This past Tuesday, October 22nd, an outstanding anthology of six male/male romance short stories was released by Renaissance Romance Publishing. Entitled Fall Fires, it showcases the works of these talented authors, most of whom I am already acquainted with from our mutual tenure in fanfiction. It is my pleasure, over the course off the next week, to feature each of these authors in a short Q & A, as well as give you a peek at their stories.
Kicking off my little interview series is author N. Wood. N. Wood is a budding young author living in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She developed an interest in writing when her poetry was first published at the age of nine. Since then, she has moved onto writing both short stories and novels focusing on gay romantic themes.
How do you develop your writing ideas?
I tend to keep a few files on Google Documents that are categorised into groups depending on my stories. Usually each story has its own file, and within is the main story document, a notes document where I can refer back if I can't remember a detail about a character, and sometimes a chapter list where I've made notes on a rough outline for what will happen in each chapter of the story.
What makes you unique as a writer?
That's a question probably best posed to those who have read my work. It's hard to try to think of a good answer when I'm the subject. I suppose that the most unique aspect of my work is that I don't aim to make every character in my story a sex god. I don't make them absolutely perfect and at least one character in each story has something physically or mentally wrong with them. I guess in a way I want to write them to stand out from the crowd, but at the same time to write them as finding peace and love despite their ailments.
A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what are they and why?
1. To make this writers' block go away! I've had it for about four months.
2. To enforce in me the perfect plot that will see my story become famous and loved the world over.
3. To give me the ability to write and publish that perfect plot!
Tell us about three other writers who inspire you.
My favourite male/male author is NR. Walker. It has amazed me for a few years now how she can rattle out such wonderful stories in such a short time. What I love most though is that each story has a great plot twist or a perfect moral that people should strive to live by.
RE Hargrave is another of my favourites. Though I have never really had a fondness for BDSM stories, I love that her work doesn't revolve around nothing but detailed porn. I enjoy a story with a gripping plot, and her Divine books have just that. I'm awaiting the third instalment with eagerness.
I suppose I could say that the third author who inspires me is Stephenie Meyer, because lets face it, I wouldn't be writing original stories today if not for her. I started out as a Twilight slash fan fiction author, and now I write my own original slash. I wouldn't have had the courage to do that without the friends I've made in the fandom.
Describe your writing space. What do you like? What would you change?
My writing space is an armchair in the corner of my living room. There isn't really anything I like about the space or location, and I would change everything about it if I could.
Describe your ideal writing space.
My ideal place to write would be a quiet chalet on the coast where the windows overlook the sea. It doesn't necessarily have to be a hot and sunny day, because even watching the lightning and listening to the rain drumming on the window would be much preferred from the bustle around my current home that keeps me from writing.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I just tend to write my characters however they present themselves in my mind. Usually I name them and make small notes of their features before I can even picture them in my head, but once that's done, they take on lives of their own and it's me who has to try to keep up when they won't stop rushing ahead with the story.
Do you agree with the adage “Write what you know”?
I guess I would need to answer both yes and no depending on the author. For myself, I would prefer to mostly write what I know because then I can picture it with far more clarity and that helps me to write the story with more ease. Whereas some authors can write novels about places they've never been, even times they've never seen, and the story can be perfect in every way.
What (or who) inspires you to write the most?
My own deep desire to escape from reality. I began writing to help me block out the things around me and to slip into my own world for a few hours each day.
How has your writing career changed in the past year?
Well, I've gone from writing fanfiction stories and posting them online, to writing original stories and submitting them to publishers. I can't really say that I miss writing fanfiction, but I do sometimes still picture those characters when I write, because I don't think they'll ever leave me forever.
What are your writing goals for the next year?
I don't like to set myself writing goals because I find that it makes it harder for me to keep to them. It hasn't been helping with my writers' block lately, and forcing myself to write certainly doesn't do any good either.
Share some resources that help you when you’re writing.
My main resource of help is my friends. There are those I can lean on when I don't have the urge to write, and those I can run some ideas by and get their views on. If I do come to a point in a story where I want to detail something that I don't know the depth for, then I usually Google or Wikipedia the information.
Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
1. Noises, such as the TV being on or music playing. I need silence!
2. People walking through the room and disturbing my train of thought.
3. People talking around me or to me when I'm trying to think.
4. Web pages in the background, such as Facebook and Gmail. If it flashes a notification, I have to go and check it.
5. My dog barking high-pitched every time a cat walks across the window sill.
Thanks, so much for taking the time to indulge my questions!
The story Woodshed Wishes is N. Wood’s contribution to the Fall Fires anthology:
Ben, a young gay romance author, loses his way in the forest one stormy evening and is found by a ranger. When Ben pitches in to help his new friend Peter in the woodshed, he discovers that he may have met his match. Will Peter make Ben's woodshed wishes come true?
Now for a quick peek at what’s under the cover -
“Come on, Petey,” I whined, teasing him with my personal rendition of his name. I only used it when I was desperate to get my own way. The slight narrowing of his eyes betrayed how little he thought of my chosen pet name for him, but I took the opportunity to argue my point with a pout. “It’s still summer. We won’t need a fire for months with this heat. There's plenty of time to do the work.”
On any other day, my brown puppy eyes could make him crumble and agree to whatever I suggested, but on that day in particular, he appeared to somehow have the strength to refuse.
“You should take a leaf out of your own book — literally,” he jested back, adding a little more pressure to my breast bone to deter my attempt to edge nearer to him. “What was it that Blake said to Trent in Ballboys? ‘Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today’?”
I rolled my eyes when he quoted one of my many characters. Trust him to know my stories word for word, not that I could complain. Some scenes from my books gained their inspiration from things Peter and I had experienced together.
“Yes, but you forget that Blake was encouraging Trent to get down on his knees and suck his cock today instead of putting it off until tomorrow,” I corrected him. “So how about we re-enact that scene?”
My hinting words distracted him long enough that I was able to take the last step towards him. Reaching down, I snagged my fingers under the belt that was looped through the waistband of his jeans and started to unbuckle it. Though his eyes contained a slight glaze of lust from the thoughts I’d instilled in him, he snapped out of his distraction and caught a hold of my wrists, prying my hands away from him and holding them there.
“Tut tut, naughty boy,” he scolded with a teasing tone. “I have plans for tonight once all this work is done, but you want to jump the gun and get the party started early? You can’t disrupt my plans like that. You ought to be punished.”
For more information about N. Wood and her writing, you can find her at the following links:
Her novel, Take a Gamble, is scheduled for release on November 12, 2013. I look forward to having her back soon to discuss her next book.
Stop by tomorrow, when author C.W. Stevens will be joining m in the hot seat.