Lane Hayes has stopped by to talk about her Newest Release and to answer some Burning Questions!


Hello Friends! We are thrilled to welcome the fabulous Lane Hayes to our little corner of the world. Lane has stopped by to briefly talk about her new book, Leaning Into Fall and answer a few naughty questions!!

Welcome, Lane! Thank you for being here.:) Can you give us a quick description of your new book, Leaning into Fall?

Leaning Into the Fall is book 2 in my newest series. This story belongs to Nick, who some readers may remember as Eric’s best friend in Leaning Into Love. Nick isn’t the easiest guy to understand. His thoughts move at light speed, making it difficult for him to communicate sometimes. Wes seems to get him though and thus begins a slow dance and a lean into the ultimate fall. Sigh…. I love a May/December romance! I’m currently working on book 3 in the series, which should be released this summer. It’s so thrilling to be immersed in the San Francisco setting with a group of guys I’m kind of crazy about! 

Now, what about Lane? How about those interview questions no one ever asks?

Do you write naked? NO. All caps! Lol. I like to write in my pjs, though. Is that scandalous?

Have you ever been in trouble with the police? No.

Have you ever gotten into a bar fight? No. See above.

Do you drink? Smoke? Yes and No. I love wine and the occasional margarita. I’m not a smoker.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Invisibility!

What costume would you wear? I don’t think I’d have to wear anything at all if I was invisible. I could wear pjs all day like I do when I’m writing. 

Thanks again and Happy Reading!

Lane Hayes xo

Want to know more about Lane Hayes?

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

Author Links

Website: https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008562883399&ref=br_rs

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LaneHayes3

Here are the Purchase Links to buy Leaning Into You:

Lane Hayes Website: https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XK4DFCD

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/leaning-into-the-fall

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/leaning-into-the-fall-lane-hayes/1125960692?ean=2940154356739

Help us welcome author and cover artist BJ Sheppard!

 

Hello, Everyone!

I’d like to take a moment to personally introduce a great friend of mine. He’s not just your typical hi and bye type friend to me, he’s a true real friend who takes a moment every single day to say hello and ask how I am…and we chat and chat, when we have a moment. He lives on the other side of the pond and we both work…so, we don’t get to gab as often as we’d like, but when we do, we get at it.

Mr. B.J. Sheppard is more than your average Englishman. He’s witty, funny, warm, caring, and very very talented. He’s an author and a cover designer! He has connections with editors and beta readers. He’s well-connected. But that’s not what drew me to him. The fact that he reached out to offer a hand when I needed it, did. I don’t chase people, as you are well aware, but when one pops up and holds out a hand, I’ll grab it and keep that hand warm and safe.

Well, we got to talking, I ended up talking about River and I needed a back cover for it in the worst way…River of Tears that is…I, with BJ’s help brought it to print! But that’s not what I’m here for. When he did that spine and back cover, and I saw it, held it in my hands, I teared up. Not because it’s my baby, but because that cover is amazing! Thanks to Zathyn Priest who did the front cover and to BJ who did the spine and back cover. He matched the coloring with ease. Then I went off to his site and I found the talent! You can see some below. He has pre-made ones, he’ll also create covers to match your needs…Personalization is big with him and with most writers. Just ask and he’ll deliver.

Anywhoot, I asked him if he’d mind if I exploited him and he blushed! I know he did. I didn’t see him but I knew. He accepted at my insistence and my ability to bug the hell out of people to get them to help me promote them. That’s what I do. Help others promo their art….So, without further delay, here’s my friend, BJ!

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, BJ, please come  on in and make yourself at home.

door

Thanks for having me.

It’s my pleasure! Have a seat while I grab us something to drink and a snack. I know you must be tired after that long flight over!

images

Here we go. I couldn’t decide on which one, so I grabbed a bit of each. Mixed_Drink_Tray_-_Glass

Now that we’re all settled, lets begin. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Well I started writing when I was very young, but only took it up properly about three years ago. I love telling stories, and I have studied writing at a higher learning institute here in the UK. Around about the time my second book was released, I got very interested in design as well, so I now run a cover design and formatting service for self-published authors.

And I can attest to that! I have very little free time on my hands and I needed to get River of Tears formatted for Createspace and Smashwords. I asked BJ and guess what he did? YES…and let me tell you he did a professional outstanding job!

Tell us, what was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

My first book was a novella called ‘Always Have, Always Will’.Picture It was a bit of a crazy book as far as publishing goes. I sent it to one of the big M/M publishers initially, but it wasn’t as fluffy and sex filled as they like, so they took a pass on it. I then got signed to the now defunct Silver Publishing, which was a bad error. They went bust and I got the rights back without it ever seeing the light of day. Just when I was getting ready to give in on sending it out, Wilde City Press picked it up and published it for me.

I understand the frustrations all too well. Glad to see I’m not alone in this. And when did you start writing gay fiction? What about this genre interested you the most?

I first started reviewing books, after I found a few mainstream novels with strong gay characters. I was heavily moved by books by David Levithan, Michael Cunningham, Steve Kluger and Michael Chabon. From there it wasn’t long until I discovered the M/M Romance genre existed. I started a small review blog of my own, and was quickly offered a slot reviewing at the Novel Approach book review site. I wrote reviews for them for a year before giving that up to focus on my writing.

We are very aware of that site. If you all remember Lisa from a couple of years ago? She used to run the show here and then decided to start-up her own review site. We are happy to see she chose perfection in a reviewer! Glad to see you’re flying on your own now. More covers and more stories! So, how many books have you written this far?

In my head I have written dozens…in reality, 1 short story, 2 collections of short stories, a novella, and three novels.

I’m guessing your head sees this? Image result for bookcase with a few books

Do you write full-time?

Ha! I wish. No one really knows who I am, so I don’t make enough money to do this full-time. Much like every other author though, it is the dream to be able to work on my characters all day long.

I don’t know of many people who can stay home and make a living off of writing or reviewing for that matter. Those who do are few and far between. And have to be machines! It takes me a minute to get a story done and people pump out one a month. Is there a magic writing program I haven’t heard of yet? ANYWAYS…lets move on…what do you say we go and sit down at the pool?

So much better. The breeze is perfect. Now don’t you nod off on me, we’re talking here. 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?

