Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Eloreen Moon – Eloreen Moon is a pen name for a writer, reviewer, beta reader/editor, and reader of all things romance, including alternate lifestyle (LGBT) stories and novels. Inspiration is all around and life will not limit her to one particular topic.
Thanks so much, Eloreen, for joining me!
Eloreen is giving away two eBook copies of her new book “Together” – enter via Rafflecopter:
J. Scott Coatsworth: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
Eloreen Moon: I primarily write in LBGTQ romance genre but like to have more than just one type of genre. I have urban fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, science fiction, and sometimes more than two or three. Most of what genre I write in is inspired by the story itself and what I like to read. I try to balance what the characters seem to want and what I think would be interesting to read.
JSC: How long have you been writing?
EM: I started writing November 2012 after a few author friends I had befriended through proofreading and reviewing said I should try to write. Writing went on hiatus off and on for a bit starting a few days later when I found out that I was getting let go from the day job at the time. The next few years had ups and downs with more work issues, new family members, and a house fire and its aftermath. It’s been an interesting five years. It’s only been in the last few years that things started to take off and I finally published more than one story a year.
JSC: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
EM: I’m a part-time writer. I work full-time and sometimes work takes up most if not all of my free time. I do have family and try to balance work, writing, and other stuff with them. It can be hard.
I have discovered over the years that writing helps with the stress of the work I do. I manage projects with clients and it can be very stressful. Someday, I would like to retire from my day job and just write. I’m not there yet but working towards that goal to write full time.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
EM: Definitely a pantster although I’ve discovered with the recent NaNoWriMo event in November that I will combine and become a planster. It was a strange thing, but I went with it. I doubt I will fully ever write a formal outline for my stories, unless I have help or co-writing. However, I will not say never to outlining.
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
EM: I wanted to depict an alternate lifestyle of three people growing into a relationship together. Since I am in a relationship with two other partners, I wanted to show that it’s not just two people who could fall in love together. This story had the goal of depicting a romance with at least one main character as a person of color and fit into an anthology with author authors with similar stories. I wanted to have multiple people of color and so wrote about Latino and African Americans as they laugh, love, and live just like everyone else. I’d like to think I achieved this goal pretty well.
JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
EM: Emmy Ellis with Studioenp did the cover. I love her style as she did the Beautiful Skin Anthology cover. Since she edited it for the anthology, she was nearly spot on with the cover. We did have to go back and forth a little on the title and name size, but that was really the only thing different from the first draft to the final version.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
EM: An astronaut despite the Challenger accident in 1984. I still studied Astrophysics in college but my eyesight would prevent me from training. I discovered computers in College and went a different direction.
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
EM: I was! I still read in my spare time. I read fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal along with romance. Even then, romance was my go-to genre but I loved it when it was paired with another genre. Probably why I like to do the same with writing and reading even now.
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
EM: Any realm that involves shifters of all kinds, especially dragons. That’s kind of what I do when I think of worlds to write. Paranormal and shifters are my favorite to write and read about. 🙂
JSC: What are you working on now?
EM: I’m working on editing and writing paranormal stories, including another people of color story for second anthology. For that one, I ended up with a series when I wasn’t paying attention. I have a few other ideas I would like to write and hope to have a one or more stories out in Spring 2019.
And now for Eloreen’s new book: Together:
Victor has loved El and En since high school. The problem is, they love each other and only see him as a friend. Victor leaves town, unable to cope with watching them together, but now he’s back—and his heart still feels the same.
El and En have had feelings for Victor for a long time, they just haven’t said anything. After all, a poly relationship isn’t something society looks upon kindly. But that isn’t going to stop them, not now they understand what missing Victor is like. They want their third, no matter what anyone says—they just have to find out whether Victor is up for the challenge.
Together again, individually, the three men know they’re meant to be a trio. The thing is, who will say so first? And will the dynamic work if Victor joins a stable couple? Can Victor fit in and have the relationship he’s dreamed of with the two men who have held his heart in their hands for what feels like forever?
Find out in Together.
Together was previously published in the Beautiful Skin: People of Color Anthology 2018
Sitting on the patio outside our favorite North Atlanta diner on a spring-like April Friday should not have been cause for melancholy. This was, after all, our regular weekly lunch whenever we were all in town. But it had been around this time, three years earlier, when my best friends, El and En—Miguel Armenta and Enrique Cruz—had dropped a life-changing bomb on me. I couldn’t help thinking back to high school when they’d told me they were moving in together after graduation.
My world had gone dark that day.
I hadn’t let it show. I’d hugged them gently, told them that they were my best friends and we would keep in touch, while hiding behind my shoulder-length black dreads. I quietly changed all my post-graduation plans, embarrassed that I was running but certain I didn’t have any other choice. My pain was too great. Fortunately, I hadn’t told them of my plans before it had happened. It was around that time I had begun to realize I had feelings other than a simple crush for my best friends in the months before we got our diplomas.
I almost had another panic attack shortly after heading for university when I realized I wanted bothof them; I couldn’t choose between them and proceeded to break up with my then girlfriend so I wouldn’t string her along for any protracted length of time than I already had. I had to get as far away from the ones I desired so I hightailed it to California like my ass was on fire.
The subsequent change of scenery had triggered a lot of soul-searching. During that time, I came to the realization that I could have feelings for both men and women. Following that, ménages were not unheard of as far as committed relationships went. I returned home from school three years later after graduating early with my newly minted degree in systems engineering. I went back to my hometown in Metro Atlanta because of the availability of tech jobs even though I knew returning would put me in their zone again. They had never left the small town north of Atlanta where we’d grown up. The lower cost of living in the region and my initial salary made it an easy decision. In reality, I had missed them while in school too much to stay away. I was sad sometimes but I had other interests and friends, kept in shape with kick boxing, and hung out with them on a semi-regular basis. I had made my peace to be near them again but was about to find out that may not continue.
