Rounding out my Q&A series with the authors of Men in Love is Evey Brett. I hadn’t read her before, so Men in Love was my first brush with her, and I can’t wait to find more. It seems insane to me that I started talking with the authors of Men in Love, Not Just Another Pretty Face, The Biggest Lover, and Threesome way back at the start of the year, and it’s July now. Where does the time go?
Spring approaches with the promise of new beginnings, fresh adventures, and the thrill of romance rekindled or discovered. Hot, sexy guys abound—meeting on the ball fields or the boardroom, at the theater or the classroom—falling in love and lust for the first time or celebrating a lifetime. Come join the rites of spring and indulge yourself in the passion and pleasures of our luscious men in love. Stories from some of today’s popular m/m romance authors explore the many faces of men in love: gay for you, seductions, weddings and more.
NB: What’s first and foremost to you when you set out to write a romance? Is there a seed from which most of your stories grow, or do you (like so many of us) suffer from plot bunnies rampantly breeding while you try to concentrate on one project at a time?
EB: I never set out to be a romance writer. Everything I know about romance, I learned by necessity after I started writing e-books and getting excoriated by reviewers because I didn’t follow the usual romance “rules.” For instance, it’s a bad idea to kill off the love interest in the middle of a story and replace him with a different guy. (Or a sentient lizard, in that case.) Go figure. And I had an editor keep telling me, “Add more happy sex,” and a mentor tell me, “Add more cookies,” which meant add more bits of happiness and levity in between all the bits when I was putting characters through hell. As for as short story romance goes, that, too, I learned by trial and error; after a couple rejections, I got an anthology from the publisher I was trying to sell to, and figured out what they were looking for in short erotic fiction, and *poof*, I started making sales.
As far as where my ideas come from…usually it’s just a bit of dialog or scene that pops into my head and I work from there. I write bits of scene here and there, whatever sounds interesting at the time rather than writing chronologically. My story “Share and Share Alike” from Threesome was originally going to be something of a horror/ghost story with some sex and romance thrown in, but then editor Matt Bright put out his call so I rearranged that story to make it work as a, well, threesome. For other erotica calls, generally I try to figure out something where Character A has a problem and Character B solves that problem with sex in a relatively short period of time. And there’s got to be something more at stake than just sex or romance; the characters have to change, too.
So, no, I don’t have rampant plot bunnies hopping around at the moment. I’ve got more calls than I’ve got ideas for. Arrggh.
NB: I know that feeling, too. Sometimes I live in plot-bunny world, but often I stare at the list of potential calls for submission and hear nothing but static. Those days are rough. That said, when the words do flow, I notice you bring a lot of the magic (or the demonic) to your stories. This is something I completely understand and relate to, but I’m always curious. Why do you like adding that speculative fiction aspect to your storytelling?
EB: I started out as a science fiction and fantasy writer. That’s what I read as a kid and what I trained in with various workshops like Clarion and Taos Toolbox and my master’s degree, and it’s still more natural to think about saving the world or a person from something dangerous (maybe even themselves) than it is to have the romance be the most important piece of the story. So adding a speculative element is easy for me to do, and usually the first thing that comes to mind. I find it hard to contemplate a story where the romance, and only the romance, is at stake. I don’t enjoy reading those and find them hard to write.
As far as demons…yep, I have a series of books featuring incubi as antagonists and characters dealing with them, their half-human offspring called cambions, and themselves. My story, “El Amor Brujo” in Myriad Carnival has a rather vengeful ghost. As for why…I’m not entirely sure. I hadn’t realized until you pointed it out just how many demonic creatures I’ve included lately. Hmmm.
NB: Heh. What’s on the horizon? Any new and exciting or recent projects we should know about?
EB: I’m getting the rights returned for three of my books and hoping to re-release them in the near future. One is getting a complete rewrite, the other two are getting some minor upgrades and new covers courtesy of Inkspiral Design. I’ve got a couple more short stories coming from Lethe Press at some point, and if I get my writing brain back and write for some of these calls, hopefully I’ll have a few more short stories coming.
NB: I can’t wait!
If you want to nab a copy of Men in Love for yourself, you can get it directly from the publisher, Bold Strokes Books, here. Otherwise, you can always use Indiebound to look for your closest brick-and-mortar, or visit any store where quality LGBT books are sold.
Evey Brett lives in the Arizona desert where she enjoys catching creepy-crawlies like snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and Gila monsters and is the willing servant of two cats and a Lipizzan mare who has a habit of arranging the universe. She’s attended Clarion, Taos Toolbox and the Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBT Writers and has been a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards. She has numerous novels and short stories with Lethe Press, Cleis Press, Pathfinder Web Fiction and elsewhere. She can be found online at eveybrett.wordpress.com.