Mark David Campbell on Writing, Characters and his latest novel ‘Eating the Moon’ (author interview)

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Eating the Moon by Mark David Campbell
DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Buy Link:  DSP Publications

Release Date:  August 29, 2017

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mark David Campbell today. Welcome, Mark!

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Mark David Campbell ~

 

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I am inspired by people I know and with each character I discover qualities that are admirable and sometimes shameful but in the end, I suspect that all my characters come from somewhere deep inside me.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I never set out to create a character, as such. I imagine a situation or reflect on an experience or fantasy and sooner or later a character appears and begins a conversations. Before I know it other characters have joined in the conversation and that’s when I feel a story is emerging.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

After so many years studying anthropology, I have to say that everything I write is shaped and informed by that rare and wonderful way of looking at humanity and the human experience.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes, but in a very convoluted way. I have a learning disability and reading was very difficult for me as a child, so I became a day-dreamer and invented my own stories and adventures in my head. I developed an effective strategy for reading academic texts but this was far from pleasurable. It wasn’t until I was living in a small village in the jungle of Central America doing research that I learned to read for pleasure and discovered the joy of fiction.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Not unlike many LGBTIQ people, I lost my family a number of years ago and I still have, and probably always will have, many issues that are just too painful for me to explore in my writing.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I don’t know what they are, but if they’re an acronym for a brand of beer or type of pizza I probably like both of them.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I confess, my first love affair with romance fiction was with Danielle Steel, when I was an adult.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Easy. Margaret Atwood, E. M. Forester, Somerset Maugham and of course the old adventure classics like R. L. Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Jules Verne. I also love short stories. I especially like collections of gay short stories.

What do you read, mostly.

I’ll read anything that’s good. I particularly look for adventure and character development with a strong storyline. I prefer books which have an original perspective or take on a situation. I’m not attracted to books which are sensational, over technical or celebrity worship and I don’t read books with graphic violence and explicit torture scenes, even if the book is generally well written.

Of course, I’ve always been drawn to books and stories with a queer perspective because I’m gay and I can relate to them. The heteronormative perspective can be like a tsunami, pretty much drowning out everything else; TV, radio, advertising, the internet… Reading a queer novel, is like holding my head up out of the water and taking a breath of fresh air.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

The future will be ebooks. They are convenient, portable and cheap. But ebooks are less intimate and can’t completely replace the feel and experience of reading through the pages of a classic paper book.

How do you choose your covers? longing (curious on my part)

I wanted the cover to reflect the mystery and melancholy of the story and it needed three elements; the moon, the sea and a lone figure.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I have many favorites. As far as characters go, I think most writers teeter on the edge of insanity where we often have trouble distinguishing between our characters and real life people. So for me, my favorite parts are when Guy is on the island, hanging out with Nando and Pico or fishing with Kizo, Luca and Pico, amongst his friends who love and accept him.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve just finished the first draft of my next book which is a tale of a little biobot (part biological, part mechanical), aged thirteen years old, named Sonny Boy, who learns to understand what it means to be loved and to love.

What are your hopes for this book?

I want this book to be the kind of story that stays with the reader on a very intimate level. I want to reader to feel like the island is their personal escape that they can return to, time and time again.

Eating the Moon

What if there was a place that nobody else knew about – a secret place – where everyone was queer?’ That’s the question Guy, a 70 year old, lonely gay anthropology professor asks Richard, his 32 year old psychiatrist. During their twice weekly sessions, Guy tells Richard a fantastic tale of his experience as a young man bound for Cuba on a cargo ship which sinks in the Bermuda triangle. Guy and the first mate Luca are washed up on the shore of an uncharted tropical island and discover a complex society where almost everyone is homosexual.

Eating the Moon takes you on an erotic tropical vacation to a place where all your fantasies of homosexual love and sex can come true, but as both Guy and Luca soon discover, even paradise comes with a cost.

About the author

Mark David Campbell is a Canadian who has lived in Italy for the past seventeen years where he teaches, writes and paints, moving between Lago Maggiore and Milan with his husband. Prior to moving to Italy, he spent twenty years studying and working in archaeology and anthropology in Canada, Central America, Jordan, Egypt and Greece and earned his Ph.D. in social cultural anthropology from the University of Toronto where he taught as a part-time professor.

In addition to writing, he has shown his paintings at numerous individual and group shows in Toronto, Canada and throughout Italy. In his spare time, Mark David Campbell likes scouring second-hand stores, boating on Lago Maggiore and eating pizza and drinking beer with friends.

Jo Ramsey on Characters, Writing, and her release Dolphins in the Mud (Harmony Ink Author Interview)

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Dolphins in the Mud by Jo Ramsey
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Available for Purchase at Harmony Ink Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jo Ramsey here today with an author interview and a new release to share with our readers. Welcome, Jo!

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Jo Ramsey ~

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

To be honest, no, I don’t think there’s that tight a line. A Mary Sue/Gary Stu is a character the author wants to be. The one all the other characters love. The one whose many accomplishments leave people in awe. The one who solves the mystery, or drives the entire plot, simply because of their skills and sheer awesomeness. In general, I would suspect that the experiences of a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character aren’t even close to the experiences of the author. They’re the experiences the author wishes they’d had.

An author using their own experiences to inspire a character isn’t the same thing. The character might share personality traits with the author, or with someone the author knows, but isn’t so heavily based on the source that anyone can tell who it is. Also, someone’s real life experiences often aren’t ones where they’ve saved the world and are beloved by all who know them, so an author who uses their own experiences is not likely to be creating a Mary Sue/Gary Stu. Some of my characters share my experiences and/or personality traits, but they’re very definitely their own people.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I do not enjoy research at all, so in general I will avoid it whenever possible. I much prefer creating my own worlds, or, with contemporary fiction, writing about characters and situations that are very similar to people and things in my own life.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

When I was ten, someone gave me a copy of The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. In the book, a typical 11-year-old boy, the youngest in his family, learns that he’s the last of a group that exists to fight evil. The story is heavily inspired by Arthurian legend and mythology, and the idea that someone “normal” and often overlooked could have such amazing things happen to him captured my imagination.

Although nearly all of my books with Harmony Ink Press are contemporary fiction, my heart lies more in writing paranormal/fantasy. Primarily urban fantasy, where someone who is seemingly “normal” and often overlooked has amazing things happen to them. Some of my previous books, all of which are now off the market, followed that basic concept. Fighting evil, even if you don’t believe you can. Learning that you have power and are a hero, even if you’ve spent your entire life being taught otherwise. Even in my contemporary fiction, I incorporate some of those ideas with characters who, rather than fighting evil, fight things like mental illness, bullying, and trauma, and come out as heroes.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

When I wrote Work Boots and Tees, the fifth book in my Deep Secrets and Hope series, I had to stop several times. Jim, the main character, is a sexual abuse survivor who, as a teen, sexually assaulted two girls he was dating. In both cases, he didn’t recognize it as assault; they didn’t say no, after all. When he realizes what the girls perceive as having happened, he’s devastated. In his mind, he has become as much a monster as the man who abused him.

I’m also a sexual abuse survivor, and, like Jim, was quite young when it happened. His memories and flashbacks of the abuse hit far too close to home for me. Although my life didn’t go the way Jim’s did, throughout writing his story I could feel the anguish, anger, and fear he experienced. I went much more deeply into his head than I have with almost any other character I’ve written.

