Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playing House with Lee Brazil . . . an interview

Welcome everyone and all! I’ve been given the privilege to sit down with the talented Lee Brazil and ask him a few questions.

Now, I won’t lie, I’m nervous as all halibut. I’ve never ever interviewed anyone before . . . so I’ve decided the best way to make the least asset out of myself (yeah – good luck with that one right? lol) is to do this in a simple Q&A format. The less I babble the better off we all are . . . wish me luck in this endeavor? *** On a side note . . . I can’t think of a better person to be my first than Lee Brazil! *giggles* What?!? I was talking about interviewing . . . *innocent smile*

But first . . . let me please set the mood. I’ve popped open a nice bottle of wine and filled the crystal bowls with M&Ms (dark chocolate and peanut butter ones of course) . . . Lee is sitting across from me looking all kinds of debonair and I have situated some reading glasses on the bridge of my nose (no I don’t wear reading glasses but I’ve always loved that look).

So Lee . . . let’s start with a simple question to get us in the proper frame of mind . . .

What are you wearing right now?

*Chuckles* Now, you know I’m wearing my 501’s… they’re kind of faded and a bit ratty looking. Got a gray long sleeve t with ‘em.

Mmmmmm . . . throw in bare feet and your top button undone and baby we’ve a party going on! *slaps hands over mouth* Oh-kay . . . *fans face a little* . . . that was a bad bad question. *giggles*

Seriously now, I’ve read A Beautiful Silence and I loved it. The feelings you put behind your characters are amazing. Even though some would call this an erotic book I tend to label it a romance first, erotica second. The intimate scenes were definitely detailed and well written, but they flowed with the story; they weren’t just there to be there. Foremost this was a story depicting Mack’s need to finally have a real love in his life with Lex. What was your inspiration for this book and what determined this book to be your first published work?

Well, there are a whole lot of things that went into the writing of this book, but first and foremost, it was a story that just wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept coming back to me, over and over, and I decided that the only way to banish it was to get it down on paper, and as I did so, I realized that in some ways I was Mack, and I was Lex. We all are, I guess. The biggest stumbling block to relationships is communicating. Taking the things we think and feel on the inside and sharing them with others is the most difficult thing to do, because in doing so we face rejection. I took that chance once, and fourteen years later, here I am.

Which reminds me, congratulations on your anniversary that just passed; your blog post to your SO was wonderfully touching. Since you brought up communication I feel the need to be honest with you . . . my one complaint about A Beautiful Silence is that I feel there is more to hear from Lex and Mack. What are the chances of you continuing their story in a sequel?

I think there’s a very good chance that there will be a sequel, primarily because although Mack has shared his inner self with Lex, there’s quite a bit about Lex that is still a mystery to Mack. They’ve only just begun to realize that there are huge differences in their personalities and lifestyles that have to be overcome. Lex is a recluse, Mack is a social creature. No idea when, but I like to think there will be a sequel.

*eyes pop out* A sequel . . . note to self: one more thing to bug Lee about . . .

Now, you self published A Beautiful Silence, and you are now publishing through Breathless Press. What are the pros and cons to self publishing compared to going through a publisher; and are you open to the thought of self publishing in the future again?

When I finished Silence, I also had finished another story, called Loving Jacob. I looked at many venues of publishing. I knew for certain that e-publishing was the way I wanted to go for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t sure whether self publishing or working with a publisher would be better. So, I self pubbed one story and sent the other out to face rejection. Benefits? There’s a higher royalty rate to self pub. Negatives? You have to either be a damn fine editor or hire one. Cover art is tricky, and could be expensive. Promotion is entirely self directed. Breathless Press has taken care of all those issues, leaving me time to write, which I enjoy much more than messing around with technical stuff.

Would I do it again? Sure, as a matter of fact, The Story Orgy is self pubbing our first Anthology based on our last contest, And The Prompt Is. *chuckles* But you already knew that.

