If you’ve read my collected newsletter serial, Screens Apart, you’ll be familiar with the gorgeous panty and lingerie blogger, Simon, and I couldn’t resist getting some art made of him in all his glory! I absolutely love it and I cannot stop staring. In fact, I’m going to get a print made so I can hang it in my office and stare at his perfect, peachy butt!
The artist for this is the fabulous Soushiyo! I had so much fun working with him and I adored the way he bough Simon to life. You can find them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SoushiyoX and I’d highly recommend his sexy webcomic Familiar as well.
Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe I’ve been interviewing authors for nearly a yearand I can’t wait to chat to more of them about their amazing books throughout 2020.
Kicking off this year is the fabulous Alie Nolan, who’s here to talk in about her new book Being Enough, the second in her Portland Piranhas series, which is out today!
1. What inspired you to write Being Enough? Can you tell us a little more about the story? Being Enough is an enemies to lovers story between an NFL coach and player, who are forced to work together at a kids summer camp. I think the main thing that inspired me to write Being Enough was Eli and Colton themselves. I knew while writing the first chapter of His Favorite Player (the first Portland Piranhas book) that I wanted Colton to get his HEA, but I didn’t know what his story would be at the time… and then I wrote Eli, and knew they were meant to be together.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb? The side characters are always a fun part of my books for me that aren’t included in the blurb. I tend to fall as in love with the side characters as I do the main characters. My favourite side character in Being Enough (besides some appearances from Ryan and Alec, from book one) is Eli’s great aunt, Mimi. I love writing supportive family/friends for my MCs, and Mimi is exactly that. Also, Mason. Mason is a side character, who briefly appeared in His Favorite Player, and is back in Being Enough… I have plans for him!
3. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? I’m not really one for editing things out. I usually stop myself from including unimportant scenes before I write them.
4. What came first with Being Enough, the characters or the plot? Is that the same for all your books? The characters. I knew I wanted Colton and Eli to end up together, but I had no idea how or what the plot of their book would be until I started writing it.
5. If we made Being Enough into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Eli and Colton? Not a clue. That’s a really hard question that I don’t have an answer to.
6. Being Enough is the second book in the Portland Piranhas series, do you have any more books planned or are you planning something new? I do have plans for more Portland Piranhas books… *cough* Mason *cough*. That book will hopefully be out at some point in 2020. Right now though, I’m working on the first book in a new series, Little Hollow. Which is about Alec’s family from His Favorite Player.
7. What inspired you to start writing? I’ve always been a storyteller. As a kid, I drew and wrote stories, as a teenager I filmed stories, and in my early twenties, I animated stories. I’ve always had stories floating around in my head that I needed to share with people. A couple of years ago, when I left my animation job and moved back to my hometown for a year, I did nothing but read all day, every day, for several months to distract me from being in a place I hated. One day I just decided that I’d like to try writing a book like the ones I was reading, and fell instantly in love with it.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? So many things have influenced me as a writer. The books I read, people I meet, situations I’ve been in. (My husband read these answers for me, to make sure I wasn’t rambling, and he insisted that he be listed as an influence too lol)
9. This is your second book, how did publishing your first change your writing process? Do you have any advice or tips for first time authors? When I published my first book I was convinced that no one would ever read it, let alone want to read a second book from me… so when they did, I guess that changed my writing process somewhat. I had more confidence going into writing Being Enough, because I’d done it once, I could do it again. That being said, knowing that people were actually anticipating this book was terrifying, and pressure that I didn’t have the first time around.
My advice to first time authors is advice I give myself all the time… just write a book that you want to read. If you’d want to read it, then someone else will too!
10. What is your favourite childhood book? The first book that came to mind was The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I read that book so many times when I was a kid. I still relate to Mildred Hubble’s clumsiness on a deep level.
11. 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? If I’m not writing or reading, then I’m probably painting my nails. I’ve been doing nail art as a hobby since 2012. I have a nail Instagram account and blog under my real name.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? Apatosaurus.
Thanks for helping me kick of 2020, I can’t wait to read Colton and Eli’s story!Also I love The Worst Witch too – I definitely relate to Mildred! You can download Being Enough right now.
