Guestpost

New Release Spotlight: Dear Diary by Holly Day

My dear friend Holly Day is back on the blog today, talking about her latest release, Dear Diary. She gifted me an ARC of the story to read if I wanted to, and yes!, I wanted. As you know by now, I love epistolary stories, stories told in text exchanges, emails, through IMs on social media apps, and yes, diaries. I read Dear Diary the day before I scheduled this blog post, and I loved it. You can expect a book rec post featuring it in the future.

But first, let’s welcome Holly back to the blog. ❤️


Hello, everyone! Thank you, Nell, for allowing me back on the blog! 🥰

This month, we’re celebrating Dear Diary Day, and as soon as I saw that day coming up I wanted to write a story for it, but then I almost talked myself out of it.

I write in past tense (works in a diary), third person (doesn’t work in a diary), dual pov (doesn’t work in a diary). And the reason I don’t like writing in first person is that I feel restricted.

For me, a story is told somewhere between two or more characters. They notice different things, they see different details, they draw different conclusions, and to show that in first person always feels forced to me and unrealistic.

And I know it’s a technique thing. Those who prefer to write in first person live in a narrower space (not that they’re narrow-minded in any way! It’s just the space through which they can show the story is narrower) and tell the story from within the main character. Whereas I like to live above my characters and tell the story through the reactions between them.

I don’t know if I’m making any sense at all 😆

The point, though, is that I couldn’t write this story as I normally write because there are no third-person dual povs in diaries, and that’s a little scary. I decided to do it anyway, and while there were a few days when I felt stuck, I was having so much fun!

It’s a challenge to tell a story through a diary. You’re in the character’s head, retelling their day as they would, and a person doesn’t write a diary with an intended audience in mind, so you wouldn’t explain things. For example, I never mention the character’s name because you never would in a diary, would you? Not unless you talked about wanting to change it or if someone mispronounced it or something.

I had so much fun with this one, and I’m very glad I wrote it.

Blurb:

Dear Diary,

My therapist wants me to write a diary to help me manage my depression. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with her.

All I want is for life to go back to the way it was before I walked in on Christopher and Jason. Or maybe not because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Christopher for cheating on me in our bed, but I want to function as I did before that moment. Before I lost everything.

Do you remember Lars Olsen from school? I do my best to stay away, but it’s like he’s magnetic and pulls me in every time I see him. I shouldn’t be dating. I don’t want to force my crazy on anyone, but he’s asked me to dinner. He deserves a sane partner, so it would be unfair to go, wouldn’t it?

Contemporary Gay Romance // 9,219 words

Buy links:

JMS Book :: Amazon :: books2read.com/DearDiaryDay

Excerpt:

Wednesday, September 21st

Dear Diary,

I’m gonna kill Lars! Do you know what step class is? No wonder he’s fit. I thought I’d die, or at least puke. I haven’t been as out of breath since I don’t know when—years! And my legs have turned into overcooked noodles. I swear! When I’m walking, it’s like they won’t hold my weight.

When we walked out of the gym, Lars was laughing at me. Not in a mean way. He was sparkling, radiant, and I kissed him.

I know I shouldn’t go around kissing sane people, but he’s so gorgeous, and he stood so close, and… I don’t know, my blood was pumping.

Then the door to work opened across the street, and I jumped away from him. He gave me a stunned look, maybe a little hurt, as I glared at Erin.

She didn’t grin or comment about seeing us, which makes me wonder what the heck she was doing staying late in the office. I guess I’ll hear all about it tomorrow, how she saw me kissing Lars.

I’m a grown man. I can kiss whoever I want.

Fuck. I shouldn’t have kissed him. At least not in public. And I’m failing at keeping Lars safe from the insane.

Oh, he’s texting me now!

He wonders if I want to have dinner with him tomorrow after yoga. Did I say I was gonna do yoga? When did I say I was gonna do yoga? I’m as flexible as a refrigerator. Damn, why do I stop listening as soon as he touches me? I bet it was all in there when he talked about aerobics and spinning and stuff. I nodded and stared at his callused thumb running over my knuckles. The memory is enough to make me tingly, dammit.

Do you have it too? The sinking feeling we’ve agreed to take a spinning class without meaning to? Of course, you don’t, you lazy fucker. Shit, what have I done?

It’s more than Lars figuring out I’ve let myself go and am so out of shape it’s embarrassing. Everyone else in class will see it too.

Okay, deep breath. I’m gonna check Christopher’s Facebook profile. It’s been a week since I last did. I forgot to mention it to you, though I doubt you care, but I told Janet I check his profile several times a day. She told me to stop. Or not to stop, but she had a zillion questions about why I did it, what would happen if I didn’t, how it makes me feel and so on, and then we agreed on me not checking it for a week.

It’s been a week.

I’m looking now…

He’s still with the slut, Jason. They still look happy. And I can still see them fucking on our bed. I hope they get hit by a bus.

1. I don’t have the energy to do this right now.

2.

3. Coffee.

About Holly Day

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

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