It chose me. Given the choice, I would probably not bother, and do something that rakes in unhealthy amounts of cash and buy myself that plastic surgery I have been wanting for a while now. But, alas, the writing chose me. No going back now.

Plastic surgery? What on earth for? You don’t need to cover the beauty! On a typical writing day, how do you spend your time?

Mainly fretting, thinking I’m rubbish and deleting things from my manuscripts. Then I’ll have a short burst of inspiration, crack out about 2000 words and have a nap.

I see your eyes drooping! No nap for you right now. Oh, wait until I show you your room! Here, have a snack.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

I do a main overall plot, but then when I start writing, it’s a very organic process. I just see what happens and go where the story takes me.

What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?

I set most of my stories in fictional cities, so I can make up stuff that will help to drive the plot. As far as illnesses and professions go, I try to read a lot about it beforehand and use that as a guideline. I think in cases of this, it’s important to focus on the character as opposed to the minutiae of their traits though. Feelings over fact and all that.

What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re sitting behind the computer and trying to describe what scenes are going on in your head?

Cigarettes (Oh  you’re such a rebel! I love it! Me too! And for those who do not smoke, we’ve already heard every reason why we need to quit. And since we’re not kissing you, please keep all remarks to yourselves. Thanks.)

I recently learned that you’re also a very talented cover artist. How did you get started with that?

Trial by fire really. I just practiced and practiced until I figured out what looked good and what was needed. From there it was just a case of putting together a portfolio and trying desperately to pimp my business out…still a work in progress.

I have to say, your trial by fire thing works very well for you! I mean, let me show everyone what you did! 20160214_082246 20160214_082315

 Talk about talent! I’m still in awe of this cover!

Is there a special technique to making the lovely covers shown on your site?

It’s a bit like writing really. I tend to let the creativity do what it wants. I don’t tend to stifle any urges to not do things. It’s a quick fix if I do something wrong and want to get rid of it, so I test out lots of different looks and see what sticks.

 A quick fix he says. And tell us, where do you get your ideas for your pre-made covers?

God only knows. I just added one where half the page was covered in butterflies, because it looked pretty. No one is going to buy that unless there is a huge market for lepidopterist erotica. You never know. Still, it’s pretty and I liked it, so it made the cut.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

I have a pretty dark sense of humor. I like to be sarcastic and play with that when writing. I have a character called Liam Adams in my Rainbow Connection stories, who is just unapologetic and obscene. He says the things I don’t have the balls to say.

I think most writers have a character or two that allows them to be free, or should I say, which allows us to get away with saying what we normally can’t? I am guilty.

We’ve had all of our drinks, our snacks, what do you think about a cup of java? And speaking of drinks, what are your favorites?

Coffee, Beer, Fanta Zero. Not all at once.

What are you working on now?

Just trying to get my design business off the ground really. And a secret writing project that is a secret….shhhhhhh!

When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?

I’m pretty terrible at promotion. I don’t feel comfortable bigging myself up really. (To those of  you who aren’t sure what ‘bigging’ means, it’s like tooting your own horn so to speak. OR bragging, or patting ones own back.) I send out review copies of my books and share the reviews. I post on Facebook and Twitter. Asides from that, I’m not really very active with promotion.

Yeah, me either. I write, release, and mention it and then go to the next. I’m better at helping others do promotion. We have a lot in common! What kind of books do you like to read?

I like speculative and transgressive fiction stories. My favorite authors are Chuck Palahnuik, Douglas Coupland, Augusten Burroughs, Michaels Cunningham and Chabon. I’m pretty open to new suggestions.   Have you read John Saul, John Hart? Couple of my favs. No I haven’t. I’ll look them up.

If you weren’t a writer or cover artist what would you be?

I’d probably be a mortuary technician…for a while there, that was a serious consideration.

WOW…you’re a brave one! That’s a creepy career. When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?

This is promotion right….uh, I like all things about my books covers. I’m very good 😛

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I like music, movies, going on adventures with my lovely fiancé, Si.  May I say that you two are perfect together?! Yes, I said it.

 

I know you’re exhausted! C’mon, I’ll show you to your room.

 

Before I leave you in peace, can you share any special projects coming out that we should watch for?

There is a sale on until the end of February at my site, all book covers are down to $35 per ebook cover. Please go here to get yours before time and covers run out! Covers

Oh, the shower is here! AYE! That’s Marvin, your personal assistant while you’re here…I have no idea why he’s…I mean he knows you’re taken but he’s a..oh nevermind, anyway, let me get him out of there and while I’m doing that, can you please tell us where we can find you, your books and your covers? And while you’re at it, what are your fees? I know I’ve fallen in love with a few of your covers, mainly two titled Bad Boys and The Message. I personally cannot wait to get the stories done! And now I’m eyeing Fractured! Well done, BJ!

Okay, so there is a sub-page on my author page that tells you all about my new design business, BJS Cover Design and Formatting (original name, I know). That’s where you can find a bundle of pre-made covers on sale for $35. There is also a good explanation of my fees there, which basically equate to this:

Pre-made covers – $35

Commissioned covers – on an hourly rate. First hour is $30, and every subsequent hour is $25. More can be charged for harder projects, more stock photos or more concept designs.

Formatting (ebooks and paperbacks) – the same hourly rate as above applies.

 

You can find my site at: http://bjsheppardauthor.weebly.com

My cover design and formatting site at: http://bjsheppardauthor.weebly.com/bjs-cover-design–formatting.html

My Facebook links:

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/BJSheppardauthor/

Design page: https://www.facebook.com/BJSheppardCoverDesign/

Twitter: @bj_sheppard

 

Thanks for having me!

 

Examples to use throughout of my work:

 


 

Thank you for visiting BJ! Come again soon!!

 

 

 

 

Top 2 Bottom Author Interview JC Calciano ( Enter to win the movie, book, and soundtrack~)

10ypbookfinal

What is The 10 Year Plan all about and where did the original idea come from?

The 10 Year Plan is about two friends who make a plan to be together in 10 Years if still single. It’s based on a true story about me and my two best friends who made a pact with each other to one day get together. Ten years after their agreement, each came over to me and said, “I love him but I’m not sure if I want to be in a relationship with him – HELP!” I laughed at the mess they got themselves into and thought; this is a great idea for a movie!