Alie Nolan is an author of sweet and fluffy MM romance novels. She lives in the UK with her husband and dog, neither of whom share her love of reading. She drinks an absurd amount of decaf coffee, adores aquatic animals, is a huge fan of the New Orleans Saints, and exists with a book/kindle in her hand.
2019 has been an absolutely amazing year. I’ve achieved so much more than I could have imagined, and I’ve had some truly fantastic experiences along the way.
At this point last year, I hadn’t finished the first draft of Breakaway and although I knew I wanted to publish it, I had no idea what that would entail. I certainly didn’t think I’d have published two books in five months and have a serial in progress, or that I’d have met so many amazing people and friends. And yet I have, and I’m so proud of everything that I’ve achieved.
Next year is just going to be even better! So far my plans for 2020 are:
Write and publish Final Score This will be the last book in the Off the Pitch series and it’ll be Jordan’s story. He deserves his own happily ever after and I can’t wait to share it with you. I’m hoping this will be out during the Spring.
Finish Screens Apart This will either have five or six parts depending on how the story fits together! I’m also looking at collecting it together at the end, and that would be during the Summer, so newsletter readers have a chance to finish reading it first!
Start a new series I have an idea for a new series taking place in my brain, and I already have several stories planned! This will be sweet, fun, sexy and British, and filled with lots of my favourite tropes and things I haven’t had a chance to explore yet including: fake dating, there’s only one bed, enemies to lovers and nerd/jock, plus a few others. If I do start this then I’m hoping to have the first book out in the Summer, with a second next Autumn/Winter.
A potential standalone? I have this plot bunny that won’t leave me alone and since it doesn’t fit in with any of my series plans, I may have to write it as potential standalone. Although I say that and it will inevitably end up as a series… In fact, make that two potential stand alone ideas!
Attend shiMMer and UK Meet I’ll be attending my very first author events in 2020 too. Firstly shiMMer in Birmingham in February, and secondly UK Meet in Southampton in September. I can’t wait to meet lots of authors and readers alike!
My overall goal is to publish 3 new novels and Screens Apart. I think that’s definitely achievable for me, and who knows, there might be some additional surprises along the way!
In terms of personal things, 2019 has been a good year for that too. I started a new day job, bought my first house with my husband, did my first pole dance showcase, visited America and made some great friends! My aims for next year are to decorate my office (finally), get a dog (because I am STILL without a pooch) and maybe try and get to Disneyland too!
Overall, I’m aiming just to keep on being my fabulous self, ignoring my self-doubt and doing my very best!
Today the amazing Baylin Crow is here to talk about her fabulous new Sugar Land Saints novel, Recovered Fumble, which is out now!
1. What inspired you to write Recovered Fumble? Can you tell us a little more about the story? I’m a huge college football fan. After one of my teams won last season, I decided I was going to create my own team. All the characters are tied together in some way throughout the series. And while I was writing book one, Quarterback Sneak, I already knew Rendon and Nash would get their own book and I couldn’t wait to write it.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb? I’ll share a secondary character you’ll meet when you read the story. Tristan is Rendon’s quirky roommate and I had so much fun writing him. He adds an element of humor to the story and I honestly couldn’t imagine the book without him in it.
3. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? This book was supposed to be a novella, 45K words max. It sits at 94K words. I’m not sure I left anything out. Though, if it had fit into the storyline, I’d have loved to add a cameo of Rush and Torin from Quarterback Sneak. While they are briefly heard over the phone, I wanted to drag them back to Sugar Land.
4. What came first with Recovered Fumble, the characters or the plot? Is that the same for all your books? Characters 100%. All of my books are character driven. I wouldn’t know how to start a story for characters I haven’t “met” yet.
5. If we made Recovered Fumble into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Rendon and Nash? I have sat on this question for days. But honestly, I can’t think of a single actor that would fit either of them, especially Nash.
