Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I started my life in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, better known as the Big Easy and was raised along with my two sisters in a very small neighborhood along the mighty Mississippi River. I was undeniably a momma’s boy and enjoyed a lot of alone time with my stay-at-home mother before my younger sister was born, while my older sister was at school and my Dad was at work. I spent fun days doing chores around the house riding on the back of her vacuum cleaner singing Etta James songs. When the chores were done, we settled down for story time. I truly believe that my love of reading and eventually writing was born. But all that came to a horrible end when my baby sister was born and I no longer had Mom all to myself. Then another horrible incident almost ruined my life, my sixth birthday and the first grade. Oh Boy, did I hate going to school. I went, but I went kicking and screaming literally every morning until I was seven, my poor mother. Having to share my mother with my newborn sister and having to attend school left us very little time together and I truly felt deserted, but I really showed her, I jumped ship into my Father’s world. I was the only boy, so it was the logical next step. Happy again to be the center of someone’s world, I soaked it up every day.
My father raised quarter horses as a hobby and some of my fondest memories surround that time in my life. When we were older, on weekends the entire family would pack up the horses and head to local horse shows where, my father, my younger sister and I would compete in barrel racing and cutting. But my most cherished memories are of my father and me taking long horseback rides along the levies of the river enjoying sandwiches and snacks prepared by my mother. We spent long summer days of riding and jabbering about this or that or just enjoying a comfortable silence. It wasn’t really the conversation or the silence that was important to me, but the interest he took in my life that thirty five years later, still makes my heart swell. After a brief marriage, one of those special moments is where I found the nerve to come out to my Father, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. He did much better that I did and in the end wanted only my happiness. He’s been nothing but supportive and non-judgmental of my life and I will remember that as long as I live. Unfortunately, the lights in my life got a little dimmer when my loving mother died five years ago of colon cancer and dimmed yet again when my Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. Fortunately, he still lives in our family home near my sisters and they act as his primary caregivers, but he has really good days and really bad days. He does his best and that’s all we can ask of him.
Okay, enough of the sappiness. I attended Louisiana State University, majoring in Marketing, but unfortunately never graduated. I was lucky enough to be offered a job to manage a very large well established furniture store in my hometown and went for it. I stayed with company for five years and started making my way up the corporate ladder. I joined high-tech company in New Orleans, and was transferred to Atlanta, GA where I met the love of my life. Kell and I have been together fourteen years now and we’re still going strong.
I’ve worked for a total of six companies throughout my twenty-five year career and ended up as the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Public Relations for a very large company based in Atlanta, GA. Throughout my career I focused my writing capabilities on Marketing materials, Annual Reports, Press Releases, radio scripts, broadcast media, and the likes, but always had novels running around wild in my head. Kell and I both gave up the corporate rat race and bought a small hotel and restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Can you imagine two southern boys ending up in New England? I should think not, boy what a culture shock. But after six years, we managed to find our way and are healthy and happy in our environment. About three years into our venture, we hit burn-out and hired a general manager to run our business while we took a year off. That is when I started my first Novel, Final Encore, and the rest his history. After that first year off, Kell and I enjoyed our freedom so much that we purchased a forty-two motor yacht called “One Mo Time,” which is now where most of my writing is done. We travel the waters of New England all summer long with our Shetland Sheepdog, Mavis and in October we cruise down south to Charleston, SC for the winter.
I write in the M/M Romance Genre because the ideas for books keep coming and I have so much in my head that wants to come out, but my fingers are just not fast enough to get it all down. So I dance the dance between my fingers and brain on a daily basis and can only hope for the best. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, most of my characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. I believe that in the end, the boy should always get the boy. After all I got mine.
boy should always get the boy. After all, I got mine.
What comes first for you when you sit down to write a book? Plot or Characters?
IN my first book, Final Encore, the characters came first and the plot developed as I went along. However, with my next several novels, the first being Wings of Love, the plot came before the characters and I loved the characters so much that they are all recurring in the following three, Treasure of Love, Bounty of Love and Foundation of Love.
Do you "cast" your characters using pictures or actors to help inspire you when you're writing?
In some cases I always know what the main characters look like in my head as I writing about them, but for the secondary characters, I sometimes use faces I’ve seen in magazines or people I k now in real life.
How long does it take you to finish a book from start to finish?
Usually about three months if I get to write a few hours every day. Sometimes the research takes up a good portion of that time, but the story is already developed and the actual writing goes very quickly.
What are you working on now?
In September I finished my second novel, “Wings of Love” and it is about to enter the editing stage and I’m currently finishing up “Treasure of Love,” which is the second book in the “Love” series.
