Harper Miller interviews Bey Deckard

Want to know a little more about me? I was interviewed by the lovely Harper Miller and damn does she ask tough questions:

HM: I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

BD: I do have a doppelganger but he’s nice. He buys me cool t-shirts and DVDs and recently signed me up for classes at a film school. But there was that time he booked a trip to Cuba that I had to cancel because… what the hell, dude?

An evil doppelganger would have a lot of material to work with, I’m afraid. Hm… how about this? I was a thief and a total juvenile delinquent. 

Read the whole interview here

New Interview at FGMAMTC – Max, Kestrel’s Talon, Exposed, and more

Thanks so much to Toni from Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents for making Max one of her top reads in 2016 :D

Curious about the inspiration for Max? Want to know more? Check out the interview here.

Varian Krylov stops by to chat about The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord ♪♪ + Giveaway

interviews

See below for a chance to win a copy of The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord

I had the extreme pleasure of reading your upcoming book, The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord and I was curious to know what prompted you to write it. I remember you were working on something else entirely and you switched tack and were suddenly halfway through writing this book. What triggered that?

goj-cover-200x300Hey Bey, thanks for having me over! Hi, Bey’s readers! Waves hola.

Well, I’ve been working on the sequel to Trasmundo for about a year, and to be honest, it’s the most difficult book I’ve ever written. I keep thinking it’s done, or almost done, but I know deep down it’s not quite right yet. The Trasmundo series is also a deeply dark, painful story, in some ways—it’s a really beautiful love story, but it also deals with civil war, ethnic cleansing, and exile—and being immersed in that world non-stop, month after month was taking a pretty heavy emotional toll on me (more so that I even realized, while I was in the thick of it).

Then back in May I was visiting my best friend for a week. This woman and I have been best buds since we were ten years old, and luckily she moved to Europe just a couple months after I did, so we still get together all the time. And inevitably, when I go stay with her, I get mentally roused and kind of fired up creatively because she’s an incredibly clever, stimulating person, and also we just have our bestie dynamic—you know, joking around together, playing off each other’s weird sense of humor and slightly warped brains. And out of that euphoric reprieve from my writing slump, I decided I wanted to write a FUN story. Sexy and sweet and playful. And I wanted to set it in Barcelona, since I’ve been living here for a couple years now and I’m madly in love with the city.

 

One of your two main protagonists goes through a period of adjustment when he first arrives in Barcelona. Were his observations inspired by your own experiences?

Absolutely. Certain things are so striking about European cities, if you’re used to living on the west coast in the U.S. where I spent my whole life before moving abroad. Centuries of history are on display in the architecture. Once you get off the main boulevards and highways, you get into these mazes of incredibly narrow streets that were laid out when the biggest vehicle was a horse-drawn cart laden with commercial goods (I seriously don’t know how truck drivers do it, here!).

And then there are the cultural differences, like how much more generationally-diverse public life is. In the U.S., it seemed like almost everything is so segregated by age. Here, extended families are much more integrated, and older people aren’t so hidden away. Life is also lived much more publicly—in the plazas, in the back streets among the apartment buildings. It can get a bit boisterous at times, but it also feels more like a community. And then, of course, there’s the casual disregard for swimming apparel at the local beaches. I’d heard all about women running around topless, but I wasn’t expecting the full monty when I went for my first dip in the sea. But you won’t hear me complain.

 

Jazz music features prominently in the story, and I remember feeling like I was right there in the club. Is jazz popular in Barcelona? and, is the setting inspired by a real place?

Yeah, jazz is pretty popular. There are quite a few dedicated jazz clubs, and then there are performances going on all the time in different bars and cafés, as well as plenty of little pop-up events in the plazas, at the beach, etcetera in the warmer months. All the venues I mention in the novel are real places that I frequent.

 

What was the most satisfying part about writing The God of Jazz?

