Today Harmless Smut is pleased to welcome multi-published author and funny gal Lynn Lorenz. Lynn writes m/m for Loose ID and others. I don't know if Lynn remembers (probably not) but I met her at RT this year during the ebook signing event. She was lovely. Now without further ado (or cliche), LYNN LORENZ!
HS: First of all, thank you for visiting, Harmless Smut! Tell us a little about yourself.
LL: Thanks for inviting me to talk about myself and my books. I love to talk about anything, really, so you really didn’t have to twist my arm too hard. Just until it hurts so good…ahem. Maybe we should get started with the interview?
HS: I think I can outtalk you but that may be a discussion for another time. So, how long have you been writing?
LL: I’ve been writing since I was in high school, went to college for English and art, but finished with a degree in fine art. I’ve only just gotten back into writing about 4 years ago. In 2008, I published my first novel, The Mercenary’s Tale, with Loose Id.
HS: What attracted you to romance?
LL: Oh my God! Two hunky men who are into each other? Kissing, nibbling, demanding, dominating??? ‘Nuff said. I’d always written strong male characters and they always had this chemistry between them that verged on sexual, so when I finally crossed that line for my characters, it felt as if I’d come home. Very natural.
HS: I have to agree with you. Nothing like the hunks and double the pleasure? WHEW! How many manuscripts had you completed before you sold?
LL: I’d completed, I need to think about this….wait, I have to remove a shoe… 6 or 7 maybe?
HS: Perseverance! I like it. Tell us about the day (the minute, the second) you got ‘The Call’ (or The Email). What was your initial reaction?
LL: Well, it was an email. I read it and jumped up and down. Re-read it and twirled around in my chair. Then I re-read it. And it asked if I would be willing to add more to the story. It made a few suggestions and I emailed back and said let me see what I can do with it. And damn, if they weren’t right. It was a better book when I expanded it.
HS: Isn't it amazing how that happens? What did you do to celebrate afterward?
LL: I went out to dinner with my family. I have a group of friends, and we’ve had dinner together after each of my books has been published. And I have a celebration dinner with my family. Oh, and I have a few other friends and we go to lunch. Hey, I’m beginning to see a pattern here….
Hs: I hear ya. Seems like my life revolves around food as well. Anyone whom you wanted to rub your news in his/her nose?
LL: Sure. There was a woman in my critique group that told me I’d never get published (I had a m/m scene in my vampire book, Warriors At Heart). She also said that no matter what I did, I’d never make Ivan (the vampire) into a hero. Of course, to her, I’m probably not really published since not of my publishers are NY print houses…but I tried explaining that to the IRS says when they asked for their money, but they wouldn’t fall for it.
HS: Little did she know! Women are gobbling up m/m like candy. You were ahead of the curve. Tell us about your current (or upcoming) release. (Please include an excerpt!)
LL: My latest release is Best Vacation That Never Was, from Loose Id. It’s about a guy who’s planning his dream vacation and to get the man of his dreams, only the night before he leaves his apartment building burns down and he’s left literally with nothing. His friends have left, he has no family, no money, no cell phone, no clothes, just the towel he was wearing when he escaped. A hunky firefighter comes to his rescue, and proceeds to give him the best vacation he’s ever had, including the best lovin’ too.
Here’s an excerpt:
Jason rushed through the emergency room doors and straight to the counter.
“I’m looking for a guy.”
The admitting nurse looked up from the computer screen and nodded. “Name?”
“I don’t know his name.”
“Okay.” The helpful look faded from her face. “Do you have someone special in mind, or are you just looking for any guy?”
“Someone special. He came in last night. From the fire.”
“We had several patients from there. Can you be more specific?” Crossing her arms on the counter, she stared up at him, waiting.
Jason grinned. “He was wearing nothing but a towel.”
The woman’s brows rose. “Seems the towel made a big impression on you.”
“You could say that. Look, I’m the firefighter who brought him down and I just wanted to check on him. See if he’s okay.” Jason held out his identification card to prove it.
“Sure. How about you go on back, see if you can find him? Wait over there and I’ll buzz you in.”
“Great!” Jason bounced on his toes like a teen at his first concert as he waited for the double doors to swing open. They opened outward and he bolted through them.
Quickly walking down the corridor, Jason looked from side to side, checking out the rooms. Almost to the nurse’s station he glanced in the window to a room and halted.
The towel guy sat in a chair, shoulders slumped, staring down at his bare feet.
