I have here today Felice Stevens. And this could possibly be the first person I don't really know at all. I opened Friend Fridays up to anyone on Facebook and she jumped on the request. So without saying more about how much I don't know her, let's get to the interview and I will learn right along with you :)
• What inspires your writing?
Felice: My inspiration usually comes when I least expect it. There’s nothing set or distinct about it. I have been falling asleep or walking to work and have gotten ideas.
• When did you start writing m/m romance?
Felice: I started in January of this past year.
• Are you a full time author?
Felice: Unfortunately, no. I am an attorney.
• Who is your favorite author?
Felice: Josh Lanyon. His books are beautifully written and make me aspire to be a better writer.
• How many books have you written so far?
Felice: I started out writing Regency romances. I actually have three, fully written, waiting until the time is right. I will probably self publish those. I have written two male/male and am working on a third.
• Tell us a little about your novel, Rescued.
Felice: Rescued is the story of Ryder Daniels, who was rejected by his parents for being gay. They have forbidden him to have any contact with his younger brother Landon. He works for a pit bull rescue organization and while out on a rescue, meets Jason Mallory, who has recently come out of a bad relationship with a woman. The two become friends, and then lovers. It’s a story of friendship, family and acceptance.
• How long did it take you to complete it?
Felice: Three months.
• Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
Felice: I love them all, but Ryder’s best friend Connor was the most fun to write.
• How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?
Felice: Not really much.
• When someone reads Rescued, what do you hope they gain from reading it?
Felice: That friends are the family you get to choose. That sometimes blood doesn’t always mean acceptance but people deserve to get their Happily Ever After.
• Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?
Felice: Love what you write. If you have to force it, it isn’t right.
1) Never respond to reviews. There will always be someone who doesn’t like your work.
2) The romance community is amazing; the people are some of the most helpful I’ve ever met.
3) Appreciate your readers and be a kind person.
• How do you keep your creative "spark" alive?
Felice: I read a lot and I talk about writing and the genre with my other author friends. We are very chatty.
• What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?
Felice: Take classes on writing craft, try to write every day and never submit to an agent or editor if your book isn’t ready.
• Where we can find you on the Internet?
Felice: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felice.stevens.1
• Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Rescued with us?
Felice: This is the confrontation between Jason and his brother Liam. Liam can’t understand Jason falling in love with Ryder after Jason’s only dated women in the past:
“Well, what do we have here, a queer convention?”
Jason’s heart sank at the sound of Liam’s sneering voice. He tensed and withdrew his arm from around Ryder’s waist. “Keep moving, Liam. No one is asking for your opinion.”
Ryder whispered in his ear, “Don’t let him get to you. He’s trying to make you angry. Rise above it.” He squeezed his shoulder.
“Make sure you listen to your boyfriend, Jason. Is he the master in the bedroom too? What do you guys call it, a top?” Liam snickered, then walked up to the bar. “Yo, John, gimme a beer.”
John stood behind the bar with his arms folded across his chest. His hazel eyes blazed fierce with anger.
Liam’s grin faltered; then he laughed. “Quit fucking with me, man. Give me a beer.”
John braced his arms on the bar. “I said no. See the sign?” John pointed to the sign over the bar that read MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO SERVE ANY PATRON. “I’m refusing.”
Liam sputtered in his rage. “What the fuck? What did I do?”
“You’re a fucking jerk, the way you talked to Jase. So unless you’re willing to apologize and act like a decent human being, you can walk the fuck out of my bar.”
“Don’t tell me you’re okay with him and this queer.”
“Shut the hell up, you goddamn asshole.” John’s large fist banged, causing several glasses to fall and shatter. The entire bar quieted down. “Do you know what you’re doing, treating your brother like this? It’s so fucking wrong to speak to anyone like this, but your own brother, your flesh and blood?”
John grabbed a picture off the wall, and Jason’s heart skipped. “Ah, shit.”
Ryder leaned over. “Who’s that?”
Jason whispered back, “That’s Eric. John’s older brother. He died in his first tour in Afghanistan three years ago.” He blinked back tears. “He was a great guy, and John’s only sibling—his only family, actually, since his parents died years ago.”
“Shit.” Ryder scrubbed his face with his hands. “That’s fucking awful.”
John shoved the picture under Liam’s pale face. “Do you remember my brother, Liam? Of course you do. We fucking worshipped him. Remember how we toasted him right here three years ago and told him that bar stool would be waiting for him when he came home? Do you?”
“But he isn’t coming home. He isn’t ever fucking coming home, and he’ll never sit there again. And every day I open this bar, and all I want is for Eric to walk through that door, laugh, and tell me it was a joke, and I can wake up from this fucking nightmare that he’s gone, and I never had a chance to say good-bye and tell him I love him.”
Jason could hardly see through his tears and heard Emily weeping. Ryder put his arm around him, and the wetness on Ryder’s cheek mixed with his own.
Mercilessly, John continued. “My brother died alone in a strange country with no one around who loved him. So now I want you to tell me that you’re going to turn your back on your brother, one of the nicest fucking guys I’ve ever known, and walk out of his life and never speak to him again because you don’t approve of who he sleeps with. And what the fuck happens if he gets hit by a car when he walks out of this bar tonight, and you never have that chance to say you’re sorry or to say good-bye and he dies alone? Do you want the last memory between you and him to be your anger, your hatred?”
John’s chest heaved as he pushed his face into Liam’s. “Are you going to be able to live with yourself? Because I’m gonna fucking tell you, you won’t. I had the best relationship with Eric, and I almost put a gun to my head to end it all because I couldn’t stand the pain of his death. Will you be able to live with your pain?”
John beckoned Jason, and after taking a deep breath, he walked over, standing next to Liam. “Do you love your brother, Jase?”
He nodded. “No matter what he says to me, he’ll always be my brother.”
John turned to Liam, who, to Jason’s shock, looked devastated. “And you. Do you love your brother? Or are you willing to throw it all away because of your ignorance and stupidity? What’s happened to you? The man I’ve been friends with since high school would never behave like this. Are you willing to say good-bye to Jase forever? Are you willing to risk it all?”