author interviews, contemporary fiction, contmep mm romance, m/m romance, mm mystery, mm romantic suspense, romance writers, Uncategorized

Walking the plank today: The Mentor of Lostwood Hall by Jackson Marsh

Jackson Marsh joins PQ today to chat about the newest addition to his loosely connected ‘Mentor’ collection.

Jackson is here today to discuss the concept behind the Mentor books, and what his aim was with Lostwood Hall. I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but can assure you I am very much looking forward to it and will follow up ASAP. I am a huge May-September romance fan and very much believe in the possibility of love at first sight.

Thank you so much for popping over today Jackson, grab a virtual cuppa and let’s talk books!

What a gorgeous cover!

32337007_1714299665317698_5321839086791557120_n

 

About Lostwood Hall:

“A man with a future he can’t accept, and a lad with a past he can’t escape.”

Two men in a storm-battered castle harbouring secrets and hopes unknowingly guide each other to an unexpected friendship that turns to passionate love.

Julian Ford’s life is at a crossroads. Thirty-four, disillusioned with his screenwriting career and cheated by love, he craves the chance of isolation at his rambling home in the Welsh mountains, Lostwood Hall. But when 21-year-old Lee Benson survives a car crash, Julian has no choice but to take him in.

Their pasts collide, bringing a storm of doubts, fears, a jealous ex-lover and a dangerous thug seeking revenge. Is Julian and Lee’s fledgling relationship strong enough to survive? And do they trust each other enough to escape death?

The Mentor of Lostwood Hall is the fourth in Jackson Marsh’s ‘Mentor’ collection of older/younger MM romance.

Jackson Marsh discusses the Mentor collection and Lostwood Hall:

The Mentor of Lostwood Hall is the fourth book in the Mentor collection of older/younger romance novels. These novels are always about a relationship between an older man (usually between 35 and 42) and a younger (between 18 and 22), and they take place in remote locations; an isolated farm, a castle in the mountains, a hillside cabin. The older guy usually has a life crisis to deal with and the younger man is usually secure about being gay but so far unable to come out. Some are love at first sight, others are slow burn and each book usually has at least one sex scene, if not more. They are always happy ever after, or at least, happy for now with a bright future ahead.

In ‘Lostwood Hall’, I wanted to explore the way that some people, when they meet, not only have an instant attraction, but also an instant understanding of each other, there is banter and easy conversation, even during sex, because that’s how it sometimes is. I also like to offer the younger character a romantic experience we’d all like to have; a candlelit dinner, a glittering ballroom with roaring fire, a handsome older, guiding man…

The Mentor books are not an on-going series, each one stands alone, but the concept behind each novel remains the same.

Universal Amazon link: getbook.at/MentorLostwoodHall

More at www.jacksonmarsh.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacksonmarshauthor/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

 

 

 

 

author interviews, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, Uncategorized

And now for something a little different…an interview with Matt Potter author of On the Bitch.

On the Bitch front cover for Pirate Queen

Matt Potter joins PQ today to talk about his writing process.
Thanks for joining me from across the globe — or downunder.

On the Bitch strays a little from the romance usually featured here but I have to say it sounds very interesting and who hasn’t spent an uncomfortable weekend with old friends only to wonder exactly what you mean when you said ‘old friends’.

On the Bitch is available on Amazon click here

Without further ado:

 Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Ha! I don’t much enjoy listening to writers talk about writing, so really, writers often exhaust me … what I do find energising is hearing about the other parts of writer’s lives. This is often much more interesting for me and can often be where inspiration and ideas come from.

What are common traps for aspiring writers, or any writer?

Taking it all way way way too seriously. If writing it is a dirge, then reading it will surely be a dirge also.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Oh, depends upon what the writer does with the big ego. What I do know is a small ego doesn’t usually go far. Some big egos hide behind pretend small ones. These can be dangerous and sneaky.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

It surprises me how many people do – with some genres it seems to occur more than others – and often, there does not seem to be much reason for it beyond … well, I don’t know, really, what the point is, other than having some fun with alter egos. That’s a good enough reason to adopt one, though, but an issue can be who does someone address an email to, especially of you know the name you know of is a pseudonym but you don’t know what the real name is?

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Be more focused and disciplined (in a good way) and be a better team participant in the creative realm.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

No no no no no … there is nothing important for anyone to do beyond sleeping, eating, drinking, pissing, shitting and having the occasional wank. That’s all … the rest is just gravy.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I tend to take things people say or do but not whole characters … if you take much more, you have to be faithful to the original people and that can lock you in and stifle the creativity.

What does literary success look like to you?

Being able to write and do what I want, and not have to worry about money. To be respected for what I do, and maybe even admired. That said, the third point is not happening soon enough!

 How many hours a day do you write?

Often, not at all … when the balls are rolling, then a few hours maybe. I don’t beat myself over the head about it, there are always roses outside that need to be smelled. Life is about more than just writing (and reading), a lot lot lot more. Being a writer doesn’t have to involve being a hermit, living in your head and / or your heart and always seeking a quiet space. That is too limiting anyway. Live and experience and hopefully, that will help with your writing.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes – I have not had a bad one so far … readers seem to know what I do and what I don’t do and appreciate that.

More about Matt:

Matt Potter is the author of a travel memoir, Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between; two collections of short fiction and non-fiction, Vestal Aversion and Based on True Stories; two teacher resource books for English as a Second Language teachers, all you need is … a whiteboard, a marker and this book (volumes 1 and 2); and the novella in flash On the Bitch. A teacher and a social worker in his other lives, he lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

Matt Potter photo

 

 

 

 

contmep mm romance, m/m romance, romance writers, shipwreck romance, Uncategorized

Available now! Out of the Ocean by Lynn Michaels

 

Out of the Ocean

So excited to help get the word out about Lynn Michaels newest, Out of the Ocean. PQ had the chance to read this early and I highly recommend this May-December late coming out novella. Visit any of the blog sites below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card as part of the release blitz.

Blurb

“Shipwrecked, fighting for their lives, and finding unexpected love…
Cal Bigsby spent his life working the fishing boats and ignoring who he really is and what he needs to be happy.
Prescott ‘Scott’ Vandenburton is being primed to take over Daddy’s company, but he craves a life of his own. His only escape is sailing his yacht.
When a freak storm hits, both are forced to think about life from a whole new perspective. ”

Author Bio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love. She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance

Out of the Ocean is available here: https://www.books2read.com/u/38gw5Z

As well as through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Ocean-Lynn-Michaels-ebook/dp/B079R1G4YR

March 15 – The Novel Approach
March 16 – Sexy Erotic XcitingCupcakes & Bookshelves
March 17 – Gay Book Reviews
March 19 – BookLoveXtreme Delusions
March 20 – Joyfully Jay
March 21 – Jim’s Reading RoomMaking It Happen
March 22 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 23 – Diverse ReaderArchaeolibrarianDreams and Screams BookaholicsAnnette GisbyWicked Reads
March 26 – Bayou Book JunkieValerie UllmerSarandipityScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
March 27 – Love Bytes Reviews

D/s romance, kindle world, m/m romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

Are you ready for a little Pain Play? Author Morticia Knight joins us with a snippet from her newest!

Pain Play Teaser png

Firstly, I’d like to thank Morticia for joining us today! I’m always ready for something new, let’s see what she has for us!

Blurb

Terry is ready for some pain that brings him pleasure…

The deeper Terry becomes immersed in a 24/7 dynamic with Phil, the more he realizes that he’s ready for them to be full-time. There might still be plenty to learn in his D/s journey with his Master, but he’s discovered a sense of peace and fulfillment he hadn’t known was possible.

Phil can’t wait to show his boy how exquisite erotic pain can be.

Phil couldn’t be more thrilled when Terry confesses his desire for them to take the next step in their Master/sub relationship, and he decides to explore some of Terry’s soft limits regarding pain. Adding to his joy are the approaching holidays that include celebrating with their friends. If only he could receive an offer for a film project, Phil would get all his Christmas wishes.

Surprises are revealed, forbidden desires are shared, and their New Year begins with a bang—which not only brings them closer to each other—but to their friends, Master Gerard and his boy Marco.

Author’s note: Pain Play is part of a continuing series that chronicles Phil and Terry’s loving D/s journey and should be read in order. Phil and Terry are a committed, monogamous couple, but there is a scene of group play. This story ends with an HEA, no cliffhanger and doesn’t include any additional content. Pain Play is approximately 37,500 words and 120 pages. Watch for more in the Play Series coming soon!

****

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2DyHLgX

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2mRuC8c

Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/2DOKGjf

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2FXcK4w

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2DqsUWD

Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/2Dp2qEQ

Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/2mRJunn

Excerpt

Terry stirred, soaking up Phil’s warmth as he snuggled into him. He let out an unbidden groan.

Fuck.

His first thought was that he was going to regret the throbbing sting in his nipples or the deep ache in ass cheeks, but as he bent one knee to drape a leg over his Master, his next thought was how delicious the lingering pain felt, how it was like having Phil’s continuous touch all over him. A low moan rumbled in Phil’s chest and he rolled on his side, wrapping an arm around Terry then tugging him closer. Terry used his leg to embrace Phil’s limbs even more as he rubbed his face against Phil’s neck.

“Morning.” Phil’s sleep-roughened voice was more growly than usual.

It had been quite a night.

Despite the occasional off-hand remarks Phil made about his age and diminished prowess, it hadn’t stopped him from fucking Terry twice after they’d had a chance to rest up from Phil’s enthusiastic flogging. The multiple coming in the same night for them both wasn’t something that had happened since they’d been reunited. Terry grinned. Ass is sore on the inside too. They’d both gotten a thorough workout.

“Good morning, Master.” He yawned a bit too loudly.

Phil chuckled, the deep timbre of his voice a cock-awakening sound. “I’d ask if you need more sleep, but that nice, hard rod pushing against my stomach says otherwise.”

“What can I say? I’m hot for you all the time.”

Phil traced circles with his fingertips on Terry’s back. “Flatterer.” He placed a firm kiss on the top of Terry’s head. “But I’ll take it.”

I’m the one who took it last night.”

Phil barked out a laugh. “That you did. And quite well, I might add.” Phil hugged him. “What time does your session begin?”

Terry’s eyes went wide and he jolted out of Phil’s arms, smashing their chests together as he surged over Phil’s torso to check the digital clock on the nightstand. Phew. But what a boner-killer. He collapsed into Phil’s embrace again. Even though he didn’t typically sleep much past dawn, their enthusiastic play the evening before had exhausted him.

