Saturday, April 2, 2011

Please Welcome Sammy Jo Hunt!

Today, I am honored to have Sammy Jo Hunt on my blog as she releases her new book, A Wicked Encounter.

Please enjoy this interview with this engaging writer.

Thank you for joining us today.

MM: So tell me, how long have you been writing?

SammyJo: Since I was in my teens, when I wrote my first romance novel at the age of 15. But professionally, I’ve been writing since I began my college education back in 1997 for social work. Now, I write a lot for graduate school and most of what I write is clinical and related to therapy and counseling. Some part of me needs an occasional break from that type of psychological intensity. So, for personal enjoyment, I’ve been writing steadily for the past 2 years in the m/m romance genre, and I really love it. I didn’t start writing seriously in the romance genre until two years ago when I became inspired by some people I met in the gay community that made me crave writing fictional romance again. A absolutely adore a good story with a happily-ever-after ending.

MM: What is your favorite subgenre to write?

SammyJo: I started out writing m/f traditional romance stories of the harlequin variety I grew up reading. But now as an adult, I love writing romance of all kinds, but seem to keep coming back to writing the m/m genre of hot and spicy erotica. Sometimes it’s very romantic and heartfelt.

Other times, it turns out a little harder-edged and more graphic. It depends upon my mood when I sit down to write, what actually ends up translating into the story.

MM: Is there one that you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future?

SammyJo: I may attempt to write a three-some at some point. I’ve read a number of those stories and found them very tempting and enjoyable to read. I’ve just always enjoyed pairing off my characters, out of personal preference. I’ve always believed in that one special love for one person, so it’s generally what I write in the way of stories. But I may attempt a m/m three-some some time. I’m sure it would be very hot and spicy to write that kind of sex scene.

MM: I’m of the opinion that erotica doesn’t have to be real all the time to make a good story, what are your thoughts?

SammyJo: Quite honestly, I’ve spent some time in online fandoms reading m/m erotic fanfic for real people who are cast as characters in erotic fiction. I’ve read a number of stories where real life individuals were changed into characters such as superheroes, dragons, vampires, and werewolves. Those stories are different compared to generally accepted types of stories found in erotic literature. But the thing that sets those stories apart is that they’re not real, they’re very much fantasy. And in some ways, I happen to love it when a great set of characters is created based entirely on fantasy of what’s not real and has no basis in reality, but has a great plot and love story which drives the tale. I very much agree that erotica does not have to be real to be good or to make a good story. Sometimes fantasies are far more appealing and help one get lost in the story better than stories based in reality and real-life concepts.

MM: Who are the authors that you look up to?

SammyJo: I admire so many different authors it’s kind of interesting. Being in college, one is required to read the traditional literary greats of our time. As a result, I have a real appreciation for a wide level of writers and poets. People like Charlotte Bronte,’ Poe, Dickens, and Shakespeare all appeal to me. On the flipside are authors such as JK Rowling who delve into total fantasy, and the romance authors I grew up reading and loving such as Janet Daily and Jude Devereux. They’re some of my favorites.

But for the genre of stories I’m writing now, current authors such as Sue Brown, Chris Quinton, RJ Scott, Cassandre Dayne, and Rick R. Reed really inspire my imagination. They’re all very talented and write their own amazing styles of erotica. I credit Sue Brown for having helped me find my way to getting published. Without her encouragement, I might not be where I am today.

MM: What are you working on now?

SammyJo: I’ve written about 25 books, novellas, and short stories over the past two years, and I’m slowly working through getting those to publishing, since I only just recently began pursuing becoming a published writer. Initially, my writing was for personal enjoyment and not something I intended to go professional with. But since that has happened, I’ve decided to focus on getting many of those stories into print.

My first two stories were full-length novels. I want to finish writing the third of that trilogy and then work on getting all three of them published together as a series. With grad school, I haven’t had time yet. So that is my next goal as far as what I’ll be writing this summer.

As for publishing goals, I’ve recently submitted an erotic m/m short story centered around someone left by his lover just before Valentine’s Day, as well as a novella-length m/m erotic paranormal ghost story and murder mystery. I’m waiting to hear back on both of those. There’s always something simmering in the pot when it comes to ideas. Hopefully there will be several more new stories and/or books released this year. There’s definitely more on the horizon.

MM: Tell us about your first book with Silver “A Wicked Encounter.”

SammyJo: A Wicked Encounter is one of the stories I wrote last summer. It was my first venture into Regency-style historical m/m erotica. Since I grew up loving to read historical romances, I wanted to give that genre a try and test my abilities, even though it’s not a m/f story. Romance and love are still universal, regardless of gender.

This book is about a chance meeting which originates from a carriage accident on the highway in the dead of night during a storm. The two main characters, Evan and Christopher, fall in love quickly. It’s not until after they become involved that there is a link revealed between them which could ultimately destroy their blossoming romance. The story is a series of twists and turns as the boys try to find their way back to each other. It is based partly in fantasy, since I wrote it with the view that gay marriage was tolerated during the time period in which the story is set. Aside from that, it’s historically factual and quite a spicy and emotionally satisfying romp.

This is the actual blurb posted on Silver Publishing’s website: “Christopher Allwyne, Duke of Bellwood, stood to inherit a vast fortune. Still reeling from the loss of his parents and most recently, his Aunt Polly, the Duchess of Bellwood, the young noble found himself traveling in the dark of night to oversee Her Grace's funeral proceedings and to attend the reading of his aunt's will. Along the way, his carriage suffers a devastating accident, and a dark stranger comes to his aid and rescue. The Marquis Evan de Lombard, rich French nobleman, takes an instant interest in the handsome Christopher. Sharing a wicked encounter shortly after meeting, things look promising as love blooms between them. That is, until the Marquis reveals his true identity and purpose. Once Christopher knows the truth, will he ever be able to forgive Evan and love him, despite the man's indiscretions? Torn apart by dishonesty, can love win out over betrayal and rise to the occasion, reuniting them for a lifetime of happiness? The cost for true love could be a price neither one is willing to pay.”

