Get ready…get set…READ…
Series: Spotlight, book one
Release date: December 17, 2015
Lilah Suzanne is in the hot seat!
What’s the easiest thing about writing?
I find dialogue to be the easiest part; a character’s voice is the first thing that comes to me when I’m writing, I “hear” them very clearly. I think it’s probably because I’ve always been a quiet person. I spend a lot of time listening to and observing people, the way they interact and speak in conversation.
Name one author (living or dead) you’d like to write with?
I don’t think I would be able to collaborate with an author I admire! Writing is so solitary for me, and I’d also be so intimidated by an author I admire that I’d just let them do their thing!
Tell us about your cover and how it came about.
I can’t really take any credit for the cover, it was all the genius of the art director at Interlude Press, CB Messer, and the cover artist Victoria S. They really managed to perfectly capture Grady and Nico’s story; the lights of the cameras and the beautiful suits, Nico’s hesitancy and Grady’s confidence. It’s perfect.
Is this book part of a series? Do you have ideas that could make it into a series? If it is a series, tell us a little about it.
Broken Records is the first book of my very first series! I’m really excited about it. The Spotlight series will center on the country music industry and Nashville, and I’m hard at work on the second book: Burning Tracks, which focuses on the women we meet in Broken Records: Nico’s business partner Gwen, her wife Flora, and Clementine Campbell, another country music star.
Word association. Tell us the first thing that comes to mind when you read these words.
Ketchup And mustard! Gotta have both.
Flakes Frosted. I have some of those in my pantry right now...
Elastic I go through a lot of hair elastics. My hair is so thick that they’re always breaking.
Timer When I’m cooking I think of the timer (and everything else about the recipe) as a mild suggestion instead of an important guideline. I’m not a great cook.
Google Essential. What did writers do before Google? I can’t even remember.
Los Angeles-based stylist Nico Takahashi loves his job—or at least, he used to. Feeling fed up and exhausted from the cutthroat, gossip-fueled business of Hollywood, Nico daydreams about packing it all in and leaving for good. So when Grady Dawson—sexy country music star and rumored playboy—asks Nico to style him, Nico is reluctant. But after styling a career-changing photo-shoot, Nico follows Grady to Nashville where he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Grady’s charms. Can Nico make peace with show business and all its trappings, or will Grady’s public persona get in the way of their private attraction to each other?
Categories: Contemporary, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S. with CB Messer
Grady presses his lips flat, looks up at the ceiling again to gather himself, sniffs and nods, then tugs Nico’s foot closer by his ankle. “Do you think... If we’d met at a bar. Or through a friend of a friend. Or the gym.” Grady’s thumb strokes the tender skin of Nico’s calf beneath the hem of his pants. “If we had just been two regular guys? We really could have been something.”
There’s a question in his voice, a hesitancy that maybe Nico would have rejected him eventually anyway. Nico scoots across the cramped bunk, crowds against Grady, shoulder to shoulder. “Well, we never would have met at the gym because I would have taken one look at you and gone home to mourn the body I’ll never have by consuming gallons of ice cream.”
Grady bumps his shoulder. “Shut up, you’re gorgeous.” He tips his head against the wall and grins. “If I’d first seen you at a bar I probably would have humiliated myself by trying to win you over with bad karaoke and shameless flirting.”
Nico’s eyebrows raise. “You mean to tell me you’ve been holding back on me? You have a level of flirting that’s even more shameless?”
“Oh yeah. You ain’t seen nothin’, sweetheart.”
“That is truly terrifying.”
Grady laughs, bright and uninhibited. Nico is so relieved to hear it, a moment of light in the darkness. Grady’s hand rests on Nico’s knee, Nico watches his own hand brush his fingers there, but he doesn’t linger.
“We aren’t, though. Just two random guys.”
Grady’s fingers flex, curving over his kneecap. “No.”
Nico exhales harshly. “I have never wanted to be a groupie so badly.”
Grady shoves at his leg. “Come on, you didn’t really think that I would do that to you—”
“In my weaker, more insecure moments?” Nico scrunches his face, embarrassed. “Yeah, I did.”
“You think that little of me, huh?” He says it with a teasing grin, but Nico’s heart sinks.
“No, Grady. I think you’re…” A million adjectives flash through his head: beautiful, amazing, stunning, compassionate, kind, generous. A supernova. He settles on, “Really special.”
Grady gives a skeptical lift of his eyebrows. “Uh oh. I’m really special, huh?”
“I’m so, so into you and it’s…” He cringes at the words but it’s true, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
“Oh lord.” Grady laments with a laugh. “Not that, please.”
“I’m the guy on the sidelines. I’m the one who makes everyone else shine. I don’t belong there, in the spotlight. I like that at the end of the day I can go home and just walk away from the cameras and the red carpets and the scrutiny. And you—you’re a star. And you can have anyone.”
Grady turns, the cramped space of the bunk making his limbs bump and nudge and curl around Nico’s body. During Grady’s shows, in the moment just before he starts singing the opening line of “Broken Records,” there’s this pause, this moment suspended in the air when the audience is silent and waiting and doesn’t even dare to inhale because in that moment, Grady’s soul is laid bare. He looks at Nico just like that and Nico can’t breathe around it.
“I don’t want anyone,” he says, voice low and serious. “I want you. How do you not get that?”
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It’s all about the author…
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of Interlude Press books Spice and Pivot and Slip. Broken Records is Book One in Lilah’s Spotlight Series.
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