Phil snorted. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah. Sorry about that. They won’t be here ‘til ten. I’ve got almost two hours still.”

“Then may I hold my beautiful sub for a few more minutes before we start our day?”

Terry smiled. “Of course.”

He wriggled against Phil to work himself back into a comfortable position. His bladder wasn’t screaming at him yet, but he didn’t figure he’d last much longer than the few minutes Phil had requested. Terry chewed at his lip, the pleasant dreamy zone he’d been in when he’d first awoken had been ripped from him, which meant that instead, his mind was whirring the way it always did. Phil jostled him.

“Baby? You’re tense.”

Terry let out a frustrated sigh. “Yeah, sorry. My brain is up and at ‘em. You know how I get.”

“That’s okay, I understand. Then let’s go over our day for a moment before I feed you your breakfast.”

Terry snapped his head up, furrowing his brow as he stared down at Phil. “Wait, what? Again?”

Phil’s expression radiated amusement. “You’re like a prairie dog this morning.”

Terry gave Phil a smirk. “Ha ha. Now what about the breakfast thing?”

Phil smiled, caressing Terry’s cheek, his thumb scraping the stubble there. “Let me do this for you. Then, after your session we’ll discuss everything in depth when we go over our permanent contract.”

Permanent. Holy shit and fuck yeah.

“Okay. I can do that.”

Phil searched his face, and whatever aspect of their relationship—or perhaps Terry himself—he was musing on, seemed to fill his Master with contentment. He ran his hand along Terry’s cheek before threading his fingers through his hair. “Thank you. Taking care of you that way made me very, very happy.”

Terry smiled, Phil’s statement reminding him of how much he’d been touched by it as well. “I’m glad. I was thinking it might be one of those things you only liked to do on occasion, or was only for my benefit, and you didn’t get all that much out of the act.”

“Mmm. I get a lot out of feeding you and I’m continuing it for our benefit.” He kept playing with Terry’s hair. Phil cupped the back of his head then drew him in for a chaste kiss. “Nice to be coddled a bit, isn’t it?”

Terry swallowed hard. He constantly struggled to let go, to allow himself the true vulnerability that Phil wanted from him. “It was, I mean it. I suppose I assumed it was merely part of a scene.”

Phil gave him a soft smile. “But you said you were sorry the scene ended, that you wanted us to be 24/7 from now on.”

Terry chuckled shakily. “Yeah. I remember saying something to that effect.”

Phil’s brow furrowed. “We don’t have to be 24/7 yet if you’re still unsure. Just hearing you say you wanted to at all let me know we’re making real progress.”

Terry grabbed the hand Phil had cupped around his nape, prying his fingers loose so he could clutch their joined hands to his chest. “No. I’m not unsure, just nervous. I’ll fight you. Even if I don’t want to, won’t mean to—I will. You’ve been a lot softer with me since what happened with Anson and those assholes. And I love that gentle side, it’s so different from what I’m used to with us, but I need your rougher side too. Don’t be afraid to push me. You never were before.”

 

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little hearts desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share—her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards, Divine Magazine and Love Romance Café.

 

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the North Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men, she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

 

Morticia’s Social links:

Website/blog: http://www.morticiaknight.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2q2I2Do

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authormorticiaknight/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormorticiaknight/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/morticiaknight/

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/MorticiaKnight

Thank you again! I’m looking forward to this addition!

author interviews, kindle world, m/m romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

A Way With You: Lane Hayes

AWayWithYou-1698x2700

Reeve Nelson is determined to make it in Manhattan. He’s hardworking, dedicated and willing to put in the extra hours required to be successful at his new job at a prestigious real estate firm in the city. There’s no way he’s going back to small-town living and an ex-girlfriend who won’t let go. But his boss isn’t making it easy.

 

Leo Rodriguez enjoys his reputation as a ruthless businessman. He’s a lone wolf who’s scraped his way from the gutter to rebuild his life and launch a distinguished career on his terms. When an opportunity to expand in the market comes up, Leo wants the eager new agent with a sense of wonder on the project. However, nothing goes quite as planned. Reeve expected to be intimidated and overwhelmed by Leo, but the explosive mutual attraction and fierce desire between them is a big surprise. Neither man is looking for love and yet, something special just might happen if they can find their way…together.
A Way With You is a novella set in the world of  Memories with the Breakfast Club Kindle Worlds series by Felice Stevens.
I am one clicking! This is the perfect length read for my busy week ahead,
Thank you so much for throwing your lot in with PQ today!
author interviews, romance writers, romantic suspense, Uncategorized

Please Welcome Romantic Suspense Author Stanalei Fletcher. She discusses books readers & writing serials, among other things.

I’d like to thank Stanlei for stopping by today and answering a few questions. Readers love to learn more about who writes the books they love. Without further ado:

Stanlei, what is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me cry…hmmm…this is tough question, because I’m not a very emotional person. I honestly don’t recall any books as a child that brought tears to my eyes, although I do recall sobbing pretty hard at the movie, Black Beauty. The first book that made me cry came a bit later in life. I’d been reading everything I could put my hands on by Alistair McLean. I’d left reading his first book, HMS Ulysses until almost last, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. I was wrong. This book wasn’t just about one protagonist. Instead, the story fictionally chronicled the ship and the men who fought aboard her. Their heroic struggles to save that ship still resonates with me. I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the end of that story.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I do write under a pseudonym. My pen name is a combination of my husband’s middle name and my father’s middle name. I chose to do this partly as a marketing tool and partly because I still work a day job, where most of my fellow coworkers do not know I write.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Excellent question and one that challenges writers who desire to have their works published and read. I don’t believe what I write is terribly original in concept or in plot lines. I believe the originality in my stories comes from the personal experiences and knowledge I bring to the story. I am a firm believer in STORY. Readers and audiences in general, select their entertainment with preconceived expectations. If I don’t deliver on those expectations, they will intuitively know something is missing. They may not know what, but they will feel dissatisfied when they close the book. I strive very hard to make sure I don’t leave a reader wanting.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My Northstar series is a connected work, currently with five books. However each book in the series was deliberately written to be read as a standalone. Personally, I’m not a fan of serials, so I don’t care to write them. That said, I do understand their appeal and the authors who produce them have my upmost respect. I think it’s a rare talent to write in the same world book after book.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Unfortunately, I would tell my younger self the same thing I tell myself today. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve had people telling me that all my life. Yet, it’s still a concept I’m trying master.

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I don’t believe it’s my place to make demands on any reader. I certainly do what I can to take care of the reader by producing the best work I’m able. It’s my job as a writer, especially if I want the reader to part with, not only their hard earned dollars, but their time, to put effort into my craft and offer them a satisfying read and time well spent.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do see writing as spiritual practice. I see it as a way to put my expressions and emotions into words. I believe it to be a practice on the path to mastery of life.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Like many writers, I have a baby names book. And I make use of it. There were all those great names I wanted to name my own children but I was limited to only a few…which for the kids ended up being mostly family names. Well, now I get to name my characters with those great names. How cool is that?

That said, I do try to fit the name to the personality of the character as I envision him/her. If I find a name isn’t working, it’s not like I have to go before a judge to have a character’s name changed. I can simply pick another name. That’s pretty cool too.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I have a well-worn book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d have to say that is my personal favorite. I’m not locked into a single story, but have all the great ones from Cinderella to Snow-White and Rose-Red.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The most difficult part of my artistic process is being an artist. I’m mostly left-brained and tend to overthink a lot of the process. But I do love the creative sparks and it’s very exciting for me when it flows and the words come together.

Stanalei, thank you again for stopping by!

 

NSS Blog Tour Banner 3

Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour

All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only

$.99 during the tour only!

 GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Series Blurb:

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.

Proving Ground

Northstar Security Series Book #1

About the Book:

Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.

For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Dead Reckoning

Northstar Security Series Book #2

About the Book:

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Beyond Duty

Northstar Security Series Book #3

About the Book:

Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.

When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Breaking the Honor Code

Northstar Security Series Book #4

About the Book:

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Tell It Like It Is

Northstar Security Series Book #5

About the Book:

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

SF author photo

 

About the Author:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads Newsletter | Amazon | Pinterest| Google | LinkedIn | Instagram

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

m/m romance, mm paranormal romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

What if? Our Own Story. A Novel by Lynn Michaels

OurOwnStory6x9 (1)

Our Own Story by Lynn Michaels is a sweet romance with a twist of paranormal.

Help can sometimes come where you least expect it. A gentle nudge from the mysterious beyond may be all one needs for a happily ever after.

When Tad Conway’s ex-boyfriend, Bobby, returns after a long absence, he realizes that there are certain things in the universe he can’t explain. Like spending the night in Bobby’s arms only to learn that he’d died months before and is most likely haunting him. Oh, and that Bobby may be pushing Tad into the arms of another man.

Drew Sinclair has had a major crush on marketing guru, Tad Conway, for the longest time. After Drew’s hired as an intern in Tad’s company, he gets his chance to show his stuff—in and out of the bedroom. As Tad and Drew get to know each other better and maybe developing feelings for each other, will Tad be able to let go of his past and move on to a future with Drew?

Writing Our Own Story was about a series of what if’s.. What if someone was being haunted by an ex-boyfriend? What if they didn’t know he’d passed? What if…

You’ll also see a little bit of the old city mouse/country mouse theme in there. Tad is a city boy and his new love interest takes him out of his comfort zone and into the country. It’s important for Tad to take a step back away from his normal environment in order to see things more clearly. For Drew it’s about exploring this new relationship and getting to know Tad a little better.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for an exclusive excerpt! 

Amazon Customer Reviews:

I’m not one to read paranormal, but I gave this one a go, and I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I loved the characters and how Lynn Michaels developed them.” ~Amy

A lovely story about letting go and starting anew. A well-written contemporary romance with a touch of paranormal.”  ~Tanja

I just love all of Lynn Michaels books and she just gets better and better to me. I love how sweet Drew and Ted story is! And of course love that Bobby, even dead, is trying to get Ted to find love again. I love the little paranormal aspect of this book. Definitely a book to read!” ~Stephanie VO

A really great book about love, how letting go doesn’t mean forgetting and that there is always room in your heart for more.” ~         Joscelyn Smith

 

Our Own Story by Lynn Michaels

Published by eXtasybooks and found at the following retailers:

eXtasy: http://www.extasybooks.com/our-own-story/

Amazon: http://ow.ly/ZtYa30hwVGq

B&N: http://ow.ly/KaD930hwUJf

Kobo: http://ow.ly/MztS30hCraR

 ibooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/our-own-story/id1323885468?mt=11

Follow Lynn Michaels:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Michaels/e/B0141XP56K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

http://www.extasybooks.com/lynn-michaels/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-Michaels-1450504665203028/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8430620.Lynn_Michaels

 

https://twitter.com/sljasble

 

https://rubiconwriting.com/lynn-michaels/

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

 Tad crossed the living room and climbed into Bobby’s lap. He wrapped his arms around Tad’s waist. “Look,” he said. “I regret a lot of things. Pushing you away. Yeah, that’s probably my biggest regret.”