6. Recovered Fumble is the third book in the Sugar Land Saints series, do you have any more books planned or are you planning something new? *zips lips*
7. What inspired you to start writing? I actually won an award for a Bare Book competition in… I think it was about the 5th grade—cheesiest story ever. And I think that planted a seed that I buried for a few decades as I took on the business world. I’ve always been a reader, but I started reading a minimum of one book a day years ago. It seemed I was always finding myself looking for a specific book and when I couldn’t find it, I was bummed. So one day I decided I’d write those books. Of course there are similar books, but sometimes there’s just something you need in there. And that’s how it started.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? I don’t think there has been anything that has influenced me most. It’s a little bit of everything I read, whether it be other romances or craft books, every day events, past events and important moments in my life, encouragement and constructive criticism. I’m not sure where the influence starts or stops.
9. As an experienced author, what do you have any advice or tips for new authors who are just starting out? The advice is ever changing and constant. Even experienced authors are always on a loop of change and learning. But one thing I didn’t know going into this whole writing thing was how important social media is. I didn’t even join FB until my second book released. I’m sure that leaves me on an island all my own but social media should become your best friend. Treat it well.
10. What is your favourite childhood book? Oooh an easy answer! About time! Amelia Bedelia!!! I can’t tell you how worn those pages were and I smiled every single time I read it.
11. 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? I read of course and during college football season, you have a good chance of finding me yelling at the TV on Saturdays.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? Little Foot
Thanks for answering all my questions Baylin! I can’t wait to read about Rendon and Nash! Recovered Fumble is out now.
Here’s what Baylin has to say about herself: Bios are challenging. I don’t have a clue how to write about myself. Fictional characters? Sure! Me? Not so much. It’s the reason my author bio stayed practically blank until after I finished my second novel. Who am I? Well, I guess I should start by telling you that I write MM romance and I love what I do. I fell in love with writing during elementary school with my first “Bare Book” but honestly never thought I’d become an author. It always seemed to be something I dreamed of and not something I could make a reality. Now that I have, I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I live in Texas where the heat and I don’t get along. One day I hope to call Northeast USA home. I’m a wife and mother of 2 ridiculously cute kids. I have 2 dogs and 1 cat, the latter of which is a spoiled brat, but she’s my spoiled brat. Spending the day under a fluffy blanket reading or writing away on my laptop with a mountain of coffee is my idea of time well spent. I get to live so many lives through books that I consider myself genuinely lucky to call myself an avid reader. Books, whether I’m reading or writing them, make up a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m so excited because today we have the fabulous Rhys Lawless here to talk about his new urban fantasy romance, Killer Heart, and it sounds so good! Plus look at that gorgeous cover!!
1. What inspired you to write Killer Heart? Can you tell us a little more about the story? Killer Heart was inspired by three words. A long time ago I asked my friends on Facebook to give me 3 words and I would write a story inspired by them. A friend gave me blade, dust and rain. I never used them, but I knew I wanted to do something with them. I just wasn’t sure what.
Then in 2016, after a business trip to NYC, I ended up in the hospital and my time there was quite lonely. I needed an escape and I wanted to write something… magical. That’s how I came up with the main concept of the book. Spells are crystals that leave dust residue, blades are those who hunt the witches and rain… well, you won’t see much rain in the book, but you get the picture haha. The story went through a lot of revisions, some very severe ones, and finally I started writing it this year. I think it came about from me watching the Mortal Instruments TV Show, but I can’t quite remember. I’ve always wanted to write paranormal/urban fantasy but something always didn’t click. This year, it did. And here we are.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Wade is cursed to never feel love. Whenever he starts developing romantic feelings for someone, his killer instinct takes over. He’s been cursed since he was 12 and so was his brother at age 9.
Caleb is one of those people who falls in love far too easily and who gets invested quickly. And he’s taken the brunt of that major character flaw. He’s had way too many heartbreaks for a normal human being (which he isn’t), but he’s still grieving his first serious relationship, an Incubus named Jin who stole his heart and made him into the man he is today.
Naturally, these two people meet, born enemies, but there’s something they both want that the other can give. And that creates most of the conflict in the book. It’s equal parts urban fantasy and romance (and quite the killer romance if I may say so myself).
3. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? I don’t think I edited anything out. I don’t usually have parts that I remove from my books as I’m very meticulous with my planning and plotting. There’s definitely loads of backstory I wish I could put into the book, but it wasn’t that kind of book and I didn’t want to make it about the past. If you read until the end, you’ll know why.
