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, K.C. Faelan – KC is a writer of M/M and LGBT Fiction. Her stories are character driven, with a touch of humor, romance, and all the fun that entails. She believes in HEAs, or at least a strong HFN, where the characters in her stories must work for their HEA, but in the end get their love match. KC loves food and will often incorporate scenes of cooking or eating in the stories she writes. She enjoys relaxing with a good book, her favorite genre being M/M, but she reads many others, such as: Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-Fi. KC lives in Northern California with her husband and two rescue birds.
Thanks so much, K.C., 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?
K.C. Faelan: I was one of those people who said, “Maybe someday I’ll write a book.” It was one of those ideas to put on a bucket list but not take seriously. I know many writers are driven to write, they have to write, but I’m not like that, so the idea of writing a book has been there for a long time but only as a vague idea. It wasn’t until I beta’ed for my friend who was writing Harry Potter fanfic, that I began to get my own ideas for stories. She encouraged me to write those stories and so I wrote drabbles, and gradually those drabbles grew longer.
Honestly, I don’t consider myself good at writing. I think I can be entertaining, but there are many, many good writers out there and I don’t come anywhere near their abilities.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
KCF: I definitely write in multiple genres so I’d call it ‘Eclectic Romance.’ I’ve written two novels, Top Floor, a 1920’s Historical Romance, and Metamorphic Heart, a Contemporary Mythological/Fantasy Romance. My novellas are, If At First You Don’t Succeed, a humorous BDSM Romance, and my most mainstream book is Aligning North, a Contemporary Romance which takes place on a hike through Yosemite. I plan on tackling the Paranormal and Mystery genre, and something for Halloween that isn’t horror, but maybe a touch creepy. Although it’s likely to turn out humorous instead because I can’t keep the silliness and humor out of my stories.
I like my books to end with HEAs or strong HFNs. The angst is usually light because I want people to feel good, not bad. This may change in the future, but for now, readers will likely find that my stories won’t make you cry, unless it’s from tears of happiness.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
KCF: My first published work was my novella, If At First You Don’t Succeed. It was written for the Goodreads M/M Group’s DRitC event, Love’s Landscapes, in which over two hundred prompts were received. Members of the group submitted a prompt image with a blurb to help get the writer started on the story. The image and the blurb were posted to the group and authors could select which prompt they wanted to write. I selected the BDSM prompt posted by LisaT because her prompt was pretty open, allowing me to get as wild or sedate as I wanted, as long as the story retained its comedic charm. As soon as I saw her prompt I wanted to tackle it. Scenes had already started to play out in my mind and Julien, one of the MCs, immediately began to chatter and didn’t stop for the whole story.
If At First takes place over a week and is about an established couple, Evan and Julien, and their attempts to spice up their sex lives with kink. Even though the blurb says there’s BDSM in it, I’d say it’s rather vanilla. Many readers that have reviewed the book say it’s not about the kink, but about the love between the two MCs and their hilarious misadventures. Towards the end of the story, another character, Michael, a firefighter, is introduced.
I’d like to write more stories with Evan, Julien and Michael, but I don’t know when that will happen.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
KCF: I don’t think I really have a writing process. Most of my stories have been written to a deadline, although I don’t like having one. The stories have also been written for a specific topic like the books I wrote for Beaten Track Publishing’s anthologies. I’ve found that image prompts are very helpful for coming up with an idea. From that point, either I’ll get a full blown plot or only a scene. If I only get a scene, it’s likely the scene will remain a plot bunny. I’m not sure if that makes me a plotter or pantster. I usually don’t write the plot down. I know where each scene needs to go within the story, and it’s easier to rearrange the scenes in my head if I need to, rather than write them down and change them in a word doc.
JSC: Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
KCF: I’m actually pretty ordinary I think. But, I’m a night owl and I mean a real night owl. I often stay up until 3:00-4:00am which is later than usual for night owls. I read a term for the people who stay awake even longer than usual, something like two percent of the population, but I don’t remember the phrase at the moment. I’m usually up at the same time my editor/publisher, Debbie McGowan of BTP, is awake over in the UK, which is convenient if I have any questions for her.
