I was invited by Sarah Madison to take place in the Fabulous Five Author Blog Hop. The idea is that we answer a specific set of questions and tag five more authors to do the same, and hopefully introduce you to new authors and their work.
1. What am I working on?
It's been a very long time in coming, it seems, but I'm in the final stages of polishing the fourth installment of the Diversion series: Manipulation. Lead protag Lucky's trafficking past wants him back.I'll be working on the fifth book immediately thereafter, as they were originally conceived as one volume, but the story grew too large and had to be split in two.
Also, on September 15, Dreamspinner Press will release A Matter of When, the story of a rocker caught in a downward spiral who must turn his life around. And who better to help him than the opera tenor hired to provide vocal training?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm not sure how to answer this, other than I try to bring my unique perspective to the writing process. In the case of the Diversion series, I'm told the plot line is unique in that no one else seems to be writing about the drugs in the pharmaceutical supply chain going from legal to illegal, as opposed to illicit, more well known drugs like heroin and cocaine. The main points of each book are ripped directly from the headlines, with a lot of useful knowledge from pharmaceutical trade magazines, and the DEA and FDA websites. Pills mills? Yes, they're real. And like in the book, joint efforts from law enforcement are working hard to bring them down. The drug shortage? Also, scarily real, as is "bath salts".
As far as my other works, I like to mix genres. A kilted Highlander in 1800's Scotland and a shy violin teacher from England? Why not cross the historical aspect with contemporary? Oh yeah, and lets throw in a paranormal twist to end up with Duet.
And what if my pirate from The Pirate's Gamble time traveled?
The Wish is a nice contemporary, enemies to lovers story. Hmmm... how will we get them together? I know! What if one of their uncles decides to match make? "But that's been done before," you say?
What if the uncle is a ghost?
Then there's my shifter novel, Naked Tails. By the light of the full moon, my hero turns into... a possum?
3. Why do I write what I do?
I sit down at my computer, and let out the characters in my head. They lead me where they want to go. So many times I'm asked, "Why m/m?"
I write stories about people. Former drug traffickers turned good, possum shifters, lonely men in search of love. The focus is to tell a great story. Oh, but my character is a man who loves another man. I'm hoping in the future that the story is what people see first, not the fact that my books involve gay characters and that "gay romance" is "romance". We're making strikes in equality, so I'm convinced that day will come. I write folks I can identify with, and hopefully my readers will too. For that reason, I try to stay clear of rippling-abbed perfect gods, in favor of good-hearted computer geeks, and less then perfect men.
Will I ever write another genre? Maybe, if other characters speak to me.
When I was young and going through my gawky teenaged years, escaping in a book's pages was my favorite pastime, and helped me get through some tough growing pains. I'm active in my local PFLAG. I see our young folks, so in need of books and protagonists they can relate to, and I want to give them the same experience I had of reading about someone who could have been me. So I have a YA trilogy in the works about a unique individual that will be hard for some to define.
4. How does my writing process work?
Ideas occur to me, whenever and wherever. I jot notes on Post-its at work, notebooks in my car, and a note pad in my purse. I dump the jumbled mess out, sort through, and start writing. I'm a "discovery" writer, also known as a "panster". Once I start writing, I let the story evolve as the characters become more and more real.
After the draft and self-edits, I have a team of readers and fellow authors who critique and help me polish the original concept. The writing part may take me two months. The polishing? About six months.
5. Who's next on the blog hop?
I tagged five people, but only heard back from two: P.D. Singer and Feliz Faber.