4. What came first with Killer Heart, the characters or the plot? Is that the same for all your books? The characters, for sure. I didn’t have much of a plot initially. I think from the very original idea the only thing that survived was that Caleb is a witch and that Wade is addicted to spell dust. Everything else has changed. The major plot of this book came about in a writer’s workshop 2 years ago. The deal the two characters make changed the dynamic completely and made this my favourite book to write, to date. Although book 2, Demon Heart, isn’t that far behind.
5. If we made Killer Heart into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Caleb and Wade? Oh, dear, I don’t know. I have two pictures that inspired the character’s looks and I think they would be perfect together if it was to become a film. Caleb would be played by Lucky Blue Smith (@luckybsmith on Instagram) and Wade would be played by Ed Skrein (@edskrein).
6. Killer Heart is the first book in the Blade & Dust series, can you tell us a little about what you have planned next? More adventures for Caleb and Wade? Killer Heart is book 1 out of 3. All books feature Caleb and Wade and how their relationship grows, and with that, their responsibilities within the magical community.
After that, it’s all up in the air at the moment. I’ve got lots of ideas for where to take the two men next, but I also have lots and lots of plot bunnies from side characters that crept up while writing. I think I’d like to write Winston and Hew’s story next (Winston is Wade’s brother and Hew is a familiar, what shifters are called in this universe), but once the first three are out, I’ll just have to re-evaluate. I’ll tell you what though. All books end with a happy for now and a slight clue as to what’s to come and the third book will give Wade and Caleb their happy ever after (of course until I decide to bug them again with more adventures).
7. What inspired you to start writing? Reading Harry Potter at age 11. I’d always written before that, but JK Rowling inspired me to come up with my own world and learn to inhabit it in a different way.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? My teenage years, certainly. My relationship with myself and others growing up in a homophobic Greece. Moving to London on my own. Meeting and befriending like-minded people. My university years. Everything and anything really.
9. As an experienced author, what do you have any advice or tips for new authors who are just starting out? Know your audience. It was a piece of advice I always ignored and I paid the price for it. Know who you’re writing for and what they expect from the books they love. Writing is an art, but it’s also a business, so if you want to make a career out of it, that is the first step to taking your writing further.
10. What is your favourite childhood book? It’s silly, but whenever someone asks me this, I always think of this one fairy tale I used to love when I was 5 (and which still lives in my dad’s shed). It’s written by a renowned Greek children’s author and it’s about a duck who didn’t like his feet and set about the world to try and change them. What stuck with me at the time was that in the end, he did change his feet. It wasn’t all magically resolved and he realised his feet are fine as they were. I think it spoke to me at the time because I always struggled to fit in and it gave me the confidence that it’s okay to stand out and be the duck that changed his feet because his real ones were boring and didn’t truly feel like his.
11. 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 sad but I have too many hobbies. I take something up passionately and then a week or month later I’ve moved on to the next thing. I do want to start doing other stuff though. I’ve always loved yoga and climbing so it’s something I’m looking to take up next.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? Triceratops. FTW.
Thank you so much Rhys! I can’t wait to read. Plus, yay, a fellow Shadowhunters fan. Killer Heart is available now.
Rhys writes gay romance. He has been writing since the tender age of 11 and hasn’t really stopped since. He publishes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the pen name Rhys Lawless and contemporary sweet and steamy romances under Rhys Everly. Rhys currently lives in London, UK with his husband and their 12-year-old puppy. You can find out more about him and his works-in-progress by joining his Newsletter at http://bit.ly/2MVzfLI or visiting his website rhyswritesromance.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub and you can join his Facebook group too: Rhys Everly After.
Happy Sunday everyone! Today we have the fabulous writing duo of Andi James and Lila Wilde here to chat about their amazing new book, Tony & His Tiger. It’s book three in their Oh My! Series and it’s out now!
1. What’s your process of co-writing? Do you each take a POV, or do you both write different chapters, or is it more of a blend? Do you Skype or work on a collab document? AndiJames [A]: All of the above? LOL. We do sort of each take a POV, but inevitably we’ll end up writing from the other POV as well. Sometimes it depends on what the scene is, sometimes we split chapters, sometimes we’ll each write two chapters in a row. Whatever works, really. Lila Wilde [L]: Yup. We’ve even worked on stuff real-time together, each adding sentences to paragraphs. It just depends on what works best for the situation and story. A: We tend to work in Google docs, then switch to Word when the MS is done. No Skype, but lots of messages and phone calls.
