QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Let’s start getting your shine
on. Tell us who you are beyond an author.
I have a medical background so
you will find it popping up quite often in my stories. Besides reading, I enjoy
crochet which I’ve been doing since I was seven. I’ve been around animals my
whole life from cats to horses with a particular fondness for Arabians. My mare
was an Arabian Quarter mix.
Show us when you realized you
had a passion for writing?
I always loved to write
stories. I can remember my father giving me adding machine rolls that I would
use to create my stories. Since I couldn’t use words, I told the stories with stick
figure drawings. When I got older, I
discovered that people actually liked my stories. That was like lighting a
match to tinder.
Tell us your preferred writing
genre and the genre you prefer to read.
A friend introduced me to m/m
and I fell in love with the genre. I still read the odd m/f but I prefer m/m.
Show us what your audience
My audience is mainly women
who are tired of the same old, same old. They love the male/male dynamic and
enjoy well written stories with a some spice to liven them up.
Tell us an important lesson,
on the business side of publishing, that you've learned on your journey.
I toyed with the idea of
self-publishing but I changed my mind when I saw the work my editor and her
team put into my book. A self-published author rarely gets that kind of ‘fine
tooth comb’ treatment to make her writing better than just good. I discovered that many readers will not even
look at self-published books for this very reason – too many errors,
inconsistencies and failures in the plotting.
Going back to the beginning,
show us the day you received your publication offer or the first time you saw
your bound book.
I met Kierstin Cherry at GRL
and when I was sure my book was as good as it was going to get, I contacted her
and emailed the book to her. When she replied back I’m pretty sure I rattled
windows for a square block with my screams. It was a high like no other knowing
that others would get to read my story. I still get a thrill every time I see
my book cover online.
Tell us your expectations of
an aspiring author approaching you for information about writing/publishing?
A. Focus on your craft. The brain
is like a muscle, the more you use it the better it works. Write every day if
you can even if it’s only a few lines. It’s still more than you had before.
Make your book the best you can possibly make it and edit, edit, edit. Sometimes
you will have to cut out large portions which will definitely hurt, ask me how
I know. As for finding a publisher? NEVER GIVE UP!
Ready to shine? Tell us the
name of your book(S).
Web of Secrets
Tell us where we can find you
on the internet.
Do you really write everyday?
Yes, I really write every day
even if it’s only a few lines. I carry a notebook around with me all the time
and if I’m not working on the book I have on the computer, I’m plotting the
next one. Another thing I do is as soon as I boot up my computer, I open my book
and leave it open in the background. This works especially well when I’m not in
the mood to write so seeing it there guilt’s me into working. Lol
What about writer's block?
Luckily that’s never been a
problem for me. I put on music and start playing the scene through in my mind.
Next thing I know, the characters are doing their own thing and I just have to
write it down.
What would you say is a true
A true hero has a strong moral
code and selflessly gives of himself to help others.
How much does reader reaction
mean to you as an author?
It means everything. A reader’s reaction tells me that I’m either
doing it right or doing it wrong. And yes, good responses do stroke the ego and
make me, as a writer, feel good.
Which comes first, the story, the characters
or the setting
I think the story comes first.
It’s that ‘what if this happened’ situation again. The setting and characters
fall into place.
When did you know you wanted
to be a writer?
It’s not as much wanting to be
a writer as you either are or you aren’t. The urge to write is always there
like an addiction. No matter how often you stop, you always come back.
Where do you get most of the
ideas for your stories?
The world around me. It is what
I call the ‘what if this happened’ situation. For example, I watched a movie
where a detective was betrayed and murdered. The first thing I thought was what
if that detective came back? What would happen? What would he do? That was how
my next book tentatively entitled Seeing is Believing was born.
Do you have any unfinished
projects sitting around?
I do. When I begin a project,
I write it down in point form in a notebook then transfer it to recipe cards
and type it up. I hope to have my paranormal ghost story Seeing is Believing
published in the early new year. Books two and three in that series are in
notebooks. I’m also working on a sequel to Web of Secrets called Price of
What was the biggest obstacle
you had to overcome to become an author?
Believing in myself.
What is the big project you're
working on now?
Seeing is Believing. When I
began this book I had no idea that I would end up plotting three books at the
same time. There are flow charts and dozens of index cards to keep everything
straight and organized. The challenge was having to know how the third one
ended before I could finish the first.
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading (like that’s a
surprise, right?). I love to crochet and collect vintage viewmaster reels.
