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Boy, that was one long cold season! I spent most of the winter bundled up inside, but I was far from idle. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to:

I released a new short story called The Boy at the Bottom of the Fountain. Like so many of my stories, it deals with having feelings for multiple people, the pull of nostalgia, seeing events through multiple perspectives, and oh yeah, gay love. It’s a tight little story that’s currently up on Patreon, although I would like to give it a wider release this year.

I also wrote a few new Something Like… short stories for Patreon. They include Something Like Goodbye, which focuses on Marcello, his past, and a some of his secrets. This one takes place at a much later date than even the books! I also wrote Something Like Me, which allows us to spend time in Emma Trout’s head. Remember her? Greg and Michelle’s daughter? Jason’s best friend? At one time, I had planned to write an entire book from her perspective, so it felt good to at least give her a shorter outing. Something Like Then is a really quick tale from an era of Ben’s life that we haven’t visited much. That’s all I’ll say about that one, but it does get emotional. At this point, I believe I have enough material to fill a third volume of Something Like Stories. I’m still deciding if I want to do that. Let me know what you think. For now, it’s all up there on Patreon.

I also wrote Icarus and Apollo, which is a retelling of the famous myth. We all know that Icarus flew too close to the sun, but why? The Greeks tended to personify and deify all aspects of nature, the sun included, so this seemed like a love story waiting to happen. I had tremendous fun writing this one. If you’re drawn to my weirder or more experimental stories, you’ll likely enjoy it.

Speaking of which, I finished work on a book called Switch. It’s a lot of things, but a love story it is not. Switch takes that cheesy old body-swapping trope and runs with it, resulting in an adventure that is fun but never silly. There are high stakes and some serious emotions mixed in with one hell of a journey. I absolutely plan on releasing this one to the masses, but like most things I’m working on, you can already read the current draft on Patreon.

A couple of new audiobooks came out over the winter, including Straight Boy and Something Like Hail. I have plans for more too. I’m currently rewriting Kamikaze Boys in preparation of having an audio version produced. This will result in a second edition of that book, similar to what I did with Something Like Summer a couple years back. Because of that, I’m pulling Kamikaze Boys from stores at the end of the month. If for whatever reason you want a copy of the first edition, now is the time to grab it. Otherwise, the book will be available again later this year with revised content and a brand new cover.

The Something Like Summer comic is doing well. More and more people are reading it, and the first volume of printed comics is currently in production and due for release this summer. As always, you can read the comics for free online at the gaywebcomics site or over on Tapas if you prefer a mobile experience. We just began Volume Two: Autumn, which means that Jace is now part of the story. Cassy has been knocking it out of the park with the her art, so be sure to check it out.

And finally, the elusive Something Like Summer movie is still happening. I promise. I know frustration is at an all-time high right now, due to the grueling wait. I’m right there with you. I’ve become more involved with the process recently, trying to help anywhere I can to help bring the movie closer to fruition. There still isn’t a release date, I’m afraid. We’re working to meet the last couple of legal obligations. After that, we should be in the clear, but I don’t dare make any predictions as to when. Not after so many delays. I can only assure you that the to-do list is slowly getting shorter. So please hang in there just a little longer.

Looking at the list above, I can see that I’ve been doing more writing than publishing. I hope to change that this year and release a bunch of stuff to get everyone swept up in the feels again. For now, thank you for continuing to make room in your lives for my characters and their stories. Much love to you all!

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You can now get the audiobook of Straight Boy from Audible, iTunes, and Amazon!

If you’ve ever had a crush, or fallen in love with someone, and wondered if they could return your feelings, then Straight Boy is a story that will shake you to your bones. Andrew Evans has just moved to Chicago at the start of his senior year in high school, and he’s feeling pretty bummed about having to make new friends. Until he meets Carter King, a handsome young guy who is also new to the area. It quickly becomes apparent to Andrew that they have a lot of potential together, even if Carter claims to be straight. Is he really though?

I’m very pleased with how this book turned out. The audio version especially. Since this book represents a fresh start for me, I wanted to try a different narrator and really give the book its own feel. What I didn’t expect was to enjoy the audio version even more than the written one. I love the new guy’s voice that much. Kirt Graves really captures the essence of each character while delivering emotion to all the most crucial scenes. Rest assured, this story has all the feels, and Kirt really capitalizes on that with a heartfelt performance. I adore the end result and urge you to at least listen to a sample of this book, even if you’re not the audio type. I never was before, but I think Kirt may have converted me. So if you haven’t already, please head over to Audible, iTunes, or Amazon and check out Straight Boy for yourself.

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If you’d like to own a print version of the Something Like Summer comic, or if you want to ensure that the comic will continue, I’ve set up a Kickstarter campaign to make that happen. Click here for all the details. Need more info before you decide? Please keep reading.

For nearly two years, Cassy and I have been cranking out a page a week of the Something Like Summer comic. Now we’ve finally reached a milestone. Page 100 marks the end of the first story arc. Ben and Tim’s relationship has reached a critical point and well… this is the part where I need your help. I want to collect those pages, bundle them together with a gallery of amazing bonus art, and get it all into print. Just imagine holding a graphic novel with nice glossy pages, the contents filled to the brim with Ben and Tim being adorable. Or think of a young gay person, or even an adult, finding this comic at their library and having something to identify with. I want that to happen, but this isn’t as simple as self-publishing a novel. To do this right, the book will need to be printed overseas, shipped to me in a ton of boxes, and then I’ll have to mail each copy to you by hand. No problem! I’m willing to take on that task, but of course nothing happens for free in this world. The initial expense will be over eight thousand dollars. Yikes!