It’s funny, like I was saying, I set out to write something fun, almost fluffy. I was more focused on escaping the mental and emotional labor of my other work-in-progress than a story or idea that needed to be told. But as soon as I started, really from the very first page, the story felt so real and true to me. It surprised me how quickly and deeply I got invested in Godard, in the professional frustration he goes through, and then the heartbreak that leaves him wounded and adrift at the start of the novel. Pretty quickly I realized that instead of a fluffy little romp, The God of Jazz had turned into something deeply meaningful to me, personally. And not just for the love story. Actually, the parts that hit me the hardest were the ones dealing with Godard connecting with a new family of friends—finding the people who come together to take care of each other in moments of crisis, and who gather together to celebrate each other’s joys and successes.

 

And finally… what five words would you use to describe the book?

Eesh, that’s a tough one! Ummm…

Playful. Sexy. Sunny. Wet. Sultry.

Thanks so much for the chat, Bey and friends. Good luck to everyone on the giveaway!

Yes, those are definitely five good words to describe this book. Thanks Varian, always a pleasure.

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Folks, I loved this book and I want you all to read it… and Varian’s offering an ebook to one lucky person! All you have to do is comment below with either your favourite jazz song OR your favourite beach destination. :)

I’ll pick a random winner at 10am EDT Monday, Sept. 26th – Good luck!

❁ MM March Madness! Interview and giveaway ❁

Howdy folks! It’s a beee-utiful day up here in Montréal with the sun shining, and though it’s a little on the cold side (-8ºC/17.6ºF), the end of winter is nigh. I can feel it in my bones, and bones never lie ;)

A little something special today: I’m featured over at Twinsie Talk for MM March Madness! Why not head on over there to read the interview and enter the giveaway! I’m ponying up ecopy of book one of each of my series—Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas, Sarge, and The Complications of T.

That’s an and, not an or… you get all three books!

Go on… see you there :)

☞ Interview at Diverse Reader – Win a signed paperback ☜

Thanks to Meredith King for spotlighting me at Diverse Reader this Saturday

Go check it out the interview for a chance to win a signed paperback of Better the Devil You Know :)

Fated: Blood and Redemption by Bey Deckard #TopReads2015 Interview via FGMAMTC

Toni over at Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents says:

“Fated: Blood and Redemption is one of my top reads for 2015.  I contacted the author for an interview on previous and upcoming releases.  Continue reading for author questions and answers as well as an excerpt from a future book.

Thank you Bey for your time and excellent writing skills.”
 
(You’re very welcome Toni!)
 

Interview with Brad Vance, Author of Gay Romance and Erotica

Today I’d like to welcome the extremely prolific writer of gay romance and erotica, Brad Vance. Welcome to my blog, Brad. Glad to have you here.

Thank you! Glad to be here!

 

First off, you just released a new book, Would I Lie to You? that is garnering high praise from reviewers. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

I’d love to. I’m calling the series “The Game Players” because the characters are the kind of people who need a challenge, even in their romantic lives. Just dating and mating isn’t going to be enough for them. There has to be desire that’s suppressed, teased, extended and made more powerful by every move in their games. They’re both aware that what’s developing between them is a chess match, and that’s what makes it so interesting. Marc and Jesse are similar in a lot of ways – incredibly smart, driven, goal-oriented – and they’ve been betrayed by men who were their romantic and business partners. They’re also both honest people, in their own ways – even if that honesty means confessing that you’re not telling all of the truth. The title is “Would I Lie to You?” and that’s really the question at the heart of the story – if you can’t tell someone the truth, do you lie, or do you walk away, acknowledging that there are things you won’t share, that you can’t trust someone with the truth?

 

What drew you to writing romance and erotica?

I’d flailed around publishing novels under another name that never really went anywhere, and then Aubrey Watt did an AMA on Reddit about being a M/M smut writer, back in October 2012. I was fascinated by that, especially with the amount of money she was making! I wrote up “Good Cop Bad Boy,” my first M/M story, and mailed it off to her, asking her to take a look at it and tell me if I had a future in the biz. She said HELL YEAH you do! So that was my start…when Amazon started blocking/banning a lot of erotica, I moved into writing novels.

 

You recently decided to become a full-time writer. How’s that treating you? Have you found that your writing habits have changed a lot because of it?

