Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lily Velden with Same Page! *Plus A Contest*

Today I have Lily Velden answering some personal questions (naughty phone calls, gasp!) and sharing news about her first ever eBook, Same Page. There's a contest at the end, so don't skimp on reading or you'll miss it!

Okay, first off … tell us about you!
Well, let’s see. I’m a Venutian sent to earth to study the human race… LOL, sorry, couldn’t resist!
Perhaps the first thing you should know about me is that my offbeat sense of humor gets me into trouble all the time!
What can I say? I love to read. I love to write. I love movies and ballet and live theater. I love walking in strange cities and sighing over the architecture. I love creating something out of nothing—hell, I need that! Who am I kidding? Without my creative outlet I get depressed!

What are you wearing?

When I read this question, Cia, I burst out laughing—it brought back memories.

Many years ago I had a regular obscene caller who would make three calls to me in quick succession while I was at work. In the first there would just be silence; the second he would breathe heavily, and on the third he'd ask me in a very husky voice what I was wearing.

It went on for months and I'd get so frustrated with every set of calls as I never seemed to be in a position to be able to answer him—there was always someone standing nearby who would be able to hear me.

One day, luck finally smiled on me, and when he got to his third call and breathed his question down the phone line at me, I purred back, "Nothing and it feels wonderful."

He never phoned me again!

Today, luckily for you and your readers, I'm not naked!

I'm wearing jeans, sneakers, and a long-sleeve white Henley shirt!
Vanilla or Chocolate?
Um, caramel! I love it any which way you want to serve it—hot, cold, as a candy, on ice-cream, poured over a pudding, in a tart, as a milkshake, or a pie. I can be bribed with offers of caramel! Want a free copy of Same Page? Just get me some CARAMEL!!!!

Do you make your bed?

Yes, she says with a squeak—I think I’ve been a mum too long!

Okay, on to the authoress stuff! When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ooh, that’s a tougher question than it first appears to be. I still feel shy to call myself one! What I can say is that I’ve always loved to write and tell stories. Along with drawing, it was my escape, my pleasure, and my coping mechanism from a young age.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think if they handed out medals for tweaking, I’d be in the running for a gold!
I constantly read over what I’ve written, juggling the word order of a sentence, changing a word here and there, deleting a sentence, adding a new one. I’m constantly trying to perfect what I’ve written—just ask the Dreamspinner editors!—I really need to learn when to stop.

What do you think has been the toughest criticism you’ve ever received? The best compliment?
The toughest criticism I ever received ended up being the best lesson I ever learned, and the person who made the criticism is now a friend. Rather than get defensive or take offense, I saw it as an opportunity to learn.
There are a few concepts in romantic fiction that fascinate me. One being, the idea of there being only one ‘soulmate’ for want of a better word, for each person. Another is the concept of how people can deceive themselves because they don’t want to confront certain things about themselves for a variety of reasons. Perhaps out of fear, societal or family pressures, religion etc. An example would be a man telling himself he’s straight when deep down, he’s attracted to men.
My now friend blasted me for having the openly gay character in one of my stories not realize the not-so-openly gay man fancied him, and through that ignorance hurt the not-so-openly gay man. He wrote to me how most real-life gay men would see the signs, even if the other was deeply embedded in the closet, as their homosexuality makes them more finally attuned to unconscious signals and body language etc. He was very articulate and I’ve never forgotten his words—he taught me to never take anything for granted, or to make assumptions about how a man would react based on worn out stereotypes and cliches. He taught me to really think about what a character would say, do, think etc. Thank you, S – I owe you BIG TIME!
As to the best compliment, this may sound odd, but it was a lovely lady who has read The Race is On (Book 2 of How the Light Gets In). She said she struggled to remember reading anything that made her weep as much as one particular scene did. She told me I’d written the character’s pain so beautifully that she cried so much she couldn’t see her computer screen. Her words did, and do, mean a great deal to me as that scene was very important to the character (I can’t tell you which one or it will give things away) and therefore to me. (I actually keep her correspondence in my inbox for when I have one my confidence crises!) I just feel very relieved that I didn’t let the character down by not being sensitive and eloquent enough to touch the reader.

