Hi, Cherie, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Sure thing. I was raised by Gypsies. No, I’m not talking about the folk in the awesome little wagons or Vardos as they are more properly called. I’m talking about my birth family, or as our friends from Upper Michigan always liked to call us, The Travelling Halls. We thought nothing of jumping in the car (a VW Beetle with a non-existent heater and a slightly wonky clutch) and puttering off to spend Christmas in West Palm Beach, Florida… oh, and that would have been five adult sized folk and one rather disgruntled tabby. Eh, the cat sitter cancelled at the last moment and as mum put it… “well, shit. I’m going to sit on the beach and tan on Christmas day, and if that means the cat comes with us, well, his life really can’t get much worse than being named Mr. T, now can it?” Mum always did have a way around a patch of words, lol.
What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?
The first book I ever wrote dealt exclusively with the problems and concerns faced in a day by a large grey elephant… and that one still hasn’t been properly published. It’s awfully hard to get anyone to take your writing aspirations seriously when you’re in the third grade and your heroes major conflict centers around whether he should wear loafers or lace-up shoes. I finished Gregor, the Grey Elephant’s story in about four and a half hours on a single Saturday. My mum had gotten me accepted into a nifty day-long gifted student program, and at the end, I dedicated the book to her.
The next book I wrote start to finish was Tian’s Hero. Tian’s story took a lot longer than a single Saturday to write. I spent just over a year writing the first of my Akanti series… and once the story was finished it took over a year to get it published. I submitted Tian to two different publishing houses before he and his consorts found a home at Silver Publishing.
The first draft of Tian’s Hero was truly abysmal, too… I’d have muddled along and eventually made something decent out of it (I would hope) but I feel quite sure it would have taken me a very long time indeed. Instead I met a wonderful man named Patric Michael, who took me under his wing and showed me how to look critically at my own work. He, you know, taught me to fish instead of giving me a fish. That’s why I call him my Balthazar, and dedicate every book I write to him.
Funnily enough, the book was also dedicated to my mum. If you knew Nancy, you’d easily see her fingerprints all over the characters of this story, especially Kay. Heh. Kay and Nancy both harbor a fondness for tea that borders on religiosity. I don’t fully understand it, as I myself bow at the alter of the might Java Bean, but I do know enough to not get between either of them and a well brewed cuppa.
When did you start writing m/m romance?
I started writing M/M romance with Tian’s Hero. My lovely trouple of boys are the delightful product of a lifetimes worth of avid readership combined with about two years spent flat on my back from a brace of surgeries to treat an injury from my days in the service. Eh, who knew dropping sixty pounds of metal on my head would end in such a delightful way? Oh, and of course, stir in the fortuitous discovery of Dangerous Boys and their Toy… a very steamy M/M/F ménage by Shayla Black which sent me tripping merrily down the path to reading M/M got a lovely introduction to the steamy, smexy world of M/M romance, and seriously, y’all had me at go.
What about this genre interested you the most?
I think what really pulled me in with this genre was the incredible writing I found. There were so many different styles, so many good and strong author voices… there was no way an avid reader like myself could be disinterested.
How long did it take you to get published?
My first published work was The Soldier and the State Trooper, and published with the very first publishing house I submitted it to. At the time, I had no idea how fortuitous that was.
How many books have you written thus far?
Um… I have six full length stories published already. Another one is due to publish later this month… I wrote Shadow Dance for the LiAW event over at Goodreads. I like giving the readers at free story every year.
Do you write full time?
I do write full time. I used to be a nurse, but the injury that had me flat on my back for two years also sidelined me in the medical field. I miss it some days, or at least parts of the whole being a nurse phenomena, but I have to say in the same breath that I LOVE my job. I love writing. I think it’s the best job I have ever had. Just knowing that I get to do something I love so much, and there’s at least a chance I can support my family with it as well? Heh. Winning with a side of win.
Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
I just love these questions. Ah, being warned against lifting more than twenty pounds definitely pushed me to find a job that I could do without having to deal with a dungeon. In one form or another, I’ve always written, be it poetry, song lyrics, or silly stories I told to myself about people that no one else could see.
On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
I am such a pantser. I guess I have to go with a little of both. Depends on the story and the needs of the characters.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
*smiles and points at previous answer* PANSTER. REALIO, TRULIO.
What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?
Mostly I draw from real life… so if the subject matter is something I’ve lived through or someone close to me has lived through, I run with that… if it’s something I’m not so familiar with, I look for first person sources. The closer I can get to the source, to actually having lived the event myself, the better.
How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?
*giggling* My characters are real people in their own right. *shhh, Tian, I’m telling them. No. No! Oh, for fucks sake, why did you have to com Lewell’yn? Now we’ll be lucky if he let’s us… ah, hello Lewell’yn. We’re just talking about your book. No, nobody is bothering Tian. Yessir, if they start giving me any trouble I’ll report it to you right away.