Unfortunately this caused me to have more severe PTSD reactions than I had in a while. I had plenty of support from my loved ones and my therapist, but for my own mental health I had to stop working on the book a few times to give my brain a reset before I could continue.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I much prefer happy-for-now. I don’t think happily-ever-after is at all realistic. Even in the best relationships, there is sometimes conflict. And people change over time, so “the one” for you might not be the one five, ten, twenty years down the road. I prefer realistic endings to artificial ones.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I have read some romances, though most of my reading is nonfiction at this point. The romances targeted at teens have improved since I was a teen, in my opinion. The ones I remember reading back then were always about a girl having to choose between two boys, and that annoyed me, partly because I couldn’t even get one boy interested in me and partly because I didn’t understand why the girl couldn’t just have both boys so they could all be happy.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I think ebooks will become more popular, but I doubt they’ll ever entirely replace hard-copy books. Some people just enjoy holding a physical book in their hands. It’s also a lot easier to highlight or otherwise mark things in a physical book than an ebook. Personally, I think ebooks are great in terms of saving space, but I prefer physical copies.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

It’s fairly easy for me. My publisher contracts an artist to create the cover based on a form I submit that includes descriptions of the main character(s) and the setting, and I’m sent three versions from which to choose. I choose the one that comes closest to what I’ve envisioned, and feels the most “right” to me.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

That is a good question! I’m currently working on a novel about an abusive relationship between two teenage boys. I think that dating abuse among teenagers happens far more frequently than people realize, and I also believe that abuse between same-sex couples is vastly underrepresented in fiction. Most abusive relationships I’ve seen depicted are between heterosexual couples. I know two teens who were involved in abusive relationships, and I felt it was important to depict.

Readers can always find out more about what I’m working on and what I have coming up by visiting my website, http://www.joramsey.com, or my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyAuthor. They can also check me out on the Harmony Ink Press website, where they’ll find my new release Dolphins in the Mud among other books. https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/dolphins-in-the-mud-by-jo-ramsey-485-b

 

More about Dolphins in the Mud – Blurb

Stranded. Hopeless. Trapped. No one to turn to and no way to reach the freedom just beyond his grasp….

That’s how Chris Talberman feels when his family moves to an isolated New England coastal town and leaves him alone to care for his severely autistic sister, Cece.

Chris knows how the dolphins stranded in the cove near his home must feel—he understands their struggle better than he can express. But the tragic event has a silver lining. It’s there, while chasing his sister, that Chris meets Noah, a boy his age who is as kind and handsome as he is fascinating. Not only has Chris found the friend he needed, but the possibility for love—

Until Chris’s mother abandons the family and Noah reveals his own hidden pain. Now Chris must care for the person he thought would care for him.

Kindle Edition and paperback, 2nd edition, 180 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press (first published May 29th 2012)
ASINB071WX1KGR

Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend

With the sound of Roaring Thunder still echoing in my ears as they passed by on their way to the District,  it’s time to remember and honor those that have given their lives for their country and freedom, protecting those here and around the world.  Those fallen on the field of Flanders, Khe Sanh,  Gettysburg or Helmand Province, you will always be remembered.

Literature, whether novels or poetry,  is a powerful tool to keep memories alive, evoke the emotions, the pain, the hopes and fears, the bravery behind those that go off to war, no matter the year or war, controversy or no.  Siegfried Sassoon or Walt Whitman, John McCrae’s Field of Flanders (seen above) to all the anonymous poems and letters left at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC (gathered up daily by volunteers to be stored and/or displayed at the museum).  I’ve included one such poem here as well.  They touch at the heart, the mind, the soul.  They make us remember.    It’s Memorial Weekend.  Do you have a favorite poem you could share?

Remembrance Day Poems To Remember The Fallen | HuffPost UK

Posted on The Wall Site for Cpl Brent R Jones. 


The Stranger

One lovely summer day
As I was walking through the grass
Reflecting on the very fondest
Memories of my past

I past an unfamiliar place
And stopped a while to see
Completely unsuspecting
Of the change this place would bring

I stood before a wall of names
Two hundred and fifty-one
Engraved upon a monument
That pierced the shining sun

And though, to all these names
I was a stranger passing by
I looked upon these names
And there was one that caught my eye

It may have been a moment
Or an hour, or a year
I walked up to the name
And leaned in close so I could hear

I closed my eyes and listened
To the pure and priceless truth
And came to understand the love
Of which, this wall is proof

It’s said that he who bears
The very greatest love of all
Will sacrifice his life
Before He’ll see a dear friend fall

Though people often wonder
Whether such a man is real
I see him now
Through these engraven letters that I feel

He’s sitting with his brother
telling stories as they laugh
Of the greatest game’s he’ll ever pitch
Of the biggest fish he’ll catch

He’s standing by his colors
On a hillside far away
He’s diving through the amber fire
While others run away

I search through all my memories
Of the noble and the grand
The courage and the truth
That I’ve been taught to understand

Of all the stories that are told
This shall be told of you
Dear Soldier, How you gave your life
For those you never knew.

This poem was written by Callie Crofts, Firth High School class of 2004.
Sunday, March 27, 2005

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 28:

  • Release Blitz for  Nell Iris’s Find His Way Home
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts ad Rogue Words
  • Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend

Monday May 29

  • Release Day Blitz and Giveaway for Performance Review by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP Publications GUEST POST Bradley Lloyd on Shadow Fray (Shadow Fray: Round One)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari Mckay on Breaking Bonds 
  • A Caryn Review:  Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell
  • A MelanieM Review: Law of Love by Bob Masters
  • A VVivacious Review: Lion’s Mate (Hell’s Creek #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney
  • An Alessandro Audiobook Review: Willow Man by John Inman and Austin Rising (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 30:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR &  Giveaway: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer
  • DSP GUEST POST L.A. Merrill on Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (States of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Slow Heat by Leta Blake
  • An Ali Review: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Shadow Fray (Shadow Fray: Round One) by Bradley Lloyd
  • A Stella Review: Back to You by Chris Scully

Wednesday, May 31:

  • Release Day Blitz and Giveaway for Frank at Heart by Pat Henshaw
  • Retro Review Tour – Suki Fleet’s This Is Not A Love Story
  • DSP GUEST POST Z Allora On Writing, Books and Secured and Free
  • A Free Dreamer Review: This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Frank at Heart (Foothills Pride #6) by Pat Henshaw
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (States of Love) by L.A. Merrill
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid (A Darker Hollow #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

Thursday, June 1:

  • Release Blitz for  The Ties that Bind by S. Davidson
  • DSP GUEST POST : Tara Lain on Return of the Chauffeur’s Son
  • Blog Tour Permanent Jet Lag by A.N. Casey
  • A Lila Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter: Book One) by C.S. Poe
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Breaking Bonds (The Walker Boys 2) by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Review: Smitten by R.W. Clinger

Friday, June 2:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Fraud Twice Felt by JT Hall
  • Blog Tour: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians 3) by Meg Amor
  • An Ali Review : False Start (Wilmington Breakers #2) by Sloan Johnson
  • An Alisa Review: To Touch You (Mates #4) by Cardeno C.

Saturday, June 3:

  • Release Blitz His Master by Bink Cummings
  • A MelanieM Review: Seduced by the Tide by Sean Michael

Amy Rae Durreson on Writing and Recovery (DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST)

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Recovery (Reawakening #3) by Amy Rae Durreson
Published May 9th 2017 by DSP Publications

Available for Purchase at

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Amy Rae Durreson here today talking about writing, characters, and her latest story in her Reawakening series, Recovery.  Welcome, Amy Rae!

✒︎

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Amy Rae Durreson

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Hmm, I think this is less about character traits than experiences. I’m a fairly quiet, easy-going person—some of my characters are too, but others are completely the opposite. What is more important, in my view, is finding enough common experience that you can emphasize with the character. Unlike Raif in Recovery, I’m not a twenty-something ex-resistance fighter on a quest to wake a sleeping dragon, but I have many experiences of anxiety, of not being sure what to do next with my life, with travelling to new places, and meeting people who are more complex than they seem at first. All of those are stepping stones to getting inside a character’s skin, even one who is superficially very different from me.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

For me, the difference is in how the writer presents the character to the reader. If the reader is expected to admire and idolize a character without question, that’s a Sue/Stu. If the reader can emphasize with them and see their flaws and hesitations, then you have a real character. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using bits of your own life to create a character. The problem arises when you demand that everyone worship your self-insert as flawless.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I just going to sit here and laugh hollowly. I do enormous amounts of research when I’m writing a fantasy novel. I look for historical analogues to my fantasy setting and mine them for little details which I can integrate into my imaginary world. For Recovery, I read a lot about Renaissance Venice, which is the inspiration for Aliann, the main setting, but I also read a lot of travel writing, from various centuries, and researched details from the design of an early printing press to formal garden design in medieval Europe to the history of pirates in the Mediterranean. Recovery was actually a fairly light research book—the previous book in the series, Resistance, was much more demanding—I learned enough about the bubonic plague for that one that I actually managed to pass the CDC’s online CPD module for ER doctors despite being an English teacher in real life (easier than it sounds—it was multiple choice and I guessed a few). I also read quite broadly on topics which look like they might come in handy for later books. Nothing is ever wasted.

