Only this isn’t snow. These are fat pieces of ice raining down on us, banging onto our helmets like they mean to smash the plastic. And it’s getting worse by the second. Within less than a minute, we are in the middle of a full-fledged hailstorm.
I wouldn’t stand the slightest chance of finding the Mangeihütte in this chaos if I didn’t have Andi by my side, guiding me, telling me where to go. With his arm slung around my neck for support, he limps along by my side, shouting directions at me while I pull him along through the hip-deep snow.
It’s a stretch of flat terrain of no more than three hundred yards or so that separates us from the cabin, but it’s the longest distance I’ve ever had to cover.
The snow is almost too deep to keep going, and the hail is everywhere. After a while Andi’s arm starts to slip from my shoulder. Eventually he stumbles and breaks to his knees. Desperate to keep him with me, I haul him back up to his feet. With a cry of pain that reaches me even through the din of the storm, he doubles over. When I open my visor to tell him I’m sorry, I swallow a mouthful of ice.
I struggle to keep him upright and to somehow catch a glimpse of his face to see how he’s doing.
He lifts a hand to try to open his visor too. With stiff fingers, I help him, trying to shield his face from the hail with my flat hand.
“Forget my foot, Bennet!” he shouts at me over the storm. “Just use your muscle now and pull me along. I don’t care if it hurts, okay? Just get us out of here!”
I signal to him that I got it, then close his visor. My own visor is stuck and won’t shut properly anymore. I can’t see anything through the hail anyway. I’ve got no idea where the cabin is, so I just plow ahead, hoping I’m still on track.
Andi is dragging himself along next to me, but he has stopped talking. The trouble with the tripping has gotten worse. It’s not just his injury apparently; something doesn’t seem to be right with his coordination.
When he collapses yet again, something spears through me, pure agony at seeing him like this. It’s followed by a burst of fierce determination. Hoisting him up from the ground, I take him into my arms.
Keeping him pressed to my chest as if he were a child, I walk on. I’m slipping and stumbling, swaying under his weight, but I keep moving.
Andi feels almost lifeless in my arms. I don’t stop to check if he has passed out. I know I have to find the way on my own now.
About Crystel Greene
The first man Crystel fell in love with was Beauty’s Beast. Next came Robin Hood, then Mr. Darcy. Two decades of married life later, she still loves fictional men—especially when there are two of them who are meant to be! She likes it best when she can create their plights and fights herself, and she can always be counted on to throw in some sizzling hotness and a lot of feels. Here’s her author promise: no fade-outs when things get steamy or emotional, and an ending that will leave you smiling.
Crystel is a lawyer by training, a lover of pastry, and a believer in Happy Ever Afters. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and a North Sea girl at heart, she lives in the beautiful Austrian Alps with her husband and four kids.
PS She loves reader mail!
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