Oh my God it’s the greatest. I’ve lost 18 pounds since I left my day job at the end of February! Just being able to be active all day, not chained to a desk, overeating as if trying to chew my way out of the cubicle…I love the freedom. I haven’t signed up for a class or anything yet, because I’m still savoring the “clock free” life – I’m just not ready to be on anyone else’s schedule again, not yet. I was running on stress for so long that I’m still trying to come down from that…
I was really working two jobs for the longest time, getting up at 3 am to write till 6:30, then getting ready for and going to the day job…it made for long days, with no life. My writing habits have changed in some ways but not in others. I still get up at 3 am! I guess I’m still conditioned to that sleep cycle, and in the back of my mind I’m afraid that it’ll all end in tears and I’ll have to get a job again, in which case I better stay used to getting up early… But, I no longer feel under the gun the way I used to, when I had to keep an eye on the clock with a hard stop at 6:30 every morning. If I sleep in till the unholy hour of 5:00, well, my day isn’t shot!

 

Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

Well, when I started, I was just doing short erotica, so there wasn’t any other avenue for it. And, under another name, I’d been through the New York/tradpub mill, and I had no desire to go through that again, ever. To have no control over your title, cover art, blurb, I hated that. And the WAITING. The endless wait for someone to get around to reading it, the endless wait for them to buy it, the endless wait for publication, and OMG the endless wait for your money! Now I finish a novel one week, edit it the next, then publish it, and two months later, make it rain, baby.
You have to be strong in all areas – your grammar, spelling, your ability to edit/copyedit yourself (I’m still catching errors in books in print, that I’ve missed after reading them a thousand times), to write a blurb, to make a book cover, to market and promote yourself…but you get all the profit. And there’s nobody “doing it wrong” to mess it up for you, other than yourself.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Something you wish someone had told you at the beginning?

The hardest part of self pubbing, to me, was marketing. That was the one upside of tradpub, back in the day – you submitted your book, and they did all the hustling. Of course now they expect you to come ready-made with a fan base, Twitter followers, etc., so there’s no advantage there anymore. I was really loathe to do it at first – I grew up all “punk rock” and thought of advertising/marketing as, you know, infomercial shit, Billy Mayes shouting his way into your head, an inherently bad, bullshit thing.
Finally I had a moment of enlightenment – I realized I hated marketing because I hated sounding like a brochure. “I’m so excited to tell you about my new release!” Blah blah blah. I decided I’d just BE ME on Facebook, etc. Put my real personality out there instead of trying to sound the way I though I was supposed to sound.
So, that would be my advice, I guess – people are gonna connect with you because of your work, but also because they like you. So be you, don’t be a brochure, when it’s time to do your marketing.

 

I know you’ve had problems with Amazon before and their ridiculous censorship policies, but do you think that Amazon is doing all right for self-publishers? What would you like to see changed?

Well, NUMBER ONE would be, clear guidelines for what’s allowed. They say what they’ll ban is “pretty much what you’d expect.” What who would expect? Me, a libertarian sex-positive homo, or some bluenose in Arkansas who has a heart attack at an exposed tittie on TV? But keeping it vague is deliberate, of course, because it gives them leeway to change the rules any time without changing them on paper.
Number Two, which is more realistic, would be a set rate every month for the Kindle Select/Unlimited “borrow rate,” the amount writers get per borrow each month. It fluctuates all the time, $1.33, $1.39, etc. You don’t know what you earned last month until the middle of the next month. They should just part it at a certain amount and leave it there, I’d say $1.40, instead of leaving us all on pins and needles every month, as they arbitrarily decide how much more money to put into the fund and screw up people’s income forecasts. It’s like getting a pay raise/pay cut every month – very exhausting.

 

Do you ever get told by friends or family that you don’t write “real books”? I know I do. How do you respond if it happens?