2. What inspired you to write Tony and His Tiger? A: When we started planning the Oh My! Series, we knew we wanted to write a trilogy. Both Tony and Jason, the main characters of Tony & His Tiger, were introduced in book one (Teddy & His Bear), which came out just over a year ago. So these characters have been with us for a while now, and we definitely wanted them to get their HEA! L: We like to flip expectations, so we knew from the start Tony wouldn’t be a typical tall, muscular, brooding Dom. (Well, he is kind of brooding.) And Jason is a former pro football player, so not someone you might expect to identify as submissive. I love challenging expectations, highlighting that people aren’t always who you might assume they are.
3. What came first: the plot or the characters? Was it the same with all your books? A: Definitely the characters for this one. We had some inklings of a plot, but that didn’t truly come together until after the characters had already been established.
4. What’s your favourite thing about the friends to lovers trope? A: For me, it’s witnessing the relationship change and reach the next level and all of the emotions that go along with that. And I kind of love a slow burn, which I think a lot of friends-to-lovers stories turn out to be.
5. Apart from the friends to lovers trope, do you have another favourite trope or kink that you’ve been able to write about in this book? A: Puppy play! This book has a little bit of other kink in it too, but I was excited to explore puppy play in this one. That kink can be a lot of things, and for Tony and Jason it turned out to be really sweet and fun, and funny at times too. L: Is bratty bottom a trope? Because it should be.
6. What behind-the-scene tidbit (about the characters, plot or writing process) would probably surprise your readers the most? A: Oh where to start. Haha. How about this: We probably went through ten outlines for this book before finding one that would stick. These characters were by far our most stubborn! L: No joke. Like ten COMPLETELY different storylines for these two. They refused to cooperate!
7. If you have to describe Jason and Tony in three words each, what would they be? A: Hmm. For Jason, I’d go with outgoing, bratty, and giving. For Tony, pragmatic, private, and loyal.
8. What’s your favourite thing about writing together? A: All of it. Having someone to talk ideas through with, to cheer for you, to give you instant feedback, to help with all the non-writing stuff… Lila is an amazing co-author and friend, and I’m so grateful we get to write together. L: All of that. Also, having someone to hold you accountable can be so helpful. I have half a dozen unfinished manuscripts I started long ago and dropped because writing is hard! When I try that now, Andi gives me sympathy and commiserate before she says “I know it’s hard… do it anyway.” Sometimes that kick in the pants is what I need to get going again.
9. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing collaboratively? A: I’d say make sure your writing styles mesh well. We completely lucked out in that regard — neither of us even looked at a writing sample from the other before jumping into our first book. While it ended up working out for us, I don’t recommend doing that LOL. And be willing to compromise! L: OMG, yes. Kids at home, do not do what we did.
10. Your Oh My! series has been amazing, will you be collaborating again? A: Thank you! And yes, definitely. We already have our next book under way, and many more planned.
Thank you so much for dropping in! I can’t wait to read this and to see what sweet, kinky goodness you write next! Tony & His Tiger is out now.
Andi James has been in love with books and words her entire life. She writes about people finding things — themselves, happiness, love — and edits all kinds of stories. Her two dogs and three cats are her favorite co-workers. She adores coffee, the night sky, and horror movies. You can find Andi on Facebook, Instagram and Amazon.
Lila Wilde writes books about people who fall in love with other people. She is obsessed with unicorns and glitter and cupcakes and has accepted the fact that her dog is smarter than she is. You can find Lila on Facebook, Instagram and Amazon.
Spooky season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with a fabulous romantic thriller?!Today Brittany Cournoyer is here to tell us all about her brand new novel, Sinister Shadows, which is available now.