MM: When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

SammyJo: Generally speaking, I do have models in mind which I envision to give me inspiration for my main characters. But those models are for a starting point only. The character’s created in each story I write are specific to the plot and what’s happening in the book, and they are enriched and deepened as the tale is weaved. So in that respect, all my characters are entirely original. Beyond that, any supporting characters in the story are entirely fictional and of my own creation.

MM: As an M/M writer, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?

Sammy: Yes, I do. I believe that fan fiction and the growing acceptance of the LGBT communities are finding a voice through the publishing of gay erotic literature. It’s becoming more widely accepted and appreciated, as well as opening doors of all kinds to the gay community and its needs and challenges. I believe within five years, we’ll see a huge trend in the direction of gay media of all kinds. It’s already being evidenced on mainstream television programming with shows such as Glee and so forth. I think it’s a great way to promote equality and create a forum for discussion, tolerance, and acceptance.

MM: As a fellow female in the genre, what is your stance on the difference between male and female gay writers?

SammyJo: Perhaps the biggest difference I’ve picked up on between male and female writers of gay romance is that in general, men are more naturally analytical in real life. As a result, their stories tend to come across as less romantic in the traditional sense of the word. They’re less about hearts and valentines and flowers, bubble baths, and the like. Women tend to be soft-hearted and are naturally caretakers and nurturers in real life. I find that comes across in a woman’s writing style perhaps moreso than that of a man’s. Aside from that, I enjoy reading both male and female authors. They both have their strong, positive points. But I think most people can tell when they read a piece of literature, whether it’s a male or female voice that’s speaking. It’s inherent in who we are based on gender and how we were raised.

MM: I read a blog about M/M writer’s losing their imagination because they are writing the same subjects repeatedly, what are your thoughts? http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=42883


SammyJo: I think there’s some truth to what the review posits. I have to agree that it’s easy to repeat oneself and tell the same story over again in a different way if one isn’t careful to avoid it. It can get old and kind of boring. I agree that reading a book should be a great way to lose oneself and escape from reality for awhile, not focus on all of the same issues that are painful which we deal with daily in real life. The whole point of romance is to be romanced. When that doesn’t happen, one generally looks elsewhere for those emotional needs to be filled, whether it’s reading a book or engaging in an actual relationship with another person.

As for my own stories, I may choose to base the story on a common theme, but I rarely write from the same place twice. If a story isn’t interesting to me, it won’t hold my readers’ attentions either. I write what interests me and makes me feel passionate. In turn, I believe that is conveyed to the reader and usually results in a satisfying relationship between author and consumer. I love to take my readers on a fully-encompassing journey where all levels of emotion, heart-ache, angst, rage, jealousy, passion, and intense love are experienced. Without all of those aspects present, a story won’t hold your attention.

I write in a way that rings true to what my own personal desires and ideals are, and hope that there are others who can relate to them and find satisfaction in reading about them. If that happens, then my efforts at writing and telling a great story are worth it because the reader is rewarded in the way I intended when I first sat down to write. That’s all I can ask, is that my reader is warmed inside by the journey they’ve been taken on after they reach the conclusion of the book.


MM: What is it about M/M that pleasures you to write it?


SammyJo: I love romance. At the heart of everything, I love a great romantic tale full of twists and turns. Beyond that, I think beautiful gay boys are extremely hot and appealing. I love telling stories about them and that’s what keeps bringing me back to the genre.


MM: Where can we find you on the web?


SammyJo: You can find me at my author’s website here: http://sammyjohunt.livejournal.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002250721821

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SammyJo_Hunt

Email: sammyjowrites@gmail.com

Purchase my book: http://silverpublishing.info/

MM: Thank you for taking the time to spend with us today SammyJo, and continued success on your work.


Sammy: Thank you so much for inviting me. I’ve really enjoyed being here and having the opportunity to tell people more about myself and what I do. Hope you all enjoy the stories. For me, that’s the best reward of all.

8 comments:

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I love Jude Deveraux, too. Lovely interview, Sammy Jo. I wish you every success with A Wicked Encounter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sarah! Jude Deveraux was one of the greats. I still have books by her lying around, just for inspiration when needed.

I really appreciate your kind wishes. I truly hope you enjoy the story and find joy in it many times over.

Best to you!
~SammyJo Hunt

Michael said...

Thank you Sarah for stopping in and I was glad to have you Sammy Jo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael!! Its been really fun to be here and do with with you and your readers.

Big hugs!!!!

SammyJo

catriana said...

Hello there! This was a wonderful interview. I hope to be able to read your novel soon!

catriana said...

Wonderful interview, I enjoyed reading and the questions were intriguing! I look forward to reading your book soon.

SammyJoHunt said...

Catriana:

Thank you! I appreciate that very much. And I do hope you get the opportunity to read the book and decide for yourself if its a good story. I always enjoy hearing what my readers think of the fiction I write. I learn more from that feedback than you can imagine.

Thanks so much for being here and participating!

Best regards!
~SammyJo

SammyJoHunt said...

Thank you again Catriana. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Its always a fun experience sharing my background with fellow readers. I'm pleased the questions were intriguing and held your interest.

Take care,
~SammyJo