Monday, September 2, 2013

Visiting Author: Libby Drew with Bending the Iron and a Contest!!

Please join me in welcoming Libby to my blog to talk about her latest eBook release, Bending the Iron. I read the first version of this story on Gayauthors and really enjoyed it. I was really happy to learn she'd revised and re-released it as an eBook. Read on to learn more about this great story and very popular author and get all the details on her contest!

First off, thank you for sharing a bit about you in this interview! So now … share a bit about you! Tell us one thing readers might like to know that isn’t in your author bio.
I actually had to go read my author bio before answering this. A bio is one of those things you write once and then copy/paste forever afterward.

Let’s see… I also write YA fiction, but under a different pen name.

How did you first get into writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a pre-teen, but never thought about sharing any until about ten years ago. I started with online communities, posting serialized stories, then joined LiveJournal and grew a readership there. That’s also where I hooked up with my agent.

I was very lucky to find a supportive and knowledgeable circle of writers. Many of them were successful authors in their own right, enjoying the anonymity and freedom of social networking.

What’s one thing that surprised you when you moved into publishing from sharing free fiction?
How easily a secure, self-confident writer can let his or her goals be realigned by the irrelevant, and largely imagined, race to “succeed.” I’ve watched it time and time again as people I know have made the jump.

Success is all perception. Honestly, once somebody understands and accepts that, they’re a more contented writer. Hell, they’re a more contented person.

All authors need support to help with their writing; who supports you? Family, friends, online team of beta/editors… maybe all three?
My husband is my rock. My kids are my cheerleaders. But they’re not equipped to critique what I write. For that, I need people willing to hurt my feelings, and lucky for me, I’ve got them in spades. Some of my beta readers have been with me for years, yet still manage to keep things honest between us, for which I’ve very grateful.  I’ve got an absolute angel of an editor at Harlequin/Carina. Everything she touches turns to gold. She’s that good. And my agent is a superhero. With the cape and everything. Knowing she has my affairs in hand keeps me sane.

When you write, do you have any rituals or tricks to get you motivated?
Sometimes I’ll seek out a recently published book that’s been getting rave reviews and read a chapter or an excerpt. If it really is as good as people are saying, I feel motivated to produce something just as stunning. If it doesn’t live up to the hype, I’m compelled to put something down on paper that I believe is better.

How many eBooks do you have out now? Do you have a favorite storyline or character of all time?
Five published ebooks, two of those also in paperback, and there’s a sixth novel releasing through Carina in January. That’s commercially. I’ve got a half a million words online that I’ll never get a cent for, and those are the stories I recall with the most fondness. Maybe because they represent nearly a decade of my learning curve. It’s the journey. It’s always the journey.

I don’t have a favorite character or story line. To me that feels like loving one of your children more than the other. ;)

Do your characters make like bunnies and create convoluted plots for you, or do you have to coax them out?
Both? I never begin anything without a clear idea of where I want to end up. Sometimes I change the route if the characters demand it, but the destination rarely, if ever, changes.  

I often think about a story for weeks or months before I sit down to write it. This initial mental work-through helps me keep the rabbit trails to a minimum, the setting more immersive, and the characters more layered.

Basically, I make a movie in my head. Then I write it down.
For your latest eBook, Bending the Iron, what inspired you? How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I worked in a railroad museum in college, and it had a model room almost exactly like the one in Bending the Iron. I held lots of odd jobs in college in order to make ends meet, but this was one of the most memorable. Model railways can rattle your perspective. Shatter it, even.  In Bending the Iron, the model railroad is Michael’s catalyst for his series of life changes.

Okay, back to a bit about you. Sneak attack! As you’re answering this interview, what are you wearing? And yes, you do have to answer truthfully!! Spill it!
Yoga pants and tank top.  J

And the most important question of all! So vital, it must be given its due weight as the final question … Vanilla or Chocolate?
I love both, but if faced with a lifetime without chocolate, I might cry real tears.

Contest time! If you leave a comment to this post, you could win a picture of me in my yoga pants and tank top. Wait! I mean you could win a copy of Bending the Iron. Don’t forget to include your email address so I know where to send the booty. The winner will be announced here on Wednesday. 

Thank you all for reading. And thanks, Cia, for being a fabulous host.

Bending the Iron by Libby Drew


Michael feels trapped. In his conservative, poor hometown where he has to keep his sexuality hidden. In his dead-end job. In caring for his alcoholic grandfather. Everything changes when he meets Eric, the new curator for the railroad museum. His curiosity about the passionate man quickly gives way to an intense attraction—one that Eric happily returns.

Carefree and refreshingly confident, Eric guides Michael to places he’s forgotten, reminding him that it may not be too late to follow his dreams for something more in life. But the truth is, Eric knows exactly how it feels to be stuck in a bad situation. A failed relationship has left him with personal demons that may hurt his connection with Michael.

To give their future a chance, they both must fight being trapped in the past.



“Did you ever want to be famous?” Eric asked.

Michael looked to where Eric was lounging on a large boulder, hands folded beneath his head. He could kick back anywhere and still look perfectly at home, another aspect of his personality that Michael loved. His scuffed hiking boots were crossed at the ankle and close enough to the bubbling water that the ends of the laces were soaking wet.

“Famous?” He skipped a stone across the pool and glanced upstream to the majestic house straddling the falls. Fallingwater. Wright’s magnum opus. Each stark horizontal and vertical line a beautiful complement to the chaotic rush of the stream than ran beneath it. Every time Michael’s eyes fell on the structure, he lost his train of thought. This was their second visit. Yesterday’s two-hour tour hadn’t been enough to satisfy him. “What do you mean?”

“Wright was famous.”

Michael shook his head to clear it. “Wright is famous. The greatest American architect of all time. At least most people think so.”

“It’d be cool to be the best at something.”

Pursing his lips, Michael sent another stone skipping across the surface of the stream. When Eric pushed onto his elbows to look at him, Michael shrugged. “I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing. I hate being the center of attention. And ‘best’ is a relative term most of the time anyway.”

“You never wanted to be the center of attention?”

“Depends on whose attention we’re talking about.”

Eric raised an eyebrow and waited, and a little lost, Michael sighed. “I don’t know. Every kid wants to be famous, right? A rockstar or an astronaut. I probably did at some point. Not anymore. It’s no guarantee of happiness.” He shaded his eyes from the sun to smile at Eric. “What about you?”

“No thanks. I’m with you. Never wanted to be a superstar. The way people measure success these days is a recipe for disaster. What’s wrong with finding something you love and just filling your life with it? As long as you’re living some part of your dreams, you’re doing it right.”

Michael considered the idea. He loved it in theory. Who wouldn’t? “Is that what you’ve done?”

“It’s what I’ve tried to do. I’ve veered off course once or twice.”

At least once. And he was still dealing with the fallout. Michael rose from his crouch, brushed his damp hands against his jeans, and pulled Eric to his feet. A half-dozen steps into the woods placed them around a bend in the stream, among a copse of maple trees. “Why all the questions?”

“Just curious. Making conversation.”

“You sure?” Because it had felt like a test.

Eric’s expression softened. “Sometimes, figuring out what you want is about reasoning through what you don’t.” Fondly, he brushed Michael’s bangs off his forehead. “Did you drag me back here for a reason?” he asked, sliding close. And just like that, Michael’s disquiet vanished. He hooked Eric around the waist and lifted him against his chest, but instead of attacking his mouth, he simply held him close, rocking slightly.

Buy Links:

 Author Bio:

Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school's fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.

Libby’s debut novel, State of Mind, was nominated for 2011 M/M Book of the Year by Authors After Dark and Publishers Weekly described her novel 40 Souls to Keep as highly suspenseful.  

Author Links:


Don't forget to comment, including your email, for your chance to win a copy of Libby's newest eBook: Bending the Rails.


  1. I enjoyed the interview and loved the excerpt. This sounds like a very good book.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  2. Sounds like a good time. Sign me up.

  3. I've always enjoyed looking at model railway scenes with the miniature towns, etc. Please include me too.

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo (DOT)com


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