This is the first time you’ve written a novel based on one of your movies. What made you decide to do it?

The original script for THE 10 YEAR PLAN had several scenes that I couldn’t put in the movie because of time and budget restrictions. One such scene was the origin story on how the lead characters met. There was so much fun stuff in the story (and some sexy scenes) that I decided to add it into a book rather than the film. The book has everything I wanted to add but couldn’t.

Will you do it again in the future?

Yes, I would!  I just attended my second male/male romance book convention and had an amazing time.  The fans are so welcoming and fun and there are so many wonderful readers there who are so excited to meet their favorite authors – each time I meet fans and get positive feedback about my book and my movies I get very inspired to write more. My plan (if the book of THE 10 YEAR PLAN) sells well is to write “IS IT JUST ME?” and “eCUPID” into books next.

What would you say to a budding M/M writer?

I would advice every writer – either of a book or a screenplay to do the same thing: READ. Find a favorite writer and see how they write, their style and think about what makes them wonderful? What is it about their writing that appeals to you? Once you’ve done that, stop and think about what it is that you have to say to the world. What’s your point of view on things? What’s the message and story you want to convey to your readers? A writer needs to create their own style and tell your own stories, but I think it all comes from a knowledge base of what others have done in the past. Stories and people that have inspired and excited you.

How do you feel about the future of books? More e-books or will print always be around?

Books aren’t going anywhere. Nothing is as fertile and wonderful as your own imagination. Readers will always read. Whether paperbacks will continue to be popular or not is another question. I love reading on paper and I know a lot of people do too, but the e-readers are getting so good now and convenient that it’ll be tough to compete with that technology.

What do you prefer to read? E books , blogs, magazines or print?

I love blogs. As a filmmaker, I love pictures videos and stories. Blogs also have an immediate nature about them that print doesn’t have. That said, nothing is as wonderful with curling up with a good old narrative paperback book.

On those days you’re in a funk, what do you do to get back to the keyboard?

Funky days make it impossible to write for me. When I can’t write, I clean the apartment. My husband will often come home to a clean apartment and laugh and say, “Had a hard time writing today?”    (ROFL!)

What promotional tricks have worked for you?

Extra value. I try to give the fans and people who buy my movies, (and now book and audible book) extra value. I always include as many special features as I could, when I conducted my kick-starter campaign, I send all the supporters a custom-made thank-you card that all the cast signed. I also included a copy of the soundtrack to the movie. I believe in showing your fans and supporters as much love and respect as possible. For me, that comes in the way of creating quality products and giving them as much value for it as possible.   (Please keep reading for your chance to win~)

Do you have a story or an author who inspires you?

I love the comedy and writing of Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey. I also enjoy movies by filmmakers like Rob Reiner, Nancy Meyers and classic filmmakers like Frank Capra. Stories that make you think, laugh and feel something wonderful at the end of them always are my top picks.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

I’m like a teenage ninja turtle when it comes to pizza. I could eat it every day for every meal and I would if it weren’t for my husband putting restrictions on my consumption of it.

Beverage of choice?

I like coffee and booze. Not necessarily together. I drink coffee all day and like to reward myself at night with whiskey sometimes a nice gin martini.

What makes you happy/sad/angry?

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people laugh. Nothing makes me more angry than seeing people mistreat one another or take advantage of someone who is less fortunate. I am a genuine believer that those who are stronger need to support those who are weaker and less capable. My hope is that more people support their communities and each other and demand that our institutions do the same. At the end of the day, all that we have is each other and all that matters is the memories we leave of ourselves.   T2B-(What a sweetheart!)

What’s in your future as a filmmaker and now author?JC Calciano - photo -2(1)

I’m currently writing my fourth movie in the series. It’s more of a love story than the last two. I’m a big fan of love-stories and I don’t think we have enough gay love stories out there. I’m also hoping to incorporate characters from the first three films in this new movie. I love combining the worlds of the first three films, so with any luck, I’ll be able to have some fun scenes in the new movie with favorite characters from the last three films. I also plan to turn the first two films into books. Writing THE 10 YEAR PLAN into a book was such a rewarding experience that I’m looking forward to revisiting IS IT JUST ME? And eCUPID and adding some great new and sexy scenes to those stories. Lastly, and as always, I’m planning on making more STEAM ROOM STORIES. I love comedy and writing/producing those silly little sketches. Making that show for Youtube make me happy and are a guilty pleasure for me.

What would you like your fans to know about you?

I’d like the fans to know how much I listen to them and how important their feedback and encouragement is to me. As a writer, I’m often locked in a room by myself all day trying to create something sweet, romantic and wonderful. A lot of times, I just stare at the screen waiting for inspiration. When an email from my website shows up or a facebook post appears from a fan that tells me how much my stories mean to them or they comment on youtube how a steam room stories episode made their day, I get inspired. Those little messages and words of encouragement mean a lot to me and they really motivate me to keep writing and making more movies.

T2B- what a very interesting man JC is! We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. But, until then, we have some fun to share with you.

Here’s the link to see

Three Little Words – THE 10 YEAR PLAN – music video

Here are a couple of pictures of the men who play Brody and Myles in the movie

10YP_Jack_Turner_1 10YP_Jack_Turner_2 10YP_MichaelAdamHamilton

If you’d like to win a copy of the book, the DVD, and the soundtrack, please leave a comment below with your email address. We have two winners to go!  ( Contest ends November 30th, 2015 at midnight)

20151107_074339

Welcome the ONE and ONLY…S.N. Graves!!!

Before we go on to learn more of this fantastic gifted artist, let me first say… The doors here are open, and will be but I can’t say there will be reviews like there has been…All I can say is keep checking in, subscribe to get an email so you can see when I manage to update, or? All I know is that it’s very hard for me to kill what took me and a few others so long to build. I just can’t keep the pace of the past. I have a life to live, stories to write, and goals to meet…

Now, here’s the very special…S.N. Graves!!!

 

 

sn graves

 

 What’s your favorite comfort food?

Sushi. Sushi makes everything better.

Who do you turn to for encouragement when you feel your writing isn’t all you think it can be?