What do your family and
friends think about you writing erotic romance? I ask because some people
us a PEN name and don’t tell their friends or family they write erotic romance?
I use a PEN name because of a
bad experience a friend had who used her real name. Only my husband, kids and
best friend know I write m/m. I tell everyone else that I write contemporary
romance novels because unfortunately they wouldn’t understand or accept what I
If you had to write yourself
as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?
If I had to be a villain, I
would be someone sexy and fun like Scarlet Overkill from the Minion movie.
What is the strangest source
of writing inspiration you've ever had?
The strangest and scariest
source of inspiration I every experienced was a near miss with a lightning
bolt. A storm knocked out the power so I had to go outside in the rain to use
the outhouse. As I was leaving the outhouse, a bolt of lightning hit the tree
five feet from me knocking me to the ground. It was a very frightening
experience leaving me deaf for several days and with permanent tinnitus in one
ear. The upside was writing a ‘what if’ short story which I am now thinking of
turning into a full book.
You come back from the dead as
a spirit, what message are you trying to get across?
That all religion is the same but
twisted by men to suit their own selfish desires and those that kill thinking
they will be rewarded will be in for a ‘hell’ of a surprise.
If you were a world ruler and
you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?
If I were a world ruler, the
first law would be absolute equality regardless of race, creed, or sexual
orientation. The second would universal health care so no matter how rich or
poor you were, all would be treated equally. The third would be strict laws
concerning abuse of partners, children, anyone.
If your muse were to talk
behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
My muse would complain that they
are overworked and underpaid with the way my mind works like a runaway
locomotive, always on the move and sometimes in several directions at once.
If you were a
Superheroine/Hero, would you wear tights and a cape?
Oh hell no! Me in tights?! I
would traumatize everyone who saw me, scare small children.
You are told you have to meet
one paranormal creature, no safeguards, what do you choose? What do you bring
I would love to meet a unicorn
and I would bring it a square of the sweetest hay I could find.
How did you choose the genre
you write in?
I love romance because I have
always believed in heroes and finding true love.
What has been the toughest
criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism is that
my books are too complicated. The best compliment is that I have a great voice
and my characters are lifelike and believable.
Do you have any advice to give
to aspiring writers?
Write, write and write some
more. The more you work at your craft the better and easier the words will
Is there anything that you
would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for visiting the
worlds I create. You keep me going when I doubt myself.
Do you take suggestions on
books or ideas from your fans?
Definitely. Fans may not write
but they have brilliant ideas in what they would like to see happen to
What project are you working
Editing Seeing is Believing
before I begin transferring Price of Secrets to my computer. Then book two, Kevin’s
Curse, and three, Ivan’s Trial, in the Seeing series.
When did you seriously sit
down, and say to yourself, I’m going to write a novel?
I don’t think there was ever a
time when I didn’t know I was going to write novels. It was a foregone
What do you find the most
difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story? Emotion?
Backstory is my Achilles heel.
It is very difficult to do in such a way that it makes sense and doesn’t bring
the story to a crashing halt before continuing.
It has to be smooth transition and I have to be careful not to get
Do you have the support of
family and friends?
Yes and no. There are some
such as my mother, who I absolutely cannot tell that I write M/M. They will not
accept it. Others such as my hubby and kids are really good with it. My
daughter is fantastic for bouncing ideas off of but she refuses to read the
books because there is sex and “ewe, my mom wrote that”. My best friend
introduced me to the genre and has been super supportive.
Are you a plotter or a
pantser? If you are a plotter, what are you methods?
I’m a plotter, definitely a
plotter. I like to put on music and quite literally see the scenes play out in
my head like a DVD. I write the book in point form in a notebook then onto
recipe cards shuffling and inserting the scenes where they fit the best. I flesh
out the story as I input it into the computer. The cards keep me consistent and
if I need to add anything, I can easily find the scene and the pages it occurs.
Each character also gets a card detailing their physical description, sibs,
parents, jobs and any other pertinent information.
How have your techniques for
character development changed since you’ve been writing? Is it still the same,
or has it developed over time, if so how?
I used to think character development
sheets were useless with how much trivial information they wanted. Why would you bother with childhood friends?
I learned the hard way that all that seemingly useless information was actually
vital to the story. I found myself creating my own character information lists
on recipe cards that I refer to and add to during the entire story process.
What is the most, and the
least interesting fact about writing?
