Thanks so much for dropping by, Taylor.
Thank you for having me. I’m very excited to be here. :-)
Can you tell us a little about your upcoming By Degrees series? What was your inspiration? How many books are planned?
By Degrees is a serial with several storylines developing at the same time. The inspiration for every character in the series came from gay and bi-sexual friends I’ve known for years. It came from their lives, the situations they’ve experienced as members of the LGBTQ community, my dreams and well wishes for all of them and my personal stand on equality issues. Once the ideas started pouring they wouldn’t stop, and I was able to plot and outline the five books in the series in a little over a week.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write, and why?
Southern Winterland is basically the background story for Christian Murphy and Remy Benoit, two characters with a very strong presence throughout the entire series. They won’t be the main characters until the fourth book, but they’re heavily featured in Six Degrees of Lust.
Both Remy and Chris are a pleasure to work with, but I have to admit chapter two was my favorite to write, as Christian’s internal conflict could be heart wrenching at times. I love to explore feelings.
For Six Degrees of Lust… Okay, I can’t possibly choose just one part. There was so much to explore…so much to cover… It sucked me in. All of it... I had lots of fun “negotiating” the terms of the agreement between Mac and Sam, though. Sam can be oh-so amusing sometimes. *g*
What, for you, is the hardest part of writing?
Aside from finding the time, you mean? I’d say writing the first chapter is uber hard, definitely. I’m a linear writer. If I don’t have a solid foundation for my story, I can’t move on, so I stress like you wouldn’t believe over that first line.
I can believe it, actually. I'm the same way. What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in creating your books?
That I can actually write touching stories. :-)
Well, that's a given. ;-) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And why did you choose the M/M romance genre?
Er…about that… See, I never wanted to be a writer. I have not been dreaming up characters or creating stories in my head my entire life. I started writing because of a very good friend of mine. She has been writing since forever and her dream is to get published. But she was having a bit of a hard time finishing her stories, so she asked me to collaborate with her. Anyone who knows me would tell you how…anal…I am about finishing what I start, and so the idea was for me to attempt to write something with her and keep her focused through completion of the book. So I got to work on it. The collaboration didn’t last long, though. As it turned out we had different styles, and that’s when I realized I wanted to be a writer. When I realized I actually have a style and a rather defined voice. I didn’t choose to write gay romance. I’m convinced it’s a calling. :-)
That's awesome! Is there any particular author or book that influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
Growing up I loved to read the work of Isabel Allende and Paulo Coehlo. Still do. In the past few years and since becoming a writer, I’d say Josh Lanyon and James Buchanan. I’m a huge fan!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I need visuals and a soundtrack. I can’t start writing a new character until I’ve found a picture that represents him the exact same way he looks in my mind. And the music? Not for me. It's for the characters. I need the music they like to listen to…the songs they react to, for whatever reason. Knowing what makes them tick makes me feel closer to them.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I was very fortunate. There were no challenges at all. I started writing Six Degrees of Lust in July of 2010 and finished the first draft in January, 2011. Then I sat on it for a while before I sent it out to a beta that wasn’t a friend. The manuscript was still with her when the opportunity to submit it to MLR Press presented itself. I freaked out, but I sent it in as it was. Three weeks later I was offered a contract for it. As you can see the journey wasn’t difficult or long. Like I said, I was extremely fortunate. :-)
If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each character’s part?
I’d rather not say. I don’t want to influence readers’ idea of what Mac and Sam look like. I think it’s better to let them choose for themselves. :-)
What can we expect to see next for you?
It all depends on my publishers. I’m working on a few very exciting projects, but don’t really know which one will come out first. *g* For updates, you guys can join my sites, follow me on Twitter, or just email me. I’m easily accessible.
And finally, if you were a superhero, what would your superpowers be?
Time traveling! Wait, that’s not a power. Hmmm… I’d be some kind of healer, but can I still time travel?? LOL
LOL Of course you can still time travel. Thanks again for dropping by, Taylor. It's been a pleasure, as always. Best of luck with your By Degrees series.
Southern Winterland and Six Degrees of Lust are both available now at MLR Press. Get the latest happenings and exclusive excerpts on Taylor’s website at www.TaylorVDonovan.com
Southern Winterland, the blurb:
Christian Murphy is out, proud and very often loud.
Remy Benoit is an equal opportunity flirt, but he swears guys are not his thing.
Different lifestyles had never interfered with their close friendship, but after too much alcohol and almost kissing under the mistletoe a year ago they’ve started to drift apart.
A special holiday event brings the men together, and this time around they might have to acknowledge that mutual admiration and respect are not the only things making them seek each other out.
Six Degrees of Lust, the blurb:
New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong he has stuck to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn't have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.
Former firefighter Machlan O'Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston and after years of waiting he's ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama-free. His politically-aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.
One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. A chance meeting brings the two men together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don't want to get involved...but will they be able to stay apart?
The Big Giveaway!
I'm calling it the "big giveaway" because Taylor, being her awesome self, has not only graciously offered up a copy of her new novel Six Degrees of Lust to one lucky reader, she’s also adding a copy of Southern Winterland to the prize pile. Just leave a comment below, with your email address, no later than Friday, January 6, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. One winner will be drawn at random for not one, but two great reads, and announced here on Saturday, January 7. Good luck!