Jason’s heart soared, then broke at the torn look on the guy’s face. Sorrow. Regret. Fear. It was the fear that made Jason’s stomach knot, made him want to make it better, do whatever it took to put a smile on his face.
He stepped into the doorway. “Hey.”
The guy’s gaze rose. He focused, blinked, and then his brows furrowed as he took Jason in.
“Hello. Do I know you?” Troy croaked out.
Oh God. Please say I know you.
A smiling god stood in his door. A dark-haired god in dark blue jeans, and a baby blue polo shirt that clung to each and every muscle in the man’s body. There was something familiar about his blue eyes.
“Not really. I’m the guy,” the god said.
Troy swallowed the lump in his throat. The hottest man he’d ever laid eyes on just said hello and Troy was wearing the ugliest hospital gown on earth. Maybe the universe.
“The guy?” Troy’s voice was still hoarse.
“From the fire. The firefighter on the ladder.” He bounced the toe of his boot on the floor, looking incredibly adorable and tentative, as he hung half in the room and half out of it.
“That’s it!” Troy choked, starting a coughing fit.
“Hey, take it easy.” The guy came in the room and poured Troy a cup of water from the sink. “Here, take a sip.”
Troy took the cup from him, their fingers brushing. The shock wave rolled through his body and he swallowed hard.
The firefighter’s Adam’s apple jerked as his eyes widened.
Troy took a sip to hide his reaction, then put it on the table next to the phone.
“Have you been discharged yet?”
“Yeah. All ready to go.” Troy sighed.
“Is someone coming for you?” The guy bit his bottom lip.
Troy wanted to bite it for him. Bite it, suck on it, give it a gentle nibble. God, once a slut, always a slut.
“No.” Troy shook his head. “I…I don’t have my phone. And most of my friends, well, all of my friends are leaving this morning on a cruise.”
“A cruise you were supposed to be on?” The man leaned back against the door looking as if he were going to settle there for a while.
“Yeah. A dream vacation.” He frowned. “But all my stuff is gone.”
“Shit. I’m sorry about that.”
Troy shrugged. “I’m alive.”
The other guy’s eyes glinted. “Yeah, you are.”
Those blue eyes held Troy captive.
Troy cleared his still sore throat. It hurt to talk so much. “Well, thanks for coming by.”
The guy straightened as if to leave. “I don’t think we’ve been introduced. My name is Jason Cooper.” He stuck out his hand at Troy.
“Troy Hastings.” He slid his hand into Jason’s and they shook. And shook. And shook as if neither of them would let go.
Jason took a step back, breaking their connection. “Have you got anywhere to go?”
“Not really. Everything I owned, except my car, was in the apartment. I don’t even have the keys to my car. Guess they burned up too.” He coughed from the exertion of speaking.
Jason bit his lip again. “Look. I know you don’t know me and I know we’ve just met, but if you want, you could come home with me.”
“With you?” Troy gasped. Go home with a god?
“Just until you get on your feet. Get your stuff sorted out, you know.” Jason shrugged.
Troy sat back and exhaled. This wasn’t for real, was it? Was he in some sort of crazy dream? He didn’t know what to do. Didn’t know what to do about anything right now.
“I…I…I,” he sputtered.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Jason came in the room. “Are these your papers?” He tapped the folder on the table.
Jason scooped them up, taking control. “Come on. Let’s go.”
Troy stood and looked down. “No clothes.”
“That’s okay. Once we get to my place I’ll lend you some of mine. I’m guessing we’re about the same size.” He stepped back to let Troy walk past him out the door.
“Thank you,” Troy whispered and followed his rescuer down the hall and out the doors of the emergency room as people stared at him.
Hadn’t they ever seen a barefoot man, covered in soot, wearing a hospital gown before?
“My car is parked outside.”
They reached the car, a bright red Explorer. Troy barked a silent laugh.
“Yeah, I know. Red. Firefighter. Fire engines are red.” Jason shrugged, but it was unapologetic. “It’s cliché, but there you have it.”
“It suits you.”
Troy opened the car door and looked at the spotless gray leather seats. “I’m filthy.” He glanced across at Jason through the open door.
“No problem.” Jason disappeared from sight, the rear hatch opened, and then slammed shut. Jason reappeared at the driver’s door and tossed a blanket across the console. “Here you go.”
“Thanks.” Troy arranged it over his seat and then climbed in, careful not to get any of the soot on the car.
The seat felt so much better than the hospital chair. His body ached and his lungs hurt when he took deep breaths, but the nurse had told him that would go away in a few days. Troy sank back, closed the door, and put on the seatbelt.
