Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Interview: Carol Lynne

Hello everybody. Today I have the great joy and immense pride to welcome an author that I particularly like. This is the first writer that I discovered in the genre of gay romance (before I did a Facebook account and meet all these other wonderful authors) and my love for her books has only grow over time: Carol Lynne.

The morning, you are tea or coffee?

Coffee all the way. Actually, unlike most coffee purists, I prefer Taster’s Choice instant coffee. Hate, hate Starbucks. I’m sure that answer alone will knock me down a few points in people’s eyes, but I have to remain true to my taste buds.


What kind of books do you write?

I write both M/F erotic romance and M/M erotic romance, but the M/M far outnumbers the M/F.


Why did you choose this genre?

Actually, I think it chose me. The first book I wrote was a ménage story, and I simply couldn’t understand how two men could be in bed together enjoying a woman without pleasing each other as well. After I worked my way through the three-way love story in that book, I realized that I really enjoyed exploring the emotional relationship between the two male characters. I guess that was it for me. Since that one story, I’ve written over one hundred gay erotic romance stories.


When you write, are you keyboard or paper?

Keyboard all the way. Thoughts come a lot faster than I can write, but I’m an excellent typist. Actually, I’m so used to typing that my handwriting has gone downhill fast. It’s like my fingers no longer want to grip a pen.


Are you more motivated to write when the sun shines or when the weather is gray?

It depends on what kind of story I’m working on. Sad scenes work a lot better when the weather is dark and gloomy. I assume it’s because my personal moods swing wildly with the changing weather.


Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere. Sometimes I see a photograph that gives me an idea for a story. Country songs also do it for me. Funny thing is, it’s never the words to the song that inspire me. I always picture two men doing the two step and the characters come alive in my mind. However, I rarely write a dance scene into my books. I’m not sure what that’s about. LOL


When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head, or is it built progressively?

I usually have fully formed characters in my mind before I start the book. I write long paragraphs of character descriptions before I begin. Most of the time, I don’t use all the information I’ve written, but it gives me a better sense of who these characters are. From there, I usually let them write their own story as they go.


How do you feel before the release of a book? Fear, joy? And after?

It depends on how emotional the book was to write. I really want and hope that people feel the story as much as I do while writing it. I always cry along with my characters. I feel what they feel whether the situation is full of hurt and anger, heartbreaking or beautifully joyful. I honestly feel sorry for my girls when I’m deep into a book because I carry the emotions with me even after I shut down the computer at the end of the day.


Between your first and last novel, do you feel a change? Do you write differently?

I think there are definite differences, and in my opinion, they aren’t all positive. The technical aspect of my writing has grown since my first novels, but in worrying about the ‘rules’ of writing, I think some of the purity has been lost. I still maintain that I’m a better storyteller than writer. I sometimes wish I could just sit on my couch and record the story as it plays out in my mind without having the additional challenge of writing it, but that’s not the gig I signed up for. LOL


They say that writers project themselves into the skin and into the head of his hero / heroine, is that the case for you?

In my case, it is usually the opposite. The characters that I write project their personalities and moods onto me. I do put personal experiences, beliefs and thoughts into my stories, but I think it’s a fair tradeoff.


You define yourself more like a bookworm, a city mouse or a country mouse?

I grew up in a small town in eastern Kansas and currently live about ten miles from that town. I like to joke that I needed to move to a town big enough to offer pizza delivery, which is actually the truth. When I have to travel to cities, I hate every moment of it. Give me open spaces, green grass and easy-going people and I’m a happy, happy girl.


Molière said: “Writing is like prostitution. First we write for the love of it, then for a few friends, and in the end for money.” What do you think about it?

LOL Tricky question. I have been a full-time writer since my first book was published in February of 2007. I have no idea why I’ve been so blessed, but I have never taken it for granted. Writing has changed my life. It gave me something to be proud of at a time when I honestly wasn’t sure if I could last another day. My father passed away one month before I sat down to write my first book. I believe it was his love that guided me through the first one. I wrote Finnegan’s Promise as a tribute to my dad. I’m not exactly sure if he’d be thrilled with the subject matter, but the emotions in that book are so real that it took me longer to write than any other. I could only work about two hours a day on that one because my eyes would swell shut from the outpouring of tears that continued to flow. After finishing the book, I realized that only a few particular scenes in the book are sad. I think the tears were my mind’s way of working through my father’s death and saying goodbye to him in my own way.


Your books have already been translated?

I have one book that has been translated, Extinction, but it didn’t do well in sales. I think that’s the problem. Good translations cost money, but if people don’t buy the books, publishers can’t get their money’s worth, so they choose to not translate.


Do you pay attention to literary criticism?

I used to, but I was born without that thick skin authors are supposed to have. I’ve realized that I’m a simple writer, using simple words and settings and that combination isn’t for everyone. I just want to be swept away by a story for a few hours. I don’t want to learn something or have to think too hard while reading a romance book, so I figure there must be readers out there that enjoy the same kinds of stories that I do.


The days are 25 hours. You spend that extra hour in the garden or in the kitchen?

Hmmm, can I answer neither? I hate to cook. I do enjoy sitting on the back porch or sitting on the dock down at the lake, but if I have an extra hour, the last thing I want is to work.


What is the book you would bring with you on a deserted island?

You’re mean. I would have to do a coin toss between Lawless and Paper Rose by Diana Palmer. Yep, she’s my favorite author, love stories written in a simple, easy style.


In the evening, do you turn off the light directly or do you take the time to read?
By the end of the day, my eyes are not able to focus enough to read. I usually turn off the lights, get into bed, put in my headphones and listen to audio books. There’s nothing better than a man’s deep voice reading me to sleep at night.

Campus Craving #17: Watch Me 

When you come to the end of a ten year search, what comes next?

As an eight-year-old, Zeke Straus couldn’t help his big brother Kade when their father kicked him out, but he vowed to find him no matter what it took. At the age of eighteen, Zeke struck out on his own to fulfil that promise. Now, after ten years of fruitless searching and living in rundown motel rooms, he lands yet another bartender job. The last thing Zeke expects is the attraction he feels for the club’s owner.

When Fallon’s on Fifth closes after its owner’s conviction, Reid Jackson and his best friend Alec Demakis decide to buy the bar and turn it into Clean Slate. When a sexy as sin bartender walks through the door to apply for a position, Reid finds he has several in mind he’d like to try with Zeke.

Kade Straus overcame his past and found the love of his life in partner, Lark. Although he’s often thought of the brother he left behind, guilt has kept him from contacting his family for twenty years. When he hears that a Zeke Straus with a matching birthdate was hired to work at a friend’s bar, he has little choice but to leave Cattle Valley and come face to face with a past he’s never confessed to Lark.