Once upon a time that person was my mother. She was the only one I ever let read everything I wrote, and she was such a super fan of the characters in my world it was hard to feel like anything less than a rock star when she was giggling at my every dumb joke and tearing up at all the right places.

My mother was taken by a stroke several years ago, and without my instant audience, I sort of stopped writing. Before her stoke I had signed up for a graduate degree at Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. I almost didn’t go because I felt like I’d never be able to write again anyway, but once my mentor, Barbara Miller, got a look at my work, she became that encouraging voice I needed, and slowly, over the course of a couple years, I got my mojo back. In that time my sons became teenagers, and now they are my most rabid fans, and the people I look to when I need help getting through the low moments of the writing life.

Do you have pets? If yes, what are their names?

I could spend a whole interview naming pets. I have far too many because my husband and I are suckers when it comes to a critter in need. I have Mojo the pit bull with the broken tail, Pooh Bear the cat with the missing eye, Sassy and Gary the cats, who both have leukemia, Derp the cat, Django the cat, and just recently we adopted a pitty/Doberman mix named Mokey.

What do you think your strongest asset is in writing? Or weakness?

I think my strongest asset is my ability to write engaging dialogue. That probably comes from my tendency to forget these are fictional people I am writing for, and so when they start throwing tantrums in my head or making wise cracks at one another, I just type everything that comes out of their mouths. If you build strong characters and give them a rich history and passionate convictions and opinions of their own, and then put them in a room in your head with other characters built in the same way, fireworks are bound to happen. Every time I get more than two or three characters in a scene it reminds of Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house—no one is going to agree on anything, food may end up splattered against the wall, things may get broken and people will storm out, but it is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

As for my greatest weakness… That would be a tossup between the comma, which always conspires to make me look like an idiot, and the word “don’t.” If someone tells me not to do something in my writing, if they declare it a rule, my brain translates that as “Oh, do it? Do it now? Do it HARD? Well okay then, if you say so.”

What mundane thing do you have to do that you totally dislike?

Sleeping. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I like monsters, freaks, weird people in weird situations. I don’t care if I find them in horror or fantasy or romance, I just don’t do normal people—I find it too hard to suspend disbelief. (DITTO)

What is your favorite genre to write?

Horror and romance. I suspect that’s what landed me in the paranormal category.

What classes have you taken – or want to take, to improve your writing skills?

I graduated from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program, and despite some low points, it did wonders for making me feel like a legitimate author. If I had the money and time I would sign up for so many different writing classes. Honestly though, I think the best courses for would-be writers are not English courses or how-to-write courses, but classes on acting, film studies, psychology—anything that helps an author understand storytelling from a viewer’s perspective or that helps them understand people in general.

What would you say to a budding M/M writer?

Don’t write stereotypes. Write all people as people with unique habits and gestures and quirks. Don’t depend on the depictions you see on TV to guide your hand in crafting your heroes. Make them fully realized people, don’t limit them to lisps and assigned roles of top and bottom.

Would you consider writing in a genre you’ve never done before? If no, why?

It would be kind of difficult to find a genre I haven’t written in some capacity before. I love a challenge, and I don’t consider any genre off limits.

What do you do for fun?

I…don’t know what that is anymore. When I am taking a break from editing or writing I watch movies, I read, or I role-play. Not the slutty nurse and dirty doctor sort of Role-Playing, but the AD&D sort. I pretty much live and breathe storytelling in one form or another. It might make me a little boring in real life, but fantasy is much more interesting anyway.

Where is your favorite place to write?

At the beach, in a nice hotel with the windows open so the sea air can blow the curtains up and fill the room. Especially at night. If not the beach then anywhere that I can hear a good thunderstorm going on outside.

How does your family and friends react to what you write?

With the exception of my mother and my sons, they have all just recently been allowed to read any of it. For the most part what I write is not really their thing, ya know? Either they are put off by the romance elements, or put off by the horror and paranormal elements, or completely lose it when the M/M elements show up. They aren’t my target audience, and I try not to let it make me sob in a corner that they don’t love everything I write.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share that you make when you are in a time crunch?

I do!

Step One: Find a man.  (S.N., if you can point me in the right direction please?)

Step Two: Agitate well until man shows signs of breaking.

Step Three: Tell the man you are hungry and on a deadline.

Step Four: Give the man every reason in the world to get the hell away from you (i.e. scare him toward the kitchen).

Step Five: Promise reprieve when noms are delivered.

Step Six: A slight cooling off period may be required, but soon you should smell the delicious aroma of noms. Wait quietly, but don’t be afraid to shout the occasional demand for a progress update.

Step Seven: Voila! Noms magically appear on your desk, though make sure you clear a good sized space for them because the dish may well be flung at you. Results may vary, depending on how well you have trained your man.

When you feel discouraged with a current work in process, what do you do?

Cry in the shower. Cry into my pillow. Sob at my kids. Beat my head against the wall. Then make a cup of coffee and reevaluate what I am doing. Often I find just reading back over previous work is enough to get my head into gear and get the words flowing again.

HAHA! I so understand all of the above. (Michele)

What are some of your other creative outlets?

I draw and paint. I like drawing my characters and even doing little comic book panels of scenes I’m writing. I also do a lot of cover art—for my books or other people’s.

What’s your favorite season to write about?(Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter)

I’m a fall and winter kind of gal. Fall always smells so nice and the air just feels like magic. Winter encourages characters to snuggle for warmth, and who doesn’t like that? (I’m with you!)

Are you a morning, afternoon or night owl?

I hate mornings. It doesn’t matter if my morning starts at 6AM or at 3PM, whenever I first get up I’m a snarly beast. It doesn’t help that I have neurological damage, and so my head will wake up a good 20 minutes sometimes before my legs do. If I wake up and try to jump right out of bed, I’m going to faceplant into the carpet, never fails. My father used to get the biggest kick out of waking me up in the mornings for school. He’d slam the door open and give that drill sergeant shout “Get your lazy butt out of bed. It’s chow time!” and then he’d stand there a minute and snicker as I launched myself out of bed, and my noodle legs flung me all over the room until I crashed face first into the floor. Ahhh, good times.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

Own a full scale Pit Bull rescue.

Own a house bigger than a breadbox.