Tad ran his fingers through Bobby’s dark curls. “What are you talking about? You never pushed me away. It was me. All me.”

Bobby’s smile seemed at once familiar and strange. It’d been too long since they’d been together.

Tad couldn’t resist and leaned in to kiss those familiar lips. He expected to feel warmth and comfort, but Bobby’s lips were chilled. “Damn, this place is so cold tonight.”

Bobby pulled Tad a little tighter. “We were good together, Tadpole. I missed you, but I was too prideful to admit it. I thought I had all the time in the world. I thought we might get back together some day.”

“What about now?”

Bobby chuckled and kissed Tad’s forehead. “It’s not really going to happen. It can’t, and for once, that’s not my pride. But, for now, hold me. Just hold me.”

yum…..

Two guys

 

author interviews, m/m romance, mm mystery, romance writers, Uncategorized

To New Beginnings and Old Friends…Please Welcome Author Jackson Marsh to the fray!

Purchase: The Mentor of Wildhill Farm     Purchase: The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge

Jackson Marsh joins us today to chat about a few different topics. He discusses pseudonyms, his writing process, and character naming…

It’s exciting when someone starts on a new journey. Jackson Marsh is here to share about his new series and talks a little about ‘cross-germination’ (and you thought you were done with science class) between novels. I am looking forward to picking up both of these! Also can I comment that these covers are absolutely lovey?

(I NEED Marmaduke Pantyboy’s story!)

Jackson Marsh is the pen name of author and screenplay writer James Collins who published 11 books before turning to what he had been hankering to write, MM romance novels. Jackson is a British writer who now lives in the Greek islands with his husband.

1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

Jackson Marsh is the pen name I use for my MM Romance and erotica writing. Why have a pen name? Well, it’s simple really. I already have a body of readers who follow the novels and travel books I write under my real name, James Collins. Many of these readers have come to me because of a blog I write as an expat living on a Greek island. My ‘mainstream’ books are not gay romance (though they often involve gay characters) and I didn’t want to confuse, or even shock, my James Collins readership.

2. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Both. I know that readers of MM Romance download or buy a book because the cover says ‘Gay romance!’ and the blurb promises them a heart-warming romance with perhaps some erotica too. So, the stories must fit the bill. But, having said that, I do try to make them original and not always the standard ‘boy meets boy’ story. That’s why ‘Other People’s Dreams’ is also a slow-burn thriller, and my ‘Mentor’ books have something else about them. ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge,’ for example, is also a thriller and draws on my mountaineering experience. I also like to inject humour if I can.

3. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Each of my novels stands on its own but, so far, works within the same niche. That’s the older/younger niche where a main character, usually 18 or 19, sets about his first love affair with a guiding older man. The age gap is important and interesting so in ‘The Mentor of Wildhill Farm’ the MC is 42 and the boys he is mentoring are 18 to 21 years old, and in ‘Barrenmoor’ the main pair are 19 and 36. Although two of my novels so far have titles beginning with ‘The Mentor of…’ they are separate stories and characters, but the overall niche is the same: an older man and a younger man, a sharing of differences and experiences, and each subtly mentoring the other to fulfilment.

What I am also toying with (and I’ve done it in ‘Wildhill Farm’) is bringing in aspects from my ‘mainstream’ novels. For example, in ‘Wildhill Farm’, one of the characters is reading one of my mainstream novels, because he comes from where that book is set. I have ideas to write more books in the future where there is what you might call cross-character-fertilisation. A character from one story appears with one from another story in a whole new story. Could be fun.

4. If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

‘Don’t be afraid to tell another guy that you fancy him.’ Don’t be afraid to come out, I guess. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s and, in my 20s, led pride marches and protests (when Pride was a political protest). Before then, and living in a rural backwater, coming out was hard if not impossible; it still is. But now I am older, I wonder how many missed opportunities there were for me to be with another boy who was also gay. I fancied all my male friends at school, I was simply after love from someone of the same sex. A few discovered this when things just happened but had I been more honest with them, I may have found what I was seeking earlier in life and been happier. So might have they. (I didn’t really come out until I was in my early 20s and fired from a job simply because I was gay – but that’s another story.)

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Paying a professional cover artist, for sure. I used to make my own covers, thinking, ‘I’ve got Photoshop, I can do that.’ The covers were, in the main, adequate but not dazzling. It’s not just the look though, it’s the understanding of what a good book cover does. I now use two designers, one for my ‘mainstream’ covers and one for my MM Romance covers. I found them both on a site called People Per Hour and, since changing some of my earlier covers to new ones designed by a proper designer, sales have picked up. I am also lucky in that I have an editor and layout artist who work for free because we are friends, so that saves money. But if you’re going to spend money on your writing, I’d say pay for covers, editing and definitely proofreading if you can.

6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ll just have a look in my ‘bottom drawer’, a file I have on my PC (and in multiple backups!) where I have a range of ideas. These are sometimes just titles which later remind me of a story, or they are full outlines. Some are the first few chapters of an idea that melted from me after I began ‘pantsing’, starting from line one and seeing what came out, and some are sections written against an outline and never finished because another story got in the way. A quick count reveals: A gay thriller; a biography of my gay godfather from 1911 to 2000; a couple of horror novels; a Greek summer MM romance; a couple of screenplays (I also write them for a living); a revamp of the first novel I ever wrote and then lost, but I can still remember the story; a gay mystery romance; a book adaptation of a gay musical I wrote; and a new comedy satire for my mainstream ‘Miss P’ series.

The rule here is to write down ideas as they occur and keep them for when they are ready to be developed.

7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

This depends. For my best-seller, ‘The Saddling’ (under my real name) I spent four years working on the book, developing a dialect and researching everything from the lore surrounding solstice rites in the UK to genealogy, to Kentish dialect. For ‘Wildhill Farm’ I simply found some images similar to what I imagined the setting and characters to be, and then wrote from the heart and memory. In others, I’ve researched as I go along – a quick Google to double-check things, or to buy a background book, and back to the typing.

Some ‘research’ is actually character development, so it’s not actually researching facts, but making them up to fit my own novel worlds and people.

8. How many hours a day do you write?

A perfect day for me is to write from seven in the morning, earlier in the summer months, to midday, an hour off, and then again in the afternoon. So, eight hours per day. Trouble is, I also write for other people, in order to earn a living, and so although I sometimes write 10,000 words per day, only 3,000 of them might be for me. That’s about four hours for others and four hours per day for me, seven days per week if I can – which, luckily, is most days.

9. How do you select the names of your characters?

I like to spend time thinking about the character before I name them and try and find something suitable. I mean, I wouldn’t call the male lead in an MM romance novel Marmaduke Pantyboy, I’d reserve that name for one of my satires. Solid, bold names work best for heroes, such as Cam, or John, whereas more ethereal names work better for more ethereal characters, such as Gabriel in ‘Wildhill Farm’, and down-to-earth names for earthy characters such as Kenny Cole, from the same story, or Tom Carey for the ‘Saddling’ hero. Surnames are important too as they can help a reader establish a character’s background and place of birth. I’m a UK writer and have researched family history and country history where names grew from locations or trades. The rule here is to be realistic.

Sometimes, though, I start with a name that’s easy to type. Gary is easier to type 500 times in a book than Nicholas or Raphael (also, my spelling is pants). You can always do a search and replace afterwards and change the name in the manuscript; a trick I use often. Having said that, I called my main characters in ‘Remotely’ Gary and Stag because Gary was gay and Stag was straight – the names come from what they are. GArY and STrAiGht. I also like to use slightly unusual names, so they stick in the mind. Hence I have characters in my romance novels called Camden and Logan and, elsewhere, Drover and Stavroula. Character names are important but don’t go over the top with them, unless you’re writing fantasy or satire.

10. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It varies. One of my mainstream novels took four years, but its sequel took two months, having the characters, places, research and feel already in place helps. My MM Romance novels take me about two months to write to a second draft stage and another month to edit and continually check. I tend to write the first draft and leave it for a month while working on something else, and then come back to it with fresh eyes; an important trick to learn as you pick up more typos and repetitions that way. ‘Other People’s Dreams’ was begun in 1996 and finally became what it now is ten years later. ‘Wildhill Farm’ took two months, but the story had been in my head for over a year. The main thing to remember is, ‘calm down!’ It’s great when you’ve ‘finished’ a novel, and you’re keen to get it out there, but it will benefit from being left alone a while and returned to later. As Hemmingway allegedly said, ‘The first draft of anything is always s**t.’ Not always, Mr Hemmingway, but nothing was ever hurt by being rewritten, cut, edited and rewritten again.

Website: www.jacksonmarsh.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacksonmarshauthor/

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

There’s also an amazon.com author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

 

Recent MM Romance novels links:

The Mentor of Wildhill Farm: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mentor-Wildhill-Farm-Jackson-Marsh-ebook/dp/B077Y67GDJ/

The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mentor-Barrenmoor-Ridge-Jackson-Marsh-ebook/dp/B078TFPQ89/

#marmadukepantyboy needs his story, clearly the savior of our modern times!

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

*Myths, Moons, and Mayhem* Dale Cameron Lowry Blog Tour

Today we celebrate the release of Myths, Moon, and Mayhem edited and contributed to by Dale Cameron Lowry. *Whoot, clapping*. Dale joins us to share a little about themselves, the writing life, and the undefinable curelom. Be sure to check out the special offer on deck for today only!

MMM-social-media-graphic-2

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies.

Dale spent the summer editing Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, a paranormal gay menage and erotic romance anthology with stories from nine talented authors, including Clare London, Rob Rosen, and Morgan Elektra.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Myths, Moons & Mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

The book comes out today in print and ebook, and to celebrate, Dale is offering a special gift when you order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem by the end of TODAY, Friday, Oct. 13. Read on to find out more. 

