I’m pleased to introduce you today to my fellow Etopia Press author Brien Michaels.
Brien: Honestly I’m not even sure. I was bored in class one day and just picked up a pen and started writing and never really stopped. Back then it was just something to do, but now it’s almost like I have to do it or my head will explode. 🙂
Kiran: Tell us a little about the stories you’ve had published so far.
Brien: Well, Sparks Fly is this really dark post-apocalyptic story inspired by this vacation I took. I had a really bad time on a cruise and, by the time I got off the boat, Eduardo and Lincoln and their journey to meet the last woman on Earth were strong in my mind. It’s one of those stories that’s totally weird in that it doesn’t have a clear genre. It’s a little bit of mystery, a little erotica, a little horror, all rolled into one.
Can’t Make You Love Me, on the other hand, is a largely contemporary piece all about falling in love with your best friend. Sean and Dylan have known each other since they were in second grade their relationship is suddenly moving to this new level and Dylan doesn’t really know how to cope with it. So, at its core, it’s a love story, but beyond that, it’s more about learning how to cope with feelings and emotions you don’t necessarily know how to deal with.
My Only Wish (This Year) is my latest release, a sexy little Christmas story all about what people are willing to do for love. I’m really proud of it and may never look at a North Pole setup the same way again. 😉
Kiran: Where do you find the inspiration for your writing?
Brien: All over the place. Inspiration comes from music, my friends, people at my job, my family, things that happen on a daily basis… But mostly from music. A lot of my stories actually share titles with my favourite songs. 🙂
Kiran: Do you have any writers’ quirks?
Brien: I don’t think so. I’m a perfectionist, but that’s about it. I reread everything about a dozen times before I even send it out to beta readers.
Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?
Brien: My friends love it. They always push me to do more and when I bounce story ideas off them, if they like it enough they actually force me to write it! That’s kind of how Can’t Make You Love Me got written at fast as it did. I had people at work wanting to know why I was downstairs actually doing my job instead of writing.
My family is really supportive. My dad is one of those people who has no idea what the title of the book is or what it’s even about, but he’ll still go out into the world and promote the hell out of it. When I got my first contract, I told my mom and she sent an email to the entire praise team at our church and then calls me and asks in a really timid voice, “Is this the erotica one?” It was really funny, but it was quite an adventure explaining to said praise team members that it was M/M erotica.
Kiran: Do you have a favourite character from your own stories? If so, tell us who it is and why.
Brien: It’s got to be Tyler Mack. Tyler is actually Dylan’s older brother and you get to meet him briefly in Can’t Make You Love Me, but you’ll really get to know him early next year when Last Friday Night comes out. Tyler is this big hulking kind of guy who if you saw him on the street and he looked at you the wrong way you’d probably drop dead of fright. But on the inside he’s really gentle and damaged and fiercely protective of the people he loves. The way he thinks and the things he says always make me laugh. I really love writing Tyler and I’m seriously looking forward to working on his next story, which is tentatively titled Bound To You.
Kiran: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
Brien: Honestly, I have no idea. It still blows my mind that I’m getting paid to do something I love and people are actually buying and reading and taking the time to tell me that they enjoy these stories. So, any reader at all is my ideal reader. I’m an entertainer at heart, so anytime anyone is entertained by one of my books, I feel accomplished.
Kiran: Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?
Brien: Well, I tend to alternate between horror, paranormal, and contemporary, so there’s that. There’s a ménage idea that’s tumbling around in my noggin, so that’ll be something different from anything I’ve written to date. I’ve done m/m and m/f within stories, but I’ve never tried to do more than two people in any given sex scene, so that’ll be interesting.
Kiran: Who is your favourite gay fiction author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?
Brien: It’s actually a tie between Cat Grant and Evangeline Anderson. I think there may be more books from Cat on my Kindle than any other author. I can’t really describe it, but there’s something about her books I find irresistible. On top of the fact that she’s totally amazing. And Evangeline is the only author I’ve stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading. Once I start one of her books, all productivity ceases. Also of note is Cara McKenna. All of her books are incredible, but her m/m stories really stick with me. She needs to write more of them more often. You hear that, Cara?? *Poke poke* But if you’re into SMOKING hot sex scenes, definitely give Daisy Harris m/m a try.
As far as new authors go, I’ve got my eye on Damon Suede. I really liked Hot Head and I’m eager to see what his latest is going to be like.
Kiran: What should we expect next from Brien Michaels?
Brien: Well there’s Last Friday Night, which will hopefully be out in early February. I also have quite a few other pieces in varying stages of completion. Completed, there’s a paranormal called Anything But Ordinary, and an erotic horror story called The House on Shadowbird Lane. The others, don’t really want to say too much about in case I don’t finish them… Minor details of them are up on my website, though.
Thanks for reading, everyone, and thanks for having me, Kiran. You can find me online at http://www.brienmichaels.com. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook as Brien Michaels.
Many thanks to Brien for taking the time to answer my questions!