Greetings friends and welcome to another day at Michael’s. Today, I am pleased to have on Lavinia Lewis a great author and friend. Hi Lavinia, thanks for sitting down with me today!
LL: Hi Michael, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog.
MM: Thank you for being here, So, how long have you been writing?
LL: Well, I’ve been writing my own stories since I learned how to write, but I guess my fate was sealed at aged eleven when my parents bought me a typewriter for Christmas. I spent hours locked away in my room getting lost in my own fantasy worlds. I never stopped writing but I also never finished anything until very recently, last November in fact. Until then, writing had been a passion and a hobby but I never seriously considered it to be something I could make a living from. My bookshelves and laptop are literally filled with partially completed manuscripts. Hopefully I’ll get back to them all one day soon.
MM: Awesome! Typewriters seem so obsolete now. What made you decide that you wanted to put yourself out there to publish?
LL: I discovered ebooks and with them M/M romance about three years ago and very quickly became ‘hooked’. I read practically anything I could get my hands on in the genre for about two years. My own writing until that point had been mainly in the horror and thriller genres, but I enjoyed what I was reading so much I decided to try writing a romance. The words seemed to flow and I fell in love with my characters. About two thirds of the way into the story I started to believe the book could be good enough to publish. When I came to that realization I couldn’t write it fast enough. At the time, I was reading Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series which I loved, so I found out who her publisher was and sent my book to them a day after I finished writing it. Two weeks later I had my first contract.
MM: Sweet. So, before you started, had you done any fanfiction? If so, what fandom?
LL: I hate to admit this but until a couple of months ago I had never even heard of fanfiction. I read an interview with an author around that time who said they started out writing Slash, and I had to look it up. I have to say I’m glad I did. There are some great writers of fanfiction out there, many of whom have real talent and could be writing for a living.
MM: Yep, that’s what got me started! Are you in agreement that writing fanfiction is a great way to practice ones craft, why or why not?
LL: Most definitely. Had I known about it earlier, I would probably have written some myself. I think any type of writing is a good way to practice one’s craft, especially in the case of fanfiction where people comment on the stories posted. I don’t think you can fail to learn and grow as a writer when you receive feedback and constructive criticism. Writing is undoubtedly a skill. Like any skill, it can be learned and improved upon. The more practice we get, the better the writer we become.
MM: Totally agree. What is your favorite subgenre to write?
LL: At the moment I love writing M/M paranormal romance, shifters in particular. While I do like writing contemporary, I love the fact that in a paranormal novel, anything goes. I love the world building and I love thinking about the different types of characters that can be introduced and the problems they might encounter in their world.
MM: Great. I’d like to try one someday myself. Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?
LL: Hmm, I’m not really sure. I would never say never but at the moment, no. It’s been quite a while since I read a hetero romance and I believe it’s important to read widely in the genre in which you write. At the moment I have no interest in it but in the future who knows? Funnily enough this question came up for me quite recently. Someone made a comment about a female character in the second book in my Shifters’ Haven series. Apparently her background was intriguing enough that this person wanted to know a little more about her. I was flattered by the compliment, but she was only ever intended to be a secondary character and although she does make an appearance later in the series, I’m not sure she warrants her own story just yet.
MM: I’m writing one now, but I agree, I love M/M so much, I can’t stop. What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?
LL: Wow. That’s a difficult question to answer. I think men and women are fundamentally very different. I believe women can sometimes behave more emotionally than men. That being said I in no way believe it is wrong for a man to be emotional or romantic, quite the opposite in fact. Personally I don’t believe the ‘chicks with dicks’ analogy refers solely to the emotional and romantic characteristics of fictitious men. I have often heard it said about male characters written by women that if you changed the name, and took away a certain appendage you would be left with a female character. I believe there are many reasons for a reader to feel that way. Men and women behave differently. Our mannerisms are different, we sit, stand and walk in a different way, we think differently and we speak differently. And when we write a male character we have to take all those factors into account. As a woman writer I think it can be difficult to get inside the head of a male character and portray them correctly but it’s certainly not impossible. I think women can write men as well as any man. Why shouldn’t we? We spend enough time around them. Personally I like men that are not afraid to show emotion or be romantic, both in real life and in fiction.
MM: Great answer and I agree! Who are the authors that you look up to?
LL: There are so many and all for different reasons. I particularly love humor in books, partly because I’m no good at writing it myself and the talent intrigues me but mainly because there’s nothing better than a good belly laugh to brighten your day and lift your mood. Ethan Day, I believe writes with wonderful humor. His books are a pleasure to read and always make me laugh out loud. J. L. Langley creates wonderful, unforgettable characters who I fall in love with all over again every time I read them. Carol Lynne and G. A. Hauser are at the top of my most read list. Chris Owen, Marie Sexton, Drew Zachary, Andrew Grey, Kim Dare, Amber Kell, K. A. Mitchell. We have all night, right? Wow, there are so many more. This might sound strange but I love it when a book makes me cry. That doesn’t happen often, but If I am invested enough in the characters that I cry when something bad happens to them, that shows me how truly talented that author is. And of course there are so many wonderful new authors out there too, plus authors who have been around for a while but I am only just discovering. My to-read list grows on a daily basis. I used to get through a book a day. Sadly since I’m spending far more time writing my own stories, I read a lot less. Far less than I’d like. I wish there were more hours in a day.