 Why ménage a trois?

I love exploring the dynamics of three-person relationships. As a writer, having three people in a romantic or erotic relationship means I get to explore more characters at a deep level. I get to learn about their personalities and how their moods, desires, and quirks affect their partners. Like couples, every triad is different, with each person in the relationship bringing different strengths (and sometimes weaknesses) to the table. Sometimes this makes things more complicated; other times, having three people keeps things more balanced. For example, in Morgan Elektra’s story for Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, “The Endless Knot,” the fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground because they’re both stubborn and controlling. But the introduction of a third person—a mere human—helps them see each other in a new light. As a couple, they never worked, but when they become part of a triad, everything clicks into place.

 What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

It’s hard to choose between my sitting-standing desk and my Kinesis Advantage ergonomic keyboard. Both have been invaluable in helping me continue to write in spite of physical limitations.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am obsessive about research. Stories need detail to feel real, and one of the best ways to get that detail is research. I stick to this approach even when writing fantasy. For example, when writing my paranormal story “The Cave” in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, I traveled ten thousand miles to Madagascar just to get a sense of the scenery.

Okay, I exaggerate. I went to Madagascar for other reasons. But I took notes and snapped pictures the whole time I was there, because I knew I’d want to remember everything.

When it came time to write “The Cave,” I was no longer in Madagascar, so I had to rely on my notes, several non-fiction books, and the internet to get the details right. I emailed friends from Madagascar about how to talk to your sweetheart in Malagasy, the main language spoken there, and went on internet chat rooms to make sure the bits of French scattered throughout the story were believable. (Madagascar was formerly colonized by France, so French is still spoken in many areas of the island.)

My photographs also came in handy for remembering what the towns and forests looked like, as well as little details like the color of a lemur’s eyes.

My research process isn’t the same for every story, but it follows this general model. If there’s something I want to write about and I’m not already familiar with the subject, I throw myself into it head first. After swimming in it for a while—hours, days, weeks, or sometimes years—I start to write. As I write, new questions arise and I research those as well.

Research is one of the funnest parts of writing.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

As you can guess from my above answer re: research, I still need to hear that advice sometimes.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not secrets, exactly. More like Easter eggs—things that you don’t have to notice to enjoy the story, but that will add extra layers of meaning if you catch them.

I’ll use “The Cave” from Myths, Moons, and Mayhems as an example again. In that story, you don’t need to know the meaning of the Malagasy name Mendrika to enjoy the character. But if you know it (or look it up online), you’ll see how it relates to the story.

There’s another Malagasy character who appears briefly in “The Cave.” She’s a scientist named Hanta who studies lemur fossils. If you’re familiar with lemur research in Madagascar, you might guess at my inspiration for the name.

As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?

A curelom.

A what?

Exactly.

A curelom is an animal with an unknown identity mentioned in the Book of Mormon, scriptures that were first published in the 1830s and are considered sacred in several offshoots of Christianity, including the Church of Jesus  Christ of Latter-day Saints. But my reasons for choosing a curelom have nothing to do with religion. I like it because nobody knows what it is. It could be a rhinoceros, it could be a capybara, or it could be a three-headed dragon. Maybe it’s a firefly.

Well, sometimes I’m not sure what I am either. I am a warm-hearted person who loves cuddling with my cats, or am I the person whose path you shouldn’t cross before I get my morning coffee? Am I a prolific writer, or someone who stares blankly at the screen and barely manages a hundred words before lunchtime? Am I a good listener, or do I talk over people? Do I write sci-fi and fantasy, or do I write romance?

Sometimes I think I know the answers to those questions. But just as often, my answer is, “I have no idea what I am. Guess that makes me a curelom.”

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. I have good writing days and not-so-good writing days, but barring illness, injury, or emotional upheaval, I can always write. I learned how to do that as a newspaper journalist churning out up to three articles a day, and I’ve been able to apply that to my writing. Even in the bleak, foggy weeks after the president-who-shall-not-be-named was (sort of) elected, I managed to write a few hundred words on most days. It was a bit like pulling out one’s beard a whisker at a time, but eventually I made progress.

Natalie Goldberg has a book called Writing Down the Bones that I recommend for people who struggle with writer’s block or get held back by self-doubt once they start to write. It’s excellent for helping writers learn to put one word after the other and keep going.

What’s the gift for people who order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem today?

If you order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem by the end of today, Friday, Oct. 13,  I’ll send you seven of my paranormal and speculative stories collected into an ebook I’m calling Chance & Possibility: Seven Fantastical Tales of Gay Desire.

Chance & Possibility is an eclectic selection of ny stories previously published in multi-author anthologies and my mixed-genre collection Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love. They range from sweet fairy tale romances to scorching hot tentacle erotica. In its pages, you’ll find fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal stories, and you’ll meet:

  • an unemployed journalist whose sentient iPhone hooks him into rescuing stray cats—and leads him to love
  • a college student who falls in love under the full moon of the Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot, but finds that his new boyfriend shies from his touch when the moon wanes
  • a professional horticulturalist who develops a more-than-scientific interest in a strange new plant he’s been assigned to care for

Chance & Possibility: Seven Fantastical Tales of Gay Desire isn’t available to buy anywhere. The only way to get it now is by ordering Myths, Moons, and Mayhem at your preferred store, then forwarding the receipt to mmm-giveaway@dalecameronlowry.com. I’ll send your choice of a mobi (for Kindle) or epub (for all other e-readers) this weekend.

It’s my way of saying thanks for supporting the authors behing Myths, Moons, and Mayhem and giving our stories a try.

Here are the links for ordering it online from Amazon, Kobo, and other popular retailers:

You can also read more about it on my website at dalecameronlowry.com/books/myths-moons-mayhem/.

Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Paranormal Gay Menage and Erotic Romance…..(I’m hooked already!)

(Isn’t the cover beautiful?) – Please read on for in-depth information on the contributing authors and short stories! ❤

MythsMoonsMayhem-ebookcover_opt copy

Available in print and ebook October 13; pre-order now!

 Title: Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Editor: Dale Cameron Lowry

Authors: Rebecca Buchanan, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Morgan Elektra, Greg Kosebjorn, Clare London, Dale Cameron Lowry, Carl Redlum, Rob Rosen

Publisher: Sexy Little Pages

Genres: anthology, paranormal, menage, LGBT, MMM romance, MMM erotica

Date of Publication: Oct. 13 (preorders begin Oct. 3)

Length: 215 pages

ISBN: 9781386972891 (ebook); Print book will also be available

ASIN: B07654NZQ2

Universal ebook Link: https://books2read.com/mythsmoons

Amazon universal link (paperback): getBook.at/mmm

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/36368999-myths-moons-and-mayhem

More information: https://dalecameronlowry.com/books/myths-moons-mayhem/

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.

Inside Man by Clare London—At a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?

The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.

Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.

Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!

—–

About the Editor

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies. Find out more at dalecameronlowry.com.

 

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Today’s Guest: Asta Idonea

Asta joins PQ today to talk about research, character naming and the first book which made her cry. Asta is the author of Wish You Were Here, published February 2017 by Dreamspinner Press.

What is the first book to make you cry? Mine was probably Black Beauty, but it could have been Where the Red Fern Grows. Sniffle.

Thank you for joining us today, please feel free to share this around!

Without further ado: Asta Idonea!

 

WYWH_FB_Blurb

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first I can actually remember would be Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, which I read when I was about 13-14, after seeing the musical in London for the first time. (I’ve seen it live on stage around 25 times now!) Some of the character death scenes are so sad! It’s still one of my favourite books of all time.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Social Media! The hardest thing when I’m writing is hearing my phone ping and resisting the urge to keep checking my messages and notifications. Before this year, it was never a problem as I didn’t have a smart phone, but now that I do….

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

Asta Idonea is a pseudonym. I actually have two author pen names—Asta Idonea and Nicki J. Markus—and that is because I write both MF and MM/LGBT fiction. I have no problem with people knowing that I write either, but I wanted a clear way for readers to tell what sort of story they are getting when they pick up one of my books, since not everyone reads across both categories as I do.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I like to think that I take a middle ground. Of course I want to bring something original and fresh to my stories, but if I don’t also write something that meets readers’ desires and expectations, no one will read it. My current WIP is a case in point. I realised that my original ending would result either in a broken romance or a morally dubious conclusion, and I was concerned that that would alienate readers whichever way I played it, but then an idea occurred to me for an alternate outcome at the midpoint of the plot that will allow me the HEA finale which many MM readers crave. Now that the first draft is nearly done, I am happy with the changes and think it has made for a better tale. Hopefully readers will agree when it finally releases.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Oh, I am friends with many fellow authors from around the world. Some I’ve met because I’ve edited for them. Others I got to know because we share a publisher. Having other authors as friends is great since it means you have someone with whom to discuss the highs and lows, someone who understands the problems and frustrations you face. They help you become a better writer through their support, advice, and opinions. In addition, you can cross-promote with them, which is beneficial to all parties.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have around ten or twelve finished stories sitting on my flashdrive. Some were orphaned before publication due to publisher closures, and for which I’ve yet to seek new homes. Others are ready—once I decide where to submit them. One or two I may still do a final round of edits on before they go out into the world. In terms of half-finished works. I am close to completing the first draft on a new MM novel, and I have also started the first chapter on another novella/novel. Finally, I have a novel (historical) that I wrote about twelve years ago. The prose is dreadful! However, I still like the story and the idea, so I’ve long been toying with the idea of rewriting it. We’ll see….

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

That really depends on the book. Some works require no major research; others need a lot. Naturally historical fiction requires the most. Generally I write about periods I already know well, so I just double-check smaller details as I go. With my current WIP I am in a modern setting; however, I have spent time research sigils and symbol meanings, since those are important to the tale. Most of the time I am not doing hours of research ahead of writing. I am a pantster, so I don’t always know what I’ll need in advance. As I come across something that warrants research/checking, I’ll either pause and do so or leave a note to remind me to confirm the information as I work on the second draft.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Names are important to me. I don’t worry quite so much for modern-setting shorts, but for longer works I like to give my principal characters names that mean something. Either they relate to their personality or they say something about the role they play in the tale. I do this by searching for suitable keywords on name meaning websites and seeing what comes up. Normally one will jump out at me straightaway.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes and no. I am not someone who religiously checks reviews every week. However, if I am on Goodreads and notice a new one, I may have a read. I do also take a look at any I receive as part of a blog tour for a new release. In general, I don’t reply, whether it’s good or bad. We all know that replying to bad ones is a slippery slope, and I also think that responding to good ones isn’t much better as it can look like you are in cahoots with the reviewer. The exceptions are if a reader has made a comment and I feel I can add to the discussion by elaborating on why I included the plot point they liked etc. Or, if someone I know reads and reviews, I’ll send a private message/thanks. Regarding bad reviews, of course they sting. Luckily I’ve not had too many, and none really nasty, but whatever the comments, I simply try to remind myself that we don’t all like the same things. One reader may hate your book, but that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it. It’s all a matter of balance and keepings things in perspective.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

In a way. I am very fond of including cultural, historical, and literary references. Pop culture ones stand out, but some of the more obscure ones may not, and only certain people will pick up on them. Occasionally editors who don’t get them wish me to remove them, but as long as they don’t obscure the action or the meaning, I prefer to keep them as they are my little in-jokes.

