Coming Soon, Nell's WIP

The Locked Room

I’m currently working on my first novel, The Locked Room. I’m in the middle of the editing process, carefully choosing every word and making sure I’ve got all my commas straight. It’s a fun part of being a writer; trying to make my work the best it can possibly be, wondering which word will make the greatest impact and googling for synonyms to make sure I don’t repeat myself.

It’s also a very frightening step because it means that the actual publishing is getting closer. And letting my words out in the world is very scary. I’ve lived and breathed this story for months, what if no one likes it? Putting it out there for people to read and have opinions about is like letting people critiquing your baby – it’s very close to my heart and I just want everybody to love it as much as I do.

So I write and rewrite. Edit and bang my head against my desk because I get frustrated. Go make a cup of coffee, breathe deeply and go at it again. Tirelessly weighing every word, and checking my facts.

And in between all that I have to start telling people about my book, or nobody will know it exists. So here it goes:

The Locked Room

The Locked Room is a story about Mason and Zach, who met by chance almost eight years ago when they were out with their respective group of co-workers at a bar for an after-work beer. They started talking and continued running into each other at the bar, and slowly over the weeks they developed a friendship, and Mason found he could confide things to Zach he kept from everyone else. But Mason was in a relationship with someone at the time, and one day his partner Jacob was killed in a car accident.

Mason’s world was shattered and he couldn’t cope with the loss, so he locked away his heart and threw away the key. He cut all ties with his old life, and that included Zach. For the past seven years he’s been living only for his work and his beloved sister and her family.

Mason’s sister thinks that seven years is more than enough for him to go on with his life and now she takes matters into her own hands and sets him up on a blind date with one of her colleagues. Mason reluctantly agrees to the date, and to his surprise it’s Zach he’s meeting.

Seven years ago Mason had been attracted to Zach but couldn’t act on his feelings because of his partner. Now when they meet again the attraction is still there, but is Mason really ready to move on? And is Zach the key to unlock Mason’s frozen heart?

About Nell

Who’s Nell Iris?

Like I told you in the first post, I’m Nell Iris…sort of anyway. Nell Iris is my pen name and it took me an unbelievably long time to come up with it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make up a fake name for yourself? Our real names are such a big part of our identity, and I had a hard enough time changing my last name when I got married, so making up something – from scratch – was almost harder than getting started on the writing.

But I want to keep my author persona separate from my real life persona, so I tried on lots of names for size until I finally settled on something I liked. And even then it was hard to actually commit to it, but one day a lovely person in my critique group needed my name for her upcoming book and suddenly I had only one day to decide. I went ahead and panicked for 30 minutes, but after I was all done with that fun activity I made a decision.

And voilà – Nell Iris was born!

“Nell Iris? THAT’S what you came up with after five months of agonizing over your pen name?” I can almost hear you think. Well, yes. I wanted something that still felt like me, so the name is to a certain degree a tweak of my legal name. I couldn’t just pick Anne Shirley and be happy about it (even though I desperately wanted to be Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid I’ve grown out of that phase by now). I wanted something meaningful, and now that the panic attack is long gone and I’ve actually committed I feel really good about it.

And while the name itself is a made-up one, the rest of me that you’ll encounter here or somewhere else online is the real thing.

I even have a picture that could be me. The long brown hair is real (for now at least – next week it might be red), my real eye color might be less bright, but it’s still green. The glasses are definitely there or I’d be stumbling around not seeing anything. Even the little lip piercing is accurate. I also love colors and rainbows, and always have a notebook and a pen in my bag because some things just can’t be written digitally on the phone.

So this is me. I hope we will become friends!

Nell Iris

About Nell


I am Nell Iris and I write gay romance. I’m currently working on finishing my first novel called The Locked Room, which I will tell you all about in the coming weeks.

This is my little corner on the Internet, and I intend to talk about my writing and my struggles to become a writer. I’ll tell you all you need to know about my books, share excerpts and what inspired me to write them, probably complete with pictures of cute guys. You’ll probably also get to know me a little better, learn what music I listen to and realize that elephants are my absolute favorite animal.

You will also learn that I believe in love, romance and happily-ever-afters – so if that’s something you like to read about I hope I’ll see you around.