Needless to say, I get twitchy whenever someone tells me that is must be so lovely to write fantasy where you can just make stuff up (my mother is notorious for this).

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

The first book I remember reading is The Ladybird Book of King Arthur Stories. The first I remember loving so hard I cried when the library wouldn’t let me keep renewing it was Diana Wynne Jones’ Charmed Life. I was pretty much doomed to write fantasy.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

No, but there are some stories I couldn’t have written any earlier. A Frost of Cares was like that—it was the final cathartic stage in a long process of healing. I went through a relationship similar to the one Luke has with his ex in that book, and it left its mark on me. I wasn’t ready to write about it for a long time, but now I’ve written that book, it seems to have lost its power to hurt me. The story I’m working on at the moment is hard, and is drawing on a lot of issues I encounter in my day job to do with childhood trauma, but in a way that’s actually feeding back positively—I’m all the more determined to take those problems seriously, having been inside my characters’ heads and considered them from a different perspective.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’ve given up trying to write HFN—I always end up making it HEA by mistake. I like to think that at the end of my books, all my couples have the potential to continue living happily together. For some of them, I even have little bits of personal headcanon (I know, for example, that after he retires, Siôn from Spindrift likes to go and sit in the back row of Mattie’s lectures and listen to him being passionate and inspirational. Mattie’s got a beard and a belly and a bald patch by then, but Siôn still thinks he’s the most beautiful thing in the entire world).

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I’ve always enjoyed romantic subplots in my reading, but I didn’t read any pure romance until my early twenties. I was spending every other weekend with my boyfriend at the time, who was studying on the other side of the country, and before I headed back to the station I’d buy myself a few romances to see me through the journey home (fellow Brits with experience of Sunday travel will know why one book alone was not enough). They brought me a lot of comfort, but my reading was restricted to a few authors. It wasn’t until I got my first e-reader and discovered m/m that I really started reading lots of romance. That probably explains why I always have a lot of plot in my novels—my roots as a storyteller lie in other genres and I have to weave the romance around those instincts.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I can definitely see the influence of the books I read a kid in my own writing—I loved Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones, as well as the warmth and benign eccentricity of Noel Streatfeild. As a teenage writer I was lucky enough to stumble across a copy of Ursula K LeGuin’s essay collection The Language of the Night in my local library. I read it over and over again and it completely changed the way I approached writing. As a adult reader, I find it harder to identify recent influences—I read a lot, and absorb it all into the churning creative mess that is my subconscious. A lot of the writers I love most tell very different stories from me, in very different ways.

How do you choose your covers?

I’m very lucky in having Dreamspinner’s art department create my covers. Catt Ford has done all the covers for the Reawakening series and I love them. I don’t know how she transforms my vague ramblings about character and setting into such lovely things, but I’m glad she does.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Usually the most recent one, simply because it always feels the most vivid and alive to me. Looking back at past works, some have faded in my head a bit and others shine a little brighter. A Frost of Cares and Resistance will always make me proud, I think. Frost because I did something I’d never done before and it worked better than I expected, and Resistance because I’m damn proud of how I put that story together. There were a lot of tears shed over that book, but the end result was beyond what I thought I could do. Ironically, those two are respectively my most and least successful books.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m working on another ghost story at the moment—this one set in the Scottish borders in an old orphanage with a dark past. There will also be more fantasy. I’m currently playing around with an idea for something fairy-tale inspired with a ridiculously over-the-top love interest with secret motives. There will be more Reawakening books, but they’re on hiatus until I get the last traces of Recovery out of my imagination and figure out how to end the next one.

Blurb

Resistance, exile, plague. Raif has survived them all, but now he finds himself in search of a new purpose. Traveling north to wake the dragon Arden, he hopes he has finally found a leader worthy of his loyalty, but Arden turns out to be more of a frivolous annoyance than an almighty spirit lord. Now bound to Arden’s side despite his frustration, Raif follows the dragon to the rich and influential lagoon city of Aliann, chasing rumors of the Shadow that once cursed his homeland.

With the election of a new duke at stake, Raif struggles to make sense of the challenges he meets in Aliann: a conspiracy of nixies and pirates, selkie refugees in desperate need of a champion, a monster that devours souls, a flirtatious pirate prince, and a machine that could change the world. For nothing in the city of masks is what it seems, from the new friends Raif makes to the dragon he follows—or even himself.

About the Author

Amy has a terrible weakness for sarcastic dragons, shy boys with sweet smiles, and good pots of tea. She is yet to write a shy, tea-loving dragon, but she’s determined to get there one day (so far, all of her dragons are arrogant gits who prefer red wine). Amy is a quiet Brit with a degree in early English literature, which she blames for her somewhat medieval approach to spelling, and at various times has been fluent in Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek, and Old Icelandic, though these days she mostly uses this knowledge to bore her students. Amy started her first novel twenty-one years ago and has been scribbling away ever since. Despite these long years of experience, she has yet to master the arcane art of the semicolon.

Social media:

Twitter: @amy_raenbow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyrae.durreson

Blog: https://amyraenbow.wordpress.com/

DSP GUEST POST Andria Large on ‘From War to Forever’ (author interview)

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From War to Forever (War Trilogy #1) by Andria Large
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Sales Links

              

And iBooks

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Andria Large

How much of yourself goes into a character?

It depends on the character. Some have more than others. For this book, From War To Forever, Dennis suffers from depression, something that I also deal with, so I was able to pull from my own experiences. Mine are not as extreme as I made Dennis’ but I understand the emotions very well due to my own battle with it.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Every author pulls from their own life experiences when writing. They use quirks from maybe a family member or friend for their characters, they use things that have been said to them, etc… It’s what makes the readers able to connect with the story on some level.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Right now, I write contemporary, so research absolutely plays a huge role when writing my books, especially if I want it to be somewhat realistic and plausible. However, I would love to one day write in the Paranormal or Fantasy genre and come up with my own world.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I wasn’t a big reader when I was younger. But I would say my love for Disney princess movies inspired my love of the romance genre.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? 

No. My books aren’t known for being super dark and angsty, even though I do bring up serious issues in From War To Forever, such as PTSD and suicide. I’ve never gotten overly emotional when writing my own stories.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

As a reader, I like HEA’s. So far as a writer, I’ve only written HEA’s, but I could see myself doing a HFN at some point.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I actually didn’t start reading romance until my early 20’s. A friend of mine suggested reading Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison and I was hooked, been reading romance ever since. I go through phases of what kind of romance I like to read. It started with witches and vampires, obviously, then I had a Scottish Highlander phase, a plain old contemporary phase, went back to witches and vampires, and now I’m in an MM phase. I’ve been stuck in the MM phase since I started writing it myself. I don’t see it changing anytime soon, lol.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I don’t think there was anyone in particular that was an influence on me as a writer. I’ve always been the artistic type and also enjoy spending time by myself. Writing was a way for me to escape and be alone in my own little world. Now, every book I read has an influence on me as a writer. I’m always looking for ways to better myself as a writer and reading other authors helps with that.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

Ebooks are taking over the world! They aren’t going away anytime soon, that’s for sure. When they first came out, I swore I’d never switch, I loved holding a paperback in my hands. But I eventually tried it out and now I can’t go back to paperbacks. It’s so much easier with an eBook. The paperbacks I have now are just for show. They are all signed by the author and on display. That’s the only reason I buy paperbacks anymore.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

Oh boy, this is a loaded question. There are so many things that contribute to choosing a cover. First, you need to make sure it’s appealing to the eye. I don’t care what anyone says, everyone judges books by their covers. Readers don’t look at an ugly cover and say, “Yes, I need to read that right now.” For the most part, they are going to skip on by and find something else. And second, how much you want to spend on it. If you want a cover photo that no one else has, you’re looking at going through a photographer and possibly having a custom photo shoot done. Prices vary, but you’re looking at, at the very least, $500. If you decide to go the stock photo route, then you have to find something that works for your story, but also isn’t on every other romance novel cover. Covers can be the life or death of your book, so it’s a very important part of the publishing process.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I write both MM and MF romance. My favorite MM story would definitely be From War To Forever. The characters, Dennis and Tucker, hold a very special place in my heart. My favorite MF story that I’ve written would have to be my one romantic comedy, Hammer & Nails. I put a lot of myself in the female MC, so I think that’s why I love that story so much. Plus, it’s really funny.

