Today, we have Nell Iris on a visit! She’s here to talk about her new release #SlidingIntoMyDMs. It’s a #Love story, and I’m super excited about this multi-authored series from JMS Books, but I’ll let Nell tell you more about it. Welcome, Nell!
Thank you so much for having me, Ofelia. It’s always a pleasure to stop by for a visit, and you’re always so generous with your space. I’m proud of us for being such great role models of authors sticking together and lifting each other up 😊
I’m here today to talk about my new book, #SlidingIntoMyDMs, which’s a part of a multi-authored series released by my publisher JMS Books. Last summer, JMS Books sent out an in-house submission call for their authors, where the theme was “falling into love on social media.” We could either pick an existing SM platform where our MCs would meet and fall in love, or we could come up with a new one. The title for the submission call was #Love, and the title of our stories had to start with a hashtag. Hence #SlidingIntoMyDMs.
Do you ever wonder where authors get their inspiration from?
Last year, I got a DM on Instagram from M, an old acquaintance of mine who I haven’t seen in at least over a decade. He’d watched a video of Radiohead, my favorite band since I heard Creep, some time back in 1993, and thought of me. It was in the spring when the pandemic was relatively new in our lives and we were all fragile and needed cheering up. And then M, this nice, lovely person, saw something he thought I’d like and sent it to me.
He caught me on a particularly bad day so that video cheered me up more than he probably expected it would, and after watching it all the way through (it was an hour-long live show), I cried. I was moved by the music, and I was moved by his thoughtfulness, and after I felt happy.
His thoughtful gesture got me thinking. What if someone needed a pick-me-up just like me? What if his old acquaintance reached out to him via Instagram DM to cheer him up? What if they reconnected and it leads to something more. What if…?
So I scribbled down a few bullet points, the seeds of an idea, and as on cue, JMS Books put out a submission call a short while later and I thought Hmmm?, found my notes, and started writing what turned into Moss and Eddy’s story.
“Hi. I heard you’ve been sick.”
Eddy Pennington is recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia when an old acquaintance, Moss, sends him a message on social media. They haven’t spoken in years, but Eddy is pleasantly surprised. He always liked Moss even if they were never close friends.
Moss Fanning has no ulterior motive with his message: all he wants is to wish Eddy a speedy recovery. He got over the crush he used to have on Eddy a long time ago.
They reconnect easily and have even more in common now. And when they meet in person, the attraction is instant. Will an innocent, well-meaning message on social media lead to something more? Something deeper? Something…everlasting?
M/M Contemporary / 21998 words
Buy links #SlidingIntoMyDMs
I sink back onto my pillow tower and groan out loud. He’s just fucking perfect, isn’t he? Adopting an abused dog, spending his life coddling him, making sure he has a nice life.
What’s the catch? No one can be that good, right?
Eddy: Now I feel like a jerk for wanting to see your niece riding your dog. I’ll give him a doggy treat and apologize when I meet him.
Moss. LOL. Weirdo. You’re fine.
I decide to throw caution to the wind, because why not? Seriously though. Are you perfect? This time his answer takes a while and I have time to start regretting my question but then I can see him start writing and soon a reply pops up on my screen.
Moss: Um, no? But I’m glad you seem to think so 😉
I lay my phone screen down on my chest. I need to think. I haven’t flirted in so long, haven’t had a real relationship in forever. Hookups on Grindr are so much easier, with no expectations other than tab A in slot B. But this…this is flirting. I’m not great at flirting IRL, and probably even worse at in my Instagram DMs.
But at the same time, I kind of like it. It feels…unpretentious. Like it’s okay if nothing comes of it because social media isn’t the real world. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
I don’t know. I’m too old for this shit. And that thought alone makes me feel even older. I’m forty-two, not one-hundred-and-two. I pick the phone back up.
Eddy: You gotta love a man taking care of poor abused dogs. It’s the rule.
Moss: It is? What rules are those? I need to read them, so I don’t break any of them inadvertently.
Eddy: They are ‘Eddy Pennington’s unwritten but very important rules of conduct and man-loving’ of course. Sadly, they only exist in my brain so I can’t lend them to you.
Moss: I’m laughing so hard I woke up Balderik.
Eddy: Are you laughing at me or with me?
Moss: With you of course.
Eddy: Good save.
Moss: Balderik told me not to fuck things up before he’s had the chance to go for a walk with you.
Eddy: He did? He sounds like a very smart dog.
Moss: Are we flirting on social media like two old farts?
I burst out laughing but clamp my mouth shut quickly, afraid of a coughing fit.
Eddy: I’m afraid so, yes. I’m pretty certain there are grandpas out there with better game than us.
Moss: I was afraid you’d say that.
Eddy: It’s all good. At least we play in the same league.
Moss: So I can tell Balderik not to worry?
Eddy: Yes, you can. Also, you’re not supposed to make me laugh. Coughing is bad for an old guy with pneumonia 😉
Moss: We definitely need to stop the old guy references.
Moss: When can we take you for a walk?
Eddy: My sister already got dibs on tomorrow. But the day after that? Unless I take a turn for the worse?
Moss: Thursday it is! If you send me your address, I’ll pick you up. Balderik and I know a perfect walking spot.
Eddy: Sure. Can’t wait.
Moss: Me either.
After we say goodbye, I send him the address and then check my feed. He’s posted a new picture of himself and Balderik. They’re lying down on a leaf-covered lawn somewhere, Moss’s arm is slung around Balderik, and Balderik is kissing his face.
It’s so fucking adorable I can’t stand it.
Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bonafide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)
Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.
Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.
Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.
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