And we will definitely touch down about that antho in just a bit . . . but, speaking of Breathless Press . . . your first book with them is being released tomorrow. Keeping House is actually the first in a new series for you called Truth or Dare that is based on four very interesting brothers. First let me tell you I love the title of this series, can you give us a quick summary of the Blake brothers?

The Blake brothers are sons of a Hollywood movie studio owner and his actress wife. Brandon, the eldest son is a bit of a control freak, and that causes his brothers some problems. He has his reasons, mind you, but never the less. Dan, the second brother is a script writer and manipulative mastermind. He’s also the last brother to get his story told. Terry is the practical by the rules brother who handles the family finances. And then there’s Mischa, the rebel. Mischa is the youngest brother.

Do you remember the moment this series came to you?

Actually, no, I don’t. I remember that Mischa’s story practically wrote itself in a couple of days.

Don’t you just love it when a story flows like that! Now why do you think Keeping House wrote itself like that for you? What caused this particular story to work that way . . . what was your mindset when writing it?

Well, I’m not entirely sure. I think the characters were very clear in my head, and the story just unfolded step by step. There was no moment when I had to sit back at the keyboard and say, okay what happens next? I can tell you I wrote it in October, and the days were fairly sunny and warm, with the prospect of fall in the offing. Who knows? Sometimes the creative process is a mystery. Other times I sit and map a story out from beginning to end.

You are actually having a contest for the release of Keeping House . . . to enter just click here and leave a comment on Lee’s blog . . . any comment will do, it doesn’t have to be a dare; but that is what the contest is based on. So Lee, would you like to share a dare with your readers?

*askance glance @ Havan* Really? You’re going to put me in place like that? Sure. But I’ll have you know that I’ve never done anything really risqué, so don’t be surprised if it’s not a very dashing and exciting dare.

Once some friends and I were running around town and playing tag. We found ourselves playing in a 24 hour Wal-Mart. Someone dared me to tag the security guy. I did. End of story.

For the record . . . you can tag me any day . . . *coughs to hide smile* . . .

Everyone wants to know the secrets of their favorite authors, it’s human nature to be curious. Can you tell us one secret (preferably a lil juicy) about you that we don’t know?

Huh. Define juicy. Y’all already know I enjoy cooking, can’t dance, and read. My most common typographical error is to transpose the ng in words ending in -ing. Just kidding. That’s not juicy enough, is it?

Oh, how about this? I believe kissing is the most intimate and meaningful act between lovers. I’ve made a study of it. *chuckles*

*shakes self out of sudden juicy kissing daydream* . . . oops . . . sorry . . . *hangs head to hide smirk*

(Shameless plug in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . )

Now, you mentioned the Story Orgy earlier; and what a talented group of individuals they are! (okay I’m busted . . . I’m a member too . . . and I wouldn’t change it for the world! hee hee) There is a Story Orgy page on FaceBook that everyone is encouraged to peruse and like (makes getting inside info sooooo much easier ~~>click here<~~). The Story Orgy anthology And The Prompt Is . . . is being released soon, can you tell us a little about this group, the antho and where the proceeds are going to?

Story Orgy is a wonderful group. I really enjoy the experience and the support that we provide for one another. It spurs my creativity. The Antho is a collection of stories that we wrote for the winners of a contest. Readers wrote their own prompts and sent them in to us. We selected the prompts that inspired us and wrote a story between 3-10 K in response. The collected stories will be published in an anthology. The proceeds from the antho for the first 90 days of sales will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project provides much needed suicide prevention services to the youth of the LGBT community. I feel very strongly that it is a necessary service in today’s society. When scarcely a month goes by without some new tale of death by bullying makes the rounds, how can anyone doubt it?

I can’t agree more and I’m personally very proud of all six of us for being a part of this. Do you feel writing a blog story every Monday based on prompt words helps your writing abilities?

I do. Actually it’s very similar to writing exercises I used to do with my classes back when I taught.