*whispers* ~do you see what you started?~
When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?
I just want to entertain. I want my readers to be able to let go of any problems or concerns in their life and relax for the length of my story. That’s all.
Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?
A good editor is priceless. People really do judge books by their covers. All I can do is write the best book I know how, and then listen to my editor.
Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?
Again, total pantser. It changes.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
My brother says I make no fracking sense at all. Usually right after he’s spit his food or beverage all over whatever is immediately in front of him. I keep telling him I want to do dinner theater comedy. You could bring the person who annoys you most, have a nice spaghetti dinner with them… and watch them laugh and get the spaghetti up their nose. *snicker* Of course, there would be trained medical personnel on duty in case of accidental choking. Because that wouldn’t be funny.
What are you working on now?
The sequel to Tian’s Hero, The Enslavement of Luez… it’s in the queue right after The Soldier & the Shaman (Soldiers of the 569th Series), One Thousand Cranes (book one of The Flight of a Thousand Cranes series),
Imps & Demons(Liquid Sin 2) , Changeless and The Faery Curse (Tonawanda Faery Tales 3)… oh, and the sequel to Christmas Rum Balls—it’s called Touch & Go.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing? How did you implement it into your work?
Well, that would be everything Patric Michael and Jambrea Jo Jones ever said to me. I love them. Great people, both kind and so damn chock full of goodness that it staggers one.
When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
Look a lots and lots of pictures of naked men. God, I love my job.
What kind of books do you like to read?
Everything… and especially LGBTQ romance. Oh, heck, I love any sort of romance. I just do.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
Some people call me a space cowboy—oh, wait. That’s a song. *sheepish grin* I’d be a rock star. I write killer lyrics, man.
Where did you get the idea for the stories you write?
We have determined that my household is plagued by zillions upon zillions of flat puppies, aka plot bunnies. They burrow in the walls, hide under the bed… there’s really no place to be safe from them. Silly beasts.
When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?
I like them to be eye-catching. I also like for them to reflect the story.
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
Could you please share your favorite excerpt(s) from one or more of your stories with us?
From Tian’s Hero: Because only Tian would worry about the veggies for supper in the midst of a mind altering shag. No, really.
Lewell’yn craved the stabilising force Tian exuded more than the smoking hot sex. He knew far worse things to be hooked on. Lewell’yn had used most of them at one time or another.
None of them gave him that higher than high, floating through clouds of ecstasy on the cusp of a mind altering, life changing orgasm feeling that one sip from Tian’s lips did.
Time for another hit of Tian.
One of the quirks of Lewell’yn’s DNA lay in his inability to become physically addicted to any substance.
Though the feeling Peaches gave him might be the exception. Lewell’yn knew himself for a greedy bastard. As often as he had the gorgeous redhead he always wanted more. Lewell’yn had seen to Tian properly not twenty minutes ago and yet here he stood with his cock trying to tear its way right out of his shipsuit.
The next time Tian wagged his sweet arse—Tian bent down to pull a heavy saucepan from the drawer below the big industrial stove, wiggling his round arse. Lewell’yn cursed once, stalked over, snatched the smaller man up and flung him face down in the midst of the vegetables Tian had just finished cutting. Lewell’yn yanked the little Akanti’s pants down below the man’s trim hips. He managed, just barely, to avoid ripping them again.
“Lewell’yn, damn it, you’re gonna make me late with the meal again.”
“Peaches, I warned you this morning not to wag your fuckable little arse at me. If you wanted to serve your
meals on time ya shouldn’t have been advertising for a quick an’ dirty shag.”
Tian gave an annoyed sounding huff as he tried to smack Lewell’yn with the closest weapon he could grab.
Lewell’yn grinned down at the little man currently sprawled in the midst of dinner’s stir-fry ingredients. The best thing Tian came up with to use as a weapon turned out to be a bunch of scallions. Reaching backwards over his head he
hit Lewell’yn solidly with them three times. Then Lewell’yn slid his cock, generously lubed with cooking oil, half way
up Tian’s wonderfully tight arse. Tian stopped swinging his makeshift weapon, opting instead to thrust his hips back at Lewell’yn as fast and hard as he could.
“Lewell’yn I-unnnh-I’m g-going to… oh, harder… I’m going to—unh—give you all the burned food Jeram makes for the—oh!—next week if unnh you make me ruin—ahh—my veg-oooh-tables.”
Lewell’yn’s grin grew wider as Tian began to lose his ability to piece together rational sentences. It seemed he and Tian shared an addiction. Lewell’yn lost the grin, tightened his hands on Tian’s hips and concentrated on
fucking his pretty cook into complete incoherence.