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Author Bio & Links

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NickiJMarkusAstaIdonea

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/nickijmarkus/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus

Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Wish You Were Here : Details

Asta Idonea

Dreamspinner Press

8 February 2017

MM Novella/Contemporary/Paranormal

Heat Rating: 1

SoundCloud Audio Excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idoneamm-novella-excerpt

YouTube Audio Excerpt: https://youtu.be/lMz0diTCb1Y

Tablo Excerpt: https://tablo.io/nicki-j-markus-asta-idonea/wish-you-were-here-excerpt

Download Media Sheet: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B57lcvfd2bYkMWdReFNGUm5fc1E

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idonea-8131-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/wish-you-were-here-51

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wish-you-were-here-asta-idonea/1125505394?ean=2940157178949

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Asta_Idonea_Wish_You_Were_Here?id=5tLTDQAAQBAJ

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Hello, Missy Welsh!

Missy Welsh is stopping by PQ today to talk about her writing process, reviews (close to all our hearts) and the importance of a mailing list…it’s almost as if she read my mind!

About Missy:

Missy Welsh stares into space a lot, has conversations with cats, takes notes while people-watching, records conversations (not the ones with cats), named her laptop Norbert and her phone Pushkin, has backups of her backups’ backups, faints at the sight of a misused semi-colon, and will often ask socially unacceptable questions of strangers.

Basically, she’s a writer.

Missy’s newest series is Destination Lost. Book two in the series, Forever Home was released on 9/18/17. Click on over to check it out!

FOREVER HOME:

 A routine mission from the Mars Colony to Earth ends in the five-man crew of the Swallowtail having been transported to the other side of the galaxy. Met with hostility, captured, and tortured simply for being Human, the three survivors hold little hope for their futures.

 Sergeant Ledger Atwater is a simple man: all he wants are food, shelter, and to be able to call his own shots. If that means letting someone implant stolen memories into his brain and infiltrating a palace, he’ll do it. Once he has enough money to get to a place that might give a damn about his refugee status, he’s gone anyway.

 But what Ledger finds inside the palace is a fresh start, a chance to be a whole person again. He has a job, friends, and after an unexpected encounter with a king, he might have a lover, too. Is keeping his true identity a secret really so bad?

 Pharaoh Setka Nebamun kier Bane has lost so many people in his life, he’s determined to keep those he has close. Unexpectedly, that list now includes a new scribe whose compassion and gentle caring Setka needs. He finds himself relying on Ledger to help him through some of the most trying times of his life—and Ledger seems willing to be there for him.

 But secrets never stay hidden for long. When the bill for Ledger’s new life comes due, lives are at risk, and it’s possible everyone will have to pay.

 AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second book in a series with appearances by previous characters and should be read in order.

Healing Touch

On sale everywhere for 99c until 18 October 2017!

All buy links: https://books.pronoun.com/healing-touch/

Forever Home

All buy links: https://books.pronoun.com/forever-home/

Preview book of the first 6 chapters: http://www.missywelsh.com/forever-home-dl-2.html

Missy answers a few questions:

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Paying for reviews. I don’t even like that I’d have to fork over $75 for Publisher’s Weekly to consider reviewing one of my books. I’m happy to send a legitimate reviewer a free copy of my book, but I’m not willing to pay for it because I’m not their employer. Even if reviewing is how they earn their living, the author paying them destroys the credibility of the review. Did I get a great review because I paid enough? Did I get a bad review because I didn’t? Maybe it’s possible for someone else to pay the reviewer to give an author a bad review. It’s a terrible practice.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Scrivener! I wrote my first book, MY SUMMER OF WES, using a program similar to Scrivener, but they discontinued it. I loved the ability to organize my story like it was on huge notecards since I write in scenes that may move around, merge, or disappear as I work through writing the book. Scrivener lets me keep everything related to the book—or series—in one file, including reference documents, images, keywords, and all kinds of notes. It’s the best investment I’ve made in my writing career.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Not so much full manuscripts, but I’m overflowing with ideas, scenes, plots, conversations, etc. I write down everything in as much detail as I have in that moment. Sometimes I’ll return time and again to add to it, and sometimes I’ll snatch it up and use it in whatever project I’m working on. I’d say I probably have over 200 files like this.

What’s the best way to market your books?

My mailing list is first, and then it’s the mailing lists of advertising services who alert readers to discounted or new books—but only those who have a category for readers to choose notifications for LGBT specifically. Social media is OK and occasionally a paid ad will be worth the cost, but getting the information directly to the readers who want to know is the best.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?

I think the most difficult thing about writing characters who aren’t a cookie-cutter version of me isn’t so much something I should or shouldn’t do in creating them so much as it is about ignoring reader perception to craft my characters my way. I’ve seen so many people say men shouldn’t cry, cuddle, worry, gossip, and a whole slew of other things. Why? Because they perceive that as weak—and don’t get me started on how weakness shouldn’t equal womanly. My reaction will always be this man does do that thing and he’s justified in doing it. Because some men do just about every emotion, mannerism, etc. that you can name. Granted, the way they do it might not be exactly the same way women do, but I will not accept that all men shouldn’t do some thing or other that you’ve decided you don’t like men doing. Go read something else.

What did you edit out of this book?

An entire relationship. See, the first book had a human man falling in love with a male alien who basically evolved from a dolphin. Physically, he had some similarities but mostly a whole lot of differences from a human man. I didn’t have any problems writing about this dolphin-man having sex. But then the sequel had me staring at a horse… I couldn’t do it. I wrote out this whole scene between him and his human lover, but wow, did it make me uncomfortable. I set the story aside to think about how to handle it. When I came back to it, I looked at changing out the love interest entirely. It was a lot of work, but I think it not only helped me avoid some bestiality creepiness, but improved the story overall too. You’ll have to let me know if you think I made the right choice.

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

Personally, I don’t appreciate fiction featuring historical figures who are not accurate to the reality of their existence. For example, I was once asked to judge a book that revolved around the premise that Christa McAuliffe did not die aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 but was actually magically transported elsewhere and be the love interest in a lesbian romance. Nope! If you want to feature her in your fiction, work your character into her reality. As a kid, the Challenger explosion was my 9/11. It was a national tragedy that hurt a lot of people for a long time; I still watch liftoffs of manned missions with my heart in my throat. So I found the premise revolting, especially since any fictional astronaut would’ve worked in that role. (I recused myself from judging the book.)

How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes, they come to me already named, which is ideal. Every now and then—like with one of the heroes in a book I’m working on now—someone will go through several names before one clicks with me. I’ve written entire books where I’ve called someone by a single letter or trait because the name’s just not coming to me, and then done a search and replace to finally name him before I send the manuscript to my editor. In those instances, I’ll look to name meanings first. Who is this person? What do they represent? What represents them? What is the opposite of them or what are they fighting against? Baby name books are great, but I end up using searches for the meanings of names—first and last—more often since it’s sort of a reverse search to what the books offer.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ll read the 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon, but that’s it. There are a few reasons for this. First, once a book is available for public consumption, there’s not much I can do to change it. Most distributors, like Amazon, will only push a new version of a book to those who bought it only if the changes are significant—and they get to decide what is and isn’t significant. Second, I don’t publish a book that I’m not satisfied with, that I don’t believe is the best book I can write at this point in my career. I’m happy with what I’ve done and I’ve already moved on to what’s next. And lastly, most reviews are personal opinions, and I already know I won’t please everyone every time. Reviews are just too far down the publishing process to make a difference in that book and they aren’t how I’ll learn to do something new or different for the next book.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Believing that I’m a good writer. I know that doubt happens to all of us, but it’s always such a struggle to get through it each time it hits. That’s part of why I’ll read the 4 and 5 star reviews—because I need that validation that I don’t suck. It’s part of what my beta readers and editor do for me too. A lot of the writing process is very isolated, just me typing away with no one else responding. I’ll wonder if that thing I just wrote will make anyone other than me laugh, cry, gasp, fume or react in the way I meant for them to react. When the writing is frustrating or when I’m editing, I’ll sometimes question whether I’ll ever get it “right.” I know I’m always going to be learning some new thing because writing is forever evolving, so eventually I’m able to either let it go because I’ve done the best I can or I’ll make it better. But that little black hole of doubt is always lurking.

Thank you, Missy, for joining PQR today! I always want to know more, the writing process is fascinating to me becuase it is different for everyone. Thank you for sahring yours!

PQ

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Welcome, Lane Hayes!

This fine Thursday m/m romance author Lane Hayes visits PQR to discuss literary pilgrimages, reader’s block and her writing process. As a forever fan of Lane, I am SUPER excited to have her come by! My personal favorite is Better Than Safe but I believe it is hard to go wrong with any of her books.

Leaning into…is Lane’s current series, Leaning Into Always is available now from Amazon. Click on over!

(Before I forget, thank you so much, Lane, for stopping by and talking with PQR!)

LeaningIntoAlways-1800x2700

 

Lane answered a few questions for me, as usual, I wanted to ask a zillion more!

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I love this question. There have been a few instances where I’ve been lucky to travel to places I’d read about in books and became mesmerized by the almost magical feeling that comes from walking in your book hero’s shoes. The first time I visited London and the English countryside was like that for me. I was a huge historical romance fan and it seems like every story is set there. I also visited Bath around the time I was in a strong Jane Austen phase. And yes… I made a special trip to Forks, Washington. I just had to see where Twilight took place. LOL

What is the first book that made you cry?

Black Beauty. Books with animals always pull at my heartstrings!