What’s next for you as an author?

I have multiple projects that I’m working on. Another MM military romance for Dreamspinner, an MF contemporary that I’ll be self-publishing, and I’m also co-authoring a book. Plus, I have a notebook full of ideas for new ideas and I need to get back to a couple old ones too.

Thank you so much for having me here today! Please check out From War To Forever! Be sure to leave a review when you’re finished, whether it’s good or bad. Don’t forget to like and follow my Facebook page for updates on what is going on in the world of Andria Large!

Blurb

Dennis

The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?

I’m a veteran Marine. Terrorists took not only my foot, but also my wife. Recurrent nightmares, a dead-end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. My best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keep me afloat. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Tucker… literally. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings. The kind I haven’t felt in years. The kind I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they’ve started wrapping around my broken heart, trying to mend it. Only they are not for a woman, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give love another go.

Tucker

The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?

About the Author

Andria Large is a traditionally published and self-published contemporary romance author. She doesn’t always follow the rules, so you will find both M/F and M/M books mixed into some of her series.

Henry from the Beck Brothers Series was the first book she self-published. Not expecting anything to really come of it, she was shocked to find the book caught wind and readers were asking for more. Writing books was not something she had set out to do. She wrote stories for herself, as a hobby. Now that it has become her career, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Andria grew up in Philadelphia, but now lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and wonderfully supportive husband, who frequently accompanies her at signings. The events that she attends every year are one of her favorite things about being an author. She loves meeting and conversing with her readers, but also enjoys finding new ones.

Andria considers herself open and friendly, so feel free to send her a message if you have a question or just want to chat.

You can contact Andria at:

HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Jo Ramsey on Midnight Chat (author interview)

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Midnight Chat by Jo Ramsey
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armony Ink Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Available for Purchase at

Harmony Ink Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jo Ramsey here today talking about writing and her latest release Midnight Chat. Welcome, Jo, thanks for sitting in our author interview chair this morning.

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  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

It depends on the character. Nearly every main character I write has some aspects of my personality, such as shyness or liking to read or write. Sometimes they have traits I wish I had.

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

To me, a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is a case where an author creates a character who is a perfect human being everyone loves, who may or may not be a representation of who the author wishes they were. I don’t think that’s the same thing as using personal experiences and traits to create a character. My characters are as flawed as I am, and things don’t always go the way they hope they will.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Even when an author makes up their own world and culture, I think they need to do some research. They might only use bits and pieces of the research to make up their own thing, but it helps to have some basis in reality. I personally don’t enjoy researching at all, so I write things for which I need as little research as possible, but I always need to look up something or ask someone questions about something.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

To some extent, yes. When I was a preteen and teenager, I really enjoyed fantasy novels of the type that mostly takes place in the “real world,” where ordinary people end up having extraordinary experiences. Think things like Madeleine L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time or Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, which were two of my favorite books from about age 10 on. I write some things like that, but I also tend to write contemporary fiction where there isn’t any fantastic stuff going on, just people living their lives and solving (or not) their problems.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

My novel Work Boots and Tees, book five of my Deep Secrets and Hope series, was like that. Because of the things the main character, Jim Frankel, had done to others, and the traumas he’d experienced himself, it was an incredibly heart-ripping novel to write. I’m a sexual trauma survivor myself, and there were times when I was writing that book where I triggered myself so badly I had to step back from the computer for a few days. At one point my husband tried to convince me to stop writing the book altogether, but I’m way too stubborn to do that.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I don’t exactly choose my covers. I fill out an information sheet for the cover art department, and they send me, usually, three mock-ups to choose from. Unless there’s something really wrong with all three of them, for example showing a character that bears no resemblance to the ones in my book (which has never happened with Harmony Ink Press), I have to choose one of the three.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I have more than one favorite. I’m partial to Nail Polish and Feathers because I think Evan Granger is a completely awesome character who doesn’t give a rat’s behind what people think, he’s determined to be himself. I’m also partial to Work Boots and Tees because Jim is a very broken character who nonetheless is trying to make a better life for himself, and he is modeled on several of the boys I worked with when I taught in Maine years ago.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

My latest novel, Midnight Chat, has just released from Harmony Ink Press. (https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/midnight-chat-by-jo-ramsey-448-b). I’m excited about it because it’s based on a song I wrote and recorded, which is available on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes (the song is also called “Midnight Chat), and because I think Mira’s dilemma about how to help Rob is true to what some teens experience when they realize a friend needs more help than they can give. Toward the end of summer 2017, Harmony Ink will re-release my novel Dolphins in the Mud, originally published by a different company in 2012. That’s another novel in which the main character is far out of his element trying to help a friend, as well as keep his family running smoothly.

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About Midnight Chat

For the past two years, since meeting in ninth grade, Mira MacDonald and Rob Stevens have been inseparable best friends. Rob’s struggles with depression, and his reliance on Mira, sometimes make the friendship difficult for Mira, but she wants to support Rob. Especially since he’s the victim of severe bullying at school due to his sexuality. Even though Rob isn’t out, he is gay, and the suspicion is enough for some people to torment him.

Now Mira has her first girlfriend, Talia Acevedo, and Rob’s jealousy is becoming even more of a problem. Rob insists that Talia doesn’t like him and is trying to break up their friendship. Mira tries to stay neutral, but it isn’t easy when Rob’s obsession with her escalates—along with his anger as the harassment gets worse.

One night, during one of their typical midnight text sessions, Rob tells Mira he’s decided to take drastic action at school to stop the bullying once and for all. And if she tries to stop him or tells anyone else, she’ll be first on his target list.

About the Author

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Readers who are interested in knowing more about me are welcome to visit my website, http://www.joramsey.com. I’m also on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyAuthor/, Twitter @JoRamseyYA, and Tumblr, http://www.joramseyya.tumblr.com, and my offspring Phoenix and I have a YouTube channel, Real Life Rising, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeeZBAEzSDIdPf7RS7iNQAQ.

Sherrie Henry on Life, Writing, and her release ‘Flag on the Play’ (HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: interview, excerpt )

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Flag on the Play by Sherrie Henry
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armony Ink Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Cover artist: Alexandria Corza

Available for Purchase at Harmony Ink Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sherrie Henry here today.  Welcome, Sherrie!

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Chugging right along! We’re at my third stop for my blog tour to promote my newest release “Flag on the Play.” Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me!

Check out my question/answer session:

  • How much of yourself goes into a character? 

I think all writers put a little bit of themselves into their characters. It’s like splitting your own personality, bits and pieces go into each character you develop. I think it’s inevitable; it’s been my experience that regardless of how far-fetched the plot, there is still a grounding in reality that reflects our own lives and experiences.

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Sue and using your own experiences to create a character?

No. A Mary (or Gary) Sue in my opinion is a character who’s sole purpose is to save everyone, be the hero, and has no character flaws (or have flaws that are endearing). To me, that’s cheating the reader to create such a perfect character. No one learns anything, there’s no plot or character development in a Mary/Gary Sue. I’m not certain I could create such a character; I’m flawed, thus my characters, who are in some part a reflection of me, are flawed as well.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

In my most recent novel ‘Flag on the Play’, I interviewed a few gay men on their experiences as a gay teen (as, being female and not gay, I couldn’t draw much from my own childhood!). It gave me tremendous insight into their world and their struggles, which still occur across the country to this day.

I did enjoy doing the interviews and I like research in general. But I also write sci-fi/fantasy, so it’s nice to just let loose and change the laws of physics. LOL

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I consider myself an eclectic reader which has shaped my writing to an extent. I tend to write what I want, regardless of genre. Whatever fancies me at the time, that’s what comes out. For example, I’m finishing a sci-fi novel and also working on a cookbook. I’m not the type to be pinned to a specific genre!

