How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. Silly stories about knights, dragons and princesses. Then poems in junior high and high school. Even had one published. Had to take a break from writing after getting married and raising kids. Have been seriously writing (and publishing) for about a year and a half now.
Before you started, had you done any fan fiction? If so, what fandom?
I sure did. Was a member of 8 fan websites, moderator of one and owner of one. All roleplaying based on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern.
Are you in agreement that writing fan fiction is a great way to practice ones craft, why or why not?
I completely agree. Because you are, essentially, playing a character (completely first person) and have to ‘become’ that character, it gives you room to be detailed and grow as a writer. I know my fan fiction helped hone my skills as a writer.
What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?
Good question. I’ve read so many different opinions on this subject. I, personally, don’t think it’s wrong for my male characters to be emotional or romantic. They are human after all. All humans have emotions, whether they show them or not. Men are no different. And if a straight man can be romantic with a woman he cares for, why not a gay man?
Your first published book?
A Mechanic’s Dream – The main characters, Croy and Kagan, will forever hold a special place in my heart. They also are in the rest of the series as well.
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?
That’s a tough question. I’ve been given advice to make my stories as lifelike as possible. But it is fiction after all. So, some of my stories might seem a bit ‘out there’, but I try to make the situations as close to realistic as possible. Yes, love/lust at first sight is rare, but it does happen, so I try to make it seem plausible is an example
Who are the authors that you look up to?
*blushes* I couldn’t possibly name them all. There are too many. I adore my fellow erotic authors.
What books are you reading at the moment? It’s okay to give a fellow author a plug!
Right now, I am in the middle of An Unsettled Range by Andrew Grey. The third in his Stories from the Range series. And yes, a shameless plug, I love his cowboys and their lives. J
When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
I have a mixture of both. I have to discipline myself, because I’m partial to dark hair and light eyes (especially green), so have to consciously make characters with different looks, and make sure I include faults, quirks, and imperfections.
*Do you believe it’s important for you to know the gender of the author?
No, I don’t believe it’s necessary. A good author, whether male or female, is just that, good. I’m a female author writing m/m erotica. Does that mean I’m less able to understand the male psyche? No. I may have to research more, ask questions, but the bottom line is to entertain, not dissect what men do and how they act.
What are your thoughts on the fact that some gay male writers discriminate against women?
That is a soapbox question for me. It’s all over the news, and in most media that no one should be discriminating against the gay community. Why then, would I tolerate being discriminated against by that same community? No, I’m not a gay man, but that shouldn’t be the basis for discrimination against what I write.
What is your stance on issues in society like same sex marriage, DOMA, etc?
Oh, yeah, an easy question. My stance is simple. Society needs to get its head out of its ass and treat everyone, no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation as equals. Not rights, but EQUALS. Example, it’s not ‘gay’ marriage that should be an issue, but marriage for all, regardless of gender.
Do you feel authors should be held responsible for the covers or pictures they post on FB or other social media sites? Why or Why not?
I’m not sure that they should be held accountable. It’s a cover. If it becomes an issue, then we, as a society, have slipped back into the realm of book banning. Books that were banned years ago, no one blinks an eye about now. So, covers should be considered along the same lines. It’s a picture. What damage can a picture do?
As an m/m romance author or gay fiction author, should there be more m/m or gay YA novels?
Why or why not?
I do believe there should be more YA novels. After all, most people struggling with coming out and their confused emotions are teenagers. Yes, people come out in all age groups, but teenagers are already dealing with hormones, independence issues, life pressures (like college) and peer pressure. If there were more m/m or gay YA novels, there would at least be an outlet for them. I also believe that sex education should cover ALL types of sexual contact, not just m/f which is perceived as ‘normal’. (Psst, I have a character in a WIP that is challenging that neglect).
As an m/m romance or gay fiction writer, what stereotype of gay men bothers you the most?
Another easy question. I think what bothers me the most is that, stereotypically, gay men are perceived as less than a man. Really? On what grounds? They have the right parts, therefore, they are men! Just because they are attracted to the same gender does not make them any less a man than a straight one. In all honesty? It makes them more of a man, because they prefer men.
Your favorite gay celeb?
I would think I’d say Neil Patrick Harris. The man is bright, funny, talented and out. He has not let his orientation stop him from being a success. I, personally, think he has paved the way for many gay celebrities.
Do you feel that celebs who are gay or bi should come out the closet?
That is absolutely not for me to say. That is very much a personal choice. I am not them. I don’t have their life or challenges. Do I think they should be true to themselves, yes. Do I think they should be happy, of course. I think they should do what is right for them.
For the men in your books, commando or underwear?
Ok, *blushes* ‘most’ of my men go commando and the ones that don’t generally wear boxer-briefs. I think going commando is very sexy and if they ‘have’ to wear underwear, then by all means, boxer-briefs because they hug the package so well. lol
Favorite character in one of your books?