No I don’t, actually. In my circle of friends, writing “gay erotica” is very cool! My mom’s response when I told her about my erotica career was, “Sure are a lot of weirdos out there.” The only book of mine she’s read is “Apollo’s Curse,” because there’s no sex in it. She loved it, but has no desire to read any of my other books!
I wrote a “real” book, a few years ago. I worked on it on and off for five years. It sold twelve copies. That’s the fate I gave Dane Gale in “Apollo’s Curse,” before he turned to writing romance novels. I gave him this exchange on the Greek island that pretty much says how I feel about writing romances now:

“But what I need, isn’t just…success, money, fame. I…what I’ve been writing, what the others before me wrote, it’s just…commercial fiction, airport fiction. Popular romances. I don’t want that to be my legacy, I don’t want that to be the last thing I ever write.”
“What’s wrong with romance? Don’t you bring pleasure into people’s lives? Don’t strange and wonderful stories heal their aches, take them from their sorrows?”
“Yes, but…”
“Maybe you’re being a bit selfish, yes?” He put on a dark, mocking scowl. “ ‘I am writing a Great Novel nobody will read, which is so much more important than making people happy.’”
I had to laugh. “Yes, I guess that is selfish. But…I have it in me, I know I do. To do something…wonderful. Something that’s so much more powerful, so much more…well, healing, if you will, than any little entertainment I concoct could ever do.” I looked at his shelves, saw the surprising variety of books – lots and lots of novels, Umberto Eco, Gunter Grass, Doris Lessing, George Eliot. “You know. You’ve read these books. You know how much more they do in the world than some…fluff could ever do.”
“Don’t underestimate the power of fluff. The power to make someone smile, to get them through to another day, take them away from their cares for a moment. Maybe later, you’ll have helped them feel stronger, maybe later they will read ‘Ulysses,’ yes?”

 

And finally, having nothing to do with writing at all, tell me about your dream vacation.

Oh boy. A whole summer in Europe. Nick in the “Kyle’s New Stepbrother” series gets to live out my fantasy, just moving from one place to another on a Eurail pass as the whim takes him. I’d have to have the money to do it right; Nick’s young and can crash in hostels and stretch a dollar! But I’d need my comforts. I’d love to see so much of France, Italy, Germany, Amsterdam, Barcelona…yeah, I’d need a whole summer!

 

Brad, I want to thank you again for stopping by and wish you good luck with your writing.

Thank you so much, Bey! I really appreciate your having me here!

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Buy this book

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Interview with F.E. Feeley Jr., Horror and Romance Author

Today I’d like to welcome F.E. Feeley Jr. to my blog, author of the highly rated Memoirs of the Human Wraiths series.

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Hello and welcome to my blog, Frederick. Thank you for agreeing to answer some questions. :)

First off, let me say congratulations on the new book! I just finished Still Waters and rather enjoyed it. Can you tell us a little about it? And, where did you get the idea for the story?

Thank you so much for having me here, today. And thank you for buying and reading it. That means a great deal and I am glad you liked it.

Still Waters is about an average town in anywhere U.S.A really. I chose Michigan because that’s where I’m from, but the concept was little towns and desperation to keep secrets. It started off with the idea of a murdered kid. And it developed from there. Why was he killed? Who did it? What were the circumstances surrounding his death. Who loved him? To be honest, it was not just addressing the gay community, although the character is gay, but our nation as a whole. We’re seeing a lot of dead kids lately, Trayvon Martin, or kids who have taken their own lives and it sort of started compounding from there. I wanted to address issues such as image, and diversity, and the extremes people would go to keep the status quo.

 

You’re writing in a niche subgenre (horror) within an already niche genre (m/m romance). Have you found that it makes finding readers more difficult?

Yes. I do find it difficult to find readers. But I think people really need to understand something or maybe give my books a chance anyway, even if they aren’t particularly fond of horror or paranormal books. What I like to do, Is take everyday issues and throw them waaaaaay out into the world of ghosts and the paranormal. I do this to simply make them more digestible. It’s hard to write about the darker sides of human nature in a contemporary way. At least it is for me. So what I do, I thrill you a little and then hopefully get my point across somewhere in the book. And on top of that, who doesn’t love a good spooky story? I think if gay people are going to be represented in literature, they should be represented in all literature.

 

I see that you’ve gone the traditional publishing route. What made you decide on that?

