Posts Tagged author

M/M Author Interview – Dianne Hartsock

This week I’m delighted to introduce a new acquaintance – Dianne Hartsock. Dianne’s MM Fantasy novella, Nathaniel, was released by Etopia Press earlier this month. I was delighted when she said she’d let me interrogate her 🙂 So let’s find out more about Dianne and Nathaniel!

Kiran: What you made you want to be a writer. Why did you choose the genre you write?

Dianne: I’ve been captivated by stories from as far back as I can remember. It started with the stories my older sister would tell us at bedtime. From the moment I learned to read, I became an avid bookworm. Then, when I was fourteen years old I discovered Ray Bradbury. His stories changed the way I perceived the world. They’re filled with the wonder and magic and terror of childhood. His science fiction opened my mind to new possibilities. I decided then that I wanted to write like him when I grew up. I began then, penning short stories in all genres, trying to capture his feeling in my own work. It took a while, but I finally discovered my own style and have enjoyed writing ever since.

As for picking a genre, I haven’t, really. I’ve written a paranormal thriller, fantasy adventure and m/m erotic contemporary and fantasy stories. But the one thing in common all my stories share is that I focus almost solely on the emotions driving the characters. I love to delve into their minds and discover their motivations.

 Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?

 Dianne: They’ve been so supportive! I’ve been writing for most of my life, and they’re very happy to see me finally fulfilling my dream of being a published author. Of course, there are times when I’m distracted with working out a scene in my mind and not being there with them. Also, my husband sometimes frowns when I become lost in the bed sheets with my men. But I tell him it’s okay. The men in my stories don’t like girls that way.

 Kiran: Tell me what inspired your latest release, Nathaniel.

 Dianne: I’ve written several fantasy novels where a reader can become lost in my world, leave reality and enter the realm of fantasy and adventure and romance. It’s a world very much like our own, with a touch of magic and awe that lifts you out of your every day life and sets you in the midst of a battle between free will and destiny.

With Nathaniel, I wanted to take this world one step further. Sure, there’s magic, but I wanted my hero, Taden, to be completely enchanted by my magic user. Nathaniel is beautiful and sensual and possesses powers far beyond anything Taden has encountered before. Taden is bewildered and captivated by him, falling hopelessly in love despite his better judgment. The story focuses on their love affair, weaving Nathaniel’s magic throughout the pages until Taden surrenders to his charms

Kiran: How do you approach writing sex scenes? Do you find it difficult to keep them fresh?

Dianne: The sex definitely has to be realistic and hot! But I have to love and sympathize with my characters. If they can make me laugh and cry and be happy for them, then I know I’ve written something worthwhile. There’s just something so sensual and arousing in reading and writing about men in love. I can’t explain it, but I have so much fun writing the love scenes between my beautiful men. I approach the sex scenes slowly, letting the characters lead me through each touch, from the first caress to the very last tender kiss. I suppose I keep them fresh by having them in new settings and in different stages of their relationships.

Kiran: Do you have a favourite character from your own stories? If so, tell us who it is and why.

Dianne: I have several fantasy adventure novels that I’m working on, and it’s the second book in this series that I like the most. It’s an exciting tale with lots of action and some very sexy, powerful heroes. My favourite character is from this book, a rogue named Korel. He’s lovely and smart, with a shock of copper hair and brilliant blue eyes full of mischief. He enjoys good food and wine and lovely objects. He’s also an incorrigible tease. If there’s any trouble around, you’re sure to find Korel in the middle of it.

 Kiran: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader? What do you want them to take away from your writing?

Dianne: I suppose they would be someone who loves the adventure and otherworldliness and magic of fantasy, but also the eroticism and thrill of gay romance. I hope they’d close the book with a smile on their face from a well told, exciting story.

Kiran: Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?

Dianne: I’ve been working on a scifi story for some time now, but I’m having trouble with the science part! The story has to be at least plausible or the readers will tear me to shreds. But the story’s plotted out. Now it’s time to get serious and do some research. I’m terrified, though, that my story will get bogged down and boring with too much explanation. You see! I still have a long way to go with this one. But I do like the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone.

 Kiran: Who is your all-time favourite gay fiction author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?

Dianne: My very favourite author has to be Poppy Z. Brite. Her novel ‘Lost Souls’ was the first book I’d read where two men’s love was handled delicately and sweetly. I was moved by their friendship and the care they took of each other. I decided then that I wanted to write my own love story, using this same feeling of compassion and fondness.

There are so many new authors out there with great books I couldn’t name them all, but here are a few of my favourites:

Vivien Dean

Gem Sivad

Alix Cameron

Marie Dees

Lee Brazil

Kiran: What can we expect from Dianne Hartsock in the future?

Dianne: Lots of stories, I hope! At the moment I’m working on a stand alone fantasy story involving gargoyles and witches. I also have the outline plotted for a sequel to Nathaniel, which will be my next project. I hadn’t planned on doing a sequel, but now that Nathaniel is out, I miss him and Taden, Miranda and the gorgeous, deadly Corin.

Thank you so much, Kiran, for having me here today!

And many thanks to you, Dianne, for taking time out to answer my questions! And now to find out more about the book…


From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he finds himself caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him thrilled and confused. The Sutherlins are planning to invade the beautiful Tahon Valley, but as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn to the young man. Not only does he feel the urge to protect him, but he feels an ache he hasn’t felt in many long years.

