Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the Chief of Staff for a Republican California State Senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.
Sam Fuller is Brad’s young, blond, blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad break-up, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.
While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad's not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a new light. And nothing will ever be the same.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I play on both sides of the fence. I used to just sit down and start writing, but half the time my stories petered out and didn't go anywhere. But for the last few stories I've plotted them out in advance, and it's worked out pretty well… it can be intense, but I stay more on track. For Between the Lines, I came down somewhere in the middle – I laid out a general idea at the start, but let it flow and change as it went. J
How do you think your writing has developed since you started?
It really has evolved. I started back in fourth grade, and really got going after high school, until a string of rejections convinced me to let it go for awhile. But I always figured I’d be better at it in my forties, with more life experience under my belt, and it's true. My characters and stories are richer, stronger, better now. J
Do you have an image in your mind of your characters before you start?
Not usually. They tend to develop over time. For me, the physical part of a character is often one of the least interesting things about them. I'm more interested in who they are inside – where they came from, what motivates them, what they might do.
How do you fit in writing in such a busy life?
That's the million dollar question. Focus focus focus. My husband and I run several directories together, and we also study Italian. That, along with eating and sleeping, leaves me little time to write. So I use the time I have and work intensely. I try to write an hour to an hour and a half a day.
What has been the most useful thing to have helped you with your writing career?
That's an easy one. It's my husband Mark. I was complaining once about how the loss of a family member had derailed my writing, and he looked at me and said "the only thing stopping you from writing is you." It was like a thunderbolt out of the blue. I realized immediately that he was right. That if I wanted, if I needed to write, I just had to do it. Not too much later, I sold my first story.
Of all your characters, who would you fuck? Marry? Kill?
Well there's a loaded question… LOL. OK, I'd fuck Hari from The Homecoming – I mean, what's hotter than a wolf shifter? I'd marry Sam from Between the Lines. Cute as hell and pure. And I'd kill… hmmm… do I have to kill someone? OK, ok, I’d probably kill Mavi from the homecoming. She's a conniving she wolf…
Is there a character in any of your books that you didn't plan on—a character who forced their way into the story?
In a way. Gio from Translation was supposed to be a minor character – my main protagonist's ex, who was still a friend and someone to bounce things off of. But he wasn't content with that role, so I had to promote him…
When you writer’s block strikes, how do you get unstuck?
I try to keep several projects on the back burner. When one stalls out, it's usually for a reason – there's something unresolved about it that my subconscious needs time to work out. So I shift over to another project and let the first one lay fallow.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on three projects - LOL… see what I mean? I'm wrapping up a novella about a viral outbreak, plotting out a trilogy about wing men, and working on a novel composed of four novellas, a prequel to a novel I wrote years ago but never published, about the early years of space colonization.
It began with a medallion.
The piece was a simple wooden disk, hand carved with the shapes of leaves and forest boughs and polished by centuries of use, giving it a patina of great age.
It sat upon a small green velvet pillow—the kind jewelers sometimes use, rather unsuccessfully, to enhance a plain necklace of false pearls. The kind you might expect to find on your grandmother’s settee, in a slightly larger size, embroidered with “Home Sweet Home.”
Yet there was something compulsive about it—something hidden in the dark crevices of the carving, filled with the dust of ages.
At least that’s what Brad would recall years later, when he thought back on the first time he saw it: the moment when the lines of his mundane life suddenly snarled, snapped, and ultimately recombined into something quite different.
Of course, he didn’t know any of this at the time.
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
Cate Ashwood's books on Goodreads
Keeping Sweets (Newport Boys, #1)
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Married for a Month
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Wholehearted (Hope Cove, #2)
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