Friday, March 31, 2017

In the Spotlight with Bayou Book Junkie: Author Lane Hayes (Giveaway)

It has been an absolute pleasure having Lane Hayes as our Author of the Month for March and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. Thank you for being so awesome, Lane, and we hope you know our virtual doors are always open for you!

And to all of you, Junkies, thank you for your participation, it was awesome reading all your answers to our questions! Hope you join us on Monday to find out who our Author of the Month will be. 😉

Today we are thrilled to welcome one of our favorite authors to Bayou Book Junkie and our Author of the Month, Lane Hayes. I discovered Lane's books not long after I started reading MM. She quickly became one of my favorites, as well as a definite auto-buy author. A former interior designer, Lane is now retired and is a full-time writer, in between caring for her hubby and almost grown children. Lane has published 13 books, her latest Leaning Into The Fall, released on March 15, 2017. After I discovered Lane's books, I also quickly discovered Lane herself on twitter. Lane is very active, open and friendly on social media. She's always willing to take the time to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Lane and I share a love of New York City, sports and Starbucks, although she prefers tea, while my addiction is iced coffee. ;) Lane lives in beautiful Southern California with her husband and daughter, while her two sons have left home, one for college near home, while the other has graduated college and lives in San Francisco, the setting of her latest series. On a side note, I'm attending GRL, GayRomLit retreat, in October and Lane is one of the top authors I can't wait to meet in person!

Tracy: Hi Lane and welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself and your current project(s).
Lane: Hi there! Thank you so much for having me. I’m so honored to be Author of the Month at Bayou Book Junkie! A little bit about me…hmm. You covered the basics above, lol. I’m a Midwest girl who wound up in California thirty something years ago and never left. I’m also a lifelong lover of romance novels. In the back of my head, I think I’ve always wanted to write them. But it seemed so daunting and more complicated than simply putting words on paper. Once I discovered MM, something clicked and I was driven to really give it a try. I’ve never looked back.

Tracy: Each of your series are set in different part of the country, Washington D.C., Southern California, New York City and now San Francisco. So, tell us, are all these settings just an ruse to get your husband to take you on vacations? Just joking! Tell us what's special about each of these locations and what inspired you to set your stories there.
Lane: Ha! I love to travel, Tracy! Any ruse will do. My love of travel has definitely inspired the settings for each of my series. In each case, I felt comfortable weaving a story in these cities because I’d spent a lot of time in each one. I live in SoCal, my son lives in San Francisco and I love New York City. We make a jaunt to the East Coast a few times a year. DC is the only one that’s a little different. I’ve only been there twice, but it made a big impression. In a way, it felt as though Aaron and Matt told me where they lived rather than me choosing the location. Funny, eh?

Tracy: Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing come from?
Lane: I should probably credit my parents. My father was a college professor and my mother is a voracious reader. There were always stacks of books lying around our house. I looked forward to excursions to the library and bookstores as a kid. Heck, I still do! There is nothing I love more than a room filled with books! 

Tracy: How did you discover the MM genre?
Lane:  My oldest son is gay. I’m obviously very supportive of him, but there was a time I was at an absolute loss about how he was feeling and how to communicate my support. The truth is I didn’t know many gay or out people and I thought I should do some research. Sure, I found educational tidbits but I also found things I wasn’t expecting like “Queer as Folk”. I became obsessed. Seriously. I watched every episode multiple times and when I couldn’t find something that resembled in on television, I found something better…fanfic!  LOL. It got me thinking that if people were reading and writing fanfic, perhaps there was such a thing as gay romance. Lo and behold, there was! I was hooked from my first one. Some were better than others, but what I loved most of all was that each book gave me a wonderful sense of hope that spoke to me as a mother of a gay son. This was what I wanted for my son… love and uncompromising hope.

Tracy: What is the most satisfying part about being a writer?
Lane: I love making the world in my head come to life and best of all… I love sharing it with other people, who thankfully seem to get it and want more. It’s an incredible feeling.