MM: Some of my faves are on your list! What books are you reading at the moment? It’s okay to give a fellow author a plug!
LL: At the moment, I have three books on the go and that’s not like me at all. Usually I would read one and finish it in one sitting but lately I’ve been dipping in and out of books in between writing my own. The three books at the moment are Del Fantasma: Unicorn by Jet Mykles, Finding Elliot by Serena Yates and Kevin’s alpha by Amber Kell.
MM: I know what you mean. I’ve been reading 2 or 3 at a time. Let me ask your opinion about this. Recently, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?
LL: Although it is far easier said than done, I think it’s important not to take bad reviews to heart. Yes, we probably spent a lot of time writing said book and it does hurt when someone criticizes it, and it most certainly can make us question our writing abilities. That being said, we are individuals with individual tastes and so it would be impossible for everyone to like what we have written. I recently had a not so stellar review but it was from a reader on Goodreads not an actual review site and I debated whether or not to respond. In the end I did but I simply said ‘thank you for taking the time to read and review my book’ I think that is enough. I would never respond negatively or get involved in an argument, it’s simply not worth it. I have to admit after reading this particular review(about ten times) I could understand many of the issues raised and I actually agreed with some of them and will try hard not to make the same mistakes again. I don’t mind criticism, at all. As long as it is constructive. As writers, we are constantly learning, and striving to produce the best quality work we can. When someone makes a valid point I will always try to take it onboard. Of course there are also going to be times when we don’t agree with something that has been said and on those occasions I think the best thing to do is take the high road, ignore the review and behave with a certain amount of decorum.
MM: Great answer! I’m not going to let you get away without asking you some fun questions. First, name two male celebs that you’d like to see in a hot make out session?
LL: Oh, that’s easy, Josh Holloway and Alexander Skarsgaard, not only would I like to see it, I’d pay good money to. Should I mention I have a thing for guys with long hair?
MM: Oh, you and me both sister! Have you seen some of the models for my books? Your favorite gay tv show or movie?
LL: I love Shelter, and of course one of the main characters wrote M/M romance for a living. Brokeback Mountain was good but way too sad. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
MM: Totally agree about Brokeback. I cried! Do you feel that celebs who are gay or bi should come out the closet?
LL: No. I think it is their personal choice. I do however think it’s sad that we live in a world in which a person’s sexual orientation and whether they choose to disclose it matters. Hmm, I just read this question again and really thought about it. While I still think it’s a personal choice I think it would be nice to see more celebrities coming out. Because the more famous people that will admit to being gay or bi, the more society will come to accept it.
MM: I agree! Thank you so much for answering the questions Lavinia!
LL: Thanks again for having me, it’s been a pleasure!
Luke’s Surprise Blurb
Is true love with your soul mate worth risking your life for?
When werewolf Luke Morgan runs a simple errand with his brother Kelan, the last thing he expects to find at their neighbour’s ranch is his soul mate. The incredibly sexy ranch foreman Mark Malone is every gay man’s fantasy. The only problem? Neither Luke nor Mark are gay.
Unable to deny the attraction they feel for one another, they decide to try and make things work between them. The relationship at first seems all they could hope for but trouble in the guise of Ethan Walker, a werewolf who has his sights set on Luke, threatens to destroy their newfound happiness and the future they have planned together.
When Ethan’s threats turn to physical violence, will they still think the mating bond and blossoming love between them is worth risking their lives for?
Luke gasped when Mark’s lips met his. He wrapped his arms around Mark’s neck and pulled him closer until their bodies were touching from head to toe. When he opened his mouth in invitation, Mark moaned, his tongue finally slipping inside Luke’s mouth.
The kiss was gentle at first but soon built in intensity until both men were groaning, their tongues duelling with one another’s for supremacy. Mark couldn’t believe how incredible Luke tasted—no kiss with a woman had ever felt this good.
“Oh god.” Luke whimpered when Mark pulled away to catch a breath.
“Wow. That was…”
“Kiss me again?”
There was nothing gentle about the second kiss. Their mouths crashed together in a frenzy. Mark ran his hands down Luke’s sides and he slid them around to his ass to hold him in place while he ground their hard cocks together. They both groaned at the contact. Mark realised that Luke’s cock rubbing against his own didn’t feel awkward in any way, just the opposite in fact. It felt perfect. Like it was meant to be, which Mark supposed, it was. He wanted, no, he needed more.
“Oh, ‘m gonna come if you don’t stop that.” Luke groaned into Mark’s mouth.
Mark wasn’t turned off by the declaration. Luke’s words only excited him further. Shit, he was close to blowing himself and Luke’s whimpers and moans were pulling him closer to the edge with every passing second.
“What the fuck is going on here?” Mark and Luke froze when Joe Walker’s enraged voice boomed out behind them.
WOW! What an excerpt! Thank you Lavinia for being a guest! I cannot wait to read your story.
Hope you enjoyed that, friends. See you tomorrow for the WOW and Thursday, I have my hunny, Patricia Logan on the blog. The lady can write some gay bondage and hot sex. MY HERO!