I had taken another bite out of my sandwich while they had been quietly talking and reminiscing when a shout of surprise penetrated my consciousness. It was the expectant looks on their faces that finally registered, and I realized that someone had asked me a question while I hadn’t been paying attention.
I chewed quickly so I could focus on the two dark-haired, golden-skinned, Latino men sitting across from me.
“What? Did I miss something?”
My heart squeezed as I looked at their gorgeous faces. They both had slightly oval-shaped jaws, and mustaches, but En had trimmed scruff along his jaw while El was clean-shaven. My attraction to them had never waned, but I wasn’t going to break them up to satisfy my selfishness. I ignored the familiar pain, just as I had for the previous eight years, and waited for them to respond.
El rolled his dark blue eyes at my tendency to get stuck in my head and answered for them both. He usually did—being the one who was six-two standing and slightly taller than En, while En was the quieter one. El was protective of him, too. Considering En is a writer and El a lawyer, they fit. The thought flitted through my mind that I wanted to hold and protect them both. I mentally shook my head and focused on the repeated question.
“Vic, would you be our best man at our wedding in two weeks?”
I reared back in shock. “What! How? When did this happen?” I stood instantly to my full height of six-five, almost toppling the chair in my haste. Slightly embarrassed at my reaction, I continued to deflect, “Of course I’ll be your best man. Together?”
El and En stood with me, and we migrated close to each other as we talked.
At En’s nod, I continued, “That’s going to be some interesting coordination. Yes, sure! Where?”
I smiled through the searing pain that lanced my heart. I had gotten used to hiding my feelings from them for so long it was second nature.
Seemingly a little nervous, En showed the rings he had and said softly, “I just asked him now spontaneously.” He gazed at El lovingly while holding him around the middle, his head tucked under El’s chin, and his pretty brown eyes radiating happiness.
El wrapped his arms around him, grinning widely, and he eyed me intently.
“I said yes,” he confirmed as well.
“Awww, that’s cute,” I said, outwardly amused but inwardly I was shattered. “Sorry about missing the request the first time around. You know how I get lost in my head sometimes.” I walked the few steps to them and gathered them both in a group hug, my long arms almost encircling them.
I had no hope now, since I never saw any signs they were interested in me romantically, but I didn’t want to lose their friendship and so I’d never told them of my feelings. While I knew about polyamory, I wasn’t sure they did, and they never gave any indication that they were interested in something more than friends. I enjoyed the contact for a few more seconds then pulled back a little, catching my dreads in a loose ponytail with a hair looper I had on my wrist most of the time. “You haven’t figured out how to do the deed yet, huh?”
“Actually…we have,” El answered excitedly, practically jumping in our three-way hug. “We’re going to ask one of our friends who have their online ordination to marry us in Piedmont Park that Saturday. I’d been about to ask En tonight at home as I already got a marriage license last week.” He focused on En sheepishly, kissed him on the top of his short-haired head, and only separated some as he continued, “Apparently, great minds think alike and all as he had the rings with him today.”
Adorable. My heart turned over at how cute they were. God, I loved them so much. I’d thought it was just friendship with them growing up as I hadn’t ever had any feelings for guys. I’d liked girls as a kid and loved touching them. I’d noticed guys but only in passing, and it was fleeting, so I’d never thought about guys that way for many years. For fuck sake, I had a typical high school sweetheart cheerleader to my wrestling jock self!
It had never occurred to me that I was bisexual when I’d transferred to Appleton Middle School at the tender age of thirteen. My parents and I moved from Jamaica because of political unrest at the time. With a June birthday and different grade entrance laws in Georgia, I had to repeat sixth grade, so I was two years older than them. I was the ebony dark guy to their golden Latin American in a school system with only a smattering of non-whites to satisfy the diversity in the upper middle-class school system we had attended. People eyed me warily when I’d first arrived. Whispers of that N word and occasional other derogatory name-calling crept up over the years. I came to realize the stories of discrimination I had heard but hadn’t paid attention to before the move about the US in general, and the southeastern states in particular, were true. En and El became my best friends despite the lack of true diversity at the time and had me join them for lunches in the school cafeteria from day one. We’d continued the lunches over the years and only interrupted them when I went to college.
It hadn’t surprised me much when they’d started behaving differently with each other in sophomore year. They came out to me as gay about the same time they told me they’d begun their romantic relationship toward Christmastime that same year. It was a wake-up call, and I realized I had a crush on El first, then En invaded my heart later. Since I was eighteen at the time, I considered running from the feelings they evoked. Even then, I couldn’t leave as I didn’t want to lose our friendship. At Appleton High, I dated the head cheerleader, probably more due to being on the Varsity wrestling team despite the mixed-race pairing we were. I hadn’t understood why my heart ached even though I had no issues being intimate with Gwen until that fateful day that spring.
And now they’d done it to me again.
Eloreen Moon is a pen name for a writer, reviewer, beta reader/editor, and reader of all things romance, including alternate lifestyle (LGBT) stories and novels. Inspiration is all around and life will not limit her to one particular topic. She likes to read and write a blend of science fiction, fantasy, historical, paranormal, and sometimes more than one together, especially if romance is involved. However, cowboys, lawmen, and contemporary times are fun too. Love is love: Romance with a Twist.
In Real Life, she works full-time, has a blended family with children, and enjoys gardening, computer games, and nature.
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