If there was a soundtrack to your latest novel, what genre/songs would be included?
Once you’re read Final Encore you will immediately know it would be country music. I’m in the process of developing a playlist on iTunes readers can download if they like the music referenced in the book.
Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?
Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?
It would be without a doubt, Billy Eagan from Final Encore. He is a good man that loves with all of his heart and would anything for anyone.
What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle 2 or Sony Digital Book Reader to the environment?
Speed and convenience.
What character (s) in any of your books is most like you?
I think Jack Cameron from Wings of Love is most like me. He’s a proud man. He’s real, stubborn, impulsive, gentle and loving.
What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
I came very close to killing a character off recently, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. He just wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do, so I almost did him in. Then I listened and let him do what he was supposed to do and everything worked out in the end.
What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor?
If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
John Steinbeck – I so enjoyed his books and would have loved to have had the opportunity to get to know him and soak up whatever knowledge he was willing to share
Where can we find you on the ‘Net?
Sneak Peek into Final Encore
When hunky aspiring country singer Billy Eagan heads to Nashville in search of his big break, a relationship and love are the furthest things from his mind. Taking a foreman's job at the Lazy H ranch and not knowing how he will be accepted, Billy decides to fly under the radar and stay as closeted as he can without denying who he really is. It's immediately confirmed that he made the right decision when he discovers that homophobia is still alive and well in Tennessee.
Then Billy gets his break and meets gorgeous record label executive Ian Dillon. Their worlds collide both professionally and personally, and Billy falls hard. But Ian is still haunted by the mysterious betrayal of his one and only lover, and knowing Billy possesses the power to emotionally destroy him, Ian decides to cut his losses and simply walk away. Determined not to give up on the man he loves, Billy secretly starts to unravel the past and quickly finds that it's not what it appears. Can Billy rescue Ian’s heart, or will bigotry and hatred win over love?
BILLY‟S drive from New Orleans to Nashville was long and uneventful. The uninterrupted hours of interstate, with country radio stations fading in and out, gave him a great deal of time to plan a strategy, at least a short-term strategy. The first day he arrived he would find a hotel, look for a day job to help with expenses, and then look for a more suitable place to live.
As the first few days passed, he missed his family terribly but was nonetheless energized with the infinite possibilities of the unknown. Nashville was his new home, and for as long as it would have him, he was happy to be there. The first week, as planned, he searched the want ads for a position that would sustain him financially. He answered several ads and, within a few days, had a great lead.
The position was for a foreman at a large horse farm in Mount Juliet, just outside of Nashville, called the Lazy H Ranch. He set up an appointment to meet the owner at ten o’clock the next morning. It wasn’t his dream job, of course, but it would pay the bills until he found something in the music business.
When Billy turned in under the large iron arch etched with “The Lazy H Ranch,” he looked down at his watch to confirm he was right on time, nine forty-five. Billy drove down the dust-covered road, and after a half mile or so, he saw two large barns on either side of the drive with what looked like an old farm house that he assumed was used for command central. When he got out of his truck, he was looked over, more than greeted, by a rough and unfriendly looking sort. The man was short and stocky, carrying about thirty extra pounds on his frame. His skin was scarred from years of acne, and his teeth were stained from what appeared to be chewing tobacco, as indicated by the Styrofoam cup he spit into. Hoping this wasn’t the owner; Billy introduced himself and learned the man was a ranch hand named Buck Stevens. Buck directed him to wait near the east barn and someone would be with him shortly.
Billy waited around for about forty-five minutes, and no one approached him. He was about to go back and remind Buck that he was still waiting when he saw a tall, ruggedly handsome man walking in his direction. The man, who reminded him of an older version of the Marlboro Man from the old cigarette commercials, walked up and offered his hand.
“Hi, I’m Jules James. I’m the owner of the ranch. Are you William Eagan, by any chance?”
“Yes, sir, but I go by Billy.”
The two shook hands and looked each other over for a few seconds before Jules broke the silence. “I had just about given up on you, son. I thought your interview was at ten o’clock.”
“It was, sir,” Billy replied. “I arrived at nine forty-five, and Buck told me to wait at the east barn and someone would be with me in a minute. I was just about to go back and see Buck when I saw you walking over.”
“That’s funny,” Jules said. “I told Buck to have you meet me at the west barn. I have a mare about to foal and I want to be there in case there are any problems.”
“I’m sorry about the confusion, sir,” Billy said. “Would you like me to come back?”
“No problem,” Jules answered. “Why don’t you walk with me to the west barn and we can have a chat along the way.”