 Nathaniel claims to be a traveler from a distant continent, saying he comes in peace. True or not, the youth has powers beyond anything Taden has seen—control over men and animals and the very weather. Taden falls hard for the strange traveler, protecting him not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and accuse him of being a witch…

You can purchase Nathaniel from:


and find out more about Dianne Hartsock here:





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Queer Me Up Interview

This week I was interviewed by the readers of Queer Me Up about writing my short story Bedevil. If you’d like to see what I had to say click below!


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M/M Author Interview – Brien Michaels

I’m pleased to introduce you today to my fellow Etopia Press author Brien Michaels.

Kiran: What made you decide to start writing?

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 I’m also on Twitter and Facebook as Brien Michaels.

My books are for sale on the Etopia website, and on Kindle , Nook and from All Romance Ebooks 

Many thanks to Brien for taking the time to answer my questions!

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Bullies, Thugs, Statesmen and Lovers

It’s been a while since I’ve looked forward to reading a book as much as I’ve looked forward to reading The Hun and The General. And finally it is here! Not only do I get to immerse myself in a story of passion between two powerful men, but I also get the chance to grab Tristram La Roche and make him talk (not that he needs much persuading!). I’ll shut up and let Tristram tell you a little about the history behind the story, and give you a taste of what’s to come…. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feature on Queer Me Up

I was delighted to be invited for a feature profile and interview by Click on the banner below to take you to the feature –  and to find instructions for YOU to ask ME questions about being a writer. The interview will follow shortly.

Many thanks to Gus at Queer Me Up for this opportunity!


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Meet Paranormal Author Catherine Cavendish

I’m currently enjoying getting to know some of my fellow Etopia Press authors. I recently interviewed gay fiction writer Tristram La Roche, and this week I’m turning to the paranormal. Catherine Cavendish kindly let me ask her a few questions about her writing life.

Kiran: What made you decide to start writing?

Catherine: I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Even as a child, I would make up stories and write them in a notebook. Then, when I got my first typewriter, I would produce little magazines, with stories and feature articles. It grew from there.

Kiran: Have you always wanted to be published?

Catherine: Yes. I cringe now when I think of how unprofessional my first efforts must have looked! Over the years, I managed to come very close to mainstream publication on a number of occasions but it just wasn’t to be, until this year.

Kiran: How did it feel to sign your first publishing contract?

Catherine: As if my feet were off the ground and my head was floating in the clouds. Wonderful!

Kiran: Where did you find the inspiration for Cold Revenge?

Catherine: It all came from a conversation with my husband.  I can’t remember the exact context now but I mentioned the saying ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’ and then it suddenly hit me. What if it really was a cold dish? The rest, as they say, is history

 Kiran: Do you have any writers’ quirks?

Catherine: Probably! I do work best where there are no distractions which is why my workstation is in a quiet, windowless room. I hate being interrupted when I’m in full flow and never have music playing, although I know a lot of writers find it helps them.

Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?

Catherine: My husband and my mother are highly supportive. One cousin can’t read paranormal stories because she gets too scared! Close friends have also been very encouraging. My cat is in direct competition with me for use of the keyboard. I wouldn’t mind but she keeps winning.

Kiran: Do you have a favourite character from your own stories? If so, tell us who it is and why.

Catherine: I’ve grown very fond of Marnie, a character from my latest work in progress (currently titled, ‘The Devil Inside Her’). She is a wonderful friend to the main character and it takes a big heart and a lot of guts to go through what she experiences.

Kiran: You write paranormal fiction. Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?

Catherine: Gypsy Shadow (who published my light-hearted ghost story, ‘Say A Little Prayer’) will be publishing ‘The Dust Storm’ which is a futuristic story set in the 24th century, when much of Europe is a dust bowl and society has descended into a lawless wilderness.

Kiran: Who is your favourite author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?

Catherine: It’s so hard to pick just one! Stephen King is a great favourite but I also love Anne Rice and Barbara Erskine. From an earlier generation, Dennis Wheatley still chills. Away from the horror genre, I adore anything by Armistead Maupin. There are some stunning new authors out there in my genre. Deborah Harkness (‘A Discovery of Witches’), Michelle Paver (‘Dark Matter’), Julia Kavan (‘Dreaming Not Sleeping’), Steve Emmett (‘Diavolino’), Peter Giglio (‘A Spark In The Darkness’) are just some who immediately spring to mind. Out of my genre, Tristram La Roche (‘Fixed’) is my guilty pleasure!

Kiran: What should we expect next from Catherine Cavendish?

Catherine: I have just signed a contract with Etopia Press for ‘The Demons of Cambian Street’, which is all about an ancient evil residing in a quiet town on the English-Welsh border. ‘The Dust Storm’ will be out later this year, I believe and I am putting the finishing touches to ‘The Devil Inside Her’, which concerns a particularly nasty dream demon.

My website/blog is

Thank you, Catherine! I’m looking forward to ‘ The Demons of Cambian Street’ just from the title!

For no apparent reason, Nadine, Maggie, Gary, and Nick are invited to dinner at the lavish home of top fashion writer, Erin Dartford. But why has she invited them? Why doesn’t she want her guests to mingle? And just what is it about the mysterious Erin that makes them want to run for their lives?

Little do they know that as they prepare to eat their first course, an evil as old as mankind is about to be unleashed. And revenge really is a dish best served cold…

‘Cold Revenge’ is available from these ebook stores, in all the usual formats:


Barnes and Noble

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A Glimpse Of What Is To Come….

There are of lots of milestones that we pass on the journey to publishing a story, but my favourite must be the  first glimpse of the cover. So… here is the cover art for my erotic (MM) paranormal short story, Bedevil – created by Amanda Kelsey for Etopia Press.

Bedevil is scheduled to be released on 11.11.11. To find out more about the story click here.


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