Live on the beach.

What music do you listen to when you write? Or do you have to have total silence?

I must have music when I write. I will sometimes spend days setting up the right playlist for a series of scenes, and when I sit down to write that playlist will play over and over again. Sometimes, it’s just one song that I put on repeat, because once you find something that gets you in the right mood, you cling to it. I almost had a full scale revolt on my hands when writing some of the scenes for Look Back in Anger, because I had the same song on loop for about three days.

Katie Melua – The Flood http://youtu.be/4E4-9yKTv_I

The kids and the husband wanted to strangle me.

What social medias seem to work for you?

Mostly Facebook, and that is only because I am old and Twitter scares me. I just signed up for Ello, and I have no idea how to even use it. By the time I figure it out, it will go the way of MySpace, and I will have to move over to something else.

How did you discover M/M romance?

When I was a kid in the 90s the closest thing I had to M/M was a picture I had of David Bowie and Mick Jagger cuddled up on a couch together. I live in the bible belt, so it was incredibly hard to find anything M/M or F/F anywhere, and it wasn’t until I got out on my own and discovered the internet that I actually found real M/M stories—some of my favorites being P.L Nunn’s work and Tricia Owens. It’s still pretty much all I want to write, and most of my fictional worlds are heavily populated with M/M stories. I do have women in my stories, and they do play a big role, but for the most part my focus is on my gay or bi male characters –Zakai and Vander, Arthur and Vincent, Alex, Eli, even Jesse. I think I decided to start with Samantha as my main protagonist instead of any of the men because there was so much world building that needed to go into that first serial, and I wanted Samantha to stand in for my readers (predominantly female) as someone new to that world and learning about it as the story moved forward. Unless I hear a huge outcry for more female leads, Samantha may be the last female protagonist I have for a long while.

2

Beverage of choice?

Coconut water! OMG, I just discovered this recently and it is amazing. I have never felt better than when I have a bottle of Zico next to me.

What kind of computer do you work on?

Um…it’s black? Kinda a big blocky square? I think it is an HP? Oh! It has this awesome little light bar on the front that makes it look like a Battlestar Galactica cylon. Yes, I bought my computer because it had a pretty, shiny light on the front.

Do you hear voices in your head telling you what to write or are you inspired by what goes on in the world?

Both. Everything I write is inspired by things I have seen in the world, but my characters sometimes make themselves. Once they start to take shape, I do hear them on a constant basis until I start writing them. My husband likes to make fun of me because I often move my lips as I type, sort of acting out the characters and their dialogues as I go. He’ll also never let me live down the times he’s caught me in the shower doing little one women plays where I am voicing the characters in a scene and trying to figure out what is going on. He said the first time he heard it he thought there was someone in there with me, and when he realized I was alone, he got a little scared. Now he knows it’s just me writing, and to leave me alone or suffer the wrath of a wet, perturbed writer.

How do you feel about the future of books? More e-books or will print always be around?

I think print will always be around on some level. There really is nothing like a good, fully stocked bookshelf, but I don’t think paper will remain the standard. E-books are so much easier to use, they take up no space, don’t kill trees, and don’t get frayed and worn the more you read them.

What do you prefer to read? E books, blogs, magazines or print?

E-books. I have enough clutter in my house.

Do you watch gay porn to get ideas?

There is sex in my books, lots of it over the course of the whole series actually, but no I don’t watch porn. I’m not really into video porn of any kind—it just doesn’t do it for me. I need emotional connections. The only place I have found solid emotional connection between characters is in written fiction.

What is nearest and dearest to your heart?

My boys. All three of them. I don’t know what I would do without my sons and my husband. They are the great strength in my life that gets me through all the dark times.

Do you have a story or an author who inspires you?

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Whenever I feel like I have just forgotten how to write, I pick that book back up and read it cover to cover. I have my mom’s copy now, so that makes it even more precious to me.

If you are sick, what is the first thing you do?

I’m chronically ill. I’m always sick, so the first thing I do is realize, yup, I’m still breathing. Then I get to work.

What is your personality like?

I think I’m a mix of all my characters. Alex, Samantha, Zakai… If you read them, you know me.

What do you look for when seeking out an on line friendship?

Honesty and kindness. Mean people suck. I can’t handle negative people on any level. I spend so much of my life these days looking at kitten videos, and trying to keep myself from sinking into a dark place, that the last thing I need is someone who is negative.

What makes you laugh/sad/angry?

It’s really not hard to make me laugh. I love to laugh, and so I watch a lot of stand-up comedy. What makes me equally sad and angry is when people fail to see that the world goes beyond their own personal experiences. People have a tendency to assume the life they have lived and the experiences they have had are how it is for everyone. This leads to people denying that the horrors of poverty, racism, classism, and chronic illness exist. They assume if you are broke, you must be lazy. If you have suffered racial or class injustice, you’re probably just too sensitive and looking for an excuse. If you are sick all the time, you should probably just go see a doctor or stop being a wimp. It makes me sad and angry, because unless you have lived in a person’s shoes, you have no idea what their experience has been.

I want to thank you for letting me dig around a bit…You deserve great big HUGS!!

Holy_Shit-s418x300-93419To see more of S.N. click here

Please give a HUGE Top2Bottom welcome to the fabulous, Zathyn Priest!!

Welcome, Zathyn Priest! We’re thrilled you’re here!


Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Hmm… I think I might opt for tea, please.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m from Adelaide, Australia. I live with a cat, a duck, and two greyhounds. Living with greyhounds means my home looks like a daycare centre, with fluffy toys from one end of the house to the other.
Aside from that, I’ve been around the MM fiction scene for about five or six years, although I took a break away from writing during that time. Amara: The Rebirth is my first novel in about… ooh… three years, I think. So it has been a long time between drinks for me. While I wasn’t writing, I rediscovered my passion for art. I own Scarlet Tie Designs, and design pre-made and (occasionally) custom cover art. Mostly original artworks rather than stock photography based book covers
.

