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

Book14-Cover-20170901

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)

September _headerbanner

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

Version 3

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.

18301756_1725208167508567_909324054081886690_n

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

Author Interview: Kasia Bacon

Hello! Welcome to PirateQueenRdz first ‘getting to know you’ author interview! I am so excited to be featuring new to me author Kasia Bacon. Her new book, The Highlander, releases 08/31/2017.

Teaser Board Quote 2 copy

I wanted to know a little more about Kasia so she kindly provided a short bio and answered a few questions.

Ready?

Let’s go!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kasiabaconA linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Find Kasia online:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Goodreads

E-mail

What makes Kasia tick? She answered a few questions of her choice. I have to add that I love Alexandre Dumas as well. Mine favorite was The Man in the Iron Mask.

What is the first book that made you cry?

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The author’s craft, the strength of the characters’ friendship and the dramatism of the plot deeply affected me in my formative years. To this day, it remains my favorite adventure romance.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. *laughs* There are occasions when, after expressing my thoughts particularly well, I feel exhilarated. Other times, I swear my head off and reach for a drink, thinking, “What the hell am I even trying to do here?” Fun times.

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

I did briefly consider it. But I’m bad at cloak and dagger stuff. Being a chaotic person, I’d probably babble out and spill the beans on my true identity sooner rather than later. So I decided against putting myself through the additional stress. I use one part of my double-barrelled name—my husband’s name, to be exact. At the beginning, I jokingly asked if he minded his family name being ‘tarnished’, in case this whole writing thing goes tits up. He said, “Tarnish away.” Well, here we are, then.

What does literary success look like to you?

*smirks* I’m a niche LGBT fantasy author who writes about Elves. I hold little delusions of future grandeur and fame. Even if only a handful of people find enjoyment and solace in my world, I’m happy enough.

What’s the best way to market your books?

I’m still trying to figure that one out. Any practical advice is highly appreciated *laughs*. I wish I were more of a businessperson, with a shrewd marketing strategy at the ready, but I ain’t.

How many hours a day do you write?

That varies, depending on my real life job. When amidst a translating project, spending further hours typing, crouched over a computer screen doesn’t appeal.

I’m a slow writer because I’m also a compulsive deleter. I hate padding in books, and I think about every word very carefully. I like aiming for 500 words a day during my writing phase.

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

I purchased a keyboard with a gel wrist rest and an ergonomic mouse. Worth every penny. Carpal tunnel is a bitch.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

At nursery (or kindergarten, for dear Americans). I told a scary story to other children—they cried and couldn’t sleep at nap time—and I loved every second. The teacher had words with my parents afterwards.

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

Three. Two paranormal novelettes: one about a shifter, and a fantasy novel about a hunter and a mage. I’m planning on revisiting them once I’ve completed my current projects.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I think the names are of vital importance in my genre. Fantasy is governed by its own rules. I mean, I cannot see myself writing about an Elven warrior called Bob or Tom, no offence to Bobs (or Toms). It just wouldn’t invoke the right vibe.

As a linguist, I love coming up with the names for my characters and geographical places where their adventures happen. Somehow, that’s always been a super easy and fun task for me, and the starting point of my writing process; they just come to me. I have to admit to being influenced by words of Celtic and Scandinavian origin.

My characters speak a variety of languages and dialects—I enjoy creating unique idioms and sayings. Most of them have accents; language diversity is tremendously important to me. In the Order series, I even came up with my own version of the Elven language.

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

I do. I find reading reviews educational. So far, I’ve been lucky. I’m grateful to people who leave a comment or rating upon finishing my stories. Reviews mean a lot. However, in my view, any artist must be prepared for receiving critiques the moment they release their creation, whatever it is, into the world. So ultimately, developing a thicker skin and the ability to avoid taking things personally might be a good idea. Yup, easier said than done. But at the end of the day, all opinions are subjective, and there is no accounting for taste.

What is your favorite childhood book?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My father recommended it to me, and I think it shaped my views on social justice and decency early on.