Do you have a favourite genre to read and is it what you write?
I’m a huge contemporary gay romance reader and have been since I first stumbled on the genre back in 2012. I love the stories, ranging from lighter stories, right through to those loaded with angst. It’s because of my love of reading that I fell into writing m/m romance – I felt there were stories of my own to tell. My own books are usually on the sweeter side as I have a tendency to write that way. That doesn’t mean everything is happy and coming up roses, my guys usually have issues to overcome before they get their happy ever after ending.
What are your favourite types of characters (to write and read)?
I’m a big fan of reading stories about everyday guys – the regular sort of guy you’d meet at the supermarket or a friend’s barbecue or be introduced to at work. That’s not to say I don’t love strong alpha males in traditional hero roles (my Heroes series features paramedics and firefighters) or enjoy writing/reading characters such as bikies or shifters, but my heart belongs with the boy next door.
Quickly, tell us 5 books you love recently.
I’ve just finished a couple of Tal Bauer’s books – The Murder Between Us and The Night Of. All I can say is wow! I love Tal’s characters and the stories he weaves. Before that it was I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour. This was a sweet story with a single dad and I also love to support Aussie authors. Speaking of Aussie authors, I also read the Missing Pieces series by NR Walker. You can’t go wrong with one of her books, so reading three in a series is a treat! And to round out the five, Blood Truth from JR Ward. It’s the 4th book in her Black Dagger Legacy series, a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (I’m up to #18 in that series). It’s mainly MF but there are a couple of male/male pairings. Currently it’s the only MF series I read and most of the enjoyment comes from the kick-your-arse alpha vampires!
Can you tell us how you get your ideas for your books?
Everywhere and anywhere! I’ve had books inspired by random ideas that pop into my head, from photos, from book covers that I just had to buy, from YouTube clips and music videos. For example, the Rustic Melody cover came before the story. I have a huge collection of story ideas. I always note them down, so I don’t forget them. I probably have enough ideas to get me through the next decade!
Do you have a favourite type of setting for your books?
I like a small-town setting for books. There’s something special about small towns and their communities. That being said, I’ve written books set in Sydney too. I’m in the lucky position of being able to split my time between Sydney and my house in the country – the best of both worlds – and that comes through in my writing. But largely, each story is unique and the location/setting is determined by the type of story to be told.
And lastly, what advice would you give a new writer?
My main suggestion would be to simply get on with writing the first story. I’ve seen so many people delay beginning their writing journey, perhaps out of fear. They don’t feel in a position to start because they think they don’t know enough about the craft, or the publishing and marketing processes. But none of those processes matter if there’s no book to release and promote. I understand the desire to write a quality story, but I think it’s important to get into the habit of writing, and at the same time, learning about the craft. Research, read, and listen to others. Seek out support groups – other authors are amazing at offering advice and bolstering newbie authors. I’ve found that my own writing has evolved over time, and I’m continuously learning new things. So jump straight in!
Give us 5 points about your book - Fragile Heart.
1. It’s a workplace romance - Jason has a crush on his colleague and the story starts when he decides to act on his feelings.
2. Sean is a good-looking guy, but he lacks confidence and has let his past tragedy alter his enjoyment of life.
3. Both guys have supportive (or maybe interfering LOL) friends who sometimes given them the push they need.
4. Jason’s name was originally Dave - Fragile Heart is an expanded rerelease and as part of the revision process I changed one of the main character’s names. Why? Because I’d given a side character in another book his own story (Rustic Moment) and I didn’t want to end up with two Davids. I couldn’t change Dave from Rustic Moment’s name because he appeared in the first book of the series, but revising this book provided the perfect opportunity.
5. It ends with a romantic gesture – I love grand gestures of romance!
The past doesn’t have to dictate the future.
It’s hard to focus on work when Sean Vargos sits a couple of desks away. He’s quiet, well-respected and dedicated to his job, not to mention he’s gorgeous. Jason can’t get him out of his thoughts. Acting on his attraction is frowned on in the workplace but talk of Valentine’s Day and an upcoming business merger gives Jason the push to finally make a move. He’s tired of being alone and he doesn’t want his career to be his key priority anymore.
Sean isn’t looking for an office romance. He isn’t looking for romance, period. Putting the past behind him has been a struggle and he knows better than to think he can fall in love again. But Jason Simpson is hard to ignore. He’s passionate about his job, and he’s also interested in Sean.
The temptation is too much to resist, and they embark on a tentative relationship. Jason falls head over heels, fast. Sean runs.
All Jason wants is to win over Sean’s heart, but first he needs to earn his trust.
Fragile Heart is an office romance featuring hurt/comfort themes, well-intentioned friends, and a happy ending.
Note: This story has been previously published (as A Day At A Time). This edition has been revised, expanded, and re-edited, adding approximately 7,500 words, but the story largely remains unchanged. It is approximately 26k words.
Release Date: 21st April 2021
I have a giveaway open to all readers of the Once and Books blog. You can win my ‘first in series’ books. One lucky winner will get a copy of Charlie's Hero, Rustic Melody, and More Than A Superstar. Plus, as an added bonus, the winner will receive a copy of my upcoming release, Fragile Heart (note: the release date for Fragile Heart has yet to be confirmed).
Click here to enter the giveaway:
Can a boy from the country and a guy from the city ever make it work? Adam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country. He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway. Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles. The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime. Honorable Mention ~ 2016 Rainbow Awards
Betrayal, heartbreak, and financial ruin are only the beginning. The last few months have been tough on Grant Parnell. He discovered his boyfriend was having an affair and it's taken its toll, both emotionally and financially. With his business facing ruin, Grant could lose everything. Dave Monroe is excited to start a new phase of his life. He's following his dream and pursuing an exciting career opportunity. When Grant visits his friends in the country and finds out Dave might be moving to Melbourne, he offers him a place to stay. For Dave, life's looking good. Dave had only met Grant a couple of times before moving in with him, but the simmering sexual attraction is undeniable. As he settles into Grant's home, deeper feelings develop. It's hard not to fall for Grant's gorgeous exterior, but it's the strong man underneath who captures Dave's heart. Grant always craved success. His business and his home are testament to just how far he's come, proving his family wrong and making something of himself--or he had. Now everything is falling apart. As Grant's world spirals out of control, Dave is the one sure thing in his life. But if they are to have any chance at happiness, Dave will need to teach Grant what's really important.
Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world. Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told! When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.
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