Jason started the Explorer and they pulled out of the parking lot.
For one brief moment, Troy thought maybe he was out of his mind. He’d gotten into a car with a complete stranger and he had no idea where they were going.
He glanced across at Jason. What would Carlton say about this?
Have you lost your mind? You don’t even know him! He could be a serial killer!
But serial killers weren’t this nice, were they? Besides, he and Jason weren’t complete strangers. They’d met before. Outside his building. Three floors up.
Troy fell asleep rationalizing his answers to Carlton.
LL: My next two releases are in November, one with Amber Quill – My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, a m/m novella set in New Orleans about a frisky game of cowboys and Indians, and one from Liquid Silver Books – McCallan’s Blood, a werewolf love story set in central Louisiana, involving the McCallan pack’s alpha, who finds out the girl his brother knocked up is his mate. And he suspects his brother is trying to kill her.
HS: Those sound great. When can we get our greedy hands on them?
LL: In November, like I said. And I have a book in December, from Amber Quill, called No Good Deed, about a Chinese-American police captain who’s bisexual, but falls in love with a gay man.
HS: I'm always looking for a good multicultural romance. Where can we buy your books?
LL: I have three publishers, Loose Id, mostly m/m, Liquid Silver, all m/f and Amber Quill Press, mostly m/m and a few m/f.
HS: What are you working on now?
LL: Right now I’m on deadline to finish the next in the series In The Company of Men. It’s a medieval called Baymore’s Heir. The first in this series was my first book The Mercenary’s Tale. In Jackson’s Pride, we find out if one of the secondary characters from the first book gets his HEA. And in this one, Baymore’s Heir, once again Jackson’s pride gets him and Will into trouble.
HS: I can't wait to read them. What advice do you have for ‘Soon To Be Published’ writers (as I like to call them)?
LL: Well, aside from the usual stuff, like write a lot and edit even more, I think most important is find people you trust who will give you honest opinions about your work. Not “this is great!” sort of stuff, but real, honest, sometimes brutal, critiques about what you’re writing. If all you ever hear is “I couldn’t find a thing wrong with it” or “It’s perfect!” then those aren’t the right people.
My critique partners frequently tell me, “Seriously?” “You’re joking, right?” and my fav, “Were you drinking when you wrote this?” But they’re the best, I love them, and they’ve helped me be a better writer. And I have to say, my critique group has soon to be published writers, agented writers, newbies, and published, and we all write different genres, from inspirational to YA to M/M.
HS: I agree. I don't know what I would've done without my crit group. Okay, now for the fun stuff. Boxers or briefs?
LL: Boxers. When I was first married, back in the Cretaceous, my husband would put on his briefs and then strike all these men’s underwear poses from catalogs. I would laugh so hard I’d cry. And then he’d pull out the pipe (he tried to smoke one instead of cigarettes) and pose with it in his underwear, I’d laugh so hard I nearly pee myself. I still laugh until I cry, but he lost the pipe years ago, so I don’t have to worry about the peeing part anymore, thank God. So now, if I see a pair of those tidy whities, I collapse into hysterical laughter and point. Oddly, not a good thing to do to a man.
HS: OMG! That's fucking hilarious! If you could have sex with one celebrity who would it be?
LL: Just one?
HS: Just one.
LL: This is a fantasy right? It’s like I get to pick the time when I was the hottest I’ve ever been, tight tummy, firm ass, great tits? Flawless complexion? My thighs were like butter, I tell you. Butter.
HS: Focus, Lynn!
LL: Sorry, I digress. So I’m just sitting around the house and there’s a knock on the door and it’s Dermot Mulroney and he’s lost in my subdivision. How he got past the guard I’ll never know, but I’m damn glad he did. He’s here to clean my pool, except I don’t have a pool, but I let him in away. After all, he’s got that long pool skimmer thingy and wearing nothing but a pair of those low-slung baggy swim trunks, the kind you can see the guy’s indentations on either side of his belly below his navel? Yeah, those. *shudder*
Did I mention I look hot? Right. Butter, baby.
Dermont can’t believe his good fortune. I get my checkbook.
One thing leads me to another, and before I know it, I’m looking for a pack of menthols and I’ve got another pair of swim trunks for my collection.
HS: Great choice! And boo on you for making us use our imaginations. Thank you again for visiting the smut. You're kind of demented and I like that. I smell the bginning of a beautiful friendship.
And for you, blog readers, GO BUY!!!!