My Mid-life Crisis
Hi, my name is Kathryn Sparrow and I’m the author of Alpha Coder. Thanks to Sinfully for hosting me today.
I only started writing fiction a few years ago. I’ve always thought of stories, but I spent my days working as a Software Quality Engineer. You could call my change to writing them down my mid-life crisis.
I had done some writing at work: Technical writing. The goal of technical writing is to be clear and succinct. Fiction writing is in many ways the opposite. Clarity can kill tension and succinct doesn’t allow the reader to feel with the characters.
The first manuscript I wrote was the first draft of Alpha Coder. Fortunately only one person read that document. My first critique partner, Leslie Lee Sanders, actually read the entire manuscript. Poor, kind soul. I had made every writing mistake you could possibly imagine (and invented a few new mistakes to make) and I’m sure it was painful to read. But she started me on a path of learning, pointing out the biggest things I needed to correct.
After that, I found Critique Circle, an online critique site. So many people there read drafts of Alpha Coder and gave me suggestions and feedback on everything, from how to show-not-tell, to grammar (my personal nemesis), to plot suggestions.
Alpha Coder evolved with each draft.
The plot became more complex and interesting. The tension rose and the characters got deeper.
I went through eight drafts to get from the original concept to the final published book.
It’s a funny thing when you work with critique partners. They are generally writers in their own right and have their own ideas for how a story should go. As a new writer, it was sometimes intimidating. Should I listen to this writer who “knows better?” Or do I stay true to my vision. The answer is yes.
What I mean is, I spent time considering what was part of my vision for Alpha Coder and what was not. When people made suggestions that affected the vision, I ignored them, but when they made suggestions that changed the book without changing the vision, I considered and often made those changes, resulting in a better book overall.
The original idea for Alpha Coder came when I was reading lots of M/M werewolf romances. For some reason, I had shied away from werewolf stories in the past. I have no idea why, because when I read my first one, I was hooked. I read as many as I could. I particularly enjoyed J.L. Langley’s series With or Without.
I found myself thinking, why are werewolves always these macho, motorcycle riding, firemen types, real “manly” professions. Why couldn’t a werewolf be a software developer? (Not that Software developers don’t ride motorcycles, some do.) They can be tough and... wolfy. The idea spun around in my brain. How would a werewolf act at a software company? What if a new hire turned out to be mates with a co-worker? An idea started to take shape, but would I actually type in the words?
One of my work colleagues had been working on a novel and I got inspired by that to try writing this story down and the first draft of Alpha Coder was born.
I hope you enjoy it.
Publisher: Loose Id
Release Date: 27th July 2015
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
As the second son, Liam Reed never expected to be a werewolf Alpha. He preferred to develop software for Soft Corp, but when his brother Jason died in a car accident, their father forced Liam to assume leadership of the pack. Liam plans to govern with compassion, instead of ruling through fear, but pack member Bradley Karr undermines Liam’s leadership, biding his time before challenging for Alpha. Tired of pack politics, all Liam wants is to program and find his mate, but he fears that neither is in his future.
When his mate, werewolf Cody Jones, starts working at Soft Corp as Liam’s intern, sparks fly. However, a relationship with Cody could get them both fired for fraternization. And, that's not the worst problem. Cody doesn’t seem to accept Liam as his mate.
Liam’s only chance at happiness is to win Cody over while keeping their relationship a secret. But really, Cody would never stay with an introverted geek like him, an ineffectual Alpha failing to live up to his brother’s legacy. Would he?
After lunch, Cody returned to his office. He stood in front of his desk and just stared, his mind spinning. His mate. He found his mate. And his mate was a guy. A guy. A wolf. What the hell does it all mean?
“Hey, Cody. Why’re you just standing there?”
Cody snapped his head up. “Hi, Julie. Just taking it all in.” Cody pulled the chair out from the desk and settled in it.
Julie sat back and smiled at him. “Isn’t this great? We get to share this office for the whole summer.”
Breathe. Cody smiled at Julie. “Yeah, I better get started.”
Julie nodded and returned to tapping away on her keyboard.
Work. He was at work. Soft Corp. His dream job. He needed to focus on the thing he was supposed to be excited about and sort the other stuff out later.
He glanced around the room with a deep sense of satisfaction and a mental woo-hoo. His first office, his first job, and it was at his dream company. Even though he had to share the office, it was with one of his best friends, Julie.
Life had a funny way of turning everything upside down. He couldn’t just focus and get started. His brain kept returning to his mate. The last couple of hours had been a whirlwind, with no time to think. Orientation ended and then Liam came.
Meet Kathryn Sparrow
Kathryn Sparrow has had stories spinning around in her head her whole life and finally decided it was time to write them down. For twenty years, she worked in the Software Industry as a Software Quality Engineer, so she gets a particular thrill including geeks in her stories. Now, she is a stay-home mom although she thinks that’s a terrible name for the job since she spends so much time driving her kids to their various activities. She lives in Massachusetts with her geek husband and adorable, infuriating daughters, who are too smart for their Mommy’s own good. If she had spare time she would spend it knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, and doing any other handicrafts that caught her fancy.
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