That’s my sexy teach talking! hee hee . . . eeek . . . Oh-kay, and on that note I’ve obviously been serious for too long now . . . it’s making me get all itchy like and I can’t control what might pop out of my mouth *face palm* . . . so I gotta ask a few fun random questions. You ready for my version of a Round Robin?

Favorite food? Indian

Blow dry or air dry? (your hair silly) air- who the hell has time to hang around drying their hair?

Pajamas or none? Snort…. Sure…

Wine or top shelf, baby? Both, doll… sometimes the wine fits the mood and sometimes I want something stronger

Favorite color? Green – I love deep dark peaceful colors that signify renewal and tranquility

Boxer or briefs? (oh how could I not ask this one? lol) yeah, right… you know the answer to that one… waste of time!

Favorite movie? Are you ready for this? Big Jake. I am a huge fan of John Wayne. If that’s not what you are looking for, I have a ridiculous fondness for Johnny Dangerously.

Netflix or movie theatre? Netflix

Handcuffs or scarves or leather bindings? *cocks eyebrow and smirks* depends on the location… if you’ve got time to plan ahead, handcuffs are awesome, if you need something spur of the moment, a scarf can’t be beat, and whoever says no to leather?

*stops to wipe the drool from my chin* Okay . . . the next question that popped into my poor little head was wowza wrong . . . so that is my cue to wrap this up before I get myself into hot water! *heads desk while giggling* Lee, as always it’s my pleasure to chat with you; so thank you for allowing me to do it on my blog. Just to prove I’ve learned something from our little session here today . . . next time I get you in the spotlight I’m bringing the top shelf, handsome, and upping the ante . . . *eyes Lee up and down and up again* Keeping House is a wonderful story about two men finding themselves and each other and I look forward to owning it tomorrow!

Are there any last words you have for your friends and fans out there?

In the words of Ella Fitzgerald, “Just don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.”

*shivers* As usual you can bring me to my knees with just a few sentences my muse . . . *face palm* . . . thanks again for stopping by and below are links for his available and soon to be available works!

*waves* Ya’ll come back now you hear? *giggles*

A Beautiful Silence is available for the Kindle and in paperback . . . click here

Dr. Mackenzie Taylor has been happy with his life thus far. He’s got a successful career, a great group of friends, a terrific home on the California coast and a sexy younger lover. Mack’s just turned forty-five though, and thinks its time to settle down and start the family he’s always wanted. He doesn’t want to spend his weekends rushing out to his lover’s country hide away or waiting around for Lex to arrive in Newport Beach. He doesn’t want to wake up alone, eat take out meals or drink with his friends in local bars.

Mack’s boyfriend of two years is a reclusive writer of growing fame nearly twenty years his junior. While Mack has had his chance to sow his wild oats and be the life of the party, Lex has stayed close to home and lived a pretty sedate lifestyle despite his glamorous career and eccentric wardrobe. A long distance relationship has suited both men for the past two years, but things are changing, and they aren’t managing to spend much time together. The distance between them now seems to be more than physical, and Mack is discovering a new insecurity that has come with age, while Lex is discovering that success in his chosen career comes at a price.

Keeping House is available as an e-book come tomorrow from Breathless Press . . . click here

Donovan Holloway, advertising executive, newly made vice president of the company where he's worked for twenty years, grew up in a free love hippie commune, taking care of the parents who should have been taking care of him. He's worked hard to put himself through school and achieve the American dream. All he's ever wanted was a normal family life—house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids, a shaggy dog. A family to come home to—to care for, and to care for him.

Mischa Blake is the green eyed, liberally-pierced, black-haired, Mohawk-wearing spoiled youngest son of a Hollywood producer and his actress wife. Mischa has made a terrible mistake. In a fit of childish pique, he's accepted a dare from his older brothers. The dare? Live on his own, supporting himself completely for a year without accessing his trust fund. No problem. Except Mischa has never worked a day in his life, hasn't finished college, and has absolutely no skills that he can bring to the table.

So when he sees Donovan's ad for a housekeeper/gardener, he has nothing to lose by applying, because hard can it be?