1. What inspired you to write Sinister Shadows? Can you tell us a little more about the story? I was watching a movie on Netflix that has a similar storyline, and as I was watching it I thought how I could make a m/m version of it. The story is about a man named Duncan who wakes up in a hospital with a severe case of amnesia. While there, another man named Pierce tells him they are married, and he takes Duncan home to recover. But slowly, he starts having flashbacks, and he realizes things aren’t what they appear to be.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb? It has a unique happily ever after and hopefully when something is discovered the readers will ask themselves what the hell just happened.
3. What was the hardest scene to write? Definitely a fight scene toward the end. I’m not really good with those.
4. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? Not much had to be edited out, and I think I included everything I wanted to since it’s not very complicated, just creepy.
5. What came first with Sinister Shadows, the characters or the plot? Is that the same for all your books? The plot definitely came first, and no, usually my characters come first. I’ll see a photo and think “I want to write him.”
6. If we made Sinister Shadows into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Pierce and Duncan? Ahhh hell. This is a hard one. Jeffrey Dean Morgan for Pierce and maybe Tom Daley for Duncan.
7. What inspired you to start writing? I’ve always loved to read since I was a little kid. As I got older, I started having my own stories in my head, so I feel like writing was a natural transition.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Anne Rule definitely. I love her crime stories. I’m also a huge Stephen King fan.
9. As an experienced author, what do you have any advice or tips for new authors who are just starting out? Keep going. Never think anything you write isn’t worthy of being published. There is a reader out there for every kind of book written.
10. What is your favourite childhood book? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
11. 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? I haven’t done it for a while, but I enjoy diamond painting. I also spend a lot of time with my dog. She keeps me pretty busy!
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? Brontosaurus 🦕
Thanks somuch for stopping by! I’m excited to add Sinister Shadows to my TBR pile. You can by and download Sinister Shadows now!
Brittany was born in a small town in Alabama and moved to Indiana when she was thirteen years old. She currently resides there and works as an operator at a local hospital. When she isn’t working, she loves to spend her free time writing stories, playing with her puppy, Delilah, watching television, and spending time with loved ones.
There are lots of places to find Brittany – simply click here for the full list.
Happy Friday everyone! Today we have the fabulous Emy Calirel joining us to talk about her brand new, debut novel From Brussels, With Love which is out today! You can buy it now either through Amazon US or your nearest Amazon store.
1. What inspired you to write From Brussels, with Love?Can you tell us a little more about the story? From Brussels, With Love was specifically written for the World of Love submission call, but I had known for a while I wanted to write a story set in Europe, outside of the UK or Ireland, and with a French-speaking character because that’s my native language. Having a prompt specifically designed to write about a country that wasn’t “the usual” was the kick I’d needed all along. I couldn’t help including a bit of Ireland too, because I loved the year I spent there so much.
Brussels is a big part of the book because of Jerome’s deep love for it, but the story is mostly about two men finding a way to meet in the middle. It’s about needing to put yourself out there to get what you want, and realizing that love isn’t always enough. Relationships take work and compromises.
Despite both characters carrying their own hurts and hangs up, the book isn’t angsty. It won’t make readers cry but I hope it’ll make them smile. It’s sexy, light, and hopeful.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Trevor’s best friend Hannah and Jerome’s best friend Quentin are very important to the story. From Brussels, With Love is a romance but it has strong elements of friendship as well.
3.What was the hardest scene to write? The guided tour at the beginning of the book. I really wanted Brussels to come alive, to convey Jerome’s knowledge and love for his city, but I didn’t want the scene to become an info dump. Going to Belgium for research was very helpful, but it’s probably the scene that took me the longest to write and was reworked the most.
4. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? I had a whole subplot I had to edit out. Originally, Ronan earned his redemption and, by the end, he was friends with Trevor again. It didn’t fit with the story or Trevor’s growth as a character, so I cut it out. I wish readers could know he’s not a bad person deep down, but this is Trevor and Jerome’s story, not his.
5. What came first with From Brussels, with Love, the characters or the plot? A bit of both. Trevor was a lot more clear in my head when I started, and it took a while for Jerome to talk to me. But I also knew from the beginning that I wanted the story set in Brussels and I wanted it to involve an artist. I’m usually a characters first writer, but I wrote From Brussels, With Love with a clear setting in mind, so my process was a bit different and everything ended up being intertwined.
