New Orleans Second Lines by Lynn Lorenz
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Available at Dreamspinner Press
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lynn Lorenz here today answering questions and talking about writing and her influences…welcome, Lynn!
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lynn Lorenz
Thanks to STRW for letting me blog today about my new release from Dreamspinner Press, New Orleans Second Lines!
I’m going to answer a few questions about reading and writing…here goes!
Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? Did you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
I’m probably one of those few romance writers who didn’t really grow up reading romance. In fact, I didn’t start reading romance until I started writing it.
As a young teen, I lived in my local library (Nix Library in New Orleans). Because it was small, I’d read through the “kiddie” book section about the age of 12-13. My mother had to give permission for me to take out books in the adult fiction section—books by writers like Mary Stewart, Shirley Jackson, and Daphne Du Maurier. I suppose these fell sort of in the romance genre, but back in those days, the most anyone got was a kiss. All the doors were shut and we could only imagine what happened behind them.
But what I really liked in all of those stories was the edge of mystery in them. So I moved on to full bore mystery—classics writers like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth George, and Dorothy Sayers. I still love watching those British mystery series on Netflix.
In my college years, I devoured horror, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Robin Cook, to name a few.
(Notice: No Barbara Cartland or Nora Roberts. In fact, to this day, I’ve never read one of their novels and please don’t ask me about major authors, I don’t really know any.)
Then I had kids, and couldn’t read horror anymore, so I started on a few true crime stories, and more of the detective novels. I loved police procedural writers like Tony Hillerman, James Dos, and Faye Kellerman, mostly because they delved into cultures not my own.
I really didn’t read much fantasy, although I did read some paranormal like Interview with a Vampire when it came out, mostly because…New Orleans. Of course, during high school, I read classics like Frankenstein and Dracula, but perhaps I was too young to fully appreciate them.
My mother turned me onto Robert Benchley’s humor, which was so like her own. I read Fannie Flagg, of Fried Green Tomatoes fame. Love her southern humor!
Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?
I wrote a lot as a teen and in college. English was my minor and I also wrote poetry, angsty stuff about boyfriends, etc. I think what influenced me the most is a mix of elements like mystery, detective stories, humor and gothic romance.
I learned how to write men by reading James Dos’s Charlie Moon, Hillerman’s Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, Kellerman’s Peter Decker, and a few other writers who got it right. But mostly by being around men my entire life. I worked in my father’s construction and electrical company, had jobs on worksites, wore a hard hat and listened to the guys and how they talked to each other.
What was missing was…the sex.
When I was about 40-45, I got bored reading what I’d been reading. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis, but I wanted books with sex. I remember asking my hubs if he had any sci-fi or fantasy books (he reads them exclusively) that had sex. He just laughed. “Nerdy scientists write these books. There’s no sex. Why don’t you write your own story?”
So I did. The very first novel I wrote was what became The Avalon Patrol, and later became Majik Reborn, Majik Betrayed, and Majik Redeemed. I created a world where majik existed, and so did a police force (inspectors) who used majik to fight crime. It sprawled. I had no idea what I was doing. When it hit 250k I broke Word. Hubs finally told me I was writing a trilogy. So I found where the story broke and divided it up. But this story was a het romance, because…sex. My protags had sex; no closed doors for me! I wrote about six novels, all het romance, sort of thinking about publication.
When I discovered gay romance something clicked. Suddenly, I realized why my male characters had so much..er…sexual tension between them. They were always one move from kissing or killing each other. My heroines weren’t exactly Mary Sues—I had to learn to write strong females and once I did, I started publishing those stories.
So I took all of the elements I love to read, and rolled them up into what I call my style. Humor for sure. Mystery. Perhaps some crime. But mostly hot as hell men who love each other and will do anything to get to their HEA.
Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
HEA—it’s the only thing I write, especially when I’m writing gay romance. For my het stuff, which I write under Theodora Lane for anyone who wants to check them out, I’ll occasionally go for a HFN.
When my kids asked me why I write gay romance I told them, because everyone deserves to have a happily ever after. I told them about friends I had when I was in high school and college, wonderful people whom I loved, but who didn’t see a HEA in their futures. I explained no one should be denied it because of who they love. To me, writing gay romance is a way to reach hearts and minds. If I can open one person’s heart and mind to love with no boundaries, I’ve done my job.
My two tag lines for Lynn Lorenz are Everyone Deserves a Happily Ever After and Open Your Heart and Open Your Mind.
For Theodora Lane, it’s Step Into Her Worlds.
I hope readers who haven’t read my writing will take a chance and try something new. And this book, New Orleans Second Line, is a great place to start! For readers who know me, I hope you enjoy something familiar, second time around.
More About New Orleans Second Lines
Matt and Lane grew up together, best friends, sharing almost all their secrets. But on the last day of college, those secrets spilled in one night of passion and tore them apart, sending Matt to the West Coast and Lane home to New Orleans.
Now, Hurricane Katrina is set to destroy New Orleans. This might be the worst time to try for a second chance, but nothing can keep Matt from Lane. The man he let get away.
For Lane, no hurricane can pry him from the city, especially without Sebastian. The older man has been a dear friend and his landlord since Lane returned from college. Sebastian refuses to flee, preferring to stay in his Creole cottage in the French Quarter and ride out the storm.
Sebastian’s life becomes intertwined with Lane’s, as Matt finds out when he’s drawn into capturing Sebastian’s memoirs of being gay in New Orleans. The elder gentleman’s stories are full of surprises and lessons for the young men.
The most important ones Sebastian teaches them—and himself—are that second chances don’t come along often, and you’re never too old to fall in love.
About the Author
Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and best-selling author who grew up in New Orleans but currently lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.
Also by Lynn Lorenz:
When is it the wrong time to find Mr. Right? For David, that time is now. He’s caring for his homophobic father, who has Alzheimer’s, and his personal life is the last thing he has time to focus on. But when his father wanders off, David is forced to reach out to the police, in the person of Detective Travis Hart. Travis is gay, tired of the club life and twinks he can’t keep up with, and longs for a real relationship with a man who wants the same—maybe someone remarkable like David. In fact, David is exactly who he has been looking for, but Travis isn’t sure he can be the man David needs during this difficult time.
Because as David’s father sinks deeper into the disease that’s robbing him of his memories, David really needs a friend, not a lover. Though Travis is determined to support David in whatever way he can, David’s decision could lead both men into a situation with no possibility of a happy resolution.