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
KCF: I’d definitely want to sit down with JK Rowling, but I don’t know if I would make coherent conversation because I tend to be awkward around people I admire.
JSC: What action would your name be if it were a verb?
AUTKCFORNAME: Introverted. I know many writers tend to say they are, but I definitely am. I will sit and listen or watch, rather than talk unless I know you well or if I have strong opinions about an issue. I have difficulty with small talk, and interacting with large groups of people, but on the other hand, I love to joke around too.
JSC: What kind of character or topic have you been dying to try to write, but you’ve never worked up the courage?
KCF: It’s not for lack of courage I haven’t written what I’d like to write, so much as having a plot outline. I have numerous scenes waiting to be expanded into complete stories, but in the meantime they stay locked up in a plot bunny word file.
One book I’d like to write however, is a mystery with a male protagonist. Someone like Cadfael from the Brother Cadfael books, or Detective Poirot series. Not a historical story necessarily, but contemporary, maybe with a bit of paranormal thrown in. But my aim is to write a good mystery at some point.
JSC: If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?
KCF: I don’t think there’s a span of one year that I’d want to live over. I have moments, events, and decisions I wish I could redo, but not a whole year. I’d rather have another year of a healthy life tacked onto my lifetime instead.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
KCF: I’m reading and writing reviews at the moment. After writing two novels and a novella last year, I burnt out and haven’t focused on a project yet. As to when I’ll take up writing again, probably after I’ve read my hundredth book of the year. Last year because of all my projects, I barely read at all and I missed it. So this year I’ve put reading first, and writing second.
And now for K.C.’s new book: Aligning North:
Blake Manning spends his summers in his favorite national park, Yosemite. He runs an outdoor adventure company with three friends. This year he and his BFF/business partner, Ali, will serve as guides for a hike over the Grand Traverse Trail. Blake will find it’s not nature or the wildlife that are most hazardous, but traversing the uncharted waters of a potential relationship with one of the hikers, Zac North, who doesn’t appear all that happy about being the object of Blake’s attention.
Stormy weather and stormier tempers keep all the hikers on their toes as Yosemite tests them, bringing some closer together…and breaking others apart.
Part of “Summer Bigger Than Others – A Summer Anthology” from Beaten Track Publishing.
K.C. will to give away one ebook copy of Aligning North – just comment on this post for the chance to win – answer this question and include your email address: ‘What is your favorite National Park you’ve visited or would like to visit?”. It’s available in epub, mobi or pdf.
“You’re going to catch one of those proverbial flies if you don’t close your mouth and stop drooling,” said a voice close to Blake’s shoulder.
Blake started, his mouth snapping shut with an audible click, and turned his head to find his fellow guide and best friend, Ali, scrutinizing him. He smiled. “My mouth wasn’t open, and I wasn’t staring,” he denied.
“Then what about those holes burned through your sunglasses?” Ali wiggled her fingers in front of Blake’s eyes.
“Okay, I admit it. He’s hot.”
“More like I want to drag him into the trees and jump his bones right now kind of hot.”
He shot his best friend a cocky grin. “I would if we had time, but we’ve got a hike, remember?”
Ali shook her head. “Just be careful with him. He’s sending out clear don’t get close vibes.”
Blake turned his attention back to the lean young man. Zachary, if Blake remembered his name correctly, was almost as tall as his own six feet, two. The short-sleeved, dark-blue, t-shirt stretched tight across his chest and showed off toned pecs and biceps. Dark brown hair was trimmed close on the sides but thicker on top—the perfect length to fasten his fingers in. Zachary’s full bottom lip tempted Blake to nibble it, and he caught himself biting his own. But Zachary stood rigid, and alone, at the back of the group, not making small talk. He’d also kept to himself on the bus ride into the park and during orientation at the hotel yesterday. He’d hardly said a word to anyone except during the introductions. Zachary was either shy or miserable. Whichever it was, Blake prided himself in helping people feel comfortable. He shrugged. How hard could it be to get Zachary talking?
Zachary swiped at a fly zipping around his face and turned, catching Blake staring. Blake flashed him a friendly smile, but Zachary turned away. Okay, so he was getting the cold shoulder right now, but he was up for the challenge. The hike was seven days. He was determined to get at least one smile out of the guy.