Plotting, creating the story
is the most interesting thing about writing. It’s almost a high when you lose
yourself in the process. The least interesting but most necessary is editing.
It can be a chore to find the right word or phrase to accurately express what
you are trying to say. Grammar and I are not friends but we’ve called an uneasy
Do you prefer stand-alone
books or series?
I don’t mind stand-alone books
but if I really get into a book I love to revisit the characters and see them
having more adventures.
Do you find it difficult at
times to write love scenes?
In the beginning I found love
scenes terribly difficult to write. It wasn’t easy getting the technical aspects
right while making it a smooth, seamless interaction between the characters and
not sounding like a sex manual or how-to.
You have written Paranormals,
Fantasy, SciFi and Contemporaries, which is your favourite genre?
I actually prefer paranormals
to contemporary. The extra human abilities not only give you a whole new range
of mischief your characters can get into, it allows you to explore things
outside normal human behavior and their consequences. In a way it is the
ultimate relationship. Humans have insecurities and to have a true mate or
someone hot who will protect us with tooth and claw and love us for who we, are
never cheating…well, it is the stuff of dreams.
Which book was the hardest to
write and which the easiest?
Every book has parts that are
easy and hard to write. I was working on a horribly difficult and emotional
scene in my paranormal at McDonalds and was approached by a woman who asked if
I was alright. Confused, I asked her why. She said I was crying. She was right.
Do you listen to music while
you are writing and if so what music is it?
I am a huge fan of soundtracks
and instrumental music. I love the Thomas Bergersen album ‘Sun’ especially the
track Empire of Angels. I put the music on, visualize my characters where I
left off and let them do their thing. I use dramatic music for scenes I know
will be dramatic and so on.
WEB OF SECRETS
Nathan Kirkfield comes face-to-face with his childhood demons when his parents’
deaths force him back home to settle the family estate. Sent to oversee the
sale of the house and contents is former FBI Agent Kelly MacNiel, now of the
MacNiel Auction House; he couldn’t possibly have imagined he’d find the young
man from a case gone horribly wrong grown into a devastatingly attractive man.
The two of them discover a connection built in the ruins from that tragedy.
Now Nathan must decide if he can accept the changes in his life that this
relationship will bring while struggling with his boss’s harassment and her
threats to destroy his work. To complicate matters, unexplained break-ins lead
to an attempt upon Nathan’s life. If Kelly doesn’t conquer the monsters that
besiege him, everything he’s come to love will be at stake.
Early Monday morning, Kelly MacNiel drove past the
wrought-iron gates, up the short tree-lined driveway to the large house. He
didn’t mind the five-hour drive. He enjoyed the scenery, how the trees
stubbornly clung to what leaves they could before they gave up and allowed them
to coat the ground in color.
He stopped his SUV alongside an obviously expensive sedan already parked before
the main doors. It couldn’t be anyone else’s but the owner of the house. But
why was it here in visitor parking? Kelly flipped open the file on the seat
beside him. Yep, there it was, a multiple-vehicle carport located around the
side. Curious. Also curious was the fact that the house looked hauntingly
familiar even though Kelly was sure he had never seen it before.
Kelly glanced at the dashboard clock. He was a few minutes early, so he decided
to review the file once more. If there was one thing they taught at the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, it was read and reread files. His life at the Bureau
seemed a lifetime ago, but old habits were hard to break. He pulled the file
onto his lap as he rolled his sore shoulder to relieve the stiffness that had
settled into it from the drive. Other than a few items to be donated at the
discretion of the owner, the house was to be sold after the contents were
auctioned off. Everything had to go, right down to the bare walls. Someone was
definitely cleaning house. His job for the next couple of weeks was to organize
the auction and make sure the owner got what he wanted.
Simple…and boring. Kelly sighed. This was the sad state of his life now.
Another glance at the clock and he figured he may as well knock. The sun would
clear the treetops soon to give him the best natural daylight for the website
pictures. He climbed out of his SUV and reached into the back for his bags. One
contained his clothing and personal items, the other his equipment and
Kelly automatically examined the front of the house, filing away the locations
of entrances, exits, strengths and weaknesses. Old habits did die hard. That
odd sense of déjà vu surrounded him once again as he pressed the buzzer located
to the right of the doors. Just as one of the doors opened, the sun broke from
between the branches. Kelly promptly forgot how to breathe as the man in front
of him was wreathed in a golden aura.