I’m not asking for handouts though. Over on Kickstarter, you can preorder the graphic novel and help fund its production at the same time. There are a number of additional perks available for those who are interested. Would you like an autographed copy of the Something Like Summer novel? You know, the original one that’s all words. I never offer autographed copies anymore. I haven’t for the past two years, so this is your chance! Or, if you’re feeling hardcore, we’re down to our last twenty-five sets of character art cards that Andreas dreamed up long ago. How about a Ben and Jace holiday greeting card? It’s up there too. Or if you’ve begun your journey as a writer and want my feedback on your project, that’s also an option. I’ve tried to make the prices as reasonable as possible, so please take a gander.

As you probably know, the Something Like Summer comic is published weekly for free. I want people to discover this story, so that won’t change. My wonderful Patreon supporters have enabled me to pay Cassy for her gorgeous art, but I haven’t earned a cent from making this comic. That isn’t not the best business decision, especially since writing the scripts, editing the files, and publishing/promoting each page takes time. I’m basically working for free. This is the stage where I can potentially be compensated for my efforts. What’s even more important to me is seeing this vision through. I have three volumes of comics planned, so that means another two hundred pages to go. The potential for more is there, if people demand it, but that’s my minimum for the master plan. And what a plan it is! Despite the story being set in a different decade, and even though events are going to diverge further and further from the books, the comic is still canon and ties in with the series. How? You’ll find out, but only if we get there. So please, if you can, consider chipping in for the digital version at least, which is only five bucks. Every little bit helps!

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Audio listeners! Are you ready to dive back into the Something Like… series? I sure hope so, because a new book, Something Like Hail, is out today. “But wait,” you might exclaim while clutching your hard-earned money to your chest, “wasn’t Something Like Forever the final book?” You’d be correct there. Hail isn’t the grand finale. It’s a side adventure that introduces us to Noah Westwood and his struggle to find a better life for himself. Naturally this involves love, a few tears, and appearances from friends we’ve made in the previous books. Just how does this story tie in with the rest of the series? You’ll have to discover that for yourself. You can get started now at Audible, iTunes, or Amazon. I hope you enjoy the new adventure. Even though the Something Like… series is now officially over, I’m still cranking out stories. My latest, Straight Boy, should be out on audio in the next couple of months. Please come back and see me!

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Straight Boy is now out! No pun intended, because despite the title, poor Andrew Evans isn’t sure if his new friend is actually straight or not. It could be that Carter King needs to come out of the closet. Or maybe Andrew is only deluding himself. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you loved someone, but weren’t sure if they were capable of loving you back, then this is the book for you. You can get your copy of Straight Boy from Amazon as a paperback, or the eBook is available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and other formats at Google Play and Smashwords. Once you’ve finished the story, be sure to let me know what you think! The back-cover blurb is below. Happy reading!

I love him. And I’m pretty sure he loves me back… even though he’s straight.

When I first met Carter King, I knew he was something special. I imagined us being together, and we are, but only as friends. Best friends! I’m trying to be cool with that, even though I know he has secrets, and there have definitely been mixed signals. I don’t want a crush to ruin what we already have. Then again, if there’s any chance that we can be together, it’s worth the risk, because Carter could be the love of my life. Or he might be the boy who breaks my heart.

Straight Boy is Jay Bell’s emotional successor to his critically acclaimed Something Like… series. This full-length novel tells a story of friendship and love while skating the blurry line that often divides the two.

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Jay Bell Books by Jay Bell - 9M ago

Summer is coming to an end, and as usual, I wish I had spent more time in the sun. That’s the life of an author for you. We need somewhere with enough shade to see the laptop screen. Totally worth it though. I love this job. I’ve written quite a bit over the past few months because of it. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I’ve completed work on my next novel, Straight Boy, which can now be preordered from Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. We’re still working on the cover, but here’s the blurb from the back:

I love him. And I’m pretty sure he loves me back… even though he’s straight.

When I first met Carter King, I knew he was something special. I imagined us being together, and we are, but only as friends. Best friends! I’m trying to be cool with that, even though I know he has secrets, and there have definitely been mixed signals. I don’t want a crush to ruin what we already have. Then again, if there’s any chance that we can be together, it’s worth the risk, because Carter could be the love of my life. Or he might be the boy who breaks my heart.

You know what’s even cooler than a new book coming out? Seeing your name in print! I recently updated Patreon, and that’s one of our new perks. If you don’t know what Patreon is, or you don’t get why I’m always asking people to join me there, this post will help clarify things. Or if you’re more interested in all the rewards, like stories you won’t read anywhere else, autographed hardbacks, etc., you can get started here.

I wrote a new novella called Something Like Us, which reveals what happened to Noah, Harold, and Felix after the events of Something Like Hail. It’s currently a Patreon exclusive and is likely to remain that way. I enjoy adding the occasional short story to that mythos, but I still have no plans to publish further books in the series.

I’ve begun work on a new novel called Switch, which is unlike any story I’ve told before. I’m posting the book in weekly installments as it is being written. If you’ve ever wanted to be a beta reader for an author you enjoy, this is even better, because you can chime in with your opinion and potentially influence the final version of the story. Is that what an alpha reader is? Anyway, I’m sure you can guess by now where this is taking place.

I finally started a Tumblr account, where I am primarily posting preview art for the Something Like Summer comic. This includes rough sketches, line art, and other things. If you’d care to check it out, I’d certainly appreciate it!

I have a couple things in the pipeline that aren’t out in time for this update. Despite the long delay, the Something Like Summer movie is still on track to come out. I don’t have any more specific details than that, unfortunately. Something Like Hail should be out on audio in mid October. If you would like me to let you know when it’s available, please consider signing up for my newsletter.

That’s it for now. I hope you’re ready for the moody autumn weather ahead. Time to put away those shorts and get out your fanciest of fancy pants.

Much love to you!

-J

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