For your eBook coming out: How did you come up with your title?
The name of the series, How the Light Gets In, is from the Leonard Cohen quote: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
From the first moment I read the quote, it’s resonated with me. For me, it has special meaning, and it is around those words that I based the whole story. So far, there are two books in the series—Same Page, which is due out on the 14th June, and The Race is On, which has just completed the editing process at Dreamspinner and is due out in a month or two.(A third book is being written as we speak)
Same Page came from the motivation of the two main characters, Jaxon and Liam—to be on the same page!

If it were to be made into a movie, who could you see playing the lead characters?
To select an actor to play Liam is easy—his appearance was inspired by Robert Pattinson, as I’m mesmerized by his bone structure and pale English skin.
I’m an artist as well as an author (hence my need to design my own covers!) I have a love of life-drawing and portraiture and so Robert’s skin tone, jaw line, cheek bones etc. won me over from the moment I saw him playing Cedric Diggory in one of the Harry Potter movies!
Jaxon, is a little more difficult. Originally, I pictured him as having dark curly hair and being Scottish! That might have been because I had a crush on Gerard Butler at the time…
But, somewhere along the line, the blighter morphed into a blond Texan on me! A young Matthew McConaughey would fit the bill. As I write this, I’m picturing Matthew in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Hmm, and in a Time to Kill with Sandra Bullock.

What sort of coffee would your characters order? Black coffee or some half-caff soy protein drink?
LOL, Liam actually enjoys a cup of tea! He is a Brit, after all! He does like the cappuccinos that Jaxon makes him, though. Jaxon loves to make his own coffee – cappuccino for him too!

So, now that this is coming out, what’s next in the pipeline? There’s a sequel, right?
Yes, there’s a sequel! It’s called The Race is On and it will hopefully be ready for release in July or August.
There’s also a third book in the series which I’m currently writing, but I can’t say too much about it or I’ll give away things from Same Page and The Race is On.
I also have another manuscript I’m working on—yes, I’m guilty of writing more than one novel at a time! Think of a restaurant on a busy Saturday night with umpteen tables and umpteen conversations happening at once, and you’ve got a pretty good picture, or should I say audio??? inside my head—called Questions and Answers. It has two Art History lecturers—one American and one English—swapping jobs, homes, and cars for a semester as part of a new ‘partner’ relationship between their respective colleges. They learn some very interesting stuff about each other! It’s quite erotic in parts!

How’d you get involved with your publisher?
After much encouragement from friends, I finally plucked up the courage to submit something for publication, and my research suggested Dreamspinner Press was an excellent publishing house to be associated with. For aspiring writers of M/M fiction, I can’t recommend highly enough that you submit your manuscripts to Dreamspinner. They do what they say they’re going to do, they keep you informed, and perhaps, best of all, they hold your hand and treat your ‘baby’ with respect!
How the Light Gets In, both Books 1 & 2 was the first story I ever wrote, but it’s not the first thing I submitted. My first submission was a short story for the Dreamspinner anthology, Animal Magnetism. It’s called Stripped Bare and it’s about a potty-mouthed parrot that helps bring two men, Nick and Michael, together. (More guest at the dinner party called my brain!)
My next submission was a novella called Gay as Mardi Gras which came out in March, 2013 and tells the story of straight-boy, Jesse, whose Nan sends him on a gay cruise ship for a vacation. It’s a tad irreverent, but it’s all in fun, just a nice light-hearted tale.
Those acceptances gave me the courage to submit the two completed novels of How the Light Gets In: Same Page and The Race is On. I hope that some of your readers, Cia, will give Jaxon and Liam a chance to charm them—they’ve certainly kept me on my toes for 3 years! The dinner party going on in my head wouldn’t be complete without them!

Okay, thanks for the insight in Lily, the person and the author! Now let’s check out your release!!
Thank you so much for having me, Cia. It’s been an absolute pleasure!

He was like the only splash of color in a black-and-white photograph.
The man was beautiful.