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Once, when I had to kill off a major character, I needed some time away from the story as I ended up crying as I typed the death scene. Had to give myself a couple of days away to recover. It was painful, but it was necessary as it advanced the story.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

As life never gives HEAs, I do enjoy reading them in my stories as a change of pace from reality. As I don’t read a lot of books that are parts of series, I don’t typically come across HFNs.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Oh hell yes. I remember sneaking my mom’s Harlequin Romance and Danielle Steele novels as a young teen. I’m not sure to this day if she realized I read them!

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Choosing an English degree as an undergrad. I was exposed to so many different genres and authors during that time. I had always been an avid reader; I remember getting the Scholastic Reader booklets as a kid and ordering all the books I could afford on my allowance. I probably owned a few hundred paperbacks as a child.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I certainly like the ebook format; makes reading in bed a lot easier. My Kindle weighs a lot less than hardcover novels and large paperbacks and is much less bulky.

I’m not sure where the ebook is going; because a writer can publish anything and everything they want without going through a traditional publishing company, the ebook has gotten a bad rap. Those ebooks from self-pubbed authors still have a the stigma of bad writing, no editing, and crappy covers. Ebooks are evolving, but I’m not sure for the better. I’m not saying all self-pubbed books are crap, but it’s the perception of the reading audience, myself included. (I’m a trivia buff, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of bad trivia ebooks published.)

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I typically have an idea of what I want and convey that to the cover artist. A couple of times I’ve had no clue, so the cover artist gave me some drafts and I was able to envision what I wanted.

As an amateur landscape/wildlife photographer, a lot of times I can at least have a very base idea of what I want, at least in the background.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

As a piece of me is in all my work, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say my vampire story ‘Traditions.’ The main character is a snarky, sexy, slightly-overwhelmed male vampire surrounded by dysfunctional family and friends. It’s the first in a trilogy and has been submitted for publication. Hope to hear within a month or so!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

Finish my sci-fi novel (about 3-4 chapters to go) and my cookbook, then pick one of the dozen or so WIPs I have on my computer. I’d like to finish at least one more novel this year, if not two. I want to diversify myself; I’ve got two WIPs that are thrillers, which is a new genre for me to be writing.

Thank you, Sherrie, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your answers!  Now more about Sherrie and Flag on the Play.

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About the Author

Sherrie was born and raised in Southern Indiana, in a small farming community. A stop-over at Indiana University in Bloomington to earn bachelors and masters degrees was the next step before she struck out to the big city of Chicago. She has lived in the ‘burbs of the Windy City for the past 19 years, currently residing with her dog Rocky and teaching at the local community college. She is a third-degree black belt in hapkido and is considering a run for a fourth-degree before hanging up the ol’ black belt. Writing and photography are her hobbies, and hopes that she can add travel to her hobbies soon.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSherrieHenry
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/sherriehenry
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorSHenry
Blog: http://sherriehenry.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.sherriehenry.com

Sales link for ‘Flag on the Play’:

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About Flag on the Play

Sixteen-year-old football punter Liam Hartley has come to terms with being gay, but it isn’t something his religious and conservative community will ever accept. He’s isolated in his Midwest town until Cody Williams transfers to his school from Chicago. A proud bisexual young man, Cody shows Liam he isn’t alone—or abnormal—and they soon become more than friends.

Despite the intimate, secret world he shares with Cody, Liam is in pain. The hatred spewed by bigots has an effect on Liam, even if Cody carefully hides their relationship with a pretend girlfriend. Liam is jealous—he doesn’t want to have to share Cody, and he doesn’t want to have to live in shame. Cutting himself seems to be the only way to deal with everything he’s suffering, and things only get worse when Liam and Cody are outed in front of the school. And even if they can make it through the hardship, they know their relationship is destined to end when Cody’s family returns to the city.

Liam can’t go back to facing the hatred and religious judgment by himself. He won’t survive it. Somehow, Liam and Cody must secure a future for both of them, and that means finding a way to stay together.

 Excerpt from ‘Flag on the Play

Liam downed his lemonade. Even though it was fairly cool out, he was sweating profusely. After the tuck-pointing, he volunteered to help cut and haul some wood from the downed trees on the property. He and Cody were sitting in the backyard, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. Cody’s mom came outside with more to drink.

“You boys finish?” She set the pitcher on the step and sat down next to Liam.

“Yes, ma’am.” Liam refilled his glass.

Marissa laughed. “Please don’t call me ma’am. Makes me feel old.”

“Oh, sorry.”

“No worries. So, Cody said you had some questions you wanted to ask me?”

Liam looked out over the expansive yard. “If you don’t mind.”

“Nope.”

Cody nudged Liam. “Go ahead. She’s a good listener.”

Liam swallowed. “Me and Cody. That’s natural, right?”

Marissa furrowed her brow. “Of course it is.”

“I’ve been taught it’s a great sin and I’m going to hell.”

“Oh, hon, no. Look, I don’t want to sway you from your religion—”

“I’ve lost my religion. I can’t believe in it anymore. I need to know I’m going to be okay. You accept Cody, and me, and us and….” His voice trailed off.

“I’ve been where you are.”

Liam glanced over at her. “Really?”

“Yes. Born into a very Catholic family. But I realized at a very young age, what was coming at me at every Mass was pretty much bullshit. Pardon my language.”

Liam snorted. “I’ve heard worse.” He gave her a smile. “How did you get out of the church?”

“I had to bide my time until high school. I finally sat my parents down and told them I couldn’t believe in what the priest was saying. That any higher power couldn’t hate his or her creations, that he or she would create such inequality. And I was totally against the no birth control thing. That really rubbed me the wrong way. I’d done research at the library—this was back before everything was on the Internet you know—and found that human sexuality isn’t something to be repressed. Not that I condone sleeping around, sex and love need to go hand in hand, but it doesn’t need to be saved for marriage or be something to feel guilty about.”

“So you don’t believe I’m going to hell?”

Marissa gave a little laugh. “Hon, that’s why I love being Wiccan. We don’t believe in hell. Hell is a Christian concept.”

“There’s no heaven or hell?”

“Wiccans, other pagans, some of us believe in what’s called Summerland. A place we go when we die until we are reincarnated. Hell doesn’t exist.”

“But what about people like Hitler, or Stalin? Shouldn’t they be in hell?”

Marissa paused, taking in a long breath and letting it out. “To be honest, I struggle with topics like that. Leaning on my youth teachings, yes, hell would be a good place for such evil. But to reconciling such evil in my Wiccan beliefs—I came to the conclusion that people like that don’t go to Summerland, they just cease to exist, no reincarnation. That their evil energy is dissipated into the universe, forever dissolving out into the reaches of deep space.”

“Wow, that’s profound.”

“Nah, just the way I can deal.”

“So what about the Bible?”

Marissa patted his knee. “The Bible is a book, a good book, but it was written by men, and men are fallible. I don’t like how some people will pick and choose what they want to follow out of it. They should use it as a guidebook, not a rulebook. Use the teachings of doing good deeds, of not throwing the first stone. Of being kind to strangers and helping those in need. That’s what they should take away, not a strict or not-so-strict adherence to rules written in a time when slaves were the norm and women were property to be bartered for.”

“Never thought about it that way.”

“I never did either, until I took a ‘Bible as Literature’ class in college. The discrepancies stood out, the outright contradictions. It was then I solidified my beliefs.” She put her arm around Liam. “I’m not saying to dump all your beliefs, or even change them. I’m just giving you a different perspective. You have to decide what is right for you. Each religion, even mine, has its good points and shortcomings.”

Liam sucked down the rest of his lemonade. “I can’t see any shortcomings with yours.”

“There are. Like the question of evil from before, there’s no consensus. It’s just what I’ve decided to believe. And the threefold rule.”

“Cody told me about it. How can getting threefold of good coming back at you be bad?”

“Because it works the other way as well. If I put bad thoughts or bad deeds out there, bad stuff can come back to me threefold.”

“I don’t see how you can do anything bad.”

“Well, I get angry and anger begets anger. I get angry against people who do bad deeds, like a mother who kills her children. My inclination is to say she deserves the death penalty, but I’m sworn to do no harm.”

“But you wouldn’t be pulling the switch, so to say.”

