Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2) by j. leigh bailey
Release Date: August 24, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
My interview with j. leigh bailey
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing j. leigh bailey, author of Reckless Hope.
Hi j. leigh, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m j. leigh bailey, author of New Adult and Young Adult male/male romance. I live in the Chicagoland area and have always believed that nothing—not race, gender, sexual identity, religious background or paranormal affiliation—should get in the way of the vitally important Happy Ever After ending.
- Tell us about your book.
RECKLESS HOPE is an opposites attract New Adult romance, in which I’ve paired up a hard-working, super-responsible, over-scheduled guy with a hard-partying, entitled, wealthy adrenaline junkie. Together they discover that learning to trust is a risk, and sometimes the risk is well worth the reward
- How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?
There are a few challenges I face in getting into the head of my main characters. I’m neither a young male nor gay. Clearly, I don’t have the exact life experiences that match up to my characters. But I was once twenty. I struggled to find my way, to define my future. One of the greatest things about writing, or even reading, is that the characters, even the non-human ones, have a shared human experience. We all go through stages of growth, of challenges. We all have periods of grief and excitement. We all fall in love and get our hearts broken. It’s exploring and facing these challenges, and hopefully overcoming them, that make books so much fun. It’s proof, through fiction, that people are capable of surviving and, at least in romantic fiction, achieving a happy ever after ending.
Which all sounds very… philosophical, which isn’t very me. The biggest challenge I face, really, is creating an authentic young male voice. Even when I was twenty, I used words and phrasing that came off as “too adult.” There’s a fine line between language that is so simple or clichéd as to insult young men everywhere, and using language that makes my young men sound like thirty-something women with a love of “big” words. Trying to sound realistic, and not stereotypical, while in my characters’ heads can be a struggle.
- Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?
Reckless Hope is the second book in my Letting Go series, though it, and the others, are stand-alone. They share a common theme, but don’t have any characters or locations in common. I have a couple of characters who are introduced in this book, though, that I may decide to expand upon. Micah’s best friend Jace is kind of a hoot, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him paired up with someone who won’t know how to handle his slightly dramatic flair.
- Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
I’ve been reading romance since I was 11 years old. Even before that, the television shows and stories I read tended to have a romantic pair-up. Added to it, I read about 100 pages an hour, so I’ve read a lot of different books in a lot of different genres. I went through phases. For a while it was all romantic suspense. Then it was Regency romance. Then it was medieval romance. Then paranormal. If it was romance, I would read it. One day I read a male/male romance and it changed everything. In a male/male romance you have all the same elements that make a great romance, the same kinds of conflict that make getting from point A to point HEA so exciting. But you also have the added conflict of social pressure, the questions of to-PDA or not-to-PDA, out or in. Extra conflict that can make achieving the happily ever after ending more rewarding.
- Where do you find your inspiration?
For me, I’ll get a phrase or an image stuck in my head. That phrase or image grows into a scene. Next thing I know, I’ve got a story brewing in my brain. Almost always I see an opening scene, or the scene in which the characters first meet, and I see how I want their story to end. Then I get to watch everything unfold from the first meeting to the end, just like I was reading the book as I was writing it. Sometimes I’m surprised at the direction the story takes me, but always the first scene and the last scene stick.
Thank you so much for having me!
What’s life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.
Book two of Letting Go
Pages or Words: 67,000
Categories: M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance
“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.
Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: An eBook copy of Nobody’s Hero (Letting Go book 1) and an eBook copy of Reckless Hope. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Tour Dates & Stops:
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
Hearts on Fire, Havan Fellows
Amanda C. Stone, Divine Magazine
V’s Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews, BFD Book Blog
EE Montgomery, Bayou Book Junkie
Happily Ever Chapter, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat
MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Jessie G. Books
Dawn’s Reading Nook, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Hearts on Fire
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads
Just Love Romance, Molly Lolly