At an exhibition opening in Sydney, jaded Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff lays eyes on publicity-shy artist Liam Lassiter for the first time and is immediately captivated. But he doesn’t get far into their first conversation before he realizes what he’s feeling is attraction, which brings him up short. Jaxon has always been a womanizer.
Despite his reservations, Jaxon makes a play for Liam, but Liam has his own issues. Unlucky in love and orphaned at sixteen, he is reluctant to open his heart to anyone, and dismisses Jaxon out of hand. 
Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, Jaxon organizes a return to Sydney to film his next project. If he can’t be with Liam, maybe they can be friends. Of course, that creates a whole new problem. Now Jaxon is falling in love for the first time. How can he move their relationship from friends to lovers without destroying the trust he’s worked so hard for?

As usual, it was still early when I woke, so I closed my eyes and tried to slip back into the dreams I’d been having—dreams of soft auburn hair brushing over my torso and full, oh so kissable lips trailing moist kisses down my neck and chest. I twined my hands in the silky strands. Lower and lower went the kisses….
I sat bolt upright as the russet-framed face looked up at me from between my thighs, and my lust-filled gaze was met with the autumn eyes of Liam Lassiter.
Holy fucking shit! What the hell? I was panting, my arousal painfully obvious. Don’t panic. No need to panic, I chanted to myself in an effort to calm my pounding heart. Jesus, Moncrieff, one knock back, and now you’re obsessed?
Refusing to dignify my aberrant dream by jacking off, I imagined dead puppies and my grandmother naked in an effort to deflate my rock hard cock.
Forget it, Buddy. No way on God’s green earth am I going to give you a treat when you pull crazy shit like that! What the hell’s going on with you? You’re getting excited over a guy now? I muttered silently to my cock. Okay, now you really are losing it, Moncrieff. You are talking to your dick like it’s a real person… but fuck, go down, will you? Fucking wilt, you stubborn bastard!
I was a little horrified at the time it took me, and exactly how long I had to picture my nana naked, to will it away.
The best cure for my malady, I decided, was a strenuous workout. With a quick call, I ascertained that the hotel’s gym was currently empty and would remain that way for as long as I wanted my workout to last. Sometimes being a celebrity wasn’t so bad.
For an hour, I punished my body’s unconscious betrayal with a regimen of cardio and weights before heading back to my room to shower and dress in preparation for the first of six interviews I had to do before attending the premiere of my latest movie.
Alison was waiting for me when I emerged from my bedroom, my hair still a little damp.
“Mornin’, Tinker Bell,” I said with a smile, using my nickname for her.
Ally’s reply was to throw a cushion from the armchair nearest her. Knowing her as well as I did, I was prepared for her reaction and ducked in ample time, and the cushion fell harmlessly in the doorway to my bedroom.
“Careful, Tink, or you’ll get me a reputation for trashing hotel rooms!”
“Coffee. Where’s my coffee?” she groaned. “You know I have no sense of humor until I’ve had my coffee!”
I chuckled and walked barefoot to the kitchenette and made a cappuccino for myself and a latte for Ally. This was my one “star request”—I always asked for an espresso machine in my suite, as I liked to make my own coffee. When you drank as much of it as I did, you wanted it to be good, none of that instant crap.
Alison held the cup to her lips, inhaling deeply, her eyes closed in bliss. “God, JJ, if you ever fail as an actor, you could always get work as a barista! You make the best coffee.”
“That’s why I keep you on; you’re so good for my ego. Okay, Tink, lay it on me. Who’s up first?”
Ally went through my schedule with me in detail. Internally, I groaned. Six interviews, each lasting forty minutes, with a twenty-minute break in between and an hour for lunch.
“Okay, so I’m free from four until seven, when I have to be at the premiere?”
She nodded as she noisily drained the dregs of her coffee. I watched, amused, as she darted out her little pink tongue to lick the last of the flavor from her lips. Seeing my barely suppressed grin, she quirked her eyebrow at me.
“What? So I enjoy a good cup of coffee.”
“Whatever, Tinker Bell. I want you to ring Garrett Flemington and organize for him to come here at four or four thirty, as I want to talk to him about buying a couple of pieces from last night’s show. Oh, and some sandwiches and cakes and things would be nice too, please,” I said, trying to sound casual.
“Consider it done, fearless leader!” She saluted me, making no attempt to hide her knowing smirk. “Rather delicious, that Liam Lassiter, wasn’t he?” she added slyly.
“What on earth are talking about, Tink? So I like his art!” I defended.
“Of course you do,” came back her overly innocent reply. It was Alison’s turn to duck as I threw a cushion at her. “Careful, JJ, or you’ll get a reputation for trashing hotel rooms!” she squealed, throwing my words back at me.
I couldn’t help but laugh; she knew me so well. No surprise, really, considering we’d known each other since kindergarten. We were more like brother and sister than boss and employee, and I knew I could trust her implicitly.
I chose not to examine too closely her obvious ease at the thought that I might have found Liam attractive, deciding to save that essay of internal debate for later…