“No, but I’m putting the bad energy out there by thinking and stating my opinion. It’s like I can feel the negative energy build when I think about situations like that. I have to meditate a lot when news stories such as those are aired, try to diffuse my thoughts. It can be hard work.”

“I would think someone who kills their children doesn’t deserve to live.”

“And you’re not alone, not by a long shot. But doesn’t even your faith say you should forgive the sinner?”

Liam cocked his head. “Yeah.”

“While Wicca doesn’t believe in sin per se, we do believe in forgiveness. To keep up the positive energy so it always outweighs the negative.”

“And how do I deal with messages from my pastor that what I feel is wrong? That I’m damned?”

“You need to forgive your pastor and hope one day he can see the error of his ways. That love is precious, in all its forms.” She turned and gave him a hug. “You aren’t damned. My Cody loves you and so do I.”

Kelly took that moment to come running out of the house and plopped down in Cody’s lap. She shoved a book in Liam’s face. “Story?”

Marissa laughed. “I think you’ve made quite an impression on Kelly as well.” She let Liam go and collected the empty glasses and pitcher. “Guess it’s story time. Once you’re done, you’d probably head home. It’s getting late.”

“Yes, ma-Marissa. And thank you.” He took the book from Kelly and started to read about a fairy princess and her faithful companion, a dragon named Sue.

Michaela Grey on Writing and her release ‘Broken Halo’ (author interview and excerpt)

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Broken Halo by Michaela Grey
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Publication Date:  January 30, 2017

Available for purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Michaela Grey today.  Welcome, Michaela! 

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m here to talk about Broken Halo and a little of my writing process, and share an excerpt from the book with you.

For Micah Ellis, boundaries are paramount. He needs strict order and cleanliness to stay sane—no dirt or germs allowed.

So when Devon Mallory shows up, Micah knows he should stay away. Devon is a mechanic, and he’s everything Micah isn’t: dirty on the outside, pure within. He’s a far cry from what fits in Micah’s sterile, boundary-bound life.

Micah doesn’t understand why Devon’s bright blue eyes won’t let him go, or why he wants to spend the rest of his life looking at Devon’s smile. He knows happily ever after doesn’t exist for him… but Devon makes him wonder if it could.


Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
I’m open to inspiration wherever it may come from. I’ve woken up from dreams and jotted down the idea before I lost it. I’ll see a movie, and think “well, this is great but it could be gayer”. (To be honest, that’s 95% of my thought process when consuming media.) I’ve even simply thought a person was pretty and spun a story around them, which is how I ended up with the spinoff to Halo. (Harry Lloyd’s face is a public menace.)

Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why? I’ve always been more of a pantser than a plotter, but that’s not to say I go in blind. I hash out plot points and overall arcs with both my betas. My primary beta knows everything, from beginning to end, with no spoilers or surprise twists, before I write it. My secondary beta reads as I write it and offers input and feedback on the spoilers as she experiences them in “real time”. This gives me a dual feedback loop and helps keep me focused on what’s working and what needs to be tweaked.

Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them? Don’t tell any of my other characters, but Micah and Fox (from the spinoff) are my absolute favorites.

If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list? Anything from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, as well as Maggie Stiefvater and Seanan Maguire’s entire works.

Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why? My father read most of the classics to us from the time we were tiny. I have many fond memories of being sprawled on the floor, coloring busily, while he described Middle Earth or the great white whale or Narnia to us. We were encouraged to read from the minute we could hold a book in our hands. I fell into new worlds daily, and finally succumbed to the urge to build my own, because of his and my mother’s love of the written word.

EXCERPT:

Micah pointed at the table. “Sit and keep me company while I cook. You haven’t given me many chances to spoil you rotten.”

Devon obeyed and dropped backward into a chair. “Maybe because I like spoiling you.” He hooked his long feet over the bottom rung and rested his arms on the backrest. “So I was thinking,” he said. “How do you feel about collars?”

Micah dropped a dosa on the floor and stared at Devon.

“That was… that was just mean,” Micah said. “Warn a guy.”

“Question stands,” Devon said, dimples flashing.

Micah dumped the dosa in the trash and turned back to the frying pan. “Umm. Collars… collars are good.” He cleared his throat and shifted his weight. Then he looked up as a thought struck him. “No leashes, though. Barrett used a leash sometimes. I didn’t—”

“No leash,” Devon said quickly. “What kind of collar do you want, then? Shall we pick it out together, or do you want me to surprise you?”

“I trust you,” Micah said, startled to realize that was true. “Surprise me. Nothing too flashy.”

He piled the dosa on plates, added the rava and coconut chutney, and then brought them to the table. Devon turned around in his chair and caught Micah’s wrist as he passed by on his way back to the kitchen for drinks, and he tugged until Micah toppled with a squawk into his lap.

Devon caught him and tipped Micah’s chin up with one long finger. “Hey,” he said quietly.

Micah swallowed, caught in Devon’s bright blue gaze. “Hey back,” he managed.

Devon’s lips curved up. “I’m glad I met you,” he whispered and pressed their mouths together.

Micah slid his arms around Devon’s neck and held on. Devon’s hands on his thighs kept him in position, his thumbs rubbing gentle circles, and their lips and tongues fit against each other perfectly.

When they pulled apart, Devon cupped Micah’s cheek. “Have you thought about a safeword?” he asked.

Micah nodded shyly. “Ah… I was thinking… manta ray.”

Devon’s smile lit up the room. “I like that,” he breathed and kissed him again. “You’re so beautiful,” he said. “The light from the kitchen is haloing you, and you look like an angel right now.”

Micah couldn’t help but snort at that. “So not an angel, pal.”

“You are to me,” Devon murmured and kissed him again.

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About the Author

Michaela Grey told stories to put herself to sleep since she was old enough to hold a conversation in her head. When she learned to write, she began putting those stories down on paper. She resides in the Texas Hill Country with her cats, and she is perpetually on the hunt for peaceful writing time.

When she’s not writing, she’s knitting while watching TV or avoiding responsibilities on Tumblr, where she blogs about cats and writing, offers dubious life advice, and tries to keep her cat off the keyboard.

Tumblr: greymichaela.tumblr.com

Twitter: @GreyMichaela

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreyMichaela

E-mail: greymichaela@gmail.com

Killian B. Brewer on Writing, and his release ‘Lunch With the Do Nothings at the Tammy Dinette by Killian B. Brewer (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Lunch With the Do Nothings at the Tammy Dinette

by Killian B. Brewer
I
nterlude Press
Cover Design by C.B. Messer

Purchase Links

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Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Killian Brewer author of Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette.

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Hi Killian, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hey, y’all! I’m Killian Brewer, though most people just call me Brew. I’m a Southern boy, raised in the land of peaches and peanuts. I grew up in a tiny little town in a house where we would entertain each other by telling stories. My father can spin a yarn with the best of them and taught me early to enjoy the fellowship of storytelling. I went to college and earned my degree in English Literature, mostly because of my love of a good story. Of course, like most English majors, I don’t use that degree at all in my day job, but it does come in handy for my writing.

My current novel, Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette, was inspired by the people I grew up around in South Georgia. I wanted to explore what life could be like for a young gay man who is suddenly transplanted in a small town with little understanding of the way of life there. In particular, I wanted to follow his search for love and a sense of family in a world where he feels like a fish out of water. I also wanted to write about older southern women, because I think they are awesome.

  • What is the biggest thing people think they know about your subject/genre that isn’t so?

I think a lot of people assume that most people in the South are conservative, close-minded and bigoted. While it is true that we have more than our fair share of people like that, I discover that the older I get the more people I meet who are not that way. One big area where this has changed is acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues. As a teenager, I never could have imagined living as an openly gay person in Georgia. But now I do just that. My very religious and conservative family and friends have come a long way and are now very open and accepting of me and my partner. I think the biggest reason for this change is that with more people being out of the closet, Southerners are discovering they already know and love someone who is gay. Once you realize you care for one gay person, it is easier to be accepting of all gay people.

  • What are some references you used while writing this book?