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

Fate, I think. I had no idea MM was even a genre unto itself, and certainly no idea it was popular. Cruising the internet one night, looking for publishers and/or agents, I stumbled across Torquere Press’ website and read through their submission guidelines. I decided to give it a shot and wrote The Curtis Reincarnation specifically to submit to them. Thankfully, it was accepted.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Actually, I’m going to be incredibly boring and decline your kind offer. About eight or nine months ago I was put on a new epilepsy medication, which has some strange side-effects. One of those side-effects is that it ‘rewires’ your brain to not recognize certain foods as appealing. So this once hopeless chocoholic now doesn’t like the stuff. Nor do I really like cookies, cake, candy, etc.
It’s quite bizarre because after a few weeks of taking this drug you eat a cookie and your brain reacts with a message along the lines of, ‘What the hell is this crap? Seriously… what the hell are you eating?’

How many hours a day do you spending writing?

I’m not one of those writers who makes sure they set aside writing time each day. In fact, I may not write for a couple of weeks and then, when I do, write for ten hours a day for several days in a row. If the mood strikes me, I’ll write. If it doesn’t, I won’t force myself. I can always tell when I’ve forced the writing and it only ends up being deleted.

Given that, I’m one of the least prolific writers in the MM genre. That used to really stress me because I’d see other authors pumping out one book after the other. I have to accept that I’ll never be like that.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Oh God… I’m a shocker for revising as I go. Constantly. I obsess over every little detail and I’ve always been my own worst critic in that respect. I do a million drafts of everything. Well… not a million, but a LOT. I’ve never written anything from start to finish without editing, changing, revising, etc.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

I have a general idea and then I basically make it up as I go along. Hence why I have to go back and change things a lot. I’ve never planned or plotted a story from A to Z. I let the characters and story develop, then see where it takes me. That’s half the fun, because it’s a surprise to me where it goes.

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

My favourite is usually the character I’m writing at the time. If I had to choose an all-time favourite, then it’s Alec (Tyler Curtis) from The Curtis Reincarnation. And I think he’s my favourite simply because it was my first published book.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

It’s my constant companion, together with a hefty dose of anxiety. I’ve tried all the so-called writers’ block cures to no avail. If anyone has a sure-fire cure, please let me know.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone?

I have my office, which is in desperate need of redecorating to make it comfy.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

I live alone. I don’t have to worry about anyone else in the house interrupting me. But people interrupting me on Messenger or similar when I’ve said I’m busy… yes, that hasn’t ended well on a few occasions! It takes a while for me to get into the writing mood and, once I’m there, I hate being snapped out of it. If I am, that can ruin the ‘zone’ for the rest of the day/night.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

My sense of humour? A little twisted, a little dark, a little off the wall and left of centre. My sense of humour is represented a lot in my books. It’s woven into everything I write.

What is the most frequently asked Zathyn Priest question?

Usually it’s, ‘Are you ever going to write again?’ This is because I might only write one novel every 2 years. However, I am trying to boost that up to at least one a year.

What are you working on now?

I have a few works in progress.


Counterbalance is a novel length contemporary story I’m working at the moment. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that one when it’s finished, though.

Dystopia is an almost finished novel, but something isn’t right with it and I can’t figure out what, so it’s shelved until I can figure it out.

The Violin Player is a sequel to The Curtis Reincarnation. It may or may not see the light of day, depending on the end result. I won’t let it leave my hands unless I’m absolutely certain it’s what I want it to be.

Left of the Middle is a sequel to Left of Centre, and I think that one will be graphic (Illustrated with digital art).
And I plan to write more in the Amara series.

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?

To be perfectly honest, writing used to be a huge part of my lifestyle. It isn’t as much now. I suffer extreme anxiety in regards to writing and this is the reason I stepped away from it for so long. I’m in the process of dealing with the anxiety and trying to find coping mechanisms.

After I wrote The Slayer’s Apprentice – about 5 years ago – I was struck down with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s one of those things you never truly recover from, and anxiety related issues goes hand-in-hand with it. It’s taken all this time to get to a point where I’ve started to feel the desire to write again.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

I gravitate toward non-fiction, and a lot of my ideas for stories comes from things I learn from it.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer?

Horse Trainer.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Art is a huge part of my life. But when I’m not doing that, I love scoping the internet for interesting articles to read, or Youtube for tutorials. I have one of those brains that gets bored quickly and can’t relax. It’s difficult for me to sit and watch TV or a movie, unless I’m watching something educational.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

Not really, no – lol. Amara: The Rebirth may be it for me this year. Unless I get Counterbalance finished and make a decision on what to do with it.


Although, I will be at GRL in Chicago!

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
I’m most active on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/zathyn.priest1
Twitter (Sometimes): https://twitter.com/zathynpriest
My author website: http://www.zathynpriest.com
and my blog: http://zathynpriest.com/brokenpencil/

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

I’ll rinse out my mug. But seeing as I didn’t have cookies or cake, the rest of the cleaning… you’re on your own *wink*

Grace R. Duncan is here to answer our burning questions!!

Please give a big Top 2 Bottom Welcome to the AMAZING, Grace R. Duncan!!
Grace

Welcome, Grace!
Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Oh, coffee all the way. I live on the stuff. Hmm, maybe that’s why it doesn’t work that much for me anymore

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have been making up stories for a long time. Not quite so structured, of course, and not even written down for the longest time. Most of the stories I made up when I was younger stayed in my head. I love to read all sorts of books and stories and am fortunate to be able to write full time right now.

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

Uh, well, after I screamed, I think it was something along the lines of, “omgomgomgomgomgomgtheytookitI’mgoingtobepublishedomgomgomg!” I don’t think it was so much individual words as much as a lot of smashed together syllables.

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

I started out in fanfiction years ago. My first stories were het, but around Christmas of 2011, I sort of fell into m/m and yaoi. I’m not a huge fan of the stuff that is specifically yaoi, it was more the idea of two guys together that made me think. I liked the idea of taking two men, men who think like men, behave like men and put them together and see what happened. I didn’t read a lot of it yet, as I didn’t want to be unduly influenced. I had these guys in my head already, so I wanted to see what they’d do. Because men—gay, bi or straight—approach relationships differently, I thought it would be interested to explore that.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Hmmm, the mystery ones sound interesting. Might have to dig into that. *peers into the bag*

How many hours a day do you spending writing?

