a 2009 Lambda Literary Awards finalist
Soren Buchanan feels trapped by his controlling father James, a businessman who’s clever at masking illegal financial dealings on the tropical island of Guam. When James finally asks too much of him, Soren flees to the FBI for help.
Until Soren’s information pans out, the Bureau can’t protect him—so the task falls to Mason Ward, security specialist and former US Army Ranger.
Protecting Soren should be easy enough, but Soren is young, seductive, and not entirely forthcoming about the trouble following him. Mason must fight his growing attraction to the young man as well as thugs sent to bring Soren Buchanan home … dead or alive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why m/m romance?
If you are unfamiliar with the genre, m/m stand for male/male. Some people think it’s weird that I am interested in m/m romance. Naturally, I don’t think so. I’m a heterosexual woman interested in men. Why wouldn’t I write about men?
The answer is two-fold.
On the one hand, it was a natural progression. As voracious reader coming of age in the 1980s, I devoured dime novels (German: Groschenromane), specifically action adventure fiction (Western novels were my thing), mysteries and thrillers, populated with tough male characters who lived through harrowing experiences and survived to save the day. I had hundreds of them. Occasionally, there was a female character, usually a damsel in distress, but I had no interest in those, and romance was far from my mind.
Naturally when I started writing, I wrote from a male point of view, maybe because as a reader that was all I knew, but mostly because writing was about escaping my own awkward teenage girl reality and having fun. 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 there was always that pesky female character I could never identify with standing between me and my hero.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2000 that I read my first m/m romance. By that time, I was a married woman with her first child on the way. What a revelation! Hallelujah! Now for the span of a few hundred pages, I could escape into the mind, heart and soul of the hero AND get the gorgeous guy love interest. Two men for the price of one, if you will. And nary a damsel in sight.
So why do I like to read and write m/m fiction? 100% escapism.
when do you write?
I don’t have a set writing routine; I have three children with homework and soccer practice and swim meets and this never-ending need to eat dinner. Since I am a night owl by nature and certainly moon-ruled I prefer writing in the early evenings and up into the night. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s energies, but I like to write when the house is quiet and the energy of the day has settled. Recently, I’ve discovered mornings, which, for the most part are nice and quiet, too. Now I just write whenever I can.
What was the time frame 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.
For two reasons really: 1. No one that I knew of had used it yet, which made it different and unique. 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 183,000, is a US territory or where it’s located exactly and that was what intrigued me.
any advice for new writers?
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.
I’m no fan of the “write every day” adage, though. I’m a busy mom with a day job and a chronic illness. Some days, unless you count the tweet I sent during my lunch time, I simply can’t find the time, energy or discipline to write. Instead, I’ve opted for a flexible approach. My goal is to write a chapter a week by Sunday night. I write when I can. Every week looks different, but there’s generally time in every week to get some writing done.
Keep it real and practical. Squeeze in as much writing as you can get away with. Commit to whatever routine or schedule fits into your life. An hour a day? Great. Thirty minutes every other day? Totally cool. One page every other Wednesday? Sure thing.