Alex, I can’ begin to tell you how much I’ve looked forward to this! The pleasure is all mine.
Okay, let's get started.
COULD YOU PLEASE SHARE THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU, ERIN?
Ironic ... perfectionist ... contrary
Alex, in a sense I’ve been writing my entire life. As a child, I lived in a small rustic cabin in the middle of Nowhere, Nevada, whose walls were insulated with cardboard. That cardboard was my first blackboard, before I ever went to school. Through my early years, that’s where I scribbled my hopes and dreams, my crushes, my impassioned corny poems to popular singers and movie stars.
Later on, when I went to college, I chose English as my major; and in grad school, I selected Comparative Lit as my field of research. But only three years ago ... early December, 2010 ... I began to write a novel. And then all hell broke loose. That one was followed by 21 others, and I’m writing one even now...
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m a little more than halfway through the annual scribble-fest called NaNoWriMo. The book is a gay romcom titled NEVADA HIGHLANDER, about a gay Scotsman named Rory who decides to join a big game hunt in Eastern Nevada; and the man who’s secretly been set to spy on him, a Nevada State Trooper named Alex. Rory’s ambitious uncle, afraid that his nephew will do something scandalous, has pulled political strings to have Rory followed on the hunt. Rory, meanwhile, finds his new friend Alex to be the sexiest man he’s ever met. The two fall in lust, first, and then in love. But the reality of their being together, which Alex is afraid to reveal, hangs like a shroud over their relationship in the mind of Alex and (hopefully) the mind of the reader. What happens when Rory discovers his lover’s deceit?
WHICH CHARACTERS IN YOUR BOOKS DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH AND WHY?
I tend to identify with men I’ve created who are both funny and solemn, wise and foolish. Michael McCree comes to mind, the horny roustabout from my Gaslight Mysteries. In the present work, Rory Drummond is another hugely likable character whose weaknesses (Wild Turkey scotch and handsome men) seem to shape his personality in the book, although of course he is more complex than that!
|Warrior Ride Hard|
I realize I also identify with men who seem reserved (like Gristle in the Iron Warrior series, like Chase in THE CHASE, or Simon in the mysteries) but who have a rich inner life. Often these men are downright snotty and surly. Or else, like Alex in my WiP, they are reluctant to reveal their true nature and seem shy or introverted.
So I think I tend to yoke these two personality types in the books—I force them together, make them see each other’s point of view, come to an agreement of souls after their bodies join in the ageless dance of love. Maybe these personality types are actually my way of joining the two hemispheres of my brain, or reconciling two different facets of my own nature. Who knows why an author puts heart and soul into a character? ’Tis a mystery, dear Watson, hardly elementary!
SHARE THE NAMES OF A FEW AUTHORS WHO INSPIRE YOU.
|Erin O'Quinn and Nya Rawlings|
I’m the kind of oddball who takes inspiration from the masters: novelists/wordsmiths Vladimir Nabokov and Michael Chabon ... poets Yeats, Frost, Dickinson, Heaney. I seldom have time to read; and so the contemporary author I select as an inspiration is my sometime-writing-partner Nya Rawlyns. Her way of putting together words can make one’s mind bleed.
What do these authors have in common? A density and complexity of words, a way of turning a simple sentence into poetry. Ironically, my own writing is far more straightforward than any of the writers I’ve mentioned. I admire the complexity while striving in my own works for a kind of cadenced simplicity.
Exactly half of my 22 books are set in Ireland. There’s a place I’ve never been, but one as real as though I lived there in some other life. In fact, if anyone is interested, I wrote an article once for my blog Gaelic Spirit called Ireland: A Landscape Built in Dreams. You can find it here: http://erinsromance.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/ireland-a-landscape-built-in-dreams/
Another place that has strongly influenced me is not really a place, but a patchwork of reality—the mountains of Nevada. I haven’t been back to my home state for thirty years. But every nuance of smell, sight, taste and touch is as fresh as though those mountains reared outside my door here in Central Texas. I’ve written about the special allure of Nevada in eight books, including the one I’m working on now.
IF YOU WEREN’T A WRITER, WHAT OTHER CAREER WOULD YOU CHOSE?
I’ve had my several careers, and so that vague longing is out of my system, I hope. I’ve been a teacher (of remedial English to college kids who should know already; of literature and composition to university and college students; of poetry to seniors who are natural poets anyway). I’ve been a car salesperson—in the woods of Germany and in a good-old-boy dealership in Abilene Texas. I’ve been a pallet-hauler in a big-box store. I’ve been a marketing and promotion guru for Nevada’s largest newspaper. Lots of vocations, a ton of fodder for my books.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?
