Steve and I welcome S.L. Danielson, Erotic Author of M/M romantic fiction. S.L. (Steph) will be here all week to chat with readers and answer questions.
Steph is also a cat lover. So we've allowed our pets to take over the blog!
Steph is also a cat lover. So we've allowed our pets to take over the blog!
Brenda & Steve: Steph, welcome to our blog! We’re so excited you could join us for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Steph: It was in 2006 I decided to take the leap. After years of daring myself to do so; it was the debut of Brokeback Mountain and Annie Proulx who inspired me to finally give it a go.
Brenda & Steve: What are cute pic of Cali. She is very petite. We have a 1/2 Maine Coon cat named Lucy; that's her up there. Please tell us a little about your new release Aftermath (Southern Comfort #3) without giving too much of a spoiler away.
Steph: Coming July 7th…This is book #3 in the Southern Comfort installment that I’m writing with co-author Julie Lynn Hayes. Essentially it starts out right after the dance where Mark and Blake broke up; and the drama that ensues afterwards. There are lots of twists and turns in this one… a couple new characters, and a resolution on what happens in the relationships between the boys. It covers roughly a month, from Homecoming to Halloween.
Trouble is growing in Paradise, as Mark moves away from Blake and toward Todd. How can love survive when fear gets in the way? Things get complicated as Todd encourages Mark to spend time with him, behind Blake’s back. It’s a good thing Blake has Clay to fall back on, to be his rock as Mark slips away from him. The tale of the tape is going to be the Homecoming Dance. But first there’s the matter of the class rings…
Nothing is easy and nothing is written in stone… not even love.
Brenda & Steve: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Steph: I like to plan mine out, build a skeleton profile as it were; a name, a look, a general guide as to how he or she will be and who/what they are to the story.
Brenda & Steve: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Steph: I do all my research online but try to draw as much from my own life experiences as possible. I use the mantra “write what you know”.
Brenda & Steve: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
Steph: I usually will outline; I like to have a framework of where the story will go should I go off on a tangent (which happens all too often) lol. Sometimes I will write a paragraph or two, what I call a ‘start’ about an inspiration in lieu of having the proper time/place to do an outline (such as at work on lunch).
Brenda & Steve: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
Steph: I wish I could, but sadly, no. Though, ask my husband and he’ll say I do write full-time since I dive to the chair as soon as I get home from work. J Before I began to write I work in business and accounting. It’s very dull work, which is why I relish my writing time.
Brenda & Steve: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
Steph: It’s usually whenever the mood strikes me, so there is no set ritual. All I require is peace, quiet, and ideas.
Brenda & Steve: Describe a typical writing day for you.
Steph: This would usually be the weekends, so I’ll describe one of those. Usually it’s wake up, do the routine of feeding kitties and then myself, then get on the computer and either read what was just done the night before if I need a refresher, or if I have a new thought, I’ll hurry to type it down before its lost. For this reason, I keep a notebook and pen by my bedside for those pre-dawn ideas. Then I’ll write most of the morning, taking short breaks, but the lions’ share of the day is spent trying to write and dodge cats, husband, family, etc.
Brenda & Steve: Awww, and there's your Jack. Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
Steph: I’m working on a rather large project at the moment; a series based on my writing I penned as a young teenager. I plan to turn it into a rather lengthy series of about 8-10 books releasing the first few next year.
Brenda & Steve: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
Steph: My favorite genre? I always joke right now its non-fiction textbooks (I’m a grad student). But I love the m/m genre, most especially YA. As for favorite authors, I don’t have a particular favorite, but I’ve met so many lovely authors in the past two years. I enjoy the writing of William Maltese, Sui Lynn, Nephylim, and Julie Haye’s works.
Brenda & Steve: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Steph: I run a small publishing company called Romance First, that was ‘born’ the day after Thanksgiving, 2011. I also love to play games, shoot pool, cycle, and even some house projects like painting.
Brenda & Steve: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?
Steph: I have author pages at Smashwords, Amazon, and All Romance Ebooks… I have been published with Silver Publishing, and No Boundaries Press. I do run a blog too, and that address is: www.ladyauthorsld.blogspot.com
My author pages are: Smashwords
And at Amazon
And at All Romance Ebooks
Contest:I'll give away an eBook from my backlist - The Alpha Lambda House to one lucky commenter. Please leave your email addy or twitter handle so we can easily contact the winner. Thanks!
Mark Wittington could barely see, his vision blurred with tears. He’d just broken up with his boyfriend, Blake, at the Homecoming Dance, for refusing to come out. Just as he was still reeling from that, he’d received the crushing news of his grandpa being rushed to the hospital. It was all a bit much for the teenager to bear.
His longtime childhood friend, Todd Benson, held his arm firmly on one side, and Todd’s mother, Katie, held the other as they guided him out of the New Liberty High School and into the parking lot.
“Did you say they’re taking him to Madison General Hospital?” Mark still couldn’t wrap his head around the news. He couldn’t seem to retain information for longer than a minute at a time.
“Yes, it’s the closest one. You two be careful. Todd, call me. Mark, I’m so sorry, honey.”
“Thanks, Mrs. B.”
Never relinquishing his hold on Mark, Todd guided him to his pick-up and helped him inside, then raced around to his side and started it up. He rubbed his friend’s quivering shoulders. “Shhh… it’ll be all right. George’s a tough old codger.”
