I would like to thank Sara York for stopping by today for a live interview discussing her Colorado Heart books and various other released books, upcoming releases, WIPs and projects. I recently read some of her fantastic books and I will put my reviews up in the coming week, so you can see me fanboy all over them 😉
Hi Sara, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions!
You’re welcome. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you.
Me as well So, last month we had Ethan Stone on our blog, talking about the separate release of Daniel A. Kaine and his Zombie Boys story “Surviving Sin City“. Ethan mentioned that he co-authored the book Transparency with you and it was easier for him to write it with you than to write his Zombie Boys anthology story with Daniel, because you are in more similar time zones. How was the experience of co-authoring the book with Ethan for you?
Ethan was great to work with. I’ve loved Ethan’s books from a long time and always wanted to work with him. When the opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance. We were joking about Dino porn of all things, threatening to write one together in a Facebook post. I contacted him in a private message and asked if he was serious. He said yes, but not about the dino porn. I think that might be a bit too much for both of us.
It took us a day to settle on writing about a transgender man. The book flowed fairly quickly, with Ethan writing usually in the evenings since he is on the west and me in the morning since I’m on the east coast. We didn’t really have any issues in writing the story and we’re proud of what we accomplished.
I think it’s really great that you featured a transgender man. There are so many different spectrums of the GLBTQQ community and it often seems that most of them don’t get enough time in the spotlight. It’s great to get people thinking about topics they may not be familiar with and stories can teach us important things, without us realizing that we are actually learning something new to broaden our horizons. Sounds like great teamwork as well So, may we see something like this book in the future again?
Yes, eventually we’ll write a followup book. We have both of our schedules to deal with so it might take us longer to get it out.I like pushing the envelope. My story, Changing Currency, has a man who cross dresses. But not only does he cross dress, he likes to think of himself as a woman when he is in his dresses. My current project, which no one knows about but a choice few, involves some twists that aren’t always talked about.
Eventually, I’ll probably write a transman book on my own. I think readers are more welcoming of differences than is commonly accepted. Getting in the right frame of mind is critical. Ethan and I did a lot of research for Transparency. When I was writing Changing Currency, I loved researching drag queens.
That is great I think it’s important to push the boundaries from time to time and see if it is possible to expand them a little permanently. Reading a book from someone else’s perspective, even if one may not completely comfortable with the subject matter, can really help to make people understand the topic much better. Sadly, I think most people like to avoid confronting things that seem strange to them instead of trying to understand them. I’m looking forward to your upcoming books and you have me really curious about the new boundaries-pushing book you are working on. What a teaser *g* Any chance we might get a little hint?
Let’s just say there are teens involved. The book started as a small, 20,000 word project and currently, before all the edits are in, is sitting at 68,000 words just on the first book. The second book, continuing the story of the teens, will be at least 60,000 words. And depending on how the book flows, there may be a need for a third book. These two boys will go through a lot together, changing more than just themselves.
Sounds interesting! I will be on the lookout for this new series! So Sara, I’ve tried, but I just can’t let the dinosaurs go. Though I’m very proud of myself that I managed to wait this long to pose this question. Sure, I can see where dino porn may be a bit… awkward – but I’ve been trying to
bully convince Kaje Harper to accept the challenge of writing an M/M short story about time travel and dinosaurs as part of a M/M Romance groups text prompt game, which developed into the idea of dinosaur shifters, the ultimate challenge. At the same time, there was some buzz about the release of Anna Martin’s Jurassic Heart, with some people hoping for more dino themed M/M books to come out. In my humble opinion, it’s a real market niche! So, there’s really no chance of ever seeing a dinosaur in one of your books? *pout*
I’m not saying I’d never do it…well damn, a freaking Jurassic plot bunny just hopped into my living room and sat down in front of me.
Don’t show weakness, the small ones are the worst! But let’s talk about your plot bunnies! How did the first one find you? And were you surprised when they suddenly demanded some hot guy on guy action? *g*
The guy on guy action, yes and no. It’s no secret that in traditional brick and mortar stores there are no gay romance books on the shelf, at least there weren’t ten years ago. The MM genre was underground at best. If there were books about gay romance, they weren’t popular. Amazon was the new kid on the block so they weren’t that popular and were not into allowing authors to self-publish. I honestly didn’t know that there were any male on male books out there, or that an author could write them.