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Honestly, both. Mostly, I find writing invigorating. It’s a creative outlet and I definitely draw energy from it. But after a long day at my computer, my eyes ache, my fingers are numb and I’m just plain exhausted. Or old. That could be it too.

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes. Usually, reader’s block happens when you finish a fabulous book and the next few don’t measure up. Not fun. The only cure is to keep reading.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

Lane Hayes is my pseudonym. Each is a middle name of two of my three kids and my grandmothers’ maiden names. It was important to me that my author name meant something to me.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Maybe, but I think it would be difficult for that writer to develop a strong readership. A good book, no matter the genre, should touch you somehow. It should have the power to tap into your senses, stir feelings and make you think. In my opinion, the best books are written from the heart and from some measure of personal experience.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I love a good series, but it’s important to me that each book in my series is a standalone for a couple of reasons. As a reader, I get frustrated when I accidently begin a series out of order and it becomes obvious I’m missing a link in the story because of it. To avoid confusion, I make each a standalone. However, anyone who’s read any of my four series will recognize character from other novels and subtle connections in between.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The first book that comes to mind is Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. It’s a twisted, imaginative marvel. I absolutely loved these very unlovable vampires! Any author who can challenge a reader to study the enigmatic and come away with an appreciation of our fragile psyches is genius. Anne Rice’s vampires aren’t your average paranormal fodder. They’re truly special.

How many hours a day do you write?

I write eight hours a day on average. There are days where I spend too much time on social media or on research, but I do my best to put in a full day of writing everyday.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I’ve written a few scenes that have been challenging for me as a writer because I was forced to tap into deep emotional waters. Lol. A couple that stand out are the scene between Zeke and his dad in A Kind of Romance and the ending scenes in The Wrong Man and The Right Time. And I actually just made myself cry when I reread part of Leaning Into Touch (coming October 5!). I think that’s a positive sign though. Books are meant to send you on a memorable journey and sometimes that involves a tear or two. Thankfully in a romance novel, we can count on that HEA to make it all worthwhile.

Thank you so much for inviting me to come by today!

Happy Reading,

Lane Hayes xo

More about Lane:

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Books by Lane Hayes:

Better Than Good, Better Than Chance, Better Than Friends, Better Than Safe, The Right Words, The Wrong Man & The Right Time, Leaning Into Love and Leaning Into the Fall, A Kind Of Truth, A Kind of Romance, A Kind of Honesty, A Kind of Home, A Way with Words

Coming soon: Leaning Into Always and Leaning Into Touch

 Contact Information:

Website: http://lanehayes.wordpress.com

Twitter:   @LaneHayes3

Facebook: LaneHayesauthor

Email:   lanehayes@ymail.com

 

 

author interviews, m/m romance

Welcome: Frank Butterfield

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Frank Butterfield joins PQR today to discuss the newest in the Nick Williams Mystery Series – The PitifulPlayer – and talk about what it’s like to write modern historical,  his research techniques and the writing process.

Thank you, Frank, for joining PQR this fine Tuesday!

The Pitiful Player
A Nick Williams Mystery – Book 14

Friday, July 8, 1955

Ben White, a movie producer working on Nick’s dime, is ready to show off what he’s been up to, so Nick and Carter head to Hollywood to see what there is to see and, to be polite, it stinks.

Ben’s director has an idea and he says it’s gonna make Nick even richer than he already is.

But, before they can start the cameras rolling, leading man William Fraser is found murdered at the lavish Beverly Hills mansion of seductive silent screen star Juan Zane. Carlo Martinelli, Ben’s lover, is arrested and charged with murder even though everyone in town knows he’s innocent, including the District Attorney.

Meanwhile, the Beverly Hills Police Chief makes sure that Nick knows that his kind of help isn’t wanted in the posh village, home to some of Hollywood’s most famous stars. The chief is running a good, clean, wholesome town, after all.

From Muscle Beach to Mulholland Drive, Nick and Carter begin to piece together the clues that point to who did it and why. Somehow they manage to do so in the sweltering heat and noxious smog of the Southland.

In the end, however, will anyone be brought to justice? It’s Hollywood, so you’ll have to wait for the final reel to find out.

Just $2.99 on Kindle and Free on Kindle Unlimited
http://amzn.to/2eT0hX5

Pitiful Player is the 14th Nick Williams Mystery.

The series begins in May of 1953 wherein we meet Nick Williams, a private investigator, and his hunky fireman husband, Carter Jones. They live in a modest bungalow on Hartford Street in the middle of the Eureka Valley neighborhood in San Francisco.

Nick works out of his small office on Bush Street with Marnie, the best secretary a guy could ever have.

Carter, a fireman since he first arrived in San Francisco in 1939, is on leave due to a little run-in he had with a firetruck.

Mike, their friend and Nick’s first lover, is a police lieutenant working out of the North District station.

Nick’s life has changed dramatically three times in his life. 

First, in 1939, at the age of 17 when he was kicked out of his childhood home and into the loving arms of a young beat cop by the name of Mike Robertson.

Second, in 1943, at the age of 21 when he received a series of telegrams from a lawyer in Boston while serving aboard a hospital ship in the South Pacific informing him that he was the beneficiary of a huge trust inherited from his great-uncle.

Third, in 1947, at the age of 24 when, across a crowded room, he met Carter Jones, the love of his life.

The first novel in this series, The Unexpected Heiress, is all about the events that lead to the biggest change of all.

This one moment, at the Top of the Mark, high above the city he loves so much, will transform everything in Nick’s life and in the lives of his family and friends.

Forever.

May of 1953 is when Nick’s real life begins. Read along as the stories unfold and expand out in all sorts of marvelous ways. Follow the adventures of Nick, Carter, Marnie, Mike, and the rest of the gang, as they live extraordinary lives in the most normal of times.

Most of all, let Nick and Carter help you fall in love with the City where cable cars climb halfway to the stars.

What makes Author Frank Butterfield tick? Let’s find out.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Dancer From The Dance. I first read it when I moved to New York City in 1987. It’s not so much that it made me cry as that it left me with a deep sadness. It was written by Andrew Holleran and published in 1978. The story is very specific to its time and place (the mid 70s in New York in a very specific part of the gay male world). It’s written in a curiously lyrical style. It’s one of those books that people either love or hate. You can’t be indifferent to it.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

With each book, I primarily write for my pleasure and that seems to please the readers, which is a happy thing. I let the characters tell the story and do most of the heavy lifting. Because I write historical fiction, I try to make sure that the characters, their language, and their motivations are consistent with who they are in their time period. As much as I can, I let them tell me how it was and follow that.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am writing a long series, so each book is a continuation of the lives of the two main characters. I do like to make each book stand on its own by providing enough background for a new reader to be interested enough to get all the way through without getting too lost. But I have story lines that arc across several books and I hope that any reader who is interested in one book will want to go back to the beginning and read them all.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I research as I go. Much of what I want is online. I have good access to old maps, old phone books (I cannot emphasize how helpful they are!), and, for most places, there are tons of old photos and some videos. About half of my books (so far) are set in San Francisco. There is an amazing amount of nostalgia for old San Francisco and lots of resources. When I wrote about Hong Kong, I found a tremendous amount of information about specific places that helped me visualize the layout of the city in 1955. However, when I wrote about Sydney, there was very little. The one exception was the daily paper. The San Francisco papers are almost impossible to find online. But the Sydney Morning-Herald is available through December of 1954 and that was endlessly helpful.

When I want to send Nick and Carter to the movies, that is a big undertaking. First, I have to figure out what was playing on that particular day. Since I can’t look at the San Francisco papers, I tend to look at the San Bernardino Sun, which is available online. Then I have to figure out what theater would likely have been playing the movie, which I can usually guess at. Then I try to look up the news from the previous week to find out what would have been in the newsreel. The final piece is to find the cartoon that would have been in between the newsreel and the feature. Fortunately, there is a database where that can be found. And, I’ve always been able to find the cartoon somewhere online so I can watch it. I have a lot of fun with that. Sadly, Nick and Carter don’t go to the movies that often (at least not in the stories I write about them) because the research only results in about two paragraphs of writing.

Another general thing I do is to read the Life Magazines that would have been out around the dates of each book. And I also page through the Billboard magazines, since they talk about what is happening on the radio and on TV. I find lots of little tidbits in both of them. And they’re hosted by Google Books, so they’re easy to find. Oh, and I have access to the Time Magazine archive as well as National Geographic. Lots of good stuff there, particularly in National Geographic.

What do you find yourself repeatedly editing in your books?

I always have to go back and terse things up. In my own voice, I tend to write in long, dissembling sentences (with parenthetical asides, like this). The trick to getting Nick’s perspective across is to be as direct as possible. He sometimes meanders about in his head, but it’s rare. Usually, he’s just giving the facts, so I try to make sure that’s what’s in the writing. In his language, I find myself removing the words “really” and “very” over and over again. I tend to talk like that myself. I’m also trying to cut back on using “that” as a conjunction. That drives one of my Beta readers crazy!

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

My books start in 1953, so I try to make sure that, if an actual historical figure shows up, they’re dead now. There’s one person mentioned in a couple of my books who is still alive, so he’s always referred to obliquely. But that’s for legal reasons. As for the ethics, I try to find out what I can about people, based on what they said about themselves, what was said about them contemporaneously, and what good historians and biographers have written about them.

In my third book, The Sartorial Senator, I introduced Robert Kennedy into the story. He worked for Senator Joseph McCarthy for a couple of years and quit in July of 1953. He shows up in June of 1953 in the book. I based his actions and words on a biography that was released in 2016.

The historical figure I’ve written about the most is Rosalind Russell, the actress. I’ve read her autobiography and tried to find as much as I can about what others have said about her. No one has written a good biography of her, yet. Hopefully, I’ve gotten much of it right.

I do write Historical Notes at the end of each book and discuss the real people who show up and take pains to point out who is a fictional character when they might be assumed to be real.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes they come to me out of the blue. Other times, I use old phone books that I’ve collected or online name generators, particularly for foreign names. I have a whole slate of Czech characters and I definitely had to use the name generator for that.

The names for the two main characters, Nick Williams and Carter Jones, dropped into my head and I’ve been endlessly fascinated by that fact. Both are very common Welsh last names, which has led to a number of interesting interactions for them with characters from different parts of the U.K. or Ireland who would immediately recognize that. Carter is named after his mother’s maiden name, which was a common thing for the second male child in the South, where Carter is from. I’ve yet to find out where Nick’s first name came from, but I’m sure that will happen at some point.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read all of them. I have come to like them all, too, or most of them. The good ones are wonderful to read. And the bad ones are almost always instructional in some way. I know that most reviewers have that intention. The 1-star and 2-star reviews that simply say, “I didn’t like this book,” don’t have anything to offer and are not worth getting upset over since I have no idea what to do with that information.

