My guest today is Felice Stevens, whose first novel, Rescued, was published on August 19th.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Sure! I work full time as an attorney. I began practicing as a tax attorney (REALLY not sexy, and now specialize in employment discrimination, civil service and labor law).
When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?
Well I love reading, but my favorite activity after reading and writing is cooking. I love mixing all the ingredients together and ending up with a delicious dish to eat.
What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?
I am reading D.W. Skinner’s new book, The Price of Dick and love it. My favorite author is Josh Lanyon for his beautiful use of language. I also love Mary Calmes, N.R. Walker’s Thomas Elkin series, Sam B. Morgan and Kele Moon. I am also a lover of contemporary romance and my favorite right now is Sandra Owen’s Crazy For Her.
In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?
For me, it’s a combination of character and situation. I’m a pantser, so the plot may change, but the characters of my two main men always there from the beginning, as well as the tentative outline of their story.
Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
With Rescued, both Ryder and Jason arrived fully locked and ready to roll. I am working on a series now where the characters are more organic, and have surprised me as I write the story for each of them.
What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
I’m happy to discuss!! I am on the second of a three book series, entitled “To Hell and Back.” It is the story of three foster brothers, who have issues stemming from abandonment, child abuse and an inability to trust. Their stories have made me laugh and cry even as I write them, and I hope when they come out everyone will love these men as I have come to love them.
Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Certainly. Here’s an excerpt of Rescued.
“Hey, Jason, how’s it going?” Ryder accepted licks from the dogs as he extended his hand to help the guy up from the floor. Jason’s wary eyes flashed at him as he took his hand, gripping it tightly for a moment before withdrawing it after he was on his feet.
“Uh, can we talk a moment, in private?” Jason stood close enough for Ryder to feel the tension rolling off his body. His smoothly shaven jaw clenched tight, a muscle ticking in the hollow by his ear.
Another surge of pure lust jolted through Ryder, which he immediately and viciously smothered. “Uh, well, I just got here…”
Emily, the matchmaker, pushed them into the back office. “Go, go. We’ll set up lunch. It’s slow so far today, Ry. No calls. Connor and I can start planning the chamber of commerce thing.” She winked at him, even though he tried giving her his best evil glare. “Take your time, boys.” She slammed the door behind him.
He sighed and faced Jason. “So.”
Jason kicked the floor. “Umm, how’s your head this morning? I’m thinking you must have a wicked hangover.” The room they were in was pretty small, without much space to maneuver around. Jason backed up and leaned against the desk.
Remaining by the door, Ryder shrugged. “Not so bad. Guess all the water I drank at the end helped, and Connor gave me some aspirin before he left the bar.”
Jason’s blue eyes pinned him so that he couldn’t look away. “Well, I didn’t come here to talk about your drinking habits.”
Ryder raised a brow. “No? So why are you here, then?” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Last night I thought I said everything that needed saying.”
Still glaring at him, Jason moved a step closer. “I know you did, but I didn’t get a chance to say anything. You dismissed me like I was a stranger. I thought we were friends, Ry.” He raked his hand through his hair as his voice, full of frustration, rose a notch. “Look, I didn’t plan on it happening. It surprised me as much as you, but I thought you knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t fuck around with you.”
Ryder tried to ease Jason’s agitated state. “It’s fine. Let’s forget about it, all right?” He gave him an uncertain smile. Better this way. They could work through Jason’s uncomfortable feelings, and as for his own yet-to-be-reckoned-with desires, he could push them back into that black box where he kept all his life’s disappointments. Right now it contained his parents’ treatment of him, his inability to see his brother, the brief affairs with Josh and Matt. Jason would be one more depressing addition.
Jason cocked his head and narrowed his eyes. “I don’t think you understand.” He took a step closer. “I’m not sorry for kissing you.”
Jason’s soft, husky voice sent a shiver through Ryder. He backtracked back a few steps. “I am, though. I’m not looking to teach someone to be gay. You either are or you aren’t, man, and you’re straight.” It pained him to push the guy away, but he wasn’t about to sacrifice a friendship for casual sex.
Jason snorted. “You don’t really know shit about me. If I was perfectly straight, would I have dreams about you?”
You can connect with Felice Stevens here: