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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Tara Lain here today. Welcome, Tara. Tell us more about Fire Balls and your series!
Book Ideas are a Ball!
Hi everyone. I am so happy to be visiting Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and celebrating the re-release of my book, Fire Balls. Where do the stories come from? That’s one of the questions all writers get asked a lot. I used to wonder that too. I’m a non-fiction writer by long-time profession and for years people would say I should write a book. That sounded like work! LOL. Then I discovered LGBT romance and loved it so much I wrote my first novel, a book called Genetic Attraction, based on the genetic research of a company I knew from my day job.
What I discovered writing that first book is that creating fiction is like sex. The more you have the more you want! Once I turned on the story spigot it just kept running and everything I see and person I meet has book potential (yes, be afraid!). For example, I have lived in or near a beautiful beach town in California. It’s famous for its art festivals. Bingo. What if my hero was one of the people who poses as a nude statue in the famous Pageant of the Masters? And what if my other hero was a hunky alpha male who’s gay but in the closet. That’s was the idea for the best-selling summer romance, Volley Balls.
In Volley Balls, I created a memorable character named Rodney who was my hero’s best friend. He was an unlikely hero himself–short and flamboyant — but he wanted his own book. That’s how I got to bring you my beach romance, Fire Balls. Actually, the title came first. People told me they loved the title Volley Balls and I was thinking of “Balls” titles. When I thought of the name Fire Balls a whole story started to form. What if my hero, Rodney, was a great artist who has a passion for a firefighter but can’t imagine that the man could ever care for him, the short and weird? So when his good friend, the handsome surfer Jerry, develops an unexpected crush on the firefighter, Rodney helps Jerry woo the guy, breaking his own heart. The story is loosely based on the famous book, Cyrano de Bergerac. Very loosely!
See, stories do come from everywhere. I have a whole series called The Pennymaker Tales that pay homage to fairy tales. The third book in the Balls to the Wall series, Beach Balls, is based on an actual environmental dispute that took place a few years ago in Newport Beach California. When a friend told me about it I thought what if two guys fell in love and then found themselves on opposite sides of that case. I also included in the story the passion for rebreather diving of one of my best friends. The story of Knight of Ocean Avenue, my most popular novel, came from me watching the construction workers renovating my house and wondering if any of them were gay. LOL. The stories are all around us – we only have to pay attention and take notes!
I hope you enjoy Fire Balls!
Excerpt: FIRE BALLS by Tara Lain; The Artist and the Firefighter
Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!
Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.
He leaned back on the couch. “Anyway, he’s dreamy, straight-up divine. Sweet and nice and smart. Shit, man, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”
Too much. Rod got up and went back to the easel. At least he didn’t have to stare into Jerry’s smitten face. Crap, he wanted to be happy for the guy. He really did. “He’s beautiful, all right.”
“And guess what? He asked about you.”
No breath. “He, uh, did?”
“Yeah. Said you were so talented. See, I told you not to leave.”
“Didn’t want to be a third wheel.”
“Hey, my man, you’re my brother from another mother. What I got, you got. So I’m going on another date with him, and he loves to read and shit. Could you tell me some stuff to talk about?”
Oh dear God. “So what have you read, Jerry?”
He looked at his hands. “I, uh, read a few romance novels.”
“I think it’s okay to talk about those, but you have to know some other writers too. So think. What did you read in high school?”
“Yeah. Man, I love Watchmen and X-Men and Batman.”
“Comic books.” He walked over to a bookshelf he kept tucked away in the corner of the studio. When he rested on the couch, he loved to read himself to sleep. “Have you ever heard of Lord Byron?”
Jerry shook his head. “Sounds like a rock star.”
“He kind of was for his time. He was a poet.” He took out a slim volume and began to read from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean—roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; man marks the earth with ruin—his control stops with the shore.” When he got to “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown” he looked up.
Jerry’s big blue eyes shone with tears. “Hey, man, that’s awesome. Probably not a surfer, I guess. All the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ sound kind of old. But that dude knew what a surfer feels, man. We ride on top of the—what did he call it?—deep and dark blue ocean. And we know we can sink and never be heard from again, man. Axed. It’s how we want to go if we gotta.”
He had to stop underestimating this man. Rod walked over to the couch and handed the book to Jerry. “Just be yourself. He’s got to love you.”
“Wow, thanks. But I’ll read this, man. Every word, or at least the words I understand, okay?”
He smiled. “Okay.”
“I sure do like the way you read it, though.”
Rod laughed, took back the book, and began to read.
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 35. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/taralain