Happy Birthday to My Guys

My Guys was the first full-length novel I ever finished, though you wouldn’t know that by looking at the publish date. There was a lot I didn’t know back when I wrote it, key of which is how important it is to fit neatly inside a genre box, especially if you want to get an agent and a publisher. As a self-published author, I went ahead and published it, but it’s never found a readership, being still outside of any describable box.

It’s not quite a romance, but probably has too much explicit sex for your average Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction shelf, including a fun and kinky M/F/M scene that was my whole purpose in writing the book. In fact, that scene got written first, many years before the rest of the book. I knew my characters—Nate, the suave actor; Derek, the kind-but-shy rock climber; and Lissie, the woman who got to enjoy them both—but I didn’t have much of a plot in mind beyond “Lissie gets lucky.”

I’d imagined the M/F/M scene coming fairly early in the book and being followed by more of the same, but when I finally settled down to write the rest of the story, I had to start with how Lissie met Nate and how Lissie met Derek and how they ever came to be in that tent to begin with and by the time I’d gotten them into the tent, I’d realized that was the story.

And I’d realized there was no happy ending for the three of them. They wanted different things, had different trajectories. As much as they loved each other, they needed to part ways. My Guys does have a happy ending—for Lissie. And it turned out that Derek and Nate each got their own happy ending in their own book.

My Guys doesn’t get much love as a standalone—because of its genre mish-mash and also because it includes open poly (and a cheater who gets forgiven)—and the My Guys series (which consists of My Guys, Mine, and You, Me & Her) doesn’t get much love as a trilogy. The three books are too different from each other with My Guys being closer to Chick Lit than to Romance, Mine being a femdom BDSM romance, and You, Me & Her being an open poly M/M/F romance.

But the books have much in common beyond their characters and despite their differences. They all deal with the question of fidelity/monogamy and how each couple/throuple defines that, and they all three show a character pushing their sexual boundaries and learning more about themselves as a result.

These days, I know better how to write to market, but in some ways that’s a shame. This trilogy is my masterpiece. As with all great art, maybe you’ll come to appreciate it when I’m dead. 😋

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