6. If we made From Brussels, with Loveinto a movie, who would be your dream casting for Trevor and Jerome? I usually use models instead of actors for inspiration, but let’s see… Chris Evans would work for Trevor if he wore a suit and was clean-shaven. Trevor is in his early forties, so by the time the movie was made, Evans would be the right age! Same for Zac Efron, who would make a good Jerome if he wore on-screen the casual look he wears in life… I’m such a cliché going with those two actors. And that’s why I go with models for inspiration.
7. What inspired you to start writing? Probably all the books I read as a child. I had some excellent French teachers as well and, as part of our classes in middle school, we had to write stories often. I’ve always loved words. Other than a short story about a turtle I wrote as a child, my first writings outside of school were fanfictions. I wanted to know what happened to the characters of my favorite movie after the end credits. Since producers didn’t tell me, I came up with it.
8.What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Oh boy… ask me the hardest question of them all, now would you? I write in English now, but my French and literature teachers taught me a lot about what makes a good story. All those things stay true no matter the language. I don’t have a specific author or person in mind. I picked up small things from everything I read and everyone I listened to over the years.
9. What have you learnt from the whole debut writer process? Do you have any advice for writers working on their first novel? That writing is a business. In theory, I knew that, but it really hit me when From Brussels, With Love became a contracted book. I wrote many, many stories before so the drafting phase wasn’t that different, but I learnt that I really love working with a team. I had a blast working with my editors and cover designer.
My advice for not-yet-published writers is to never give up. Rejections are part of the writing business, so you shouldn’t let that deter you from trying again. And again. And again. It’s a very long journey. It takes a lot of words, a lot of stories, and a lot of patience, but it’s all worth it in the end.
10. What is your favourite childhood book? I absolutely loved and devoured all the Dance and Coeur Grenadine books. Dance is a French series following a teen ballerina, Coeur Grenadine is a collection of teen romances. I used to read them in one sitting and would constantly ask my parents for another one. I still own all of them to this day. I haven’t reread them recently, and I’m not sure they would pass the test of time, but they are like childhood friends.
11. 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? I don’t know if it’s that secret, but I love needlework. Cross-stitch and embroidery are very relaxing to me, so they’re my favorite things to do while watching YouTube or documentaries. I enjoy crafty things.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? The pteranodon. The fact that it’s my favorite because of a kids tv series is completely irrelevant. 😉
Thank you so much for joining us Emy! You can buy From Brussels, With Love now – either through Amazon US or your nearest Amazon store.
Emy Calirel grew up in France, but also spent some time in Africa as a child. When she finally reached adulthood, she jumped on opportunities and moved to California, then Ireland, before coming back to her roots. San Francisco still holds her heart, though, and always will. After trying a couple different jobs, she settled down and now works in a funeral home/monumental masonry, which she loves. To handle life’s daily stress, she laughs with her coworkers a lot and spends any free time she gets reading or daydreaming about queer folks finding their happily ever after. She’s a cat owner, a plant killer, and a San Francisco Giants fan. Wanderlust flows in her veins, and her goal is to visit every capital in Europe—if she can ever stop herself from going back to London over and over again. Emy’s muse is a sassy being who expertly farms plot bunnies in Emy’s overgrown imagination. As a consequence, Emy has more stories and characters living in her head than she’ll ever be able to write in her lifetime. She’s fine with it, though, as, like a child, she loves playing in her sandbox. A documentary enthusiast and curious to a fault, Emy often loses herself in research and will happily share her discoveries with everyone. Did you know most mammals empty their bladders in twenty-one seconds?
With autumn sweeping in here in the UK,it’s the perfect time to curl up with a new book! Today, the lovely Aimee Nicole Walker is here to chat about her brand new romantic suspense novel, Ground Zero, which you can download now!
1. What inspired you to write Ground Zero? Can you tell us a little more about the story? I wanted to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and write my passion. As much as I enjoy reading and writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and mysteries are my passion. It’s what I choose to read, so why not write it? My Curl Up and Dye Mysteries were more romantic suspense than contemporary romance, but they lacked the gritty edginess I wanted to create. If not for the detailed sex and copious swearing, the Dye books would be cozies.