Truthfully, I don’t count them. I am usually up fairly early and after I get my promotional stuff done, spend the rest of it either researching, planning or writing. The actual writing is probably only a few hours, at most, but that’s what writers do, isn’t it? A huge chunk of promo, a mess of procrastination and a tiny bit of writing. 😉

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

I revise as I go. Sometimes, an idea will hit while I’m re-reading something that will spark an entire subplot. Not always, of course, but sometimes. When I sit down to write, I like to re-read the last chapter or few pages and that almost always involves revision and editing. I usually tell people I never really have a true ‘first draft’ because I spend too much time revising as I go.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

It depends on the length of the story. I can (and sometimes do) write shorts straight through without plotting, though I may have a few ideas written down. Novels, however, I prefer to plot out. I find it goes together much more smoothly if I know where I’m going with it. I also get a lot more written if I have a good idea of what I’m wanting to write about.

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

This is a tough one. I have a lot of them that I really love. To some degree, they all have a little something of me in them. Teman is probably closest: the love of wandering, the submissive nature and the way he cares for people are all aspects of me. Bathasar, I think, is probably the ideal lover, but I have to be honest in that a chunk of him is inspired by my RL husband, so that’s probably not fair. 😉 Right now, I’m working on a new story and one of my boys in there—Rafe—has really captured my heart.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

I do. Part of it depends on what causes it. Bad reviews can do that to me and it takes some work reading the good ones, reminding myself that everyone gets bad reviews (even J.K. Rowling!) and finally I can move on. I also have clinical depression, which can cause problems. There isn’t much I can do about it except work through the depression and wait. And sometimes, it’s because something in the story is stuck. Usually, if I go back and think though the situation, re-read the rest and go back over my notes, I can find what’s happened and get through it that way. If all else fails, I’ll read a bit of Chuck Wendig and his post on writer’s blog to remind me that most of the time… I’m just procrastinating.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

I have a corner of the living room that is my office. I used to have a closet but it felt just a wee bit closed in and now I have the front door open so I can see out when I need it. It’s the most productive place for me. Especially when I pull my wifi adapter and get off the internet.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
Writer at work

There’s a reason I’m a writer and not an artist. 😉

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Geeky and a bit weird, honestly. I don’t like laughing at other people, so things like roasts and the like are usually not my cuppa. That said, however, I am otherwise pretty easily amused and tend to laugh at a lot of different types of jokes and humor.

What is the most frequently asked (author name) question?

“Why do you write m/m? What’s so interesting about that?” My usual reply is something along the lines of, “I love figuring out how two men make a relationship work.” Unless they’re obviously being nasty about it, then I tend to be a bit more crude: “It’s fun to see what I can do with two dicks.” That usually shuts them up. 😉

What are you working on now?

Something that quite surprised me. I’d expected to jump into the third in my Golden Collar series or the second in the series with No Sacrifice. But I’d started writing a little flash story that grew into something much larger and I’ve been just following the inspiration for it. Old hurts, new understandings and a long road to forgiveness in this one. I expect it’ll be a tough one to read but in the end, I think it’ll work out well. Of course, it’ll work out well for the couple—I’m a sucker for happy endings. It just might be a rough road to get there for them.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

I’m a sucker for romance of all kinds, though I just don’t read a lot of het romance anymore. I do also enjoy fantasy – Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are two of my all-time favorite series. And dystopian/post-apocalyptic follow very closely behind fantasy.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-

Oh, out of those, I’d have to say horse trainer. I do love riding horses and spending time with animals, in general.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love to play computer games, including the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Lord of the Rings Online and The Sims 3. I don’t always get to play but I try to make time now and again. I also love to crochet but again don’t get a lot of opportunity.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

I’m going into edits soon for the next story in my post-pandemic world. The series is called The Pandemus Chronicles and this particular story—a novella—is called Healing. I rather got a bit stuck on Mark and Duncan and might end up actually writing more with them. I just don’t think they’re quite done with me yet.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

Oh, I’ve got way too many places I hang out. LOL

Website ◊ Facebook ◊ Twitter ◊ Youtube ◊ Goodreads

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

Thank you for inviting me! I’ll be happy to help!

No Sacrifice

Blurb:

Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s married and a father—and thus, straight.

One night he goes to drink his worries away, meets Chance Dillon, and can’t take his eyes off the man. After having a little too much alcohol, he spills his problem to Chance, who helps him realize there’s something other than gay and straight. Patrick’s new understanding of his bisexual identity helps him sleep better—until the next day, when he discovers Chance is a sound technician on the same set.

As their friendship grows and Patrick’s marriage ends, he recognizes a possibility for much more with Chance. But Patrick isn’t ready to be out the way Chance has been for so long, and when the matter is taken out of Patrick’s hands, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.

Preorder link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5106
Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3797bd2/

While the physical stuff is for US only, I am more than happy to send a signed, decorated bookmark or the like internationally. Feel free to contact me anywhere below.

Author’s Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

The Fabulous Jacob Z. Flores is here today on his blog tour to answer some of our burning questions!!

Please give a big Top2Bottom Welcome to Jacob Flores!

Thanks for having me back at Top2Bottom. You guys have always been good to me and were one of the first sites to host me when I first started writing in m/m in 2012, so it’s always great to come back to where you started. I truly appreciate it!

You’re always welcome here, Jacob:) We’re always thrilled when you stop by!

Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

I’ll take some orange juice. Hell, while you’re at it, make it a mimosa!

We love the way you think! We’ll all have one and have a big party! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’m recently single, so I’m back out in the dating world, which has been quite the experience. I’ve been away from this life for over ten years, and it’s been quite an adjustment.

I’ve actually been thinking about writing blog posts about single life and dating experiences. You know, getting back on the horse and all that! And I’m talking about going out on dates not the occasional mount and dismount we love to write and read about.

That’s a great idea, Jacob. Dating can be exciting and fun, but it also can be disastrous! Not every frog is a Prince Charming.

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

I’m usually too excited to mutter intelligible words. I squeal and then dance around like a fool. I do that each and every time a manuscript is accepted. And as long as it works, I’ll keep on doing it. The only person who hates it is my daughter. She thinks I’m weird. But I am, so that’s okay.

