Home is Where You Are (States of Love) by Emjay Haze
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Release Date: 1/26/18
Thank you for visiting my blog tour at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. I’m Emjay Haze, author of Contemporary m/m romance. Home is Where You Are is my first book with DreamSpinner Press and I’m excited to share it with you on release day.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Emjay Haze, author of Home is Where You Are
- How much of yourself goes into a character?
I think my traits tend to pop up in more of my minor characters, since the main characters are both men usually in their twenties/thirties and I’m a fifty-plus year old woman, lol. I love writing strong-willed characters and I think that comes from me. I also like to write them a little quirky and feisty and that’s definitely me.
- Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
When I was growing up, my mom introduced me to romance novels, but a lot of times, they didn’t really have a HEA, the way I wanted them, anyway. As I got older, I really got into Robert Ludlum books and other spy and mystery-type novels, and totally went away from romance. I didn’t even like watching rom-coms. Then, in 2009, I discovered m/m romance in the form of online fanfiction and fell in love with the genre. I started writing stories around my favorite music artist and then eventually moved to original characters and writing short stories and novels. I realized I didn’t hate romance at all, I was just reading the wrong kind.
- Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I love happy endings, and I think everyone deserves one. That’s why I love this genre. If I had to pick one, I’d have to say HEA. I want my two lovebirds to ride off into the sunset together and be happy forever.
- How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
I love e-books, because I have a kindle and subscribe to kindle unlimited, so it’s easy to download and read books. I can start on my kindle at work, and then move it to my phone or tablet on the weekend.
It’s a shame that so many bookstores have closed over the years, but I don’t see them going away all together. I think there are enough people that still want to read a book and not an electronic device. My last novel came out in both e-book and paper book and it was thrilling when I got to hold it in my hands, and I was able to give signed copies to friends. You can’t do that with an electronic version.
I see e-book formats expanding as the technology grows, and less books coming out in hard or paperback.
- How do you choose your covers? (curious on my part)
For all of my published works, I’ve had a publisher who provides the artist for the cover and I’ve never been disappointed. For Home is Where You Are, I had given her some general info on the settings, characters, etc, and my artist came back with three great covers to choose from. Sometimes I have sort of an idea, and the artists have all taken my ramblings and turned them into something really beautiful.
- Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?
That’s a “who’s your favorite child” question, so the answer is no, of course not, lol. I love all of my characters and it’s really hard to choose just one. So far, they’ve all been pretty different, so it’s impossible to pick a favorite. I do really adore a few of my minor characters, though. The best friend in my new novel coming later this year is awesome. Her name is Andrea, and she’s a hoot, feisty and outspoken and a great friend. I also wrote a social worker character who took care of my foster kid main character for a very long fan-fiction story that I wrote years ago, and I absolutely loved her strength and character and the way she stood up for my protagonist. But main characters, nope, I can’t pick one.
- If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?
I have more trouble flawing my characters, lol. I love them and want them to be perfect, but it’s way more interesting to read about someone with flaws who grows in a story. My family and I were watching a horror movie the other day and none of us couldn stand the protagonist at first. She was a real bitch. But, as the film progressed she started to grow through all of the difficulties she was having. I liked it and understood her, but my twenty-year-old could never get past not liking the character at the beginning. So, yes, I believe that they have to have redeemable qualities, but a few flaws make them deeper characters, but not so many that you can’t forgive them.
- Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it? Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.
Haha. Drunk? No, but I used to write a lot of fan-fiction and those sexy scenes are written much better with a few beers in the system—more uninhibited and the scene flows better. Of course, you have to edit, but I’ve never had one that I had to completely rewrite because it was a mess.
- If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
I have a vision of having a house on the beach or a lake (where it’s warm) and having my laptop outside on a large wooden round table with a large umbrella overlooking the water while I’m wearing a tank-top and shorts and bare feet, sipping on a cool drink.
Right now, I sit at a very warped card table at the end of our family room with the big-screen TV and family watching to the right of me.
- With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write?
If I had to pick one, it would be to get away. I write because I have so many stories in my head that need to get out. I have distraction issues, but when I’m writing, I can totally immerse myself into the story and ignore everything else. I love developing characters and building a story and seeing it come to life.
- What’s next for you as a writer?
I have full-length novel coming out with NineStar Press sometime in April called After Hours. It’s the first of a three-book series. I’m working on the second book now. I really love writing m/m romance, and I think I will always write in that genre, but at some point I may try something new like a spy novel.
For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.
Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.
A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Part of the States of Love Series by DreamSpinner Press
I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.
About the Author
Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.
The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.
She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.
Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.