In one particular review, the reader remarked that I obviously hadn’t been to the locale where much of the action takes place. I had plainly stated that in the book’s Historical Notes and had explained how I’d drawn on the history of the place with the usual caveat of how “any mistakes are my own.” That was a frustrating review because I would really have loved it if the person had contacted me and told me what they thought I got wrong. I’m grateful to have had plenty of those contacts, all of which have been very helpful. And some of those folks have become Beta readers, as well, which is even better!

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Oh yes! I’ve added little tidbits that Nick notices or side comments by characters that, if you know what they’re talking about, would give you a chuckle. They’re not quite Easter Eggs but I love dropping them in when I can. I will admit that there’s a major mistake in my first book that only one person has figured out. It was unintentional. I keep meaning to go back and fix it, but I haven’t done so yet. I consider it one of those secrets.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Most books take about 15-20 days, depending on their length. I try to publish a book on or around the first of the month.

—————–

Frank W. Butterfield, not an assumed name, loves old movies, wise-cracking smart guys with hearts of gold, and writing for fun.

Although he worships San Francisco, he lives at the beach on another coast.

Born on a windy day in November of 1966, he was elected President of his high school Spanish Club in the spring of 1983.

After moving across these United States like a rapid-fire pinball, he currently makes his home in a hurricane-proof motel with superior water pressure that was built in 1947.

While he hasn’t met any dolphins personally, that invitation is always open.

—————–

Connect with Frank:

Website: http://nickwilliamspi.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/FrankWButterfield

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Robert Winter talks writing pitfalls, fear, and good writing habits (among other things)

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Robert Winter author of September, Every Breath You Take and Lying Eyes joins PirateQueenRdz to talk writing and what it means to him.

Thank you, Robert, for joining today! This was a great interview, the best ones are always those that leave the reader wanting to know more.

Cheers,

PQ

Lying Eyes is Robert’s most recent release, read a little about it below!

Adobe Spark (6)

THE INTERVIEW:

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

The one that comes to mind is to Oxford, in England. I was a huge fan of both The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis when I was young. Lewis and Tolkien were friends at Oxford, and both were members of a group called The Inklings. They used to meet at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. Going there was an amazing experience that made me feel close to both writers.

What are common traps for aspiring writers, or any writer?

Believing that you can be your own editor. When you produce a novel, it’s very easy to think that, as the writer, you are best positioned to judge the story. After all, you are the only one who knows the tale you want to tell. The problem is that ego inevitably produces blind spots. You can’t see the omissions or logical gaps because, in your mind, the connections are clear. Beta readers are helpful, but since they tend to be friends they may not be willing to identify flaws that might hurt your feelings. It takes an objective, hopefully professional, editor to point out flaws, weaknesses or downright inconsistencies.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Fear of unintentional plagiarism can paralyze me. All writers read voraciously, and the words and ideas inevitably are stored in our subconscious. Every time I have what I think is a good plot or a clever way of phrasing something, I worry that I have remembered something rather than created it. The self-doubt can keep me from writing for days at a time. Sometimes I stop what I’m doing to go back and reread works that I might have aped. Rationally, I know that we all work with a finite set of words and within a range of tropes – vampire, werewolf, May-December, GFY, enemies to lovers and so on – and therefore some similarity is inevitable. As long as I can convince myself I’ve done my level best to tell a unique story, I can work myself out of the crippling fear.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I thought about writing my MM romances under a pseudonym but then I decided that implied I was somehow ashamed of them so I publish under my own name. I’m retired from my law career so I don’t have to worry about professional repercussions, and my family is generally supportive. I have ideas for other types of books, particularly a Young Adult series, and if I pursue those I probably would use a pseudonym as a way to keep my audiences distinct. I don’t think I’d want a 13-year old to pick up Lying Eyes and learn about rope play!

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

It’s some combination. I do want to be original, but I also want to be read. That means keeping an eye on the top sellers in Amazon for various tropes that do well and considering whether I have a story that might fit in a niche. It also means acknowledging that readers have expectations and not being so wed to my own writing that I alienate an audience. For example, in Lying Eyes I originally had my main character Randy meet another character, Danny, before he met the love interest. An editor pointed out to me that many readers would latch on to Danny as the end game because they met him first, and would then resent my intended romantic pairing. I thought that was valid so even though I liked the story structure I started with, I changed it to acknowledge that readers have legitimate expectations.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Starting with my trip to GRL 2016 in Kansas City, I’ve met a number of writers who have become friends and mentors. Leta Blake and Keira Andrews, in particular, have been terrific with their advice, both in terms of story content and the logistics of self-publishing. B.G. Thomas and Brandon Witt have been good sounding boards and they’re both kind men as well. Pat Henshaw, Rick Reed, Devon McCormack, Amy Lane … I’ve really been lucky to meet these great people who genuinely want to help a new writer succeed. I can’t wait for GRL 2017 to connect with even more writers.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Write every day. I heard this advice when I was younger but I never developed the habit that I should have. Storytelling is a talent but writing is a craft. I wish that I had made myself sit down and write at least one page of something every day, even if it was nonsense and would never see the light. Sentence structure, syntax, composition, balance, momentum … all of these are vital and have to be developed with practice. I’ve grown a lot as a writer in the last few years since I began to write my first MM romance, but I think I would be much better if I had started earlier.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

When a book first comes out, I skim the reviews on blogs, Amazon and Goodreads to see if the reaction is generally favorable or not. After that, I keep an eye on the overall summary ratings but I don’t usually read the actual reviews. Instead, I ask a friend to read them and let me know if there is any recurring trend or theme – either positive or negative – that I can take note of and use in future writing.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Spoiler alert. In September, I wrote a scene where Brandon has his leg amputated. That scene gutted me. Of course I fall in love with my own characters so it was painful to do something so awful to one of them. But I had laid the groundwork. I mention early on that Brandon, a physical therapist, worked with someone hurt badly riding a bicycle, then I mention he starts riding his bike more as the weather gets hotter, and then after his hit-and-run accident I introduced the risk of amputation and his devastation at the possibility. I didn’t want to cheat myself or my readers by having his leg recover miraculously. Still, it killed me when I wrote the scene where his doctor tells him that they can’t save his leg.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

When I get going, it takes me about six weeks to produce a complete first draft of an 80,000 word novel. After that, I spend two to three months on revisions before I get to the point of showing it to anyone else. By the time I go through professional editors and proofreading, it’s typically been six months overall.

ABOUT ROBERT WINTER

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Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Contact Robert at the following links:

Website: www.robertwinterauthor.com

Facebook: facebook.com/robert.winter.921230

Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/16068736.Robert_Winter

Twitter: twitter.com/@RWinterAuthor

Email: RobertWinterAuthor@comcast.net

Review quotes and links:

“Robert Winter is now an auto-buy author for me. Spectacular writing!!!”  Amazon reviewer

“There are pulse-racing action scenes to go along with the intrigue and building romance, and an ending that goes above and beyond to supply gratification to the reader, as well as to the characters.”
It’s About the Book

“4.5 stars!!”
Bayou Book Junkies

“Robert Winter has definitely made it onto my favorite author list.  This is his third book, and they just keep getting better!”
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

 

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Meet the lovely CL Etta!

 

 

Today’s guest is CL Etta, author of several MM novels including Hound and Harmony. Cl Etta will be at GRL this year as a supporting author and I look very much forward to meeting her in person. Without further ado, here is CL Etta discussing how she got into writing and the bumps (and peaks) she has reached along the way.

Interview:

Good morning. I hope everyone’s day has started with a bang. My thanks to Elle for her generosity inviting me to contribute to her blog. It’s hard to believe, but I began my writer’s journey in 2015. I had retired from the workforce, and Candy Crush was beginning to bore me, so I took a creative writing class at our community college. I had an enlightening time while renewing an interest in storytelling I thought had died forty years ago. Then, we went on vacation and I spent hours reading.

When we returned home, my fingers were itching to start a story I had rattling around in my brain. Kevin, Raphael and Robbie were born. They refused to go away nor believe I wasn’t a writer. I stayed up many nights until three a.m. putting their words to paper. Okay, since this is the twenty-first century, I was keyboarding like a madwoman to get their voices into my computer and saved in a cloud. By the way I still haven’t figured out where that cloud resides. The point is, they did not let me rest until I had told their stories. Book one of the series I envisioned was completed.

When finally the manuscript was ready and edited with the help of a brilliant family member, I sent it off to a publisher while I continued writing book two. Publisher One promptly turned it down without explanation. Okay, I expected that. I sent it to another who did the same. Not surprised at all. I anticipated running the gamut of publishers before finding a home. Off to a third publisher who without surprise turned it down. But, and this is a big one, gave me feedback. I didn’t know the rules of genre writing, still break them in fact, but I had started my story with my characters too young for the YA genre. Even though they aged through the storyline, they weren’t right for the “adult” line.

So what I did was take parts of that first manuscript and combine it with the one I was working on, and Heartache and Hope was the result. It’s been a year since Pride Publishing took a chance on me and published the book. Since then we’ve brought you Heart and Home and Hound and Harmony.

Of the three book, Hound and Harmony is my favorite. While the first two books were about Kevin and Raphael, the third book follows Robbie as he learns to live on his own away from Kevin. We’ve seen Robbie grow from troubled rent boy, to a successful musician but living in Kevin’s shadow. In Hound and Harmony, we follow his travels from Las Vegas, to San Francisco, to Okanogan Washington and on to his hometown at the source of the Columbia river in Canada. He’s looking to find himself, but along the way, he encounters Cassidy, a sexy retired Army Master Sergeant, who earned the nickname Hound long before he met Kevin.

The reason this is my favorite of the three books is Hound. His voice is distinctive and the best characterization I’ve written to date. I hope that other’s will agree with me. Although Hound and Harmony is the third in the trilogy, it can certainly stand alone.

The book and the others can be found at these fine e-book retailers.

Pride Publishing                                   Amazon                  Barnes and Noble               Kobo      First For Romance

 

In addition to the Beyond Heartache trilogy, I’ve also written and had published by Dreamspinner Press another book dear to my heart. Love’s Tethered Heart. I drew on my experience as a nursing home nurse to write this one. It’s the story of Mico who’s quadriplegic and tethered to his bed by the mechanics keeping him alive. He meets Danny, a reporter whose assignment is to discover why Mico won’t name the people who attacked him, stealing his life and mobility. It’s heartbreaking, heartwarming and life affirming.

