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Musa Author Interview: Viki Lyn


Today’s author is one of a different breed than we usually see around here. Her name is Viki Lyn, and she writes m/m romance. She’s written several books and worked with Musa Publishing for quite some time, but today she’ll be talking mostly about a novel published by Loose Id entitled The Hunter Within. Please give her a warm welcome.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, The Hunter Within?

The Hunter Within is a sequel to The Tiger Within – an m/m shape shifter romance set during the late 1940’s. Antoine, a shape shifter white tiger, has fallen in love with agent Jack Hunter. Both are agents with a shadow organization that fights other worldly creatures. Jack had been captured during the war and experimented on – becoming a super soldier of incredible strength.

Because of his new identity, Jack has to leave behind his wife and his past. Closeted, he is not comfortable with his homosexuality, but Antoine doesn’t give up on his soldier. In The Hunter Within, Jack must come to terms with his sexual nature, and his love for Antoine, and if he should tell his wife the truth, that he IS alive.

2. When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?

When I sold my first story, I realized that I enjoyed having my book published. I also began to take writing seriously, knowing while it was a creative outlet, and I had a passion for writing, I also had to treat it as a business. Sometimes the business aspect of writing gets in the way, but I love my job!

3. You write gay romance. Do you find it difficult to write from the POV of someone who is a different gender than you?

My first books were m/f romances – seven published books before I switched to gay romance. I always enjoyed writing male characters. They were just more interesting to write.

4. What are some of the things you do to get into the POV of your characters?

I live with my characters in my head. Ideas about how they behave come to me at weird times – in the shower, driving, sipping coffee at the coffee house…I’m always on the alert. Sometime I play act the scene. A fellow writer taught me that trick, and it works.

5. Why–other than the hot boys, of course–did you choose to write m/m romance?

I love reading the genre, and therefore, love writing it. As I said before, I prefer writing the male POV, so it makes sense I’d love writing the POV’s of two male characters.

6. How much planning do you do before each novel?

It depends on the length of the novel, and if it’s a contemporary or paranormal. Paranormals take more world-building, therefore more research. Right now I’m writing an angel story. I have done plenty of research on Catholic angelology, Latin phrases, and Greek architecture…it goes on and on. And, I’m always changing my story line – although I already wrote the synopsis for it! I tend to write the first three or four chapters without an outline, and then I go back and plot out the story. So I’m a pantser and plotter.

7. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you make it easier for yourself?

Staying focused. I like having odd hours and I have another life besides writing. I love spending time with my friends and family – and they are my priority. I don’t work well having a set writing schedule. I probably would publish more books if I did, but I don’t work that way. I publish an average of three books per year.

8. Can you tell us a bit about the process of creating a submission package?

Sure. All publishing houses have their own submission process, so be sure to go to their website and see what they need. Usually I submit the first three chapters and a synopsis (think of a synopsis as an outline of the story, including the ending). The email contains my query – which tells the editor the genre, word count and a short blurb of what the story is about.

9. What do you think is the most important piece of advice for aspiring writers to remember?

To never give up – and keep writing. I have been publishing books since 2006. I still get rejections, and I learned to shut out bad reviews. I focus on writing, and improving my craft. My main goal is to write entertaining romantic stories for my readers. As long as they are happy with my work, then I’m happy.

10. What are you working on right now that readers can look forward to?

I wrote a short story – Lover’s Trill – about two musicians who reunite in Vienna, giving them a second chance at love. It’s included in More Love Notes anthology published by Musa Publishing.

I finished John’s Match, Book 3 of my Woodland Village series. It’s a contemporary romance set in Woodland Village – a fictional East coast town. The first book is Blue Skye, and the second book is Ryan’s Harbor. In John’s Match, the boys are back! Skye, Drew, Ryan and Martin and John Kramer, Ryan’s CFO and VP. He meets up with a temperamental writer, Scott Marwick. It will be released this April with Musa Publishing.

I want to write book 3 of my vampire series I have out with Loose Id (Last Chance and Fighting Chance). I’m toying with the idea of writing Victor’s story – Corbin’s Kresnik uncle. We’ll see how far I get with this. I have all sorts of ideas in my head, so we’ll see which character cries out the loudest!

Bio: Once I wrote my first gay romance, I was hooked. Now I write about two sexy men as my heroes instead of one.

