What genre do your currently write? And, is there a genre you'd like to write, but haven't tried yet?
I currently write gay male romantic fiction, and mostly the young-adult subgenre. I have tried my hand at other genres, but this one is my favorite, by far.
I would like to try science fiction or perhaps paranormal. I have recently written (with Nephylim as well) a book involving the Fae. That is brand new to me; but I’m still writing the humans.
Many authors use a nom de plume, and they may use one opposite to their own sex. Do you think an author's sex or sexual orientation should dictate what genre they write?
I use a nom de plume, only because my birth name is hideous. Orignally, S. L. was to hide that I was a girl, but now there are so many; it makes no difference at all. As for sex or sexual orientation… that makes no difference in the slightest. Authors are artists. If you have the gift, no matter who you are, use it.
Some authors have issues with character development, writer's block, plot summary etc. What is the biggest challenge you face when writing? How do you overcome the problem?
The biggest issue I faced (especially when co-writing) is going off on tangents and going wild with the story. Character development is one of my strengths, as has often been mentioned by reviewers. Writer’s block is something I’m dealing with currently; as my work and schooling are taking most of that ‘energy’ away. I stopped writing altogether this past November, due to stresses of a death in the family. I have since clawed my way back and am almost in the saddle again. Right now I take it a day at a time, sometimes a sentence at a time. Whatever I can manage.
What has been the single most successful marketing tool you've used to date?
I’d say Facebook has been a wonderful help; with the contacts, groups, etc. Second would by my blog and goodreads (tied).
What are you currently reading?
Currently I am reading nothing (I know, I bow my head in shame). Unless you count an e-text on macroeconomics as fun reading. (it can be actually).
How do you measure success?
If you’d had asked me that five years ago I’d have said fame and gobs of money. But not anymore. Success for me is having that relationship with the readers and being known as a good person, a good storyteller, and someone that if they met in real life they’d love to introduce me to their friends. Of course, book sales are important too and some notoriety.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite drink? Coffee
Are you a cat or dog person? Meow!
Love or lust? Love, definitely.
If you could spend the day with any famous author, who would it be? And, why?
I’ll say Nephylim, because she’s not only my co-author, but she is a wonderful friend who picks me up and dusts me off, and gets me going again. With our two imaginations; we’d never be bored.
If you could indulge free of any consequences, what would be your ultimate sexual fantasy?
I’m married, I’m not supposed to have those. But seriously; maybe one or two of my leading men bat for the other team and we have a wonderful time together for a few days.
Website Link: www.rfppublishing.com
Upstaged: Opening Act
Blurb: Erik is lead singer with The Von, an up and coming grunge band. He’s a big, brash American with the world at his feet and is so far in the closet he’s in Narnia. Then along comes snarky Brit, Asher and turns his world on its head. Well and truly upstaged, can Erik overcome his fear and is Asher just too damaged to be saved?
"Man, this fighting with you and Asher has gotten too ridiculous." Billy’s tone was admonishing as they spoke in the locker room after school. The interactions stood at the forefront of Billy’s memory even three days after the fact. You just love to pick fights, don't you, Nordgren? You've picked enough with me, especially after... that night. That great night... and the nights after…til you stopped. He sighed.
"Hey, he started it by kissing me in the garage and calling us lame and me squeaky! Then doing what he did in class? Ugh. Kid works my last damn nerve."
Billy groaned. "Then why are you and I waiting for him? You going to jump him in here? Maybe lock him up in a locker this time? Really? He slammed his locker door shut and narrowed his eyes at his friend. “Get a grip, Erik. You're taking this stuff way too far and it’s petty." He huffed. He was all for a good prank, but this was getting to be a bit too much, even for him.
“I told you; this isn't over with him and me. It's almost become a game. He got me again by tripping me in the cafeteria today, remember? He gets me, I get him. What would I do without a punching bag to play with?"
"I thought I was your punching bag." Billy hoped Erik would pick up on his mumble, so he waited for a second. He tried to capture a look from those gorgeous blue eyes. Any look beyond just a glance was golden to him. He could still imagine being in those strong arms and the kisses... The memories were less real and more like dreams with every day that passed. Billy's feelings for Erik were still there, even though they'd never made it official. They shared a few nights together, but it was enough to make Billy pine for his friend. Billy's heart was left in limbo; it still was to this day. It killed him to see Erik take notice of Asher, when he tried everything he could think of to keep his friend's attention. Billy had loved Erik since they were kids. Ever since that night when things boiled over, he was left with regret that things between them didn’t last, like a weekend love affair between strangers instead of a lifelong commitment between partners. Of course, Erik knew none of this, so Billy settled for his friendship.
"Dude...earth to Billy. William Carp...are you there?" Erik snapped his fingers in front of his friend's eyes.
He swatted the large hand away from his face like he would an irritating fly. "Shit. Don't do that. I'm right here. What?"
"You're off in space, man. What's up?"
Billy scowled. "Nothing. Just... got a lot on my mind."
Erik tossed his backpack onto his shoulder and winced. Wrong shoulder to use. "Ow....shit! Shouldn't have done that."
Billy jumped into action, pulled the pack off and massaged the shoulder. "Are you all right? Let me do something, wouldja? Anything. You won't let me touch you at all anymore." His tone belied his true feelings, which happened a lot. He swallowed quietly and tried not to let Erik see the hurt in his eyes.
The same hand he’d swatted away lightly brushed his arm. It felt wonderful, even though it was just the slightest gesture. "I do let you touch me, Billy," Erik said softly. "What's wrong with you lately? Talk to me."
His mood was encouraged by the more congenial tone and he looked up into Erik’s face again. "I... just wanted to help you and be near you. Is that such a crime? You just want me to help to plot your next revenge against Asher and I'm getting tired of it. It's only been a few days, but this is stupid. We need to get back to writing songs together and focusing on that."
Erik laughed. "Is that all that's bugging you? Seriously?" He took Billy's chin into his hand and raised his head. "Please don't lie to me."
Billy loved feeling the rough hand on his face, even if it was just his chin. Any contact was worth it. "I... just...." He couldn’t find the words, as his eyes scoured the room and he scowled right away as he spotted Asher from over Erik's broad shoulder. "He's here." Dammit all to hell. I can’t get five minutes alone with him anymore?
Thanks for the awesome post, S.L.! All the best, hun! Blak Rayne