A moment with J. Leigh Bailey and a new release
Series: Letting Go book 2 – can be read as standalone
J. Leigh Bailey
Release date: August 24, 2015
J. Leigh Bailey kicks ass!
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m an office drone by day in the Chicagoland area, and by night I’m the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBTQ romance. RECKLESS HOPE is the second book in my Letting Go series, and is an opposites attract story centered around two characters who have to overcome the stresses and disappointments of their past to build a happy relationship together. And, while doing this, they have to figure out who they are and, ultimately, what they want for their future.
Today I’m going to share with you what is, to this day, the highlight of my writing career. It goes back a few years, back when I hadn’t yet been published in novel-length fiction. I’d had some short stories published in anthologies, but I was insecure enough to believe that the stores didn’t count for some reason.
In 2012 I attended my very first Romantic Times Booklovers Convention held in Chicago. It was awesome and overwhelming and crazy and everything it should be. I argued with myself the whole time about whether to attend the craft workshops or the fan events. Seeing so many of the authors I’ve been reading for years was amazing. I totally encourage any writer or fan of romantic fiction to attend this conference at least once. The themed parties alone are worth the price of admission. But I digress.
When you register for RT, you have to indicate whether you are a Published Author, an Aspiring Author or a Reader. Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t really sure where I fit, so I chose Aspiring Author. The cool thing about being an Aspiring Author is that the Published Authors (and almost anyone else) would ask you what you write. I always said the same thing: “I’ve had some short stories published, mostly horror and paranormal, but I’m working on a Young Adult romance….”
On the day of the big book fair (where I didn’t have to be “author”, I could simply be “fan”, I stood in line for an autograph from the incomparable J. R. Ward. When it was my turn to get an autograph, she noticed my Aspiring Author badge and asked me what I wrote. When I gave her my standard answer, she looked at me and demanded, “Why doesn’t your badge say Published Author?”
I stammered something about not being sure if my short stories counted and then she reached out, pulled my badge from my lanyard, took her Sharpie marker and crossed off the words “Aspiring” and wrote “Kick Ass” instead. She then told me I needed to own it.
I almost died.
J. R. Ward called me a Kick Ass Author!
NOTE: I’m so mad at myself, though. I thought I saved the badge (who wouldn’t?), but when I looked for it so I could post a picture (Proof!), I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’ll keep digging, though.
I know that sounds more like a fan-girl moment (and believe me, it totally was!) but as a writer it taught me a valuable lesson. You need to own what you do. No one else can define you. I’m an author because I think I’m an author. That’s also true for owning what I write. For the longest time when someone asked me what I write, I simply said “Young Adult Romance.” Which is true. I would hesitate, though, to add the Male/Male piece to it. Not because I was ashamed of what I wrote, but because I was afraid of how people would react. Then I realized, that attitude was a problem. If people who write LGBTQ fiction can’t be open about what they write, how can LGBTQ people be open about who they are?
Now, thanks a great deal to J. R. Ward’s advice, I’m proud to announce, I’m a kick ass author who writes LGBTQ Romance.
Because, really, you’ve got to own it. If you don’t, who else will?
I am completely speechless…well okay, I’m never completely speechless, but I am fan-girling right along side you, J. What an awesome experience that any author would be (and am) envious of! I’m gonna stick a post-it to my computer…I’m a kick ass author! (and hopefully I will own it with you *hugs*)
What's life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you're Sebastian Carlisle. He'll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah's got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can't let them down. Or at least that's what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah's family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he'll let him.
Book two of Letting Go
Categories: New Adult, Romance, M/M Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”
You can find Reckless Hope here:
Let’s talk about J. Leigh Bailey:
J. Leigh Bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character's name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.
Find J. Leigh Bailey here:
**Remember…the more stops you visit the higher chances of you winning!
All of this brought to you by Pride Promotions ;)