Original post from XX
Let’s face it, life is hard. Even when it’s going swimmingly for ourselves those around us are struggling and more times than not we just need a break from the chaos. For me, I find solace in meditation and diving into stories. I want to laugh and go on an adventure with characters that become like friends as I finish the last page of their tale.
Years ago I searched for fun stories that had characters like me- queer. There were a few fun yarns, but much queer fiction, back in my day, read like an afterschool special. For me, I find that I can handle challenges when I’ve got humor.
I admit that when I decided to write Cinderfella (previously known as THE MEN OF SUMMERLY) I did it for selfish reasons. I wanted to read a gay story that made me smile and swoon at the romance of two gentlemen pairing up. I wanted to write a fairy tale for the LGBT community. Welp, I forgot that I’m me and instead of swooning I ended up making myself snort, gasp and giggle at the antics of my characters.
We all know the tale of Cinderella, but what happens when Cinderella becomes a Cinderfella and the scenery is an Appalachian town, Stubborn, surrounded by Steampunk technology and living? You get Cinderfella.
Glassmaker Ashland Gottschalk is granted an invite at the annual Midsummer Night’s Dream themed ball at the Summerly mansion, but must keep his identity secret for fear of retaliation from his evil manager. Despite the fates bringing Simon, the British “prince” and Ashland together in one enchanted evening time separates them. Read an excerpt of their first kiss:
“Come on,” the young man said, interlacing his fingers with his own. “Let’s see what other troubles we can get into.”
The sounds of the quartet drifted from the open windows in the ballroom.
“May I have this dance?” Simon asked.
The gray eyed man put his donkey head down, and bowed. He allowed Simon to lead the first couple of dances before taking over. They drifted, circled and swayed to the several songs played, allowing themselves to be surrounded by the strings as they danced under the white flower canopy of Black Cherry trees.
The music ended and they stood in each other’s arms gazing at one another.
Perhaps it was the crown of white flowers and glittering luminaries. Maybe it was the heady scent of the night blooming Nicotiana that made Simon’s mind quiet down and yet become so focused on this man.
Permission flashed behind gray eyes. Simon leaned his head down slightly and placed his lips upon the young man’s. Their lips were still pressed together when Simon heard the clock chime.
“I hear bells,” The young man whispered against his lips.
“It’s Midnight,” Simon whispered back.
The young man pulled away. “No. It can’t be. I- I have to go.”
The tendrils of magic that connected them severed. The young man searched frantically for his donkey head.
The clock chimed two.
“Do you really have to leave so soon?”
The man picked up the disguise and looked at him. Simon could see the struggle behind his gray eyes of wanting to stay, but something was pulling him away.
“Will I see you again? I don’t even know your real name.”
“I am sorry. I have to go,” Bottom said then turned and ran for the house. He looked once over his shoulder at Simon.
Simon took a step towards him and reached out his hand.
The young man shook his head and then, ran away.
It was a little daunting recreating this tale, but what motivated me the most is wondering how I could give the reader something special. My hope is that when you read it you’ll fall in love with Simon and Ash just as they are falling for one another.