Kirk Matheson from Unlawful Protection which is a WIP at this time. Kirk has ended up with depth that surprised me. He is blossoming into a very detailed and intriguing character.
Please give us your links to website, blogs etc as well as the cover of your latest book, blurb, excerpt and buylink.
Blurb for Phoenix: Thad’s world crumbled the night he said those three little words to his best friend, Haydin Rivers. But he couldn’t, wouldn’t take them back. His heart turned to ashes at the rejection of Haydin…and his own parents. Thad fled the small town of Maysville. He wouldn’t stay where he was not wanted. He made his way from Kentucky, across America to California.
Thirteen years later, Thad had to return to the town that caused him so much pain. A little sister waited for him, and unknown to him, so did Haydin. But Thad saw Haydin, the CEO of Thad’s father’s corporation, and more importantly, saw the lover now with Haydin. The ashes of Thad‘s heart burned painfully all over again.
Haydin missed Thaddeus Carmichael. He knew he’d destroyed Thad when he’d rejected him…violently. But Haydin didn’t want to admit who he was. Wasn’t even sure who he was supposed to be. Thad made it easy…and hard, to be open and honest. Ten years later, Haydin finally came out of the closet and after another year, had a lover. A lover that was soon forgotten when Thad came back to town two years later.
Haydin had every intention of winning Thad’s heart again. Making it whole from the ashes he‘d created. Repairing the damage he’d done thirteen years ago. And this time around, he had help. Thad wasn’t the only one who returned to Maysville. Shea Rivers, Haydin’s brother returned too. And Shea was determined to have Thad’s little sister, Clarissa. Haylee, Haydin’s twin sister, the one person who’d been there through Haydin’s torturous journey to coming out, wanted her brother happy. And the only one who could make Haydin happy…was Thad.
Excerpt from Phoenix: Thad hung up with Stevie with the promise he’d call every day. A promise he knew he wouldn’t keep. He called his editor and was told to take his time and feel free to send in any juicy stories about small town life. He’d given a strained laughed and said he’d do what he could. Sandra was well aware he wouldn’t want to go, didn’t want to go. She’d heard enough from him about his distaste for Maysville over the last ten years working for her. He dug out his suitcase and began to pack, his mind sinking back to the night he’d left.
“You’re a fag? What the hell Thaddeus?!” Haydin yelled. Thad cringed at Haydin’s booming voice and the fact that Haydin never called him Thaddeus. “Son of a bitch! How could you do this to me? We’re best friends, and you go all queer on me!” Haydin continued. Thad had never seen Haydin so angry before. At least not directed at him. But it was the disgust and revulsion on Haydin’s face that ripped Thad’s heart into pieces. “I’m sorry, Haydin.” Thad said in a small voice. He reached towards his best friend, but Haydin jerked back, swung and hit Thad in the jaw with his fist, snapping Thad’s head to the side, knocking him to the ground and making Thad’s jaw bloom in pain. “Don’t touch me. Don’t ever touch me again!” Haydin said in a low voice and then whirled around and took off, leaving Thad alone in the high school football field where they’d been tossing a ball and sneaking a few beers. “Haydin!” Thad called, but Haydin never turned around. Thad was sick to his stomach as he felt the already bruising bone. He never should have revealed his feelings. Never should have told Haydin that he loved him. Now, he’d lost him forever.
Thad scuffled back home only to be confronted with both parents at the late hour. He was hurting and sick at heart and didn’t need this. “Jesus! I’m only an hour late! I’m eighteen. This is bullshit! I just got kicked to the curb for being in love with my best friend. I don’t need your crap on top of it!” Thad said, nearly screaming. It was the shocked look on his parent’s faces that made him realize what he’d just said. “Oh no.” he moaned, feeling even worse. “Thaddeus Sean Carmichael! Did you just tell us you are…homosexual?” Thad’s father said in a very controlled voice. Thad stared at his parents. Thad’s dad’s face was so ruddy, his eyes blazing, that for a minute, Thad was afraid he was going to get hit…again. Fearful, he turned to see the sad and disappointed look on his mother’s face. She didn’t look him in the eye, but instead looked up at his dad, shook her head and walked away. Thad turned back to his father. “You are no son of ours. You get your belongings together and get the hell out of my house!” His father snarled. Thad was stunned. He’d no idea his parents would react like that. Without a word he turned to go to his room and start packing. His eyes landed on a tiny little girl peeking around the hall. Clarissa. Her green eyes, exactly like his own, were round in fear. He started to go to her to comfort her when his mother came down the hall and scooped up Clarissa, holding her away from him as if he were diseased. That hurt more than his parent’s rejection. Hurt almost as much as losing Haydin. He would never do anything to hurt his baby sister. Hadn’t meant to hurt Haydin either. He couldn’t stop the tears that flowed as he shouldered his duffel bag and left his childhood home.