Naturally, I was super excited to learn that Dreamspinner accepted When Love Comes to Town. It’s the fourth and final book of the Provincetown Series. Even though it was part of the series and had the release booked in advance to acceptance, I was still nervous. I don’t like to count those chickens too soon. You know what I mean?

We do. Life has a tendency to be unpredictable.

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

It was a longing to tell stories that I could personally relate to. I’d always been an avid reader of mainstream fiction, but most of those characters, while usually excellently written, didn’t relate to me on a personal level. So I decided to write stories that spoke to me, that revealed snippets of my life and my community.

And what a community it is! The m/m genre is filled with wonderful authors and readers, who have embraced me with open arms. I consider myself lucky to write for such devoted readers, and it always makes my day when one of them reaches out to me about a novel of mine they enjoyed.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Chocolate cake please. I never turn down chocolate cake! And no need to get a knife dirty with cutting it, I’ll just take the whole thing. What can I say? I love chocolate.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

That really just depends on my schedule. I try to write at least one thousand words a day to keep myself in the habit. But on a day when I’m not swamped with work or parental duties, I can get up to four thousand. When school’s out during the summer, I write about eight hours a day.

I just love writing. Besides spending time with my daughter and loved ones, there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

I tend to revise as I go. I’m very anal when it comes to my process. If something isn’t working or I need to make adjustments, I have to make it perfect before I can move on. If not, that imperfection eats away at the back of my mind, which just ends up distracting me from making progress. When I’m done with a WIP though, I read the whole things again at least two more times to fix problems that I find. It’s a continual process for me.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

What’s funny about the answer to this question is that it has changed. When I wrote Moral Authority and 3, I crafted an outline from beginning to end. It worked really well for those books. When I started writing The Gifted One, I had a general idea of where I wanted to go, but I just couldn’t write the outline. So I started writing, and the novel just came to me as I went.

For all the books in the Provincetown books, I had no outline whatsoever. I created the characters and set them loose. They’ve told me where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. I figured since my muse was in the driver’s seat, I’d just let him take control. I’ve been pleased with the overall results so far.

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

Tough question. It’s like asking me to choose between chocolate cake and cookies. But if I had to choose, I’d say my favorite character right now is Maddie from When Love Comes to Town. She’s Eric’s nine-year-old daughter, who’s wise beyond her years. She really came to life for me as I wrote her, and she has some of the best lines in the book. She’s also perhaps the smartest character I’ve ever written. She has a keen eye and quick mind. She knows exactly what’s going on even before the adults do. Plus, she’s just so dark cute!

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

What is this writer’s block you mention? I’m unfamiliar with it.

Yeah, right. It’s tough when my muse decides to take a nap. I usually sit and stew before pacing around the room. I try to get him to wake up, but when a guy’s spent, he’s spent. So I find a book and start reading. That usually get’s my muse ready to go again, and I dive right in before he decides it’s time for another nap.

He’s a fickle man, my muse. But I love him anyway.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

Not anymore. I used to write in my big comfy chair. In fact, it sort of became a crutch. I seemed only capable of being productive when I was sitting in it with my feet propped up on the ottoman. But I’ve learned that my muse will follow me wherever I go. All I need is him and my laptop, and we’re good to go.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

I don’t really need a sign. It’s usually all over my face. I’m focused and in my own world. I can’t tell you how many times people have talked to me while I was writing, and I didn’t even know someone was speaking. I zone out when I’m plugged into my muse. As long as there isn’t music blaring or a loud TV show on, I’m good to go.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

I have no sense of humor whatsoever since I’m a robot sent to spy on you earthlings before we invade your planet. But don’t worry, we only plan on taking your men. They will be the only ones who are ravaged.

What is the most frequently asked Jacob Z. Flores question?

I get asked a lot if When Love Comes to Town is really the end of the Provincetown Series. Many readers don’t want the series to end and have lamented how they are going to miss the boys we’ve all come to love. I’m going to miss them too. But you never know, I might just write a Return to Provincetown series to revisit Zach and Van, Nino and Teddy, and Brody and Eric, and then introduce a whole new generation of boys looking for other boys to love.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a novel that’s tentatively titled Being True. It’s about a high school misfit named Truman L. Cobbler. He’s a misfit with a weird name that just doesn’t fit it. He’s made fun of constantly for his odd yet delicate features, his name, and for the fact that he “looks” gay. But Tru doesn’t allow other people to change who he is. He dusts himself off after each bully and tries to be true to who he is. But when Tru transfers to a new school in the inner city of San Antonio, he meets Javi Castillo, the hot and popular jock, who takes an immediate liking to him.

Tru and Javi’s friendship rocks the social cliques at the school. They don’t know how to handle Mr. Popular taking a stand for Mr. Donkey, as Tru is called. The boys have to learn how to navigate the choppy social waters of high school while at the same time dealing with the attraction that keeps growing between them. And there’s also a bully named Rance, who is hell bent on making sure that whatever relationship is starting between Tru and Javi doesn’t last.

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?

Reading helps with the creative spark. When I read, I typically consider how the author constructed the plot and the characters. I try to figure out where the plot is going and how the characters will evolve. I even imagine alternate paths that the author could have chosen but didn’t. I think of reading as a creative writing exercise.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

Horror is my absolute favorite. I’ve always been a big fan of the genre, whether it’s in the theater or in a book. There’s just something about being terrified that makes me happy. My daughter, who used to hate being scared, is developing an appreciation for it. I couldn’t be happier than to share that with her.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-

Well, since I’m single and dating again, let’s go with horse trainer. He can help me with my mount in the saddle.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Traveling is something I enjoy. I hope to take several trips this year and spend time with friends and loved ones. It’s good to get out of your space and go some place new. It’s a good way to recharge those creative batteries.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

I’m hoping Dreamspinner will pick up Being True. Beyond that, I have several ideas brewing. There’s a particular paranormal series I’ve been toying with, and I’ve been dying to do some world building for that. But I leave it up to my muse these days. Where he leads, I follow.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

You can buy When Love Comes to Town here:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4850

And I urge readers to visit me at any or all of my social media sites:
Website/blog: http://jacobzflores.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2,
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JacobZFlores,
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5142501.Jacob_Z_Flores

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

Thank you for having me, and of course I can help. But before we get started on the dishes, I want to thank everyone who joined me here today.