Tell us about your recent Riptide release. What was the inspiration behind it?
Action is the second book in the Murmur Inc. series—which is a standalone—and it’s such a sweet, sexy story! I got the idea for the series when I was up late one night, and a commercial for a phone sex operator came on. I decided to do a whole series about the sex industry and the people who work in it. I even went “undercover” as a phone sex operator for two weeks as research. Each book focuses on a different kind of sex work. Action is about porn stars, and it depicts the biz in a way that’s both realistic and fun. Plus, the main character is a total sweetheart. He’s naturally shy, yet his job is to have sex in front of a camera. It makes for a gripping dichotomy. Especially when we meet his charming, sexy leading man.
What can readers expect when they read a story from you? What would you like potential readers to know about you and your books?
They can expect snark and sex, for sure. My sense of humor is very Joss Whedon-esque, and I’m a sucker for word play. I also tend to write relationship slow-burns with plenty of smut. Just because my characters have been banging since page four doesn’t mean they’re going to fall in love quickly or easily. But happy endings are a must, as far as I’m concerned. Also, while I try to approach serious subject matters—like stigma towards sex workers—with humor and fun, my books are intended to highlight these issues, not glissade over them.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing your latest release?
I’m much more romantic than I thought I was! My books tend to be low-angst, but I never thought I was the sort to write fluff until Action. Not to say that our boys don’t get into their fair amount of trouble along the way, but their romance is so sweet and so pure, I fanned myself while writing it. And I knew what was going to happen from the get-go! When I tell people the book is about porn stars, they expect a lot of sex—and it delivers on that—but you can also anticipate a sweet, touching love story.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I have this running joke: I write every book twice. When I’m writing it the first time, I don’t go back and edit until it’s completely finished. So, start to end, it might take me twenty-five days to get it down. But then when I go back and edit, I end up revising whole sections, and I change something in just about every sentence. That usually takes me another ten to fifteen days. I’d love to completely finish and polish a book in a month one of these days, but right now it’s more like two. Fingers crossed!
Describe your workspace.
I live in a one-bedroom apartment with no dining room, because I decided I wanted to have a reading nook instead. What does one person need a dining room table for, right? It also functions as my writing nook. I put a big, squishy gray chair in there and a gratuitous number of bookshelves. I also have a purple neon sign that says, “the end.” That probably seems ominous, but it motivates me to get to that last page of whatever I’m working on so I can tag “the end” onto it. This isn’t a part of the nook, but I also have a sticker on my laptop that says “just one more page.” It’s supposed to be about not being able to put down a good book, but for me, whenever I think I’m finished working for the day, I push myself to write/edit just one more page. Over time, it really adds up!
Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to cure it?
I don’t get writer’s block. I’m incredibly blessed I outline my books in great detail before I ever start writing, so I don’t get stuck. If I’m not sure about something, I ask my editors, and they are always able to point me in the right direction.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Oh wow. I have a whole notebook labeled “novel ideas” that’s brimming with the premises for my future projects. I want to write a book about twins and another one about a realtor and another one about tattooing and another one about a teen shifter and another one about a firefighter who suspects his new boyfriend might be setting fires to get his attention and another one about a guy who’s a lawyer for a genie and spends his days dealing with the angry clients whose wishes went wrong and a million other things.
Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote in general is from Lemony Snicket: “It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.” So, so relatable.
My favorite quote from my new book, Action, is, “It was like he’d won some sort of gene pool lottery, whereas Pete had been given a consolation toaster.”