I started writing M/F stories and I always had an easier time writing men. My books were primarily from the males point of view. I could get in their heads easier. Then I found my first MM book and it was love at first sight. It wasn’t easy writing man on man, but it wasn’t hard either. My first published MM book, Surprise Sleep Over, was submitted to TEB fairly late in the evening. I shut down my computer and went to bed. Later that night, I received the offer for a contract. Of course I didn’t know about it until morning. With that, I was hooked writing MM.
I’m sure in the future I’ll write a few more MF books, but I love this genre. I love the positive impact that it can make. Many readers come to the genre, experiencing gay characters for the first time and seeing them as real people, not caricatures that some of the media portrays them as. They see the struggles, the triumphs, and the heart of the characters and realize that gay men and lesbians are really not that much different than everyone else. It’s nice to know that my books have a positive influence on people, allowing them to grow in acceptance of people who are different than them.
As I wrote in my introduction for this blog yesterday, MM Romance books were an integral part for my coming out, by showing me a reason to confront my sexuality and thereby bring changes into my comfortable, but lonely life. Showing me the love and intimacy I could have with a man made me realize that all the challenges and obstacles coming out would bring into my life would still be worth it. I might be bi, even if I prefer men, but by closing this part of me off, I was missing part of myself. Hearing about all the gay teen suicides makes my heart break every time and I believe it is incredibly important to show that true love, romance, intimacy and the possibility of a happily ever after exists for gay men. That it can get better! So I’m very grateful for what you are doing for the community by contributing stories and hope for gay readers as well as helping to spread acceptance and understanding among straight readers. But we’ve now talked about Dinosaurs and Bunnies – clearly all that’s missing are spies and cowboys. About five weeks ago, you released Colorado Fire, book two of the Colorado Heart series. How did you get the idea for the premise of CIA agents working a farm as cowboys, when not on a mission? And can you tell us a bit more about this series, for those who haven’t read it yet?
I love cowboys. I grew up in rural Texas, and yes, I did have a horse. We also had a 1500 acre ranch and ran a few hundred head of cattle. Cowboys, real cowboys, are full of masculinity and ready for anything. At the ending of my Texas Soul series I wanted to write another cowboy story, but I didn’t want to write a copy of the Texas series.
One morning while walking the dogs, I started talking to my husband about my idea of the Colorado books. My first interest in writing has always been mystery and thrillers. I combined the two in the Colorado Heart series. It’s a far out premise, but it is fiction and I wanted to do a what if these guys who are patriotic lived together instead of hiding, never trusting anyone.
On Wild Bluff Ranch there is no shortage of talent. Grant Stovall, Duff Whitaker, Marshal Stevenson, and Tucker Hayes were all in the Marines before coming to the ranch. Roger Burk was a SEAL, Mike Willson was in the army and Billy Bradford, James Davenport, and Zander Freeland all have military experience. The entire group has taken paramedic training but Zander, Mike, went beyond that and took another six month course on surgical procedures. Tucker, James, Mike, Billy and Grant are all pilots. And if you need a sharpshooter, there are six of them on the ranch. All in all, it’s either the safest place on the planet or the most dangerous, depending on how you look at it.
The Colorado Heart series won’t be limited to only those men you currently see on the ranch. For those readers who have read the Texas Soul series, you see the foreshadowing of what’s to come. The Texas Soul series might be over in terms of it being a series, but there is going to be more than one crossover character.
An interesting fact about the book, my horse, Abilene, actually was bit by a snake like Beauty was bit. After he healed, he hated hay, never ate it again. He was the best horse ever. Some of the things I experienced on the ranch are peppered through the book, giving a realistic look at what ranch life is like.
For those of you who’ve read Colorado Wild, see if you can answer these questions. For those who haven’t, don’t hesitate to answer, we might judge based on creativity.
Q1: What temperament do you think Beauty will have when he grows up?
Q2: Which one of the guys would you want to stitch you up after a gunshot wound and why?
Q3: On the ranch Duff is in charge. Who do you think would be the next best Duff?
I’m interested to see how our readers respond to these questions 😉 Do you often integrate parts of your own experience into your books in some ways and what do you do when you have to write about something that you don’t have personal experience with like missions or gay love scenes?