Zeke is torn between his unexpected feelings for Reid and reconnecting with the brother he’s devoted his adult life to searching for. He’s never found a place he wanted to settle down before, so now that his journey’s at an end, how will he choose where to make his home?
Zeke Straus stared up at the neon Clean Slate sign and shook his head. It was a typical gay bar in a typical college town. Unfortunately, he was out of money, again. He glanced at the newspaper in his hand. Finding a job as a bartender had never been a problem for him, thank God. His looks and attitude had always landed him the primo Friday and Saturday night shifts even if the bar already had a regular bartender. Needless to say, he was used to a hostile work environment between him and the rest of the staff.
Zeke never gave a shit if people liked him. The important thing was making as much money in tips as possible so he could move on. He stepped inside the bar and called out. “Hello?”
While he waited for an answer, he studied the place. He took back what he’d thought earlier. The interior of Clean Slate was nothing like the dives he’d worked in previously. Classy was the word that came to mind. “Hello?”
“Just a minute,” a deep voice called from the back.
Several minutes later, a gorgeous young blond appeared. He was closely followed by an older, muscular guy, dressed in an old pair of jeans and a white Clean Slate T-shirt. The smile on the blond’s face made Zeke wonder if sex was a condition of employment. Not that he minded. He was used to giving the boss man a taste of what he had to offer. He got a good look at the older man and decided he wouldn’t mind taking him for a ride at all. Fuck, the man was built. He could do without the short grey and black spikey hair that stuck up at odd angles, but everyone needed at least one flaw. Zeke had one testicle that hung a little lower than the other or else he’d be perfect. God didn’t like total perfection, so he always had to give something for people to obsess over.
“I’ll see you tomorrow night,” the little blond said, holding several new white T-shirts.
Zeke waited for the blond to leave before approaching the sexy boss. “I’m here about the bartender position,” he announced.
The man looked Zeke up and down. “I’m Reid Jackson, co-owner of Clean Slate.”
Zeke shook Reid’s hand. Zeke couldn’t get over the size of Reid’s paw as it swallowed his hand. “Zeke Straus, just a man looking for a job.”
Reid grinned. “Well then, let’s see what you’ve got.”
Zeke inwardly groaned as he reached for the fly on the best pair of jeans he owned. His zipper was halfway down before Reid held up a hand to stop him. “I’m flattered, but I meant make me a drink,” Reid clarified.
With no embarrassment whatsoever, Zeke zipped up. “Okay.” He headed around the bar. “What’ll you have?”
“Make me a margarita, a cosmo, a dirty Martini and a Long Island iced tea,” Reid instructed.
With practised ease, Zeke set about making the drinks in the order they had been given. “So, I take it from looking around that you aren’t open yet.”
Reid sipped the margarita before nodding his head. “It’s good, maybe one of the best I’ve had.” He took another sip before answering Zeke’s question. “You’re not from around here, are you?”
Zeke set the cosmopolitan on the bar. “Just rode into town yesterday. Why? Does that matter?”
“This place used to be called Fallon’s on Fifth until the owner fucked up and tried to kill a college kid. It sat dormant for months until after Fallon’s trial. My old college roommate, Alec Demakis, called me up and suggested I come to town and check it out. That was two months ago, and, to finally answer your question, yes, we open tomorrow night.” Reid tasted the cosmo. “You’re good.”
“Yep,” Zeke agreed. While he finished the last drink on the list, he caught Reid staring at him with a furrowed brow. “Is there a problem?”
“You’re small.” Reid dragged a hand through his short dark hair. “We’re hoping, with the new name, we won’t have trouble with the locals, but you never know.”
Zeke wanted to point out that five-eight wasn’t exactly small, but, comparing himself to the man on the other side of the bar, he guessed he could see why Reid thought it was. “I can hold my own in a fight if that’s what you’re worried about.” Hell, he’d fought off drunk bastards for years.
“I’ve already hired two security guys, and I hope to add a few more to the payroll. But, yeah, I guess I’m worried about someone giving you trouble.”
Zeke leaned against the bar. “Like I said, I can take care of myself.”
Reid nodded. “Okay, you’re hired.”
* * * *
Reid was finishing up some paperwork when Alec and Max walked into the office. “Hey,” he greeted his old college roommate.
Alec took a seat in the white leather wingback chair and pulled Max into his lap. “Are we ready for tomorrow?”
“I’ve got a few more positions to fill, but we’re good for now.” Reid reached across the desk and handed Alec several files. “Those are our newest employees.”
Alec started flipping through them one by one.
“Good,” Max said, pointing to the file belonging to the blond server Reid had hired. “Jeremy’s in one of my classes. I told him to come down and apply, but I wasn’t sure he would.”
“He doesn’t have much experience, but I figured with a face and body like his, most customers will be forgiving until he gets the hang of things.” Reid leant back in his chair. “The only one I’m sceptical about is Zeke Straus. He mixes drinks like he was born to it, but I’m afraid he might be a little too sexy for his own good.”
“Straus?” Alec questioned. “Any relation to Kade Straus?”
Reid shrugged. “I have no idea. He said he just rode into town last night.”
“I’ll have to find out,” Alec said. “Kade’s a friend who used to live in town. He and his partner moved to Wyoming several years back.”
“If he looks anything like Kade, I can only imagine how sexy he is,” Max spoke up. He received a sharp slap to his ass and a scowl from Alec. “Not nearly as sexy as you are,” Max added.
You can find Carol on Facebook and don't forget to take a look at her Website.


  1. Loved the interview, and this is one of my new favorite books by Carol. I'm totally hoping for a sequel somewhere down the line for these two guys!

  2. I've loved your writing for a long while, Carol (um...if I may call you that lol)...and now that I see you are a great person too - the enjoyment level just skyrocketed! :) Thank you my yin for doing these interviews *hugs* <3 :D