He was taller than Kelly by maybe three inches and slender, but definitely not
skinny. His expensively tailored suit stretched across broad shoulders that led
to ridiculously slim hips. A blue button-down shirt open at the collar allowed
a brief glimpse of pale skin at the base of his throat.
Raven hair loosely fell around his head in untidy curls to below his ears,
framing a strong jaw and a full, luscious mouth. Long dark lashes that had no
business being on a man fringed his large chocolate-hued eyes. The two men
stared transfixed at each other for a minute outside of time. Then this
gorgeous creature smiled shyly. It was a blow to Kelly’s midsection that would
have made his martial arts instructor proud.
The man looked like he had stepped right out of Kelly’s dreams—dreams of the
kiss his sixteen-year-old self had shared with another boy that still haunted
him. It couldn’t be… Could it?
Kelly gasped as the need for air forced his lungs to drag oxygen past his lips,
and took an involuntary step back. The sound broke the spell holding them. The
smile fell from the man’s face, replaced by a cool aloofness. What was
obviously a well-practiced mask locked firmly in place.
“Can I help you?” he asked Kelly politely, his voice a deep baritone rumble
Kelly felt right down to his toes.
He doesn’t remember me, Kelly thought. No wonder the house had felt familiar.
He stifled a groan. He needed to remain professional here. Do the job he was
hired to do and try not to crush the man into his arms like he wanted to do.
Kelly cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. I’m looking for a Mr. Kirkfield?”
“Dr. Kirkfield, and you’re looking at him.”
“Kelly MacNiel, MacNiel Auction House,” Kelly replied, extending his hand.
“Please, call me Kelly.”
“How do you do, Kelly?” Long fingers wrapped around Kelly’s hand, and he barely
suppressed the jolt he felt at the contact. He wouldn’t have been the least bit
surprised to see sparks fly into the air like fireworks where their skin
NATHAN WASN’T SURE Nathan wasn't sure what he had expected an appraiser to look
like, but the man standing in front of him was not it. The sun brought out
strong red highlights in his sandy-colored hair. Solid muscle beneath tight
jeans and a snug T-shirt that more than hinted at the built body beneath. He
looked like a supermodel or a walking advertisement for a gym.
But it was the brilliant green eyes that captivated Nathan the most. Had he
ever seen eyes like that before? Penetrating emeralds fixed hungrily on him.
Nobody had ever looked at him like they wanted to devour him where he stood. A
shiver streaked down the length of his body.
The man gasped, straightened, and took a step back. Nathan breathed an
involuntary sigh at his foolishness. However, it didn’t stop his dry mouth or
his voice dropping a full register lower than normal when he spoke to Kelly.
“I’m Nathan,” he replied before pushing the door wide open and indicating that
Kelly should enter. “Do you need any help with your things?”
“No, I’m good, thanks,” Kelly answered. He picked up the bags and brushed a
little too close as he passed Nathan and entered the house.
Nathan caught a whiff of the other man’s cologne when Kelly moved past him, the
scent reminiscent of a forest after a rainfall. Without thinking, he closed his
eyes and breathed in the intoxicating fragrance. He shuddered, flabbergasted by
the urge to push up against Kelly, a complete stranger, and bury his face into
Kelly’s neck just to smell that mind-numbing essence once more. Nathan couldn’t
stop himself from hardening. What was wrong with him? He quickly buttoned his
jacket to hide the telltale bulge in his pants.
Kelly paused in the foyer and gave the area a quick once-over. Nathan sighed in
relief since Kelly appeared oblivious to the tumult he had caused.
“I’ll show you to your room, and then I guess we should get started if you are
up to it,” Nathan quietly said.
“Sounds good. Please lead on.” Kelly’s voice held a faint lilt to it. Irish,
probably, but with a name like MacNiel anything was possible. It was a barely
there accent, but Nathan knew he could get addicted to the sound of the man’s
voice very easily.
Nathan led him up the staircase, and try as he might, he couldn’t stop his
rambling commentary on the rooms on each floor. Since when did he suffer from
nerves like this? Since a quick glance over his shoulder revealed that the
stunning man behind him was staring fixedly at his backside. Kelly licked his
lips, and Nathan missed the top step. Strong hands gripped his hips, keeping
him upright. Heat flooded Nathan’s body, rising up from the contact. He mumbled
his thanks, then awkwardly stepped away, forcing Kelly to lower his hands.
