Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Pelaam.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live on the North Island in New Zealand, and share the island with a couple of live volcanoes. New Zealand’s nickname is the Shaky Isles as we get a lot of earthquakes, too. But those aside, it’s a beautiful country. Lushly green with majestic mountains, clear lakes, and lots of ocean. I’m an animal lover, have a Master’s Degree in Art History, and am a wine and food aficionado. I read cookery books the way some people read novels.
What inspires your writing?
To be honest, anything can inspire me. One story in my “Once upon a Future” series, which are fairytales with an m/m twist, was born from a few words about a Firebird’s feather in the original tale. Songs inspire me, not necessarily the whole song, just a line or two can be enough.
When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre?
I started writing m/m about fifteen years ago. Why? I hope that one day no one will care about the m/m tag. Books will just be fantasy, or sci-fi, but the hero will get his man – or men.
Are you a full time author?
Part time only. I have a full time job as well.
Who is your favorite author?
That’s a little like asking a parent to name a favourite child. Among my favourites are Dean Koontz and Alan Dean Foster. In the m/m genre J L Langley, Josh Lanyon
How many books have you written so far?
Over 40. Sometimes I can’t believe it myself.
Tell us a little about your novel, Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair
It’s a contemporary m/m romance, set on South Island in the aftermath of a Tsunami. Blair’s home is left uninhabitable making him, his cat, and three dogs homeless. To make things worse, Blair is injured when he returns to find his cat and is rescued by Joshua who’s helping with the tsunami clean up. Joshua takes him, and his pets, in and slowly their unlikely friendship becomes more. But Blair has a hidden past. One that could prove deadly.
How long did it take you to complete Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair? Did you write it freely or plan everything in advance?
It took a couple of months or so working around other projects. I generally write freely. At most I’ll estimate how many chapters I might need and jot a line or two about what should be in them. Other times I write completely randomly, jumping from start, to end, to middle, writing as the Muse seizes me. Then I’ll join things together.
What inspired you to write Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair?
I was approached by MLR Press to join a group of authors to specifically write for Storming Love.
Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
He’s a chef and an animal lover, and is reluctant to get involved with Joshua because of his past.
How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?
There’s a little of me in there.
When someone reads Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair what do you hope they gain from reading it?
Characters they like, an engaging story, and a feelgood factor.
Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?
I can offer two. The harder you work, the better you get. Don’t give up.
What is the most frequently asked question by the fans?
When’s the next book coming out?
What are you working on now?
My NaNo project. A steamunk AU where the Aztec Empire is flourishing and on a par with the British Empire
How do you keep your creative “spark” alive?
I always have half a dozen projects on the go. If I find the Muse is struggling a little with one story, I switch to another, sometimes several at once.
What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?
Don’t be discouraged. Keep writing.
Where we can find you on the Internet?
Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair with us?
Sitting in Joshua’s car with his crutches and bag safely stored, Blair’s confidence waned with every moment that passed. Sitting in the hospital, all Blair had thought about was getting away from there and seeing his pets again. Now reality was slapping him hard.
Angling his head a fraction, Blair stole a glance at Joshua. His very own knight in shining armor—or at least board shorts and T-shirt. Typical surfer clothing. But there was also an air of responsibility about Joshua. Before leaving the hospital, Joshua had insisted on reading Blair’s discharge summary and studied the tablets he’d been given. The way Joshua had rattled off their names hadn’t registered at the time, but it did now.
“What do you do for a living, Joshua?”
“I’m a pharmacist. I work in one of the bigger franchises in town. Part owner actually. We’re open long hours so we work rosters. As it turns out, I’m off for the next couple of days as I took some holidays. I didn’t expect to be using the time to help clear away tsunami detritus though.”
“I wasn’t expecting to be made homeless by one. Still, we were lucky.” Blair shivered. The disaster could have been much worse. As far as he knew, no one had been killed and there hadn’t been a lot of buildings damaged. Just a few people like himself with minor injuries, and some that were temporarily homeless while the big clean-up was underway.
“Yes. We were. I know we all groan when we get bombarded by the adverts about earthquakes and tsunamis, and the constant reminders about having emergency packs ready, but I guess they work.”