“Todd… it’s more than that. Blake and I broke up.” Just saying it seared the memory into his brain. It’d been his decision though… he could’ve turned it all around. But out of fear, he’d chosen not to. That decision had broken his heart and Blake’s both, and now he sat in the aftermath of regret.
“Oh my God… Mark, I’m so sorry.”
“Now this with Grandpa… What the hell, Todd? I don’t even know what’s wrong with him!”
“We’ll find out real soon. Calm down, we’ll get there.” He patted Mark’s shoulder and offered him a smile.
Mark looked at the clock. It was almost 9 p.m. Two hours ago he and Blake had been happy and joking around, trying to pin flowers on each other, posing for photos, line dancing. Now… there was only heartbreak and pain… and that included his surly 71-year-old grandfather, George. His mind spun at the thought of a hundred different ailments that the old man might have; he shut his eyes to stop the dizzying onslaught.
This was his second trip to Madison today; the first had been far happier—to reserve a motel for his and Blake’s use after the dance. A surprise for his boyfriend. And he’d bought him a gift for his birthday too—a book of poetry by his namesake, William Blake. He tried not to think about these things, but they were running a path through his brain. It seemed like forever until the brilliantly lit signs indicating the hospital entrance came into view. They pulled into the ER parking lot and ran inside.
Mark rushed to the nurses’ station which dominated the emergency room. There were other people sitting in chairs, but he ignored them, intent on the woman behind the desk. “Excuse me, my grandfather was just rushed here, George Wittington.”
The slim, black lady cocked her head and looked at the charts on the desk before her. “Yessir, he was just brought in a few minutes ago. You say you’re his grandson?”
“Yes ma’am. Mark Wittington.”
“Give us a few minutes to take a look at him, and then we’ll call you. Have a seat.” She waved to the chairs behind her. Mark glanced at them, then back to her.
“Is he all right?” He had to know or die.
“I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to give out that information. Someone will be with you as soon as they can.”
Todd put an arm about Mark’s shoulder, and together they found two seats as isolated from the rest of the waiting patients as they could get. Mark slumped back against Todd, closing his eyes. His stomach churned, his head hurt, and the lights seemed overly bright to his suddenly sensitive eyes, especially after the dimness of the dance, and the darkness they’d driven through.
Todd kept talking to him. He wasn’t even sure what the other boy was saying, but it didn’t matter. Just the sound of his voice was keeping Mark sane. It seemed like forever, but it might have been forty-five minutes when the nurse called him back up to the desk.
“He’s in room ten, right around the corner.”
“Thank you.” He cast a quick glance at Todd, who was right behind him. “Coming?”
“Yeah, of course.”
They hurried back through the emergency room doors, counting the rooms. They found the room in question and walked in. There Mark’s grandfather lay in the bed with a very large splint on his leg and a few bandages scattered about his arms and face. Mark rushed over to his bedside. He wanted to hug him, but he was afraid to hurt him.
“What happened, Grandpa?”
“Hey, Mark! Todd, how are you, boy?”
“Just fine, sir. The question is how are you doing?” Todd politely asked.
“What happened?” Mark repeated, desperate to know. He carefully sat down on the edge of the bed and looked at the menacing splint.
“Broke my confounded leg on that damn step. Remember the one you always skipped over? Well, it musta run outta time ‘cause it collapsed like a pile of feathers under my foot.”
“What were you doing out in the dark, Grandpa?”
“The damn light went out. Musta been a sign. I took a step and my leg shot straight on through. Sent me to the ground face first, but my leg stayed behind. Hurts like the devil it does!”
“Did they give you anything for the pain?”
“Yeah, them ambulance guys were real nice. There was a real cute girl on there too, looked not much older than you two. She shot me full of morphine. I asked her. I asked her if she’s married. Thinking of you, boy.”
Mark took his grandfather’s hands in his and held them tight. “I should’ve been there,” he chastised himself.
Todd shook his head. “How do you know it wouldn’t have been you that the step would have collapsed on? It could’ve been either of ya.”
“He’s right, boy.”
Mark reluctantly nodded. “Still… I should have fixed it. I knew it needed fixin’….”
“Why you all fancied up? You going to a dance or somethin’?”
“Yessir. Homecoming,” Todd answered for both of them.
The redhead winced; even the mere mention of it was unbearable to him. How could he bear seeing Blake ever again after what he’d done to him? And they still had to work together. Shit! Work! He’d almost forgotten about that. He had an early shift tomorrow. Six am. It was the price he paid for getting off all day today for the event that had gone bad. He didn’t think he’d be able to make it. Not with this on top of that. He could see it was gonna be one hellaciously long night.
He was in the act of pulling out his cell phone right when he saw the sign that forbade them in the ER. “I’ll be right back,” he said to Todd. “I’m gonna call Mr. G. I can’t work tomorrow. I gotta let him know.”
“Sure thing, man. I’ll stay right here with George,” Todd offered.
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S. L. Danielson began writing at the tender age of seven. She knew it was her calling from the moment she put pen to paper. In her teens, she began writing alternative works and the genre stuck. She also wove more elaborate tales and finally in her college years began to pen her new love of male romance into long novels.
She is classically trained in business and accounting, and is currently a graduate student. Her other hobbies include cycling, gaming and spending time with her husband, and two cherished cats.
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