What made you decide that you wanted to put yourself out there to publish? I have some great online friends who really encouraged me. I’ve debated on submitting for a while, but those who I talk to on a regular basis told me repeatedly that I should try and publish a couple of my books.
Before you started, had you done any fanfiction? If so, what fandom? I’ve never written fanfiction. The fun for me in writing is creating whole new characters and their lives. I don’t think I’d really like having to already have a mold for the characters I write about. I’ve read some fanfiction, but not much.
What is your favorite subgenre to write? I write mostly contemporary, but the one I really enjoy writing is paranormal. I have a ton of partially complete paranormal stories on my computer (and a few contemporary in various stages of completion).
Is there one that you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future? I actually have some thoughts for a sci-fi story, but I haven’t started it. I also have some notes for a fantasy story, but that one hasn’t been started either. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to do both of them.
Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not? I actually have, but it’s not published. I started out writing M/F romances but something about it just wasn’t satisfied. Then I read a story by Sara Bell and thought to myself “Maybe I should give writing M/M romances a try.” 10 years later, here I am, and that’s pretty much all I write anymore.
What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic? I don’t think it’s wrong for the men in my stories to be emotional OR romantic. There’s all sorts of guys out there, so why shouldn’t there be all sorts of guys in books? I typically try to balance it out a bit, but my characters are who they are and I wouldn’t want them any other way.
Your first published book? My first published book was a self-published book called Challenging Fate. It’s a dragon shifter story. A couple friends of mine and I decided to write our own little anthology called Flights of Fantasy. When the time came for us to publish them, we decided it made more sense for us to publish them individually rather than all together. Challenging Fate can be found on Amazon, All Romance, and Gay Authors.
What books are you reading at the moment? Its okay to give a fellow author a plug! Oh man, right now I’ve got so many books on my iPad that I couldn’t even tell you who all of them are. At this exact moment though, I’m actually helping fellow author Mann Ramblings prep the next book in his Ship Logs of the Santa Claus series. The first book, The Luxorian Fugitive, can be found on Amazon.
What are you working on now? I have a couple of inprogress stories, but my focus right now is a revision on my vampire novel, Joined by Blood. I’m hoping to get it ready to submit to publishers.
When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are you in their sex scenes? It depends on the feel I’m going for in the book. Sometimes I get extremely descriptive and others it’s more of an acknowledgment of the act. I don’t tend to do sex scenes just to have them, and in some instances, being descriptive can disrupt the flow I’m going for.
(If female)As a fellow fem in the genre, what is your stance on the difference between male and female gay writers? Honestly, I don’t think it really matters as long as the writing is good and the sex scenes are realistic. I’ve heard the “You can’t write what you don’t know” and I disagree. Many things that happen in sci-fi stories aren’t something the author actually experienced, so as long as an author does their research, an author can write anything. I tend to run my stories by some friends of mine and there have been times that they question what I wrote. I always take that into account because they would know better than I do how something feels, or if something is possible.
What is your stance on issues in society like same sex marriage, DOMA, etc? Honestly, I don’t understand why they are even issues. They shouldn’t be. I think it’s rather sad that people are targeted for who they love. We all deserve to find someone and whether that person is of the same gender or not, it’s nobody else’s business.
Fun questions pick at least 3
Do you feel that celebs who are gay or bi should come out the closet? It’s their choice. Sure, it would be great, but if they feel they can’t, or don’t want to, then who am I to say they should? Everyone had to come out of the closet when they feel they are ready. However, I will say that I can’t wait for the day when people don’t feel the need to be IN the closet in the first place.
For the men in your books, commando or underwear? Typically underwear. I don’t know why I never do commando, I just don’t.
Favorite character in one of your books? Tough question. I think I have to say Vik, from the vampire novel I’m currently revising. There’s really no specific reason, but there’s just something about him that calls to me.
The character you identify with? The character I most identify with isn’t from a book that can be found online. It’s from my M/F story called “Life After Loss”. I wrote LAL to help me get over the death of my brother, and the main character in it, April, is based a lot on myself. Her thoughts, feelings, actions, etc are mostly things that I personally experienced.
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Phillip Jorgensen tried to live the straight life and ended up divorced. But he wouldn’t trade his two kids, Jacob and Samantha, for the world. His ex-wife has kidnapped them and he’s been searching for them for six long years. But he’s not giving up—never, not for anything. His twin brother has encouraged him to start living again, but how is he going to find romance with all his baggage?
When he meets Vance Pierce at the new gym, Phillip sees a chance to find some happiness.
Phillip has to explain the whole sordid mess to Vance and pray that he understands that he’ll never stop looking for his children. That’s easier said than done. Telling Vance might be risky. Is their connection strong enough to convince Vance to stay? Or will he think that Phillip is too damaged to love? This is Phillip’s chance at the life he never thought he could have. But is it possible?
“I know you don’t want to hear this any more than I want to say it, but Phillip, there is no guarantee we’ll ever find Jacob and Samantha. We won’t ever stop looking and hoping, but you have to move forward with your life. You can’t base whether or not you start a relationship on the kids.” Robert wiped his hand over his face. “Maybe I’m wrong, and you don’t want a chance with Vance, but if you do, you need to talk to him.”
“He wanted me to go to the fireworks show with him tomorrow night.” Phillip smiled. He hated when his brother made sense. It always went to his head.
“Do you want to go?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Okay, so that was a lie. Phillip did want to go, but he still wasn’t sure it was fair to Vance to ask him to take on all the baggage he came with.
“Then talk to him.” Robert had always known what he was thinking. Must be the whole twin thing. “Give him the benefit of the doubt and explain what happened. Find out if it’s something he can deal with. You can’t make up his mind for him. Come clean—about everything. Tell him about your marriage, the kids, about what will happen if Jacob and Samantha walk through your front door one day.” Robert stepped forward and dropped his hand reassuringly on his shoulder. “You won’t know how he feels about it until you give him all the facts.”
“I know.” Phillip grinned and followed his brother into the house. He walked Robert to the door and wrapped him in a hug. “Thanks.”
“Giving me a kick in the ass when I need it. Though if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll deny it.”
Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of admin and Anthology Coordinator.
Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works. When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts.
When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.