For my next Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Brigham Vaughn. We talked about her brand new hockey romance, taking inspiration from the MM community, happily ever afters, and her love of painting.
Take it away Brigham…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hello! My name is Brigham Vaughn. I’ve been published for 8 years and I really do wake up every day a little awed that I get to do this for a living.
I’m a single, bisexual, poly-ish woman who currently lives in the United States, in the gorgeous state of Michigan.
But, in the past 5 years, I’ve fallen in love with Ireland and after visiting for several months, am exploring my options to make a very big and very exciting move across the Atlantic.
It’s both terrifying and exhilarating but since that’s what it felt like to publish my first book, I think I might just be on the right track!
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
My books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.
I have a number of solo books, which are all available in Kindle Unlimited and two complete series with K Evan Coles which are available more widely.
I write a lot of stories with age gaps, bisexual awakenings, kink, and, sports. But no matter what the subject is, every book has a heartfelt, hard-won, happily ever after.
Describe your books in only three words.
Heartfelt, emotional, steamy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
I just released Bending the Rules, an m/m hockey romance featuring Noah Boucher. ‘La Bouche’ is a French-Canadian goaltender and the first out man in the NHL.
He loves his career with the Toronto Fisher Cats but after rehabbing from a knee injury he’s determined to make it back to the game he loves and finish out his last season with a bang. But when he runs into his former college crush Simon Lawrence, he feels like fate may have something else in store for him.
Simon is a photographer and gallery owner in Michigan, and he can’t deny that their chemistry is as intense as ever but Noah walked away from him once to pursue his hockey dreams and Simon has been burned by long-distance relationships in the past.
A future together will require braving not only the distance and time apart, but the media scrutiny that comes with dating a pro hockey player.
When a catastrophe at the gallery hits just as the pressure of the playoffs is heating up, Noah will have to bend the rules and convince Simon that this time, love comes first.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
I am most proud of The Ghosts Between Us. It’s a tear-jerker about a man named Chris who loses his brother Cal in a tragic accident and discovers, at his funeral, that his brother was dating a man named Elliot.
As Chris and Elliot pack up Cal’s apartment and deal with their grief, they slowly begin to fall for each other. But Cal’s secrets threaten to disrupt Chris’s already fragile family and their relationship feels impossible under the circumstances.
It was such a difficult book to write because the grief was so weighty and the complexity of the emotions was really challenging. I had the idea about five years before I actually released it and I really had to grow into myself as an author to do it justice.
I was so proud that I not only pushed myself to tell a story that I found challenging but that it touched readers so much.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I think the whole MM community has really influenced me. Like any group, there are those moments of drama and turmoil but I really do feel like it’s such a unique genre. Authors are so willing to help each other and learn and teach each other and figure out how to write and market a genre that is still rather new (in the scheme of literature and romance) and tell these really amazing, genuine stories.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without all of those authors who are willing to share their time and knowledge.
What inspired you to start writing?
Fanfiction! I started out in Twilight fanfic because the story was so gripping in some ways but I was so frustrated with some of the ways the author handled it. So I started reading fanfic and I got this idea for a story and it just flowed out of me. I had been trying to write since college but that fanfic (a MFF bisexual love triangle!) was the first story that I finished and shared with anyone.
And the words just flowed from there until I was ready to start writing original fic. The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I am always playing with my schedule but since I write full time I do try to stick to it pretty closely. I get up in the morning, get some exercise and have breakfast, then dive into writing.
I sprint with a handful of other MM authors and recently I’ve been trying to alternate writing sprints with admin sprints so I can keep up with a steady release schedule and doing all of the marketing/business stuff that comes with being an author.
I would like to say I work 9-5ish schedule but realistically it’s often more like 9-7 and I often work on weekends. Finding a good work/life balance is always the goal though.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
It depends on the book. Sometimes I have a little plot bunny appear and that’s usually a plot scenario. But sometimes it’s the characters. It just depends on what sparked the idea. And I am trying to get more deliberate about plotting series so I am falling a little more heavily on the side of plot first these days.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Margaret Atwoods, “The Blind Assassin”. It is such beautifully lyrical but concise writing. And she weaves three totally separate stories into one book. They’re layered on each other so deftly. I’m just in awe of her skill.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Ooof, that’s a hard one! One of my big go-to tropes is “we’re just hooking up for fun but oh no, now we have feelings!” I just love the way characters try to deny their feelings and end up falling completely head over heels in love when that was never supposed to be the plan.
What would be your three desert island books?
Can I pick authors instead? Lol. I would pick Con Riley, Tiffany Reisz, and Margaret Atwood.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
This sounds kind of terrible but I think I would really struggle to have one of my books made into a movie/TV series. It would be sooo hard giving up the creative control and seeing things changed.
If I could have total creative control though (along with K Evan Coles) I’d probably pick our co-written Wake/Calm duet. It’s about these two guys who meet in college and fall in love but struggle to admit their feelings. So much longing and pining for a fifteen year period as they marry other people and try to come to terms with their sexualities! And they have this really incredible group of friends, so to see all of those stories woven together would be amazing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
It’s not a huge secret or anything but I love painting. It’s very relaxing and I just find it wonderfully meditative. It’s a great creative outlet that isn’t writing.
I usually use watercolor or gouache paints but I actually really enjoy painting walls. Not mural style, just painting walls in the home. Lol. Weird, I know, but it’s also very relaxing.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
As a kid, it was always Brontosaurus but I find Ankylosaurus really interesting too. They’re just so odd and interesting looking.
Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.