Tracy: Which character, from any of your books, was the easiest to write? And which was the most difficult?
Lane: Matt from Better Than Good was probably the easiest because he was first. I had no expectation. He was a simple guy telling his side of a not-so-simple tale. Rand from A Kind of Truth was the same way. He’s not overly complicated. He knows what he wants. It’s the situations unfolding around him that throw him off stride. LOL. I would say the most difficult was Zeke from A Kind of Romance. He has years of built-up anger and frustration, but he isn’t an unhappy man. Finding the balance between his lighter side and deep-seeded resentment was tricky at times, but very worthwhile. Zeke and Benny’s story is one of my favorites.

Tracy: Is there a character in your books that you can’t stand? (Antagonist for example) And what makes them someone you don’t like?
Lane: That’s a tough question. I guess I would say Tonio from The Right Words and The Right Time. He’s Alex’s semi-supportive father who thinks DADT wasn’t such a bad policy. He isn’t a bad man necessarily so I can’t say I hate him, and let’s be honest, his attitude drove two storylines, lol. However, I hate his small-minded intolerance. 

Tracy: What book do you wish you could have written?
Lane: Oh wow. That’s a tough question. I’m going to say Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice. I love the way she created a unique world with largely unsympathetic characters and made them somehow relatable. Multi-faceted characters with a lot of depth are my weakness!

Tracy: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
Lane: Hmm. Well, I did ballet for years but I couldn’t stand in toe shoes now to save my life. J

Tracy: And before we go, Jaymie and Mari have questions, too. Sorry ladies, I've been rude and have monopolized all of Lane's time.

Jaymie: Have you ever wanted to try a different genre/sub-genre like paranormal or mystery/suspense etc...?
Lane: Yes! I love mystery novels. At some point, I can see myself branching out and trying something new. There’s a tiny bit of suspense in my upcoming novel, A Kind of Home, #4 in that series. My intent wasn’t to add a whole new element but it fit for the story. At least, I think so. LOL

Mari: You've been very vocal regarding why you started writing MM, how did your family reacted to your decision?
Lane: They were surprised, but very supportive. I didn’t tell my husband until I’d received my first contract from Dreamspinner Press. He still laughs about it. “How did I not know you were writing a book at the dining room table?” I told my kids next and then slowly let a few relatives and close friends know. Everyone has said all the right things, though sometimes I think they’re just confused. In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

Mari: Have you given thought or consideration to collaborating with another author and if so, who would you like to collaborate with?
Lane: Honestly, I’m not sure I’d be good at collaborating. Writing is such a personal, creative outlet for me. It would be difficult for me to give up the reins to let someone else in on a story. LOL. Lane is not a good sharer of her boys.

Tracy: I'm back!! *pushes Mari and Jaymie out of the way* But just to say goodbye and thank you for the wonderful interview! We had an amazing time and can't wait for you to come back in the future!! 💗
Lane: Thank you all so much for having me at Bayou Book Junkie this month. It’s truly been an honor. Much love and happy reading!

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  1. Hi Lane is the one place in the world you would love to live?

  2. I would love to live in NYC some day. It's so energetic and vibrant. But I have to admit, Southern California is pretty darn beautiful. No complaints!

  3. Favorite couple is Matty and Aaron

  4. Congrats and thanks for the post. I'm a psychologist and I always wonder what kind of psychological research, if any, that a writer does to help with character development and realistic plotting. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

    1. Thank you! Great question. Generally, I write what I know and when I hit a road block, I research extensively. When you're contemporary fiction, I think it's important to be as accurate as possible. Google is great but it more helpful to talk to people with real life experience, imo. xo

  5. I haven't had a chance to read all your stories yet, so I may have missed this already. Would you have any future plans to write stories with MCs from other areas of the LBGTQIA community? Such as a trans character or one who's demisexual or asexual?

    1. So far, I haven't ventured into other areas beyond gay and bisexuality, but I definitely wouldn't rule it out some day. Thank you for the question. Lane xo

  6. >> My oldest son is gay. I’m obviously very supportive of him, but there was a time I was at an absolute loss about how he was feeling and how to communicate my support. <<

    Have you ever "used" your own son for your book romance research? *grin*

  7. Favorite couple? Zeke Gulden and Benny Ruggieri, loved them to pieces. Is there a genre you're worried you might not be able to write even if you do research?

  8. Thanks for the post! What is something on your bucket list that you hope to do someday?

  9. I would ask LAne what her friends say when she tell them what type of books you write