2. What was the hardest scene to write? Hmmmm. I don’t want to give away spoilers, which made the blurb so hard to write. One of the cases Royce and Sawyer investigated broke my heart, because I will never understand how people can hate so much.
3. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit? I did remove a plotline that I’m saving for a future book in the series, but everything else stayed put.
4. What came first with Ground Zero, the characters or the plot? Is that the same for all your books? The characters came first, and that is my process ninety percent of the time. For me, how can I build a plot if I don’t know who my characters are?
5. If we made Ground Zero into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Sawyer and Royce? I am so horrible at this because I don’t watch a lot of television. I need a broody guy with dirty blond hair and a heart-melting, dark-haired guy. Let’s go with one of the Hemsworth brothers for Royce and the actor who played Jackson on The Originals for Sawyer.
6. What behind-the-scene tidbit (about the characters, plot or writing process) would probably surprise your readers the most? I almost published this book under a different pen name. A part of me worried that readers wouldn’t take me serious as a mystery writer after five years of mostly contemporary romance. I was so proud of this book though and needed to claim it as my own.
7. What inspired you to start writing? I’ve been writing off and on since I was thirteen. I wrote the little movies that played in my head, and now I write the books I want to read.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Many things and people have influenced me as a writer. I will admire one author’s ability to describe things so vividly I feel part of the novel, and it pushes me to do better in my own novels. I’ll notice how some authors are able to keep their stories tight without sacrificing storylines, and with others, I admire their ability to write epic dialogue. All those things push me to do better with my own stories. I also read craft books to help me grow technically as a writer.
9. As an experienced author, what do you have any advice or tips for new authors who are just starting out? Never stop writing. That sounds so simple, but there are days when it’s the hardest thing to do. Never let anyone steal your passion.
10. What is your favourite childhood book? My first love was Charlotte’s Web.
11. 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? I’m addicted to diamond painting. I listen to podcasts or audiobooks while doing them, and the combination relaxes me better than any other hobby I’ve tried.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? My favorite dinosaur is the stegosaurus.
Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m so excited to read this because it sounds amazing. You can download Ground Zero now.
Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day.
You can find her in many different places, and she’s created a handy list of them all here! Plus you can sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date news.
Wooo it’s September, and that means it’s nearly Autumn! Autumn is my absolutely favourite season because it means I can go back to wearing snuggly jumpers and drinking hot chocolate and pumpkin spice lattes. Plus it means the nights are drawing in and lots of extra time for curling up under blankets and reading.
August was a complete whirlwind for me, especially because I had a four-day work trip that was fun, but also gave me flu so I spent the week afterwards in a blanket fortress feeling generally horrible and sorry for myself. But I did also manage to get up to some super cool stuff too!
1. I went to my first football match! We went to see Tottenham Hotspur playing Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly, and it was a lot of fun. The stadium was huge and the atmosphere was incredible – it gave me so much inspiration and by the time we got to the second half I really wished I had a laptop with me lol! I also got to watch the players warming up close to where we were sat and they are definitely as handsome in real life.
2. I wrote a massive 41,000 words, finished the first draft of Extra Time and wrote the short story, “Hat Trick” (which you can get if you sign up to my newsletter). I’m still a little stunned that I managed to write that much, but it’s proof that I can. I also managed to get the first draft of Extra Time done in about nine weeks, which is amazing and also proves that plotting definitely works for me!
3. I’ve also started a secret project, which I’ll be releasing more details for soon. It’s a standalone that’s not connected to my Off the Pitch series, and I’m mostly writing it for fun. So far I’m having a blast and I can’t wait to share it.
4. Got to interview the fabulous E.M Denning and Kate Hawthorne about their new book, Future Ex Enemy, which I really enjoyed as well!
5. Released the paperback version of Breakaway which you can now get on Amazon! Natasha Snow did a fabulous job with the wrap around cover and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
That was about it for my August! My plans for September are to get my first draft of Extra Time edited and sent off to beta readers, and to progress my secret project. My husband and I are also in the process of hopefully adopting a rescue dog, so I really, really hope that works out. I’ve got two weeks off from my day job at the end of the month, so fingers crossed I’ll have lots of writing and editing time, and hopefully, a few days out too!