Cover Art: Christine Coffee
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Julie Lynn Hayes here today talking about writing, influences, and her new release No Way Out. Welcome, Julie.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Julie Lynn Hayes
- How much of yourself goes into a character?
I think it depends on the character, some of them are more me than others. And some are nothing like me at all. With some characters, it’s more like playing a part than being myself.
- Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to play a character?
I don’t believe Mary Sues/Gary Stus are based on a person’s experiences as much as on what the author wishes were there experiences. I believe those types of characters typify an impossible perfect ideal which is utterly realistic and has a tendency to get on the reader’s nerves, at least in my experience. They know everything, can do everything, and never fail. Plus they have no redeeming qualities that would make you love them. So, just ugh.
- Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your own worlds and cultures?
I wouldn’t say research plays a role. I write whatever genre calls to me at any given time. However, I do have to admit I love research, being a history major, so that is never a problem. Although I do have to look up things that are not historical as well, just to make sure I have my facts straight. For example, a particular geography or botany or food. I love creating worlds as well and building them from scratch.
- Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
No, because when I was a teenager, there was no m/m romance like there is now, and if there had been, without the Internet, there would have been no way to find it.
- Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I prefer HEA to HFN, I have to admit. An HFN feels incomplete, like my characters are settling instead of finding true happiness. But sometimes it happens, especially in a series. However I do try to rectify that in the next book. I don’t do HFN very often.
- Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
I started reading teen-age level romances when I was still in grade school and loved them. I read romances throughout my teen years, and when I was older, I was introduced to the “bodice ripper” romances. I don’t read romances as much any more, usually m/m, but I do enjoy a good Regency.
- What’s next for you as an author?
I still write fanfiction from time to time, and lately I’ve been playing in the world of Hamilton. I’d like to write some stories about a young Burr and Hamilton, because I love history, and do something with that. I also have a number of WIPs to work on, as well as more books in my Rose and Thorne series.
- Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?
As a writer, I think my major influences have been William Faulkner and PG Wodehouse. As a result, I’m wordy and have a dry sense of humor lol Growing up, I read a lot of the classics, so maybe my influences would be Emily Bronte and Jane Austen.
- 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?
To say someone is so flawed that they cannot be considered a love interest is to say they aren’t worthy of being loved. I would never say that. Besides, we all know people, whether friends or relatives or people we see on TV, who are with partners that makes us shake our heads and ask what they see in that person? Love works in mysterious ways.
- 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?
I think my love of writing grew from my love of reading. I started reading when I was two. Even now, I read constantly, whether it’s a book, or my computer screen, the back of a box of cereal or billboards on the highway. My head is populated with characters, some I haven’t met you. I like to look around me and observe, or sometimes I’m inspired by something I hear, whether a bit of conversation or a song lyric. My mind asks what if, and I begin to imagine a story where none existed. I enjoy exploring these characters and their lives, I enjoy putting just the right words together, even if I have to polish the same scene over and over to get it right. I love words and stories, and there are a million of them out there, if not more. I can’t imagine not writing.
Wyatt Findley is an up-and-coming artist, attending a prestigious art institute in St. Louis. His mentor, Lukas Callahan, has snagged a sweet house-sitting job for him in a gorgeous home in a well-to-do part of town. Wyatt notices two men who live just across the street. They make an odd couple, since there must be a good twenty years difference between them. And yet there is something about the younger man that calls to Wyatt
Shylor Lind has been living with Randy Grant for fifteen years, ever since Grant hired Shy’s mother as his live-in housekeeper. But five years ago, their relationship changed when Shy’s mother sold him to Grant and took the money and ran. Since then, Randy has been training Shy in how to be his submissive, dominating him in every way. There is nothing Shy can do about the situation, and he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to.
And then Wyatt enters his life… and nothing will ever be the same, as Wyatt engages in a battle for Shy’s very soul.
The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.
About the Author
Julie Lynn Hayes lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah, who is a grad student at the University of Illinois. She first began to write over fifty years ago, and doesn’t see that stopping anytime soon. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. When someone tells her something can’t be done, she feels compelled to do it. Much of her writing is in the m/m romance category.
When she isn’t writing, or working at her day job with a third party elevator inspection company, she enjoys crafts, such as cross stitch and crochet, and watching her favorite programs. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian, and her favorite historical character is Aaron Burr—she is obsessed with all things Hamilton! Never say never is her motto!