“Sure did in my case.” Blair nodded, staring out of the window. The area they were in was one of the more exclusive ones. He glanced at Joshua. A pharmacist. And he’s looking after me.
As they turned into a cul-de-sac, Joshua pointed to the villa last on the left, separated from its nearest neighbor on the right by grass and shrubs.
The white and green villa looked beautiful with its wooden veranda out front. There was a good-sized section on the left alongside the drive with a varied assortment of shrubs. The house would enjoy a lot of privacy. Blair frowned when Joshua didn’t drive his car into the shed, parking on the drive instead.
“The shed’s your dogs’ home from home when Ella has to go out. She’s made it into a doggy hotel. The rest of the time they stay with her, including in her bedroom—well, my guest bedroom where you’ll be staying. She says they seemed used to it.”
At the quizzical eyebrow Joshua raised, Blair nodded. Well and truly busted. “Yeah. Well, the bach only had the mezzanine for a bedroom, but I don’t throw the boys out. They slept either on or by the bed.”
“She’ll be happy to know she was right. You go on ahead. I’ll bring your stuff. Sounds like the boys know you’re here already.”
A chorus of barks and near howls grew louder as Blair limped his way up the steps leading to the deck. He approached the door slowly, hoping he could deal with three energetic dogs. The door was open a fraction and as he pushed it cautiously, a woman’s voice rang out over the barking.
“It’s not locked and I have the guys on a lead. Come in, sit down, and then I’ll let them come to you.”
Pushing the door open, Blair saw a long-haired woman indicating a chair with one hand as she maintained a tight grip on the leads holding back his boys with the other. She grinned at him.
“Boy, are they happy to see you? Get yourself settled and I’ll walk them over. They’re clever boys, they’ll know not to bounce when they get close.”
Grinning, Blair made his way to the indicated chair and settled himself down. “Okay. I’m ready.”
Before Ella could get across the room with the dogs a small furry streak rocketed out of the kitchen, jumping up onto Blair’s lap, and yowling loudly. As Blair petted Whisky, tickling him under the chin as he liked, Ella brought the dogs over.
“Don’t be telling lies about me, Whisky.” Ella laughed as the cat head bopped Blair repeatedly. “He’s been a very well fed cat. Believe me.”
“I do. Hey, boys. Miss me?” Blair didn’t bother worrying about the tears that snuck free. Three sets of doggy tongues more than hid any tears at their reunion.
“I’m sure they did. Just as much as you missed them.” Ella stood back a little, and Blair let the dogs bring their own brand of comfort to him.
The dogs crowded at Blair’s feet, jostling good-naturedly for the best position to receive Blair’s attention while sniffing repeatedly at the strange coverings on Blair’s foot and knee.
“Here.” Ella slipped Blair some large dog biscuits. “Just to give you a bit of a break.”
“Thanks.” Blair gave each delighted dog their treat and smiled as they each settled to crunch away. Only Whisky remained and he yowled, clearly indignant that the dogs had been rewarded.
“I hadn’t forgotten you. As if I could.” Ella passed a packet of cat treats which she shook as she handed them to Blair.
“He’s never been backward at coming forward.” Blair sprinkled some biscuits at the side of the chair and Whisky jumped down, devouring them at high speed before leaping up onto Blair’s lap and settling down. Loud purrs rang out and Blair laughed along with Ella. “He’s happy.”
“I’ll take your stuff through to your room, Blair.” Joshua held up Blair’s bag as he headed past. “Hi guys, good to see you, too.” Joshua picked his way between the dogs that ran to greet him.
“And I’ll come with you and make sure I haven’t left any of my bits and pieces lying around.” Ella gave Blair a quick wave and followed Joshua into the hallway leading away at the far end of the room. Looking to his left, Blair took in the well-appointed dining area and what appeared to be a spacious kitchen beyond.
“Looks like you guys have been spoiled rotten.” Blair murmured as much to himself as the dogs who came over running to sit beside him. “You like Ella, don’t you?” The dogs snuggled closer their tails wagging furiously. “Yeah. She seems nice. And you really like Joshua, hmm?” Blair sighed softly, glancing up toward the hallway. “Me, too, guys. Me too.”