In some ways, yes, I do integrate personal experiences in my writing, but when I write mysteries or thrillers, I go back to the research. After a very cool conference this summer, I’ve now taken more than 200 hours of police, FBI, and law enforcement courses. I’ve been lucky enough to do training raids with the SWAT team, and been allowed to do traffic stop training with the police. I’ve done firearm training and I’ve been allowed to see inside the inter workings of the police department. I’ve also done over 40 hours of fireman training, climbing the big ladders, carrying hoses, using the jaws of life, and running into a burning building to put out a fire.
As for MM sex, I’ve never done that. That would be impossible, but I’m more than willing to watch porn. It’s a tough research project, but someone has to do it. On a more serious note, a lot of making love, and having sex is universal. A man making love to a woman or another man, or a woman making love to a woman or a man isn’t so dissimilar that the basic mechanics are foreign. Touch, kissing, licking, and holding are the same. Our emotions, hopes, and desires are all basic components of our search for significance and acceptance. The body parts may be different, and trust me, there are plenty of men willing to talk about their dicks, so getting the information isn’t all that difficult. Since I’ve always written men better, it’s not that difficult to put myself in the place of a gay man, relaying his experiences through my characters.
Wow, it’s incredible that you are putting so much work into your research to make your novels more credible. I hate when everything in a novel has a lot of potential, but small things don’t make sense and take me out of the story. There are many myths about procedures and small details that are easy to get wrong, so I’m happy that you got the opportunity to get some first hand experiences. I think it really shows in your work! I personally do a lot of research on M/M love scenes, as well. I know how very, very hard that can be, but I’m proud of you for going through hours and hours of image and video material for the sake of research! You’re right though, the basic mechanics of love making are very similar. Speaking of love, which of the characters in your M/M novels is your favorite and why?
Aiden from Not That Type of Guy. Aiden really is beast from Beauty and The Beast. He may have a sexy body, and ooze masculinity, but inside, he feels damaged beyond belief. His inside is soiled, stained from the kills he’s committed as an assassin. Okay, I might have a thing for writing assassins, but I do really like them. Getting Aiden to admit he’s gay, and having him come to terms with his profession drew me closer to him than any other character ever. Lane from Texas Soul series is a close second, but Aiden will always be my favorite.
Yeah, there is a certain fascination for the most deadly things. It’s no accident that vampire stories are so popular. The power over life and death is intoxicating – though I always love to see inner conflicts that make a character more human and less of a soulless killing machine. The struggle with darkness and how to use the power the characters possess are very intriguing So how are you using your gift at the moment? Are there any other new releases coming up or works in progress we haven’t talked about, yet?
Later this month, I have a short out with Dreamspinner, called First and Last. In February I have the first of a series coming out with MLR Press. The series is called Love’s First Response. It’s a lighthearted series based on first responders. Cops, Cakes, and Coffee is the first book. Book two is Firemen, Flames, and Fettuccine. Book three is Medics, Mayhem, and Mojitos. It’s going to be a fun little series with three great heroes to fall in love with.
Definitively sounds like fun and the research will come in handy Thank you so much for an absolutely fantastic and revealing interview, it has been so much fun chatting with you. If you don’t mind one last question; since you enjoy reading M/M romance by other authors as well, which 5 books by other authors are your personal favorites? I really hope to talk to you again, soon. And thank you so much, for providing our readers with yet another opportunity to win a wonderful giveaway. You’re awesome, talented and incredibly generous! How is that fair? Though I guess since we all benefit from it, I can let it go this once
Thank you, it’s been very enjoyable. My favorite all time book is from none other than Ethan Stone. I love Bartender PI. It’s my feel good book that I return to anytime I can’t find something that suits my mood. I also love, love, love Blind Faith by N.R. Walker. Another favorite of mine is Perfect for me by DH Starr. I also love Meant for Each Other by DH Starr. And to round it out, I really enjoyed Heaven by C.J. Anthony. It’s a must read.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. You’re awesome, Marc.
Sara has graciously agreed to offer an e-book copy of Colorado Wild or any book from her backlist as giveaway (Even though she just gave away 4 e-book copies on our blog). We are very grateful for her generosity and cross our fingers that you will be the lucky commenter to win 😉
Contest ends 17 Jan 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited, etc, etc, etc.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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