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, Julie Lynn Hayes – Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.
Thanks so much, Julie, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
Julie Lynn Hayes: I started writing when I was about nine. I knew then that’s what I wanted to do forever. When I was in grade school, I won a creative writing award, but it wasn’t until I was in seventh grade and writing an historical short story that a friend of mine was reading as I wrote that I realized I was good at it.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
JLH: I don’t know that I have one particular style. Sometimes I write more long-windedly than others, sometimes more formally. I like to write in various genres, mostly within the realm of m/m romance: contemporary, paranormal, detective/mystery, sci fi… anything and everything. I think the unifying factor in most of my work is my quirky sense of humor, which I hope comes through in my writing.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
JLH: Before I wrote novels, I started with poetry and short stories, back before we had the Internet, and everything had to be mailed in. If you were lucky and a magazine published you, you would receive a copy or two of the magazine in payment, no money. That changed with the Internet. I began to write novels and to submit them. My first published novel was To the Max, which Dreamspinner published in March of 2010. It’s about a forty-something gay werewolf with a long-time lover who comes and goes as he pleases, and a mother who is more understanding of his being a werewolf than being gay.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
JLH: I don’t really have one. I write when I can, but I work a full-time job, and I also edit. My current series is Rose and Thorne, which are novellas, and I try to write them within about eight weeks.
JSC: Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
JLH: I don’t know how unique or quirky this is, but I have a tendency to become obsessed at times with a subject and immerse myself in it, whether it pertains to what I’m currently writing or not. Since my daughter introduced me to the musical Hamilton, I’m obsessed with the Revolution, and particularly all things Aaron Burr, whom I’ve adored for over forty years. I listen to the music on my daily commute, constantly. I just bought Hamilton/Burr shot glasses. Is that pretty quirky or what? lol
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
JLH: I would love to sit down with Mike Carey and discuss his thoughts on both Lucifer and Constantine.
JSC: What action would your name be if it were a verb?
JLH: Is fantasize a verb? I think that’s it, cause I’m always dreaming and wondering what if… and those thoughts often become stories.
JSC: What kind of character or topic have you been dying to try to write, but you’ve never worked up the courage?
JLH: I already slashed Judas and Jesus, don’t think I can top that. Although I’ve always wanted to write something about Hitler, but I suspect that will never happen.
JSC: If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?
JLH: I wouldn’t. The past is the past for a reason, never to be visited again. Unless you come up with a Time machine. Then, ask me again, and I’ll reconsider my answer.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
JLH: I’m working on the fourth book of my Rose and Thorne series, Mad Men and Gator Tales. With any luck, it will be available in February of 2017.
And now for Julie’s new book: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens:
Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.
Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?
Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!
The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.
Julie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one commenter on this post – include your email address so we can contact you. 🙂
“Remind me again whose stupid idea this lipstick was,” I huffed beneath my breath. Without thinking, I licked my lips. They felt greasy, and tasted even worse. I forced myself not to grimace, afraid it might crack the foundation I’d slathered on my face.
“Mine, you sexy beast,” came the smart-ass reply in my ear. “I think you got purty lips, mmhmmm.”
“Fuck you,” I growled. “You should be doing this, not me, and you know it. I did it last time.”
And the time before that. And the time before that. Wait, did I detect a pattern here?
“What I know is you look better in a skirt than I do. And you look damn good out of it, too.”
My cheeks suffused with heat at Ethan’s words. Luckily the darkness hid a multitude of sins, my embarrassment being the least of them. Hopefully, no one else was listening—I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Just what I needed—to be the object of ridicule of the Roanoke PD.
I pulled a compact from the purple paisley cloth purse slung over my shoulder and flipped open the mirror so I could assess my surroundings. I couldn’t see a damn thing. I growled again. I’d have to move closer to the half-assed excuse for a light this park possessed if I wanted to scope out the situation. The city fathers had been too cheap to install proper lighting, which is why they had this mugging problem to begin with.
“What’s wrong, Vinnie?” Ethan’s concern came through my earpiece loud and clear. He might aggravate me some of the time—or most of the time—but he always had my back.
“Nothing,” I muttered as I wobbled toward the light. These heels were ridiculous. How did women do it? I’d just gained an all-new respect for the fairer sex. They made it seem so effortless, while I possessed all of the grace of a wounded water buffalo. I’d tried opting for flats, but Ethan had nixed the idea. Said they wouldn’t go with the skirt. Plus he said the heels made my legs look longer.
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Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.
She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her greatest challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Wayward Ink Press.