If a browser were so inclined, s/he can find me as the voice behind several blogsites. My sites devoted to MM are:
The Man in Romance http://romancemanlove.wordpress.com/
Ac´cent Gay Lit Authors http://gaylitauthors.wordpress.com/
MM: Gaslight Mysteries http://caitlinfire.wordpress.com
Wilderness Men (with Nya Rawlyns) http://wilderness-men.weebly.com/
ENJOY THIS EXCERPT FROM ERIN'S LATEST: MUSTANG
co-written with Nya Rawlyns
Zach stood looking at his mate. The man whose breath he had chosen to share. He remembered scooping him to his chest a little while ago, right here in the bedroom. Christ, not even an hour ago, a lifetime of truth ago.
The scrappy, skinny, beautiful guy named Joshua had been light as the bantam cock he resembled. Just like he’d raised him off the linoleum, he’d swept him then into his arms, a prize of sinew and bones and sweet flesh. He remembered looking into the midnight of eyes that stripped him bare, forced him to be exactly who he was. A man straining for trust, for something to cherish. He’d tasted his own tears on the man’s mobile mouth.
How was he different now, naked, at the side of his bed? If anything, Joshua was more beautiful than ever, and more desirable. Some might see the scars and bruises and think how disgusting his life had been, how he’d better keep running and hope to escape the pain.
No, Joshua was the man he himself wanted to be. Brave. One who recognized his weaknesses and tried to lift himself above the goddamn pain and ugliness. One who’d seen brutality, faced it, felt its effects, and still raised a gentle hand to help a wounded horse. And a wounded man.
He crushed Joshua close to his chest and murmured something, love maybe, words he hoped would keep him close.
“Show me. Show me life isn’t all tears. I know you can.”
He picked him up again and laid him on the bed. Both of them were bare-ass naked, vulnerable as they’d ever be again in their lives. His heart sang the words.
“You are my guitar.”
He strummed his belly, stroked the wiry hair that led to his navel and below. The balls were honey-colored, silken haired, soft. He wanted to bury his face there, so he did. He felt Josh twist a little, as though in denial, but he pushed both palms under, to his butt, and cupped the cheeks, raising his cock and balls to his mouth.
“Hush.” The cock, different from his own, was not thick. But it was by-God long, sassy, jumping a little, showing off for him. “Quiet.” He sucked it in, not all of it, but as much as he could. God was it sweet, smelling a little of sweat and something he could only call “manchild.” A prick needing a haven, a sure place to return to when he wanted a home.
He lifted Joshua’s buttocks and then let them sink, bringing the cock in and out of his mouth with the force of his hands and arms only. His tongue, needing more, sampled the testicles. Hard, they were hard now, where before they were yielding to his palm. He slicked the scrotum into his mouth, the same way he thought he’d like Josh to do it to him. He let the sacs slide out, dripping with spit, then tucked them back into his cheeks.
Above him, Josh was moaning. He lifted his lover’s butt even more and found the place between his balls and anus, the strip he’d discovered on himself that felt like a pathway to explore if ever he could make himself come that way. Now, licking it, he heard his lover cry out.
Gently, Zach brought Josh’s entire ass up to his mouth. Still cupping the buttocks, he nuzzled and licked, nosed and tongued, until Josh spread his legs and offered himself completely.
Zach knew he had to make it up as he went along, like his music, had to show his lover he wasn’t afraid to take him exactly as he was. What now? He could think of one compelling need, an act he’d dreamed about sometimes before he woke sweating and confused.
Chin first, he sank his mouth, tongue and all, into the anus. Coming back out, he licked the edge, squeezed the cheeks, then delved again.
“Zachary, God, I love that.” Josh was almost screaming his joy and surprise, and Zach came close to climax listening to him.
“Put your fingers in, one by one, then all of them. And kiss me too. All at once. Can you?”
It wasn’t hard to do. In fact, his tongue naturally found the solace of Joshua’s mouth, and his fingers pushed and withdrew, snaked up, then out, with a rhythm like picking the strings of his guitar.
And the music? Let it never end, never.
Josh was almost limp from pleasure. Zach felt it in the way his neck rolled back and in the whimper of his voice escaping the tongue he was pushing down the man’s throat. Now, now, his own body sang, and he lowered his head again to recapture the long prick.
Holy shit, the cock was tense, rigid and full, needing him. Him, Zachary Williams. He felt his lover’s body shaking with anticipation, matching the tremble he felt along every inch of his own skin. He slickered it into his mouth, this time relaxing his throat muscles more, taking in more.
He let the ridge play along the roof of his mouth, tried not to bite down in his frantic need to help him come. Is this what it’s like? Sweet Jesus, I love this man. Again he grabbed Joshua’s butt cheeks and squeezed hard, then drove a finger up his hole, all the while spitting and chewing and sucking the flesh he needed to own, for-fucking-ever.
Erin, it's been a pleasure, I look forward to reading Mustang and your future works.
So long folks! If you want more of this titillating and heartfelt story, click the link and get yourself a copy of Mustang. And don't miss my personal favorite Warrior Ride Hard and its sequel Warrior Stand Tall . Here is my review for the the first book. Also not to be missed are the books of The Gaslight Mysteries series, Heart to Hart , Sparring with Shadows and To the Bone .
Erin, it's been a pleasure, I look forward to reading Mustang and your future works.