Story Buy Links

Author links
Website:             http://www.lilyvelden.com
Email:                   lilyvelden@live.com.au
Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/lily.velden
Twitter:                @LilyVelden
Want a free copy of Lily's eBook? All you have to do is leave a comment here, with your email address, and you'll be entered to win!  (Lily did share her perfect form of bribe, so if you're looking for an advantage  ... LOL) The contest will run until Thursday, June 13th, when the book goes on sale.  Lily will post a comment ending the contest and announcing the winner then. Good luck!


  1. Thanks so much for having me Cia! I hope you will allow me to return the favour soon!
    Take care,


    1. Of course, Lily! I greatly enjoy helping other authors out, even a little, and your interview was great fun to read. Thank you for visiting!

  2. Another wonderful interview. Count me in please. X thanks Cia & Lily.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Macky!

      I've got everything crossed - including my eyes which makes it kinda hard to type.....) Good uck with the giveaway!


    2. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking part, Maxine!

  3. Cia's questions are so much better than mine. LOL But that's to be expected I guess, she is Cia after all. :)

    As I've said before, don't add me to the drawing, but I did want to say hi and read what you said elsewhere [and where the host actually spelled your name right. :-/ ]


    1. Oh, they are not! Just a tad ... different. ;) Lily does come up with some great answers though ... "Nothing and it feels wonderful!" *snickers*

    2. LOL, don't sweat it, Andy! I've been called worse! And I enjoyed your questions too! It was great to be asked some different questions - I had a lot of fun with both yours and Cia's interviews - so thanks, guys!

  4. Wow, I'm really interested in this book. And I'm picky about my reading material. :)

    1. Thanks so much, CoffeeLover! Those are the words every author loves to hear!
      I do so hope you enjoy spending some time with Liam and Jaxon - I certainly have!

  5. Great interview and excerpt. The book sounds wonderful.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    1. Hi Sherry, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the interview - Cia asked some fun questions!

      I'm thrilled you liked the excerpt (it's part of the second scene in the book - the first scene is up on my blog)

      Good luck with the giveaway!

  6. My new hobby is to chase down all your great interviews, Lily, because they're as entertaining as reading your stories! This one makes me want to make one very naughty call to Australia just to hear you purring through the phone ;-)
    Looking forward to the 14th, it's my highlight this month!

    P.S.: no need to put me into the drawing. Good luck to all the others :-)

    1. LOL, I don't understand why he didn't ring me back!!!! Did the idea of my nudity frighten him???? My self-esteem took a blow that week LOL

      Thanks ever so much for stopping by CC and I hope you enjoy Same Page!

  7. Lily,

    We have at least one thing in common: we both love caramel. :)

    A great interview and your new release sounds very interesting.


    1. Hi Chris! Thanks so much for taking the time to read the interview and leave a comment - much appreciated!

      Methinks, we have more than caramel in common.... maybe an obsession???

      I hope the readers find Same Page interesting! Only time will tell!

  8. I love the questions that were asked and the answers too! Thanks for the giveaway, hope I win :)
    Jay xxjsc929xx@yahoo.com

    1. Hi Jay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview - Cia asked some terrific questions. They were a lot of fun to answer.

      Good luck with the win... do you want my address in Aust to send me some caramel????

  9. Thank you to all those that were kind enough to stop by and comment - your participation was very much appreciated.

    I owe you all an apology - I thought Cia was drawing the winner, but I was meant to! It's times like these I know I'm blonde.......

    The winner is: SHERRY.

    Congratulations and I hope to see you all again when The Race is On is released over the summer - more giveaways then!


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