Many thanks to Karin for inviting me to write a guest post and share a little about my more creative side.
I have been writing m/m romance stories as Lily G. Blunt for about eight years and published for almost five years. I first met Karin via the world of fan fiction. I live in the UK and for the best part of twenty-five years I was a teacher of nine- to eleven-year old pupils. During that time I taught art and craft, and it was one of my favourite subjects to teach. Over the years, I explored everything from paints to pastel crayons, from pottery to the dreaded papier mache. At home, I occasionally started cross-stitch and other craft projects, but my main joy was (and still is) creating a colourful garden. I’m a fair-weather gardener, and especially love spring and summer plants. I also spend time visiting historic houses and their fabulous gardens.
I was taught to knit and crochet in my early teens and produced a few items with moderate success, but this is another craft I never seem to have time for these days.
Over the years I’ve also enjoyed painting with watercolours. This is something I haven’t done for a while now and might go back to one day.
Apart from gardening and other ‘chores’, I tend to spend my days writing. One of my favourite stories was inspired by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. I released Paint the Sky nearly three years ago now—wow, doesn’t time fly?
I would frequently use Van Gogh’s paintings as a starting point when I taught art at school. We researched his life and painting styles together, so I had a reasonable background knowledge before I started writing my story. Starry Night became a favourite painting of mine and the children often chose to recreate it in pastels, crayons and paints. I love the simplicity of it, the colours and the brush strokes.
The night sky is a central feature in the story and Vinnie’s painting of it provides a pivotal part of the plot. I asked the talented Kellie Dennis to create the book cover for me and the above picture shows how she applied her image to the stock photos that appear on the ebook and paperback. Vinnie paints Van Gogh’s picture onto Ben’s chest in the story.
The words from Don McLean’s song—Vincent—helped develop the artist’s (Vinnie) character and provided inspiration for a few of the outdoor and painting scenes, plus the title of the story.
“Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.”
For me, writing a novel takes well over a year. My current work in progress is a polyamorous story involving a vampire, a wolf shifter, and three other men. I’m a slow and precise writer, but I usually get there in the end. Hopefully Love Times Five will be ready for release before the end of the year.
I’m also in the process of setting up Gay Book Promotions—a new promotion service for authors of LGBT+ stories. I’ve been working on various graphics for banners and promotion designs using the computer, so my creative side is still being explored in this respect.
So, what with my writing, arranging new promotional book tours, gardening, and visiting historic houses, there’s not a lot of time for other crafts. Perhaps one day I’ll make time to paint again or try my hand at knitting or crochet…
Thank you for reading my not-very-crafty post. I hope you have a chance to check out my books and manage to take part in some of the tours and giveaways hosted by Gay Book Promotions.