I also wrote and self-published Darken Not My Soul which is about Adrian and Randy, two of the characters from Love’s Tethered Heart.

Currently I’m about to finish up what began as a science fiction short story but quickly evolved into a full-blown novel. It’s a challenge, but I was so excited about meeting it, I set aside the other two manuscripts I was working on to bring Transcending Phoenix to life.

Although I still feel like the new girl on the block, it’s been a busy and fascinating journey into the world of writing and publishing. To have written four books and had them published within two years of opening my computer is mind boggling. I consider myself very blessed to have this opportunity But what is more spectacular is the chance to connect with people from all corners of the globe, and to meet and make new friends.

In the fall, I’m attending my second Gay Romance Literature retreat in Denver. I look forward to meeting a lot of you. You can find me at the supporting author’s tables on Thursday and Friday, so stop by and say hi. If you miss me there, you’re sure to see me in the bar sipping martinis. Take a seat and we can talk about why we believe in Love For Everyone.

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author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Meet: Lynn Michaels

Today we get to chat with the lovely Lynn Michael’s! This is very exciting for me, Lynn has been a huge part of my decision to publish and has been so helpful along the way — all on top of being a top notch writer! Let’s hear what she has to say!

Lynn’s most recent publication is a supercross mm romance, click on over to check it out: Holeshot 2

In the world of Supercross, taking the holeshot means one racer leaps ahead of the crowd and into first, leaving the rest of the pack behind. Supercross racer, Tate Jordan, wants to take his holeshot on and off the track, but no one else seems to cooperate. His love life is in turmoil and his sponsors don’t expect him to win. Will Tate find someone new to love and a team that believes in him?

Pilot Mahan is a bodyguard and a street fighter looking to build a future, but his plans get derailed when a Supercross racer catches his eye. Can he make a go at a life with Tate Jordan, on the road?

Bryce Nickel is new to Supercross and adulthood. He’s young and fun, but super serious about what he wants. And what he wants is to win races and Tate Jordan. Will he be able to take his holeshot or will the big Apex bodyguard get in the way? Or perhaps, the three can make a compromise?

A super sexy MMM romance set in the Supercross industry – 18+ please

holeshot2-customdesign-JayAeer2017-banner3

 

1. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I picked this question as it is so timely. Right now the Amazon KU market is being saturated with fake books or authors that buy clicks. It’s going to end up ruining a good thing. The idea of KU is great for readers and authors, but if this continues unchecked, eventually Amazon will have to shut it down.

2. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. It excites me and I get great energy from it. I’ve come to love writing in the mornings. But, if I’m not careful and don’t get enough sleep, I’ll wear myself out fast.  

3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I do. I have alter egos…Lynn Michaels writes MM Romance both contemporary and paranormal, while Sherri Jordan-Asble writes Paranormal Adventure & Romance. I think they may have a collaboration coming soon though…. ~wink-wink~

 4. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Neither. While I want to give readers what they want, I can’t just pop out a formula. I have to feel the story, love the characters, and mold it into what the story wants to be. I write because I love it and that doesn’t always make a cookie-cutter novel, but I hope that my stories will find an audience that will love them as much as I do

5. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I had to combine these because yes. I have things that pop up in multiple books. I like to hide things for avid readers. It’s fun. I like to thread connections between the stories that those who read everything will have a special delight. With that said, the majority of my books are stand alone right now. Holeshot and Universe are the exceptions. There will be more series in the future with Holeshot 3, a spin off from Universe, maybe another Cupid book, and a series based on Lines on the Mirror. If I ever get enough time to write them all

6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

An awesome editor and cover artist.

7. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Too many to count. From just a few lines of an idea to fully outlined and drafts started. They’re all over the place – see question 5.

 8. What does literary success look like to you?

Refer to question 4. I hope that my books find an audience that love them. That’s it.

 9. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Everything. I read a lot of speculative fiction and Sci-fi and that stuff makes me really think. There are a lot of stories with hidden commentary on the social challenges of the time, particularly with the classics, but anything that you pick up says something about the author and the world around them beyond the story that’s told. I love looking for depth in theme.

 10. What was your hardest scene to write?

Not one particular scene but sex scenes in general. Not EVEN getting into the reasons for that…

 11. How long on average does it take you to write a book?/Do you believe in writer’s block?.

I get writer’s block when I’m unsure of what to work on or I’m overly tired. I have to let my brain rest sometimes. I write part time, so that adds a lot to the time it takes to write something. It’s hard to say how long the process is for many reasons. First, I get ideas and jot them down and start building up the story and characters through notes until I have an outline. I don’t generally start the first draft without that full – very detailed – outline. Once I sit down to draft, it takes about two months to knock out a 50,000 to 60,000 word novel. Then, it goes through a rigorous editing process including multiple Beta readers, so that adds time to the process that’s out of my control. Ultimately, I like to say about six months, but I don’t always hit that. I think this is important to understand, because I’m not holding back, it just takes time to write a good quality book. I don’t want to publish unfinished or unprofessional work. I want it to be the best it can. I owe that quality effort to the readers who pay good money to purchase a book.

 

 

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she’s not writing she’s kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don’t follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.

 

You can follow Lynn:

Website:  https://rubiconwriting.com/lynn-michaels/

Facebook/friend: https://www.facebook.com/lynn.michaels.71465

Facebook/LIKE: https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-Michaels-1450504665203028/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sljasble

 

 

 

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Meet: Isobel Starling

MEET: ISOBEL STARLING

Happy Tuesday! Today’s visitor is Isobel Starling, accomplished author and someone who is always willing to share her experiences in the publishing industry with those of us (ME!) less experienced. Before we get too far I want to thank Isobel for taking the time to join us and answer a few questions.

In other (more exciting) news Sweet thing: A Pretty Boys Series m/m novel, the second in the Pretty Boy series, is coming out September 8th! See the pretty cover? Click on over to pre-order today.

Adobe Spark

Without further ado:

Isobel Answers A Few Questions:

  1. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Bad contracts.  It’s far too easy to be bowled over by the fact a publisher is interested in your work as an author.  Then when you get the contract, it’s like you are on the cusp of becoming a ‘real’ writer.  Many authors don’t read the contract or are confused by it, sign and be damned.  They miss all of those nasty hidden ‘rights grab’ clauses.  It’s so cheeky that publishers get away with bad contract clauses and authors end up out of pocket because they did not know what to look for, or know how to find legal advice.  I have written many blog posts on the kinds of red flags to look out for and have walked away from two publishers who offered me deals because their contracts were terrible.  Authors don’t have to take the first deal offered, and they can always negotiate.

  1. What are common traps for aspiring writers, or any writer?

Common traps that I have seen include paying too much for Editorial, Proofreading, Beta reading services.  Publishing is a business, and aspiring authors are led to believe they need to spend a lot of money to self-publish a book.  They don’t.  To start off with an author needs a great story that they are completely happy with.  Without a great story, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it; the book will rarely turn into a literary masterpiece.
Also, there are many Vanity Publishing houses out there who charge exorbitant amounts for ‘publishing packages.’  These are total scams.  If you are offered a real publishing deal the money should be flowing in one direction- to the author in royalties.  An author should NEVER have to pay to get their book published.
Aspiring writers should do a little bit of research into self-publishing and try and learn new skills to do what they can themselves.  Learning skills like basic photoshop will help with future marketing- for graphic teasers, book covers, etc.  Learning how to format an ebook is again another skill that may take a few hours but will be invaluable if they want to self-publish.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the amount of money you spend on creating your first book will mean it will sell, it’s just the start, marketing it is a whole other ball game!

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I’m a series writer.  I get very involved with my characters and their stories.  I love my boys and hate letting them go.  I want to follow them until they get to a nice stopping point.  My next release is “Sweet Thing” it is book 2 in my Pretty Boy series, which is about two male models, Pieter and Simeon who have a bromance, but Sim wants more from Pieter than friendship.  The first book “Fall Together” is Pieter’s love story, “Sweet Thing” is Simeon love story.  It will be the final book in the series, and so it’s been hard to say goodbye.

My Shatterproof Bond series will be six books in total, four of which have been published, two are yet to be completed.  The thought of never writing about Sam and Declan after that is troubling, so I will just have to see where my muse leads me.

Readers can also determine whether some books are standalones or series books.  My Novelette “Silken” has had such a great response from readers that I will write about those characters again.

  1. If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Stop picking; you’ll make it worse!

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

It was the $35 I spent on a Deposit Photos special offer that got me 100 photo credits.  They will provide images for my book covers for years to come.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have a fantasy novel that I want to be a trilogy, it’s currently at 150,000 words, but it’s been ‘resting’ for nearly three years now.

My next Shatterproof Bond novel “Powder Burns” is at around 30k words.

I have 4k of my next book in the ‘Dick and the Sidekick’ cosy murder mystery series.

I also have a file full of plot bunnies for books I would like to write.

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t think the sex of the writer matters, more their skill with language and their imagination.  It’s like saying that no one can write about dragons if they are not actually a dragon!

  1. What do you edit outof your books?

Sex scenes.  Thousands upon thousands of words of sex!

I tend to get a *little* bit carried away with sex scenes.  I aim to have a good balance between plot and sex, so the sex has to push the story along.  I cannot stand gratuitously long sex scenes in books I read, so I pare back my own and try and craft them into scenes with heaps of passion while moving on the character development.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I use baby name websites, and then I research the names to make sure I haven’t named a romantic lead after a serial killer, etc.

  1. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I didn’t start writing full-time until I was 42 so I guess I would have tried to write a book sooner.  I never had any confidence when I was younger, so I was far too scared to put my words down for others to see.  Turning 40 changed a lot of things, and I just thought, to hell with it, and gave it a go!

More publications and reader reviews:

silken twit addJUNE_Boxset promo graphic.4 book series twitter advert graphic

 

Author bio:

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her fifteenth book.  The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and is being translated into French with Juno Publications, German with Deadsoft Verlag, and Italian with Quixote Edizioni.  The series is also available as audiobooks, narrated by Gary Furlong.

Isobel can be reached in a variety of places.

Isobel’s website

goodreads link

Here she is on Amazon

Isobel Starling avatar2

Thank you, Isobel for joining me here today on PirateQueenRdzWrites&Chats!!