Why gay romance?
That question comes up occasionally. Some people think it’s weird that I am interested in gay fiction. I can’t understand why; I’m a heterosexual woman interested in men. And if one man is sexy, two men are twice as hot. That’s the short answer. The long answer is a bit more involved.
To me it was a natural progression. Right from the start I was always attracted to the male side of life. A voracious reader, I devoured all the action adventure fiction—think spies and thieves—that the library had to offer. Back then the adventure genres were populated with tough male characters; the occasional woman was a love interest at best, and this bookish tomboy couldn’t possibly identify with the feminine female characters of the 1980s.
When the time came and I started writing, you guessed it, I wrote from a male’s point of view. Writing was about escaping my own awkward teenage girl reality and having fun; I had no interest whatsoever in female characters. I incorporated them rather begrudgingly. My fascination was with the male and as I grew older my attitude changed from wanting to be a boy to wanting to be inside his head (and later inside his shorts).
But it wasn’t until the summer of 2000 that I discovered gay fiction. What a revelation! Hallelujah. Now for the span of a hundred pages or so, I could escape into the mind, heart and soul of the hero AND still get the gorgeous guy love interest. Two men for the price of one!
So why do I like to read and write gay fiction? 100% escapism and because I like men and their masculinity. I like the dichotomy of strength and vulnerability. And when is a man most vulnerable? When he loves. Thus, gay romance.
I don’t have a set writing routine; I have three children with homework and soccer practice and this never-ending need to eat dinner. I used to write at night, when the house was quiet and no one else’s energy disturbed my own; it’s still my most creative time. Then I discovered mornings, which, for the most part, were nice and quiet, too. Now I just write whenever I can. I’m an incredibly slow writer, because I rewrite and edit and polish as I go, one paragraph at a time.
Two favorite quotes about the writing life of a wife and mother:
“The best time for planning a book is while doing the dishes …” Agatha Christie
“I … have to constantly balance “being a writer” with being a wife and mother. It’s a matter of putting two different things first, simultaneously …” Madeleine L’Engle
Timeframe For THE PROTECTOR:
I started the first draft in very late 2003 and finished in early 2005. A chunk of it was written in a hotel bathroom (after moving from Japan to Hawaii, we spent two and a half months in a hotel; the bathroom was my writing refuge). When I began THE PROTECTOR, I didn’t have much of a plan, no outline, and certainly no plans for publication, which is to say I didn’t go “hmm, I think I’d like to write a gay romantic suspense novel.” That changed quickly enough (I’m a natural planner). But with ambition doesn’t come wisdom, so it took me a while to get organized. It wasn’t until 2006 that I found the wonderful Ken Harrison at Seventh Window Publications. You are here today, visiting my site, because you read the book he took a chance on.
A paranormal about an innkeeper with spirit guests and an attraction to the television ghost hunter who’s filming an episode of his show at the inn, both of them battling personal demons, in the literal and figurative sense.
Also, book 2 in the Buchanan-Ward universe is never far from my thoughts. I’m not done with Soren and Mason just yet. I did write a good chunk of THE STALKER, but the story got away from me and is sitting unfinished on my desktop. I have a feeling that while I liked my idea for a sequel, Soren and Mason have other ideas, none of which they’ve shared with me as of yet.
For two reasons really: 1. No one that I knew of had used it as a location yet. 2. I was looking for an environment/setting I knew something about. At the time we lived on Okinawa, Japan, and a friend mentioned that Guam was the American equivalent to the little Japanese island: densely populated, super humid, horrible traffic and gorgeous beaches. I’d briefly played with the idea of setting THE PROTECTOR on Okinawa, but with the police force and the law being Japanese I didn’t feel I could sustain a suspense series without a few years of research. Plus, Guam was around the corner, so to speak. It was only 1500 miles or 2400 km to the east, which was considerably closer than Hawaii, my second choice (the distance between HI and Okinawa is almost 5000 miles or 7800 km).
Many people don’t know that Guam , an island about a fifth the size of Rhode Island or three times the size of Washington DC, with a population of only 170,000, is a US territory or where it’s located exactly and that was what intrigued me.
Advice for New Writers:
Persistence! You need to show up at the keyboard. Trust me, I know that’s sometimes easier said than done, but the truth is, nothing gets written if you don’t show up.
Best Advice Found On A Publisher’s Website:
“If you absolutely have to have a rough estimate of our rejection rate, the answer is that we reject most [manuscripts]. But look at it this way: if you don’t send us your manuscript, the odds that we’ll publish it approach absolute zero. It’s your call.” Tor Books