Everyone’s finished with their last pit stop,” Ali said, interrupting Blake’s reverie. “You ready to get this started?”
“Yup. You want to give the speech?”
“You give it. It’ll give you a chance to impress your intended.”
Blake snorted. “I can see you’re going to be your usual charming self this trip.”
“And you love me for it,” Ali quipped, smirking. She strode over and leaned against the sign marking the beginning of Fernandez Trail Head.
“Can I have everyone’s attention?” Blake called out. “I’ll give you a quick run-down of what to expect today.” With all eyes on him, he continued, his deep, clear voice carrying easily to the five hikers gathered around him. “First, I want to bring up one more time, that this is a moderate-to-strenuous backpacking trip. It’s not for beginners. We don’t want anyone to overstretch their limits, so if you think you aren’t capable of completing the hike, it’s perfectly fine; the shuttle driver will take you back to the hotel.”
Blake paused and looked around, waiting for any last-minute changes of mind. But no one spoke. “Okay then. We’ll hike about six miles to Staniford Lake where we’ll make camp. It’s an easy-to-moderate level trek. We’ll eat lunch on the go to allow us to reach camp early. Once we arrive, we’ll set up our tents. After that you’ll have time to explore the area on your own while we cook dinner for you. The rest of the evening we’ll spend stargazing and hanging around the campfire.
“Ali will lead, and I’ll bring up the rear. Don’t worry if you’re not a fast hiker. No one will get left behind. If anyone has any questions about the plants, animals, geologic formations or about the hike itself, feel free to ask. Between the two of us, we’re a fountain of knowledge.”
A smattering of laughter followed Blake’s statement.
“All right then, does anyone have any questions?” Blake waited, but no one spoke. “Let’s go.”
Ali stepped out onto the trail first, followed by the married couple, Lori and Kerry. Close on their heels was Chris and his boyfriend, Jeff, with Zachary and Blake bringing up the rear.
The early morning drizzle had turned into a light rain, but the tall fir and pine trees they hiked under protected the group from most of the precipitation.
Blake never tired of the forest and mountain vistas around him, but right now the view he favored most hiked a few feet in front. With each step, strong muscles flexed in Zachary’s calves. Too bad he wore loose shorts because Blake was in a prime position to appreciate what hinted at a firm, round ass.
Distracted by his daydreaming, Blake walked straight into Zachary’s backpack. “Whoa, sorry,” he said grabbing onto Zachary as he lost balance. “Is something wrong?”
“No.” Zachary shook his head. “I wanted to hear the forest.”
Light raindrops pattered on their baseball caps, and a gentle breeze brushed past them, shaking larger droplets loose from the needled canopy above. Mountain Chickadees hopped and flitted from branch to branch calling out to each other.
Blake motioned for Zachary to follow him behind some low, drooping pine boughs. Once screened, Blake raised the back of his hand to his lips and blew. A screeching raspberry broke the quiet. Zachary jerked his head in Blake’s direction, his mouth dropping open. Blake brought a finger to his lips then blew on the back of his hand again. In seconds, a small group of little gray birds with black heads and a white stripe over their eyes peered down at them from overhead, chirping excitedly as they maneuvered to get a closer glimpse. Their curiosity soon satisfied, the chickadees resumed their search for food and disappeared into the forest.
“Hey, that was cool.”
Blake beamed. “One of my many talents as a guide.”
“What were they?”
“Short-tailed Mountain Chickadees. They’re very curious, and any unusual noise gets a few of them to gather for a closer look.”
“I’ll have to remember that trick.”
Zachary headed back to the trail and Blake stepped to his side. “Zachary, right?”
“Yeah, Zachary North. But you can call me Zac.”
KC is a writer of M/M and LGBT Fiction. Her stories are character driven, with a touch of humor, romance, and all the fun that entails. She believes in HEAs, or at least a strong HFN, where the characters in her stories must work for their HEA, but in the end get their love match. KC loves food and will often incorporate scenes of cooking or eating in the stories she writes. She enjoys relaxing with a good book, her favorite genre being M/M, but she reads many others, such as: Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-Fi.
KC lives in Northern California with her husband and two rescue birds.
Beaten Track Publishing: K.C. Faelan