I had no idea what I was doing. My husband would say I still don’t lol. But I was going through a hard time a couple of years ago and started journaling and once I’d written oodles of pages I sat back and asked myself, ‘What are you going to do with this?” So, I decided, why not take chunks out of it at a time and start wrapping them in fiction? And that is how The Haunting of Timber Manor was born. I’d sat down at my computer, asked myself how do spooky novels start and the answer came back, “On a dark and stormy night….” So I went from there. I never even knew this genre existed. I had no earthly idea. And then when I was done I went looking for a publisher. Submitted the story and forgot about it. I nearly had a stroke when I opened my email one day and there was a contract from Dreamspinner Press. After that, I figured, if they would take a chance on me, I’ll stick with them. I haven’t regretted a moment of it. Their staff is excellent. They treat you wonderfully. The process for publishing is always thorough from first drafts to art, they work right alongside you.

 

I love horror. The very first “grown-up” book I ever read was Stephen King’s It. What was the first horror story you read?

I was reading since I can remember. It started in middle school with R.L. Stein’s Fear Street books and went on to Christopher Pike. And then in high school I jumped forward into V.C.Andrews, Tami Hoag, and just about anything or anyone I could get my hands on. Then I was given Stephen King’s Wastelands, book 3 of The Dark Tower and I was instantly over the moon. I became a King fan real quick. The scariest book I ever read from him was The Shining.
I also became a Koontz fan as well. Lightning, The Mask, and Twilight Eyes are amazing.

 

Can you tell us some of your all-time favourite horror stories (books or movies)?

I am a thirty four year old man that sleeps with his closet door shut, thanks to 1982’s Poltergeist. I won’t get into the ocean past my waist thanks to Jaws. But my favorite books that I’ve read and reread is King’s The Stand and Koontz’s Twilight Eyes. Amazing books.

 

I remember after reading some stories, I had a few creepy nights. Has there been a horror story that make you keep the light on?

HAHAHAHAHA I forgot about this but yeah, King’s Cycle of the Werewolf. I was terrified for days and slept with the light on.

 

Why the romance aspect in your books?

I love serendipity. I love, love. I think love is the only that can save this world we live in. And I think that people need to see gay men in love to understand that it isn’t just sex that motivate us. I feel like, even though I write in this genre, I am part of a global discussion on this issue and as a gay man, I intend to not just join, but lead.

 

What’s next? Are you currently working on something?

I am kinda sorta working on something. I don’t know if it is going to come to fruition. I am hoping it does. But its sort of up in the air right now so we’ll see.

 

Any advice for aspiring writers? Anything you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Pay attention to the world around you. And take, I think it was Hemingway, take Hemingway’s advice and sit down at your device and bleed. Give it all you got.

 

And finally: what do you enjoy the most about writing?

The process of weaving a story together from an idea. And then going through the gamut of emotions along with everyone. And then dropping myself inside the story as a beacon so the reader doesn’t have to go through it alone. I have this personal rule. I will get you to your happy ending, but you have to go through the dark with me first. Your gonna earn it. I promise I’ll be with you through it, but yeah, you’re going through it.

Thanks again for letting me host you on my blog. Good luck and happy writing!

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Buy this Book:
Amazon | Dreamspinner

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Rave Review of Fated, and Praise for the Baal’s Heart Trilogy at The Smutsonian

Shurrn says:

“I hereby give this series ALL of the stars. I expected great things from the third book in the Baal’s Heart series, and I was not disappointed.

Bloggers don’t always have the luxury of reading exactly what they want when they want. We’ve got schedules and deadlines to stick to, and I take that shit seriously… So understand how enthralled I am by this series when I tell you I dropped everything to read this book.

I tried to stick to my schedule, but these characters were tempting me away from prior obligations. I gave in to temptation and I am so very glad that I did.

This book is flawlessly written.
The characters are extraordinary.
The plot line is gripping.
The details are gorgeous.

If you’re looking for hackneyed and campy stories of sex and piracy, you won’t find them in the world Bey Deckard has created…”

Read the whole thing at The Smutsonian, along with an excerpt, and the answer to a question everyone seems to be dying to know :)

Interview with the Pirates of Baal’s Heart

Lisa from The Novel Approach sat down with Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon this week.

Read what they had to say. :)