I really didn’t have to use too many references while writing this book since so much of it is based on my own life experience. The ways of small-town life are very familiar to me and these women in this book are all amalgamations of various women I grew up around. However, I did find myself on the web checking on diner slang. I knew a few phrases from many a late night cup of joe at the local diner, but I needed more to flesh out the story. I found a few websites that listed diner slang, and found myself laughing out loud at some of the funnier phrases. I also had to check the web a few times to make sure that references I made to some classic country singers were accurate.

  1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My family is a group of storytellers. Whenever we are together, eventually the conversation rolls around to everyone telling their favorite stories from our past and amusing anecdotes about people we all know. Humor is always an important part of these stories. We also love wordplay, puns and music. In college, I decided to take some writing classes and discovered that the storytelling I grew up learning from my family translated well into writing. I was always a voracious reader as well, but would sometimes find myself wishing a story had gone a different direction. From this I began to think of my own stories that I would like to tell.

  • What do your plans for future projects include?

I currently have several projects in the very early stages. Most of them are just ideas for characters and situations that I need to see what they can develop into. One is a much darker and less humorous story than I normally write. Another involves a paranormal element, which will be a departure for me in style as well. But mainly, I am working on a possible sequel to Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette that will focus more on the lives of the waitresses who work in the diner and one of the supporting characters, Skeet Warner.

  • Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Mainly that I hope they will enjoy spending time in the little town that I have created. I love my home state of Georgia and it pleases me to be sharing a(albeit fictionalized) piece of it with the world. I also encourage my readers to create their own Do-Nothing club. Find a group of people you really enjoy being around and set aside a little time each week or month to get together and do absolutely nothing. I think the enjoyment and fellowship it brings will be infinitely rewarding.

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Blurb

When Marcus Sumter, a short order cook with dreams of being a chef, inherits a house in small town Marathon, Georgia, he leaves his big city life behind. Marcus intends to sell the house to finance his dreams, but a group of lovable busybodies called the Do Nothings, a new job at the local diner, the Tammy Dinette, and a handsome mechanic named Hank cause Marcus to rethink his plans. Will he return to the life he knew, or will he finally put down roots?

Excerpt

The diner took up a quarter of the city block; its silvery siding glimmered in the morning sun. A metal bracket jutted over the diner door and held a bright neon sign that flashed The Tammy Dinette: Stand By your Ham and Eggs. Below the sign, two tall and wide single-paned windows showed the bustle of the crowd inside. Marcus could see that most of the booths along the windows were occupied, and a tall redheaded waitress stood next to one of the booths furiously scribbling on a pad and nodding her head.

“Let’s go,” Skeet said as he hopped to the door and yanked it open. He swept his arm across his body and said in a terrible British accent, “After you, my good sir.”

Marcus grinned at the boy and stepped into the diner. The sudden rush of country music mixed with the murmur of the restaurant crowd, the smell of greasy food and coffee, and the glare of fluorescent lights from the Formica tables and counter tops flooded Marcus with a sense of relief and comfort. The last bits of tension slipped from his shoulders as he watched the two waitresses in pink uniform tops and skirts scurry from table to table as different patrons raised their hands to get each woman’s attention.

**

“Now sign here.” Raff pointed out a line at the bottom of a paper. “Then initial here.”

Marcus scribbled his name where instructed, then set the pen gently on the table. He read the final paragraph of the will to himself one more time. To my grandson Marcus, I leave all my other worldly possessions, my assets and most importantly, my house, so that maybe, just once in his life, that poor boy can have a real home.

“So, it’s all mine?”

“Well, it has to go through probate and such, but yes. Basically, it’s all yours.”

“And I have to live in the house? I mean, she says she wants it to be my home.”

“Oh, good lord, boy,” Helen said and laughed. “Your grandmother was a former mayor’s wife, not the queen of England. It’s a will, not a proclamation.”

“My mother is correct. You can do with the assets as you see fit, once her few debts are paid off.”

“So I could sell it?”

“If that’s what you desire. As a matter of fact, my wife, Katie Nell, is one of the most successful realtors in Marathon. I’m sure she could sell it for you in a heartbeat if you want.”

“Raff, you quit trying to drum up business for that nitwit wife of yours.” Helen picked up the pen from the table and inspected it before opening her purse and dropping it in. “Marcus, you don’t have to decide anything right now. Why don’t you spend a little time here and see what you want to do with it? How soon do you have to be back where you came from? Back in…?”

“Um, Atlanta.” Marcus let his eyes wander off from Helen to the photographs on the wall behind her. “No rush. Nothing important waiting on me there.”

“Then it’s settled. You stay here for a few weeks at least and see what you want to do. The other Do Nothings and I have already gone through your grandmother’s house and got it nice and clean for you. Of course, there’s no real food in there, but we’ll get you settled, and I’ll bring over something for you to eat tonight. Tomorrow, we will run you up to the Piggly Wiggly and stock you up.”

“Well, I guess I can stay until the house sells at least.” Marcus looked at the table as Raff slid a manila envelope across the table to him.

“Here are your copies of all the paperwork. There are a bunch of things in there. Here are the keys to the house.” Raff pushed a key ring across the table. “And I wrote Katie Nell’s number on the front of the envelope so when you get ready to sell—”

If you sell it,” Helen interrupted her son. “You never know, little man, we might just charm you into staying.”

**

Over the course of the next month, Marcus fell easily into the rhythm of his new life in the diner. The black ring around his eye faded, and thoughts of Robert and his mangled car began to fade as well. Francine and he perfected their frenzied dance around each other behind the grill when the diner was filled to capacity. As he worked, the familiar tools of spatula, whisk, and knife once again became extensions of his hand, and the smells of bacon frying and eggs cooking made his appetite for food and life return. The silly names the sisters invented for customers made Marcus belly laugh, the sensation of it bubbling up in his chest an almost-forgotten pleasure. With each passing day, it grew easier to rise early in the morning and catch a ride to the diner with Francine or one of the girls.

The only part of the day he dreaded was life outside the diner and returning to a too-quiet house filled with photographs of people who shared his face and name, but who were complete strangers. The house was in theory his home, but it still seemed as if he was intruding on someone else’s space. He hadn’t bothered to unpack the few clothes left in his duffel bag or put away the clean clothes from the laundry basket on the bedroom floor. In the silence of his grandmother’s house, he would hear the ringing of Robert’s plaintive texts, the nagging thoughts about what to do with his wrecked car, and the haunting words of his mother, “Baby, it’s time to move on.”

More and more, he lingered well past the end of his shift at the diner to avoid going to the house. Usually he would end his day by wandering over to the Do Nothing’s corner booth to check on the latest town gossip or to see how preparations for the hoedown were going. Marcus would shuffle his way into the booth and tuck himself between Helen and Inez so that the women could explain to him who each person they gossiped about was. Most of the names meant nothing to him until he began to connect them with their usual orders, just as he had at the Waffle Barn. The more stories the Do Nothings told about the customers who hurried in and out of the diner daily, the more the citizens of Marathon seemed like friends. He would sit happily silent and let the women’s laughter and rapid-fire words sooth his work-weary muscles as he sank into the padding of the booth.

But not today.

He had finished cleaning the cooking area, flung his apron onto its hook, and headed into the dining room. He’d been tired but, for the first time since Robert had pressured him to quit working at the Waffle Barn in Atlanta, he’d felt useful again. As he’d reached the kitchen door, he’d caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Despite the hard work and grueling heat of the kitchen, he’d seen that he wore a pleased smile, a smile he wasn’t sure he had worn since the days after his mother and before Robert. He’d straightened his back and nodded at himself in the mirror. Hello, stranger. Where’ve you been? With the smile lingering on his lips, he had glanced through the porthole window in the swinging door and seen Hank Hudson standing at the counter.

**

About the Author

Killian B. Brewer grew up in a family where the best way to be heard was to tell a good story, therefore he developed an early love of storytelling, puns and wordplay. He began writing poetry and short fiction at 15 and continued in college where he earned a BA in English. He does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry. He currently lives in Georgia with his partner and their dog. Growing up in the South gave him a funny accent and a love of grits. The Rules of Ever After is his first novel.

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Lynn Lorenz Shares Her Thoughts on Writing, Inspiration and her release David’s Dilemma (guest post)

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David’s Dilemma by Lynn Lorenz
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lynn Lorenz here today, sitting in our author’s interview chair.  Welcome, Lynn!