What inspires me – the reality that romance between lovers is a hope more than a guarantee. My stories are an eclectic mix of contemporary and paranormal, but it is always romance that drives the story to its final happily-ever-after.

I drink a book a day for nourishment. Collect yaio and comics. I’m totally in lust with the Dark Night and his prodigal Robin aka Nightwing!

There’s nothing better than trying out a new restaurant with close friends, having dessert and coffee at my local coffeehouse or laughing hysterically with my sisters over silly things. Some of my favorite movies reveal the truth, that I’m a sentimental girl at heart: Something’s Gotta Give, Latter Days, Lord of the Rings, Sense and Sensibility and North and South (the BBC series).

You can purchase The Hunter Within here.

Author Interview Lydia Nyx

Today I’m excited to feature Lydia Nyx, author of the White City series by Torquere Books. Lydia writes male-male romance of varying heat levels, but really, I should let her introduce herself and her work.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your White City series?

The series at present time is meant to be a trilogy, though we’ll see how that works out. If it does go beyond a trilogy, the setting will probably shift somewhere else and I’ll be addressing some of the core issues of the main character. Goodness knows he’s got enough baggage to explore. I tried to do some things with this series that I haven’t seen before in urban fantasy, including using some very different mythologies and giving the characters supernatural abilities that are lesser explored in fiction. I’m also trying to put a different spin on vampires, which feature more prominently in the second book.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?

When I was a freshman in high school. That was when I started writing for ‘fun’ and filled notebook after notebook with stories. I was a huge Stephen King fan at the time and I decided I wanted to be just like him, which was what got me started seriously writing. I’m sure the seeds must have been there before though, or I wouldn’t have stuck with it.

3. How did you get the idea for your White City series?

The first book started out completely different than the way it ended up. It actually had a female narrator (who isn’t even in the story anymore), a somewhat different plot, and Jude was a secondary character. Then I later realized Jude wanted to tell the story and he was much more interesting, so I moved him to the front. That meant rewriting the whole thing. But even that rewrite didn’t stick, because I had him with a completely different love interest (who also isn’t in the story anymore) and I rewrote it again. So as you can see, this story has gone through a lot of terraforming and the ideas in it have been shaped by two major rewrites.

4. What are some of the challenges of planning a series?

Continuity. Making sure you don’t contradict yourself or leave something out. Or forget something that was important before. I have flowcharts and notes that would make a person’s head explode and I still stumble around a lot.

5. Your White City series takes place in Chicago. What kinds of research did you have to do to make your story fit in this setting?

Unbelievable amounts! I’ve been to Chicago three times and I love the city, but I had to do so much research I feel like I know more about Chicago than anyone who doesn’t actually live there ought to. And I’m still learning.

6. How do you edit a novel?

I usually do an initial comb-through and rewrite, then go through it again, and if I change a bunch more on that pass, I go through it yet again. You actually have to make yourself stop editing at some point or you’ll drive yourself insane. Then of course, once a publisher picks it up, you’ll go through even more edits with your editor. By the time the book comes out you never want to look at it again.

7. Do you find yourself making revisions to your long-term series plans when you finish one of the individual books?

I’m a very organic writer in that I go with the flow and know very little about what’s around the bend. So with every chapter I write, I’m shaping what comes not only in the rest of the book but the book following that.

8. What piece of advice do you think is most important for aspiring writers to remember?

You have to write. It sounds so simple, but it’s actually the hardest part of writing. You have to write every single day, tirelessly, with absolutely no guarantee it will ever amount to anything. Not very inspiring, but that means you have to write for the right reasons–yourself and your well-being.

9. What are you reading right now?

Prisoners of Twilight by Don Robertson. It’s a very dark, gritty story of the Civil War.

10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?

The sequel to Black Shore of the White City, titled Red Rain in the White City. It’s very nearly done–at least the first draft, that is!

Bio: Lydia Nyx is from Cleveland, Ohio. She writes everything from contemporary to historical, as well as paranormal, horror, and urban fantasy, and she prefers all her fiction with a male/male twist. She currently resides in a little apartment with her teenage son and a crazy cat and spends countless hours of the day entertaining the dirty fantasies in her head. As a ‘day job’ she works as a waitress, which gives her lots of free time to slack off and plot stories. Writing since the age of 13, she has always wanted to be an author, and hopefully one day writing will be her only ‘day job.’

You can purchase Black Shore of the White City here.