Author Spotlight: Rory Maxwell


Rory Maxwell

For my latest Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Rory Maxwell. We talked about starting in fanfic and having encouraging author friends, writing around a busy day job, and her love of age gap.

Take it away Rory…

First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hey there! I’m Rory and I’m still pretty new around here. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life (I mastered walking while reading at a very young age!) and discovered what we called “slash” back in the day on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer listserv. After that, there was no looking back. I read MM fanfic for many years and then a writer friend self-published her first MM novel. Once I discovered the Gay Romance category on AZ I was hooked. In 2019, I woke up one morning with a plot bunny that wouldn’t be ignored and I’ve been writing ever since.

Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
This feels a little like being asked to describe the color red! I would say my style is easy to read with moderate angst and a focus on engaging MCs, well-developed side characters, and extra spicy romance.

Describe your books in only three words.
Maybe, Small town age-gaps (the hyphen makes it one word, right?)

What’s your next book about and when’s it coming out?
I’m currently working on the 4th book in my Split Rock Ranch series. It’s an age gap, Daddy kink (no ageplay) book. It has a shy virgin with abandonment issues and a protective Daddy that’s been burned before. I’m so in love with these two characters, they’re just jumping off the page! It’s due out toward the end of this year but it’s already up for preorder on AZ.

Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
Strangely, book 3 in my series, which is a novella. It’s just 22k but there’s so much story there that it feels like a longer book. I’m so proud of how it came together and that readers are loving it! It’s hard to write a solid novella, so I’m very pleased that I pulled it off!

What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I couldn’t possibly answer this without talking about Sarah Honey and Lisa Henry! They are the reason I am writing and publishing at all. They’ve been incredibly supportive and informative from the beginning. So, if you like my books, you have them to thank for encouraging me to go for it!

As far as writer influences, I’m in awe of Cara Dee, Onley James, and Lisa Henry. I hope I can write with a tenth of their talent some day!

What inspired you to start writing?
I actually started out writing fanfic. I’d been a reader for a very long time and I found myself wanting to give back to the fandom community. I had been convinced back in school that I wasn’t a good writer, so despite having stories in my head, I didn’t try to put them on paper. I wrote my first fanfic hoping that a few people might read it and that would be my contribution to fandom. It went much better than expected and I slowly realised that maybe writing was something I could actually do! I ended up getting to know Sarah Honey and Lisa Henry who were writing MM romance and they encouraged me to publish. A year and a half later, here we are!

What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I have a very time consuming day job, so it really depends on the time of year. Ideally, I like to write in sprints. I’ll do a 30 minute sprint before work in the morning, and another when I get home. It’s not a lot, but it’s amazing how it adds up! I’m mostly a pantser, but I do have my plantsing moments. I generally have an idea of where the book is going, but am more than happy to let the characters change things. My main goal with writing is to get the words down. Everything can be fixed in editing!

What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
The characters for sure! The characters often pop into my stories with a full backstory in place, then I have to figure out what their future is going to be.

What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
The books I love are the ones I could never write myself, so I’m going with one I didn’t enjoy! LOL. I wish I wrote Game of Thrones. It started off amazing and then G.R.R. Martin ruined it.

If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Age gap romance. It’s my favorite. I just love exploring the dynamic of characters that are very different. It also lends itself perfectly to my other love, Daddy kink.

What would be your three desert island books?
Breathless by Cara Dee
Domesticated Beast by Onley James
Just a Bit Ruthless by Alessandra Hazard

If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
Actually, it’s one I haven’t started yet. The last book in my Split Rock Ranch series would make a great mini series! I can’t cast most of them yet because of spoilers, but my face claim for Archer is a guy named Callum Snell.

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?
So many. Too many! But my main other hobby is art. I’m a photographer and I do ceramics. 

Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
You can’t go wrong with T-Rex!

Rory Maxwell discovered romance novels on her mom’s bookshelf when she was probably too young to be reading them—the reward for being a nosy kid with great reading comprehension. The magic of a dial-up internet connection led her to the wonderful world of MM fanfiction a few years later and she fell in love with the genre. In 2019 she woke up with a plot bunny, opened a word doc, and started trying to figure out how this writing stuff worked.

Rory grew up outside of Washington, DC, moved away, and then came back for reasons she doesn’t fully understand. An artist and writer, she always has too many exciting ideas and not nearly enough free time. One day, she hopes to escape to the mountains where she can work from home and write as much as she wants. In the meantime, she splits her time between her day job and writing MM romance with heart, heat, and happy endings.

For more information on Rory and her work you can find her on her website, sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on Amazon and Instagram. You can also join her Facebook reader group, Rory’s Renegades, for more news and updates.