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First, thank you to the people at Scattered Thoughts for hosting my release, David’s Dilemma! I truly appreciate it!

I’m answering some of their questions about me and my writing and I hope you’ll find it interesting, funny and give you an insight to me, my writing and my life.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

     Usually from real life like the news, or a retelling an old tale, but also personal.  For David’s Dilemma, it was my father’s slip into Alzheimer’s Disease that led me to write the book, as a homage to him and to honor the caretakers.

     For Pacific Nights, not currently in circulation, I wanted to tell the South Pacific story, only with gay characters. Remember those guys who went to the island to spy on the Japanese? Those guys.

     For Soul Bonds, I took the story from the sex slave industry thriving in Houston and reported on the news.

  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?

     I started out as a pantzer, but found I was writing way too many stories at one time to keep it up for long. Most writers who are pantzers will have a number of stories – with anywhere from 1-5 chapters – then they hit a wall and get stuck. We have no problems with the beginning and ends, it’s the damn middle that’s the hardest.

     So I developed what I call a “loosey goosey” method of plotting – very brief and short chapter descriptions. It enabled me to veer off, to move chapters and timelines and to not feel so trapped by a fully plotted story. With this method, I can create all the chapters, what will happen in them, and then write the ones that I’m feeling – non-linear. So, if I know the ending, I can write it whenever.

     I actually teach an online course on this method.

  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

     If you look at my list of books and the genres, I span the gamut from contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, and even inspirational. My favorite is paranormal, because I get to create a world, inhabit it with characters and play Goddess. But I do love to mix them up, fantasy and paranormal, contemporary and paranormal.

     I write primarily gay romance under my Lynn Lorenz name, and het romance under Theodora Lane. Both of us write across genres. And by the way, I don’t consider gay romance as a genre, I consider it the genre (like historical) with gay heroes.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

     Now that I think of it, not really. I think my characters are true to who they are, from the moment I conceive them to writing them down. Since my stories are character-driven, those characters goals, motivations and conflicts define the plot. If I changed them, I’d change the plot and so it’d just be better to write a new book with that changed character. He wouldn’t be who he first was anymore.

     In David’s Dilemma, who would I change? David, a gay man struggling with his father who has Alzheimer’s? Travis, his love interest, a gay cop who’s come to grip with his age and what he really wants in his life, or David’s father, an elderly man sinking into a dark place he doesn’t understand? Any of those changes would change the book.

     In No Good Deed, my main character is Dan Chan, a gay Chinese cop in rural Texas. He’s bisexual and struggling with it. If I removed his bisexuality, it’d be a different story. I love him and his doubts, his struggle to understand himself and who he loves.

     For me, who the character is defines the book, the story I need to tell about that particular person.

  1. Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

     Sure. We have favorite kids, right? Uh…I wasn’t supposed to say that, was I?

     Anyway, I do have a few favorites. I love David, in David’s Dilemma. He’s so torn between what he sees as his duty to his father, a man he loves, but doesn’t really like, and doing the hard thing about his dad.

     I loved Edward, from Edward, Unconditionally. He’s all about learning to love himself, about acceptance, about loving and being loved unconditionally.

     Drake, my hero from The Mercenary’s Tale, is special because he’s was my first published book hero. He’s on a journey of sel-discovery, as much as any gay medieval mercenary can be in the 1300’s.

     One of my favorites is Jason from Best Vacation That Never Was. He’s a wild, adrenaline junky fire fighter with a rescue complex. He’s all heart and love and “watch this, bubba!” I loved mixing that good old boy with frat boy with the responsibility of a fire fighter.

     I think I love Dan Chan from No Good Deed for his self-depreciating humor, his love of cowboy boots, his dry, witty, make you think twice comebacks and his struggle to claim who he is and loves.

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

     God, don’t let it be LaGuardia!! And as long as the island or the planet have working bathrooms and toilet paper, I’m good.

     I’d bring a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, mystery books from Tony Hillerman, James Dos, and Faye Kellerman, all of Lois Bujold-Masters works, Tolkein’s hobbit books, and a few classics, like How Green was My Valley, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

     (Notice I didn’t really name any romance books? Well, I’m not going to name any because I know too many of the authors and wouldn’t want to miss anyone and have them feel bad.)

     Truthfully, until I started writing gay romance, I never read romance books at all. Ever. I still can’t understand it. But in my gay romance books, you’ll find all the elements of the books I love to read, like mystery, cops, crime, danger, action and suspense. My books rarely depend on the “misunderstanding” or “guys can’t talk” pretending to be a plot. I love to take my guys through a lot – I want them to really struggle and fight for their happily ever after. My tagline is Everyone Deserves a Happily Ever After. And I believe it.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

     I remember writing poetry in junior high. About all sorts of things. I don’t have any of it and don’t remember a single poem. I write poetry again in college, full of angst and sexual desire. But I was more of an artist, painting, drawing, printmaking. I went to college for Fine Art and have a degree in it. With English as my minor, so a lot of writing there, but all for school.

     I did art for years, then as I got older, I move to gardening. I loved it so much I’d planned to be a Master Gardener, but my knees when bad and I couldn’t do much anymore. So I started reading. I’d always been a reader, but this was in my early 40’s and I wanted to read stories that had dragons and heroes and sex. Lots of sex. But they were hard to find.

     My husband listened to me complaining about not finding books and he said, “Shut up and write one.” So I did. I wrote my first book, over 250K, which he informed me was what they call a “Trilogy”. I then wrote about 6 books before I decided to publish.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

     Oh, yes. I read all the Dr. Suess books. I read most of the child classics like Winnie The Pooh, and I remember falling in love with Belinda and the Dragon. When I hit about 11-12, I hated the Nancy Drew books, but ate up all the Trixie Beldon books. She had curly hair like me and was horse crazy like me.

     At about 13, I spend most of my time in my local library. Nix Library on Carrolton Avenue in New Orleans. They let me take out books way above my pay grade, but I devoured books. I especially love Mary Steward, Shirley Jackson, and any gothic book, like Daphne du Maurier. All of H.P. Lovecraft. All of Sherlock Holmes. All of Edgar Allen Poe.

     Then during and after college, I discovered horror, reading all of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. I also read a lot of true crime books. But then I had kids, and reading horror just didn’t sit well with me. And my husband worried about all the true crime stuff, like “How I Killed My Husband” stuff. So for everyone’s sanity, I move off it.

     And onto mystery, detective stories, police procedurals.

     But never romance. Not until my mid to late 40’s.

     Now, if you read a lot of my books, you can see where all of these early reads had a big influence on how and what I write about. I can go light and funny or very dark and gritty. I love adding action, mysteries, or suspense to my books. 

     And sex. Lots of sex. Hot, hot sex.

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

     Good Lord! Well, I’d definitely be filed under the erotic romance section. I need to think about this for a bit. My life has been fairly usual. Sort of boring in its last half. Married, with children. Working a corporate job, 9-5.

     I’m not sure – maybe chicklity like Strong, Steady, and Sexy

     Or for a literary turn, The Electrician’s Daughter

     Maybe something southern, like Fried Okra, Grits and Men.

  • 10.What question would you ask yourself here?

     What are you working on next?

     My answer – I’ve got three books to series I need to finish. A new WereWolf Fight League book. This is going to be a menage (m/m/m) set in the dark, gritty world of werewolf slaves and cage fighting. This is for Loose Id.

     Another is the next Locke and Blade book. It’s set in a magical world torn away from the non-magical. They are a team of Inspectors who serve the Patrol, their world’s police force. This is for MLR Press.

     And I’ll be working on a new Rougaroux Social Club book, the last in the series. I plan on figuring out who Maman’s black cat really is and why he’s found a home in the bayou. Another for Loose Id.

    And I’m working on a…wait for it…gay inspirational story for Dreamspinner, if they take it. It’s the first in a series, so we’ll see, but I have hopes for it.

    Anything more than that will be for my het pen name, Theodora Lane.

Thanks again to Scattered Thoughts!!

And a big thank you to my publisher Dreamspinner, my editors, and my cover artist for David’s Dilemma, AngstyG.

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About David’s Dilemma

2nd Edition

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.

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About the Author

Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and bestselling 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.