Nathan opened the first door to his right. “This is one of the guest rooms. The
linens are fresh, and if you need anything, please let me know. I’m in the
bedroom across the hall.” Of course he would have to be nearby to assist Kelly,
but why had he felt the need to share that he would be sleeping only a few
short feet away? Hopefully Kelly wouldn’t think Nathan was offering an open
invitation to join him in bed. “Um. When you’re settled, come downstairs. I’ll
be in the kitchen.”
“That works. Just give me five minutes to get my gear sorted out,” Kelly
Unable to look Kelly in the eye, Nathan briskly nodded, turned, and left Kelly
to his own devices.
KELLY COULDN’T HELP but stare at Nathan’s lovely ass at his eye level as he
they climbed the stairs. He listened to Nathan’s chatter with only half an ear,
more interested, at least for now, in the play of Nathan’s shirt across his
back and the way his trousers kept pressing tightly against his very fine form
as he walked ahead of Kelly. Nathan tripped, and Kelly grabbed his hips to stop
him from pitching forward onto the landing. Pink bloomed on Nathan’s skin as he
glanced back with a quietly murmured, “Thanks.”
Kelly grinned. An embarrassed Nathan was too cute.
Nathan refused to look at him, then walked quickly away, turning Kelly’s grin
into a frown. The man probably would have run if he could have gotten away with
it. Kelly shook his head. He entered his room, put the file on the bed along
with the laptop and digital camera, then parked himself with a huff beside his
Nathan didn’t remember him, didn’t know who he was. Had Kelly changed so much
in twelve years, or was he simply not that memorable? Kelly, on the other hand,
would never, could never forget.
Kelly had been suspended from school for a fight—totally not his fault, that
time at least—and his da had forced him to come with his uncle and crew to
deliver several pieces of furniture. Unable to actually help, Kelly had amused
himself by checking out the rest of the place, going sightseeing as it were.
He’d stumbled on the library with its mesmerizing array of books and startled
the cute boy curled up in a huge wingback chair, book forgotten on his lap at
the sight of Kelly. With a cocky grin, Kelly had flopped into the chair beside
him. The boy nervously returned his smile, and before Kelly knew it they had
talked for what seemed like hours about anything and everything. Yet, somehow,
they never got around to telling each other their names. Kelly had felt drawn
to the boy, a tangible connection between them, and he was pretty sure the boy
felt it too in the way he leaned his body toward Kelly’s, the way he smiled at
him not just with his mouth but his eyes. Beautiful large brown doe eyes looked
at Kelly like he was something amazing.
They’d both risen at the sound of Kelly’s uncle’s voice outside. The shy
sideways look the boy gave Kelly had gone straight to his chest to hold his
heart hostage forever. Kelly had gently gripped the boy’s chin and pressed his
lips to the boy’s in a tentative kiss. The boy had slanted his mouth, pushing
himself closer with a small sigh, both hands on Kelly’s hips. Kelly had wrapped
his arms around the slender body and drawn him flush, chest to chest, hip to
hip. They’d both moaned as their bodies came into full contact. Kelly was
wider, more muscular than the boy. He’d loved the way he could completely
envelop the other boy with his body, and from the way the boy had melted into
him, he loved it too. Kelly had captured the boy’s avid lips again, and they’d
eagerly explored each other’s mouths with soft kisses, reveling in the touch
and taste. So this was what love at first sight felt like, Kelly remembered
The door abruptly opened, and they’d stood frozen for a second before they
broke apart. The boy had lost all color when he saw his father in the doorway,
staring at him in cold fury. Kelly’s uncle stood just behind the boy’s father
and, after a glance in the other man’s direction, rushed forward to hurriedly
shepherd Kelly out of the room. The last thing he heard was the man’s voice
raised in anger.
His uncle had hustled him into his truck without a word. Worried for his new
love, Kelly tried to get the boy’s phone number from his da and then his uncle.
They both refused him, but that didn’t stop him from hounding them for two
days. He’d finally snuck into his father’s office when no one was about, taking
the information from the filing cabinet. He called, his voice shaking with
apprehension, asking to speak to the unknown boy. His answer had been a sharp
click as the phone slammed down in his ear. Eight more times over the next
three days he’d called. After the eighth time, he was angrily told that no boy
lived there. Heartbroken, Kelly finally stopped trying, but he never forgot the
boy with the unknown name.
Now, here Kelly was—in the same house, with the same boy, now a man. Nathan
hadn’t remembered him. Kelly wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that.
“Aw, Finn, what have you gotten me into?” he cursed his brother with a heavy
shake of his head.
© Terry Poole
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