I wish I could say yes. I have visited the campus a few times but I never went to school there, and I’m not much into football, so I can’t say I’m a particular fan. I love the campus though.
Fielding is sort of the anti-geek genius. He is focused and curious about everything but he takes joy in everyday things and wants to experience everything . Is he based on anyone in real life?
Only tangentially. I met a family once where the kids were incredible controlled and sheltered to the point where they never got to do anything. And I always wanted to base an MC in a romance on that idea—someone who has just escaped a very controlling family for the first time and has all these new experiences.
Do you watch Big Bang Theory? (sorry, but Fielding is like Sheldon Cooper’s cuter, sweeter little brother!)
I have to say that I don’t! One of my beta readers is really into that. I’ve seen clips of it on YouTube but I’ve never watched a full episode. But I’ve read lots of fiction with nerds and I work in the computer industry so I’ve known a few major ones IRL. In fact, I have more than a few nerd tendencies myself.
Mick is a dedicated guy who cares about what others might think, yet ultimately does what is right for him. Was it difficult to make him so conflicted?
I think what Mick was conflicted about the most was his own mental image of himself. Of course, he does care what his friends and family will think, but the bigger hurdle for him is accepting that he is bisexual and, more importantly, that he is in love with his best friend, because he just never saw himself in either of those scenarios. I think the fixed ideas we have about who we are can be very limiting. Once he’s able to accept that internally, the external/social stuff is not that hard for him. He’s a very straight-forward guy, and he really does adore Fielding.
Do you read holiday stories? What is your favorite holiday theme?
Yes! I’m a big sucker for holiday romances. I used to read holiday romance anthologies in paperback back when I read m/f. And I’ve gotten the Dreamspinner anthologies the past few years. This year I’m keeping an eye out and collecting the holiday stories from the authors I like in m/m.
Favorite holiday theme… I love contemporaries and I always love the theme of two guys getting together for the first time, so a good friends-to-lovers or enemies-to-lovers story is always fun. I also like gfy stories and hurt/comfort. Pair those with some snow or holiday setting and I’m happy!
Do you have any serious holiday traditions?
We live on a farm so we normally have quite a lot of family here. It’s great when they come and great when they go!
This is a self-published story. How different was this from working with a publisher?
It was very different. This is the first time I’ve self-published. I wrote two Christmas novellas and submitted them both to Dreamspinner’s advent calendar. I was determined to get one in this year and so I wanted to double my odds! Well, one was accepted (A Prairie Dog’s Love Song) and then I thought it would be an interesting chance to self-publish the other one and see what that’s like. It’s been a lot of work figuring out ISBNs and how to sign up to put it on amazon and ARE and all that. I would do it again if I had a story that needed it, but it’s nice to be ‘taken care of’ by Dreamspinner too.
Is it tough to write holiday in the middle of summer? (I’m just assuming you wrote it during warm weather!)
I’m a big Christmas fan, so it’s not hard for me to get in the spirit at any time of year.
I loved Fielding’s dad and was sort of appalled at his mom. Are these real life people?
No one specific. His mom is the quintessential New York driven stage mom. She knows early on how bright Fielding him and she has him in every activity under the sun and puts lots of pressure on him to excel. But before the story begins Fielding’s dad (they’re divorced) has finally stepped in and insisted Fielding go away to college and get out into the real world. So yeah, he’s helping Fielding spread his wings in this story.
Speaking of that, do you pull characters or situations from real life? Is it easier if it’s a stranger?
Usually I have at least a model or image that I work with for what my characters look like physically. But generally their personalities and backgrounds are completely fictional.
Where do you think Fielding and Mick will go from here?
I don’t plan a sequel. But if you mean in my head, I think they’re just perfect for each other! They’ll get married young. Fielding will end up working at a prestigious lab in Switzerland or something and Mick will go along and build his own private practice as a physical therapist wherever they are. I see a very long, interesting, and happy life for them.
What upcoming projects can you share with us?
I have a few things hitting in December. “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song” is in the Dreamspinner advent calendar. And “The Enlightenment of Daniel” is the second book in my Sex in Seattle series – that is due around mid Dec. It’s a contemporary m/m romance that’s a family drama. I have a lot hitting at once but then nothing for 3-4 months.
Tell us something about you!
I have a day job, so m/m writing is my hobby, and quite an obsessive one at that!
Thanks for having me on the blog!
Leave a comment for Eli before 12/213 for a chance to win a copy of Blame It On the Mistletoe! CONGRATULATIONS JILL W!!