Friday, June 12, 2015
Author Interview Featuring Renee Steven's No More Hiding
A good friend of mine, and a favorite author, Renee Stevens has her first release with Dreamspinner Press out now!! Enjoy this interview with her and check out her excerpt too.
Single people often have more time to write. Are you single?
Nope, I’ve been happily married since 2008 and been with my husband since 2006. Luckily for me, he understands my desire to write and doesn’t complain if I stay up late to work on a story.
Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I have to at least throw the covers back over the bed, otherwise my sheets get covered in dog hair and dirt from the dogs getting on the bed. It makes trying to fall asleep quite difficult.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate all the way J
Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Sometimes I have to coax them, other times they like to steer me in directions that I didn’t originally thing about. I actually like the times that the plot gets a little more convoluted and I’ve learned to go with it. The end results are usually better than whatever I originally planned.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It’s sometimes difficult to keep from head-hopping. I’ll read something I just wrote and cringe when I see that I switched the characters point of view. Sometimes it’s deliberate, but if that’s the case I try to only switch to a different character if it’s a new chapter. Sometimes though, it’s very hard not to mix point-of-views in a single chapter.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Mainly, I write better when I have music going on in the background. Also, I am a night owl and have learned over time that I write better at night. I might struggle with a story for days, and then sit down late and night and it just flows for me. Probably because there are less distractions.
How did you come up with the title?
The title actually came very easily with this story. Phillip spent the first years of his life hiding from who he really was. Most of this story is about him no longer hiding from his sexuality and what he wants. He has some obstacles to overcome, but they still don’t send him back into hiding. He has his moments, but for the most part, he meets his issues head on.
How long did it take you to write this story?
I first wrote No More Hiding over a couple months in 2009. I had some friends read it and they enjoyed it, but I knew it still needed work. I let it sit for about five years before I finally sat down and worked on the revisions. I had a lot of great help and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
What sort of coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
I can’t picture any of my main characters ordering anything except simple coffee.
What was your favorite part of the story(ies)?
I think I’d have to say my favorite part would be the bond Phillip shares with his twin brother Robert. It’s easy to see how much they care about and support each other. You’ll have to read the story to understand exactly what I’m talking about, but Phillip and Robert share an amazing bond.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have a couple in the works right now. I’m working on revising a vampire novel in the hopes of submitting it for publication. Joined by Blood is probably tied with No More Hiding for my favorite of my works. Damian is held captive and is rescued by Vik, a vampire, and his warriors. He has a hard time trusting Vik, or anyone in his clan, and it causes some complicated issues that they have to work through.
What are your future projects?
I plan to finish revising Joined by Blood and then I want to finish an online story called Thwarted that deals with a couple of military and ex-military guys and